Magnum Research’s 45-70 BFR
Dr. John Woods 09.02.19
Several years ago I was able to participate in an old-fashioned Kansas buffalo hunt. We lived in a dug-in mud-wall hut, rode horses, and cooked on open fires. I hunted with a classic “buff” rifle — an 1873 Sharps in 45-70 with a 30-inch barrel and a tang peep sight. I took my bull after crawling to within 50 yards of the herd and took the shot sitting. It was quite an experience.
That was my first time hunting with the 45-70 cartridge. I know it as a heck of a hard hitter, but with quite a rainbow trajectory. Some call using a 45-70 “tossing pumpkins” at a game animal. Now imagine trying to get your head wrapped around a single action revolver that takes that same 45-70 cartridge.
This is exactly what you get with the Magnum Research BFR (Biggest Finest Revolver) handgun. You might be tempted to call this gun a classic “sixgun”, but the BFR 45-70’s cylinder only takes five rounds. That’s enough for a 45-70 cartridge, which is a thumb-big brass cartridge with buck-busting power at handgun hunting ranges.
The Magnum Research BFR 45-70 is one of several BFRs chambered for long cartridges rather than traditional “handgun rounds.” This model is referred to as a long-cylinder model at the MR website. This BFR comes in barrel lengths of 7.5 and 10 inches. The overall lengths are 15 to 17.5 inches, a big gun.
The finish on the BFR is a brushed stainless steel. Weight? It tips the scales at 80 ounces or roughly five pounds. The front sight is a black fixed sight; the rear is adjustable. Grip styles come in a standard type western revolver or the British-originated Bisley grip. The Bisley is intended to promote a “rock-back” reaction to the 45-70 recoil.
As mentioned, the BFR’s cylinder only handles five rounds rather than the usual six for a gun of this type. A fully loaded BFR would be quite a bit to tote. You’ll need a good holster or even a shoulder holster especially if you are going afield with this gun with the intent of hunting.
Magnum Research is now part of the Kahr Firearms Group, but the BFR models can be found at www.magnumresearch.com. Check out all the models, variations, and chamberings.