Some personal disclosure on my part. I know Bob Baker, owner of Freedom Arms personally. I think he is a good guy, even if he is a bit stubborn. I just got back from playing with the new single shot and I might even shoot it this year in comp. Here is a video of Bob showing off the gun.
But that's not what this is about. In 2007 Bob lost a court case where he was sued for a defective model 83 in 454 Casull. Today I read that his appeal had been denied a hearing. Here are the facts of the case:
Robert Taylor of Adamsville, Ohio. Bought himself a FA model 83 454 Casull in Ohio and came out to Wyoming to go hunting. He then shot his own leg off, and the doctors had to amputate below the knee. He wanted someone to pay for it all, so when he got back to Ohio he sued Freedom Arms and every one else he could think of for ten million bucks Everyone except FA was let off the hook. The jury then awarded Mr. Taylor $600,000 in damages but found him 50% responsible for the accident, so that means he gets $300,000.
Here is what the article says happened:
According to court records, Taylor was taking off an overcoat when the side of the coat caught the hammer of the gun and caused it to discharge a bullet into his lower right leg. Doctors treating Taylor's injury amputated his right leg below the knee.
Taylor's lawsuit alleged the gun was "defective and unreasonably dangerous" because it allowed the firing pin to make contact with the primer cartridge before the firearm was fully set to be fired. That resulted in the possibility the gun could fire without the hammer being fully cocked back and the trigger pulled, the plaintiffs argued.Here is what I think happened:
Mr. Taylor wanted the finest cowboy gun made on earth. He bought himself the biggest baddest 454 in a single action made, the Freedom Arms model 83. Then he wanted to do what any number of easterners want, come out west and go hunting with his new hand cannon. Then he shot himself.
Keep in mind I've never talked to Bob about this. The guy Taylor claims his coat caught the hammer and fired the gun on accident. I'm having a big problem with this being true. I plain don't think it happened. See I've hunted with the model 83. I was using one of Bob's guns that was on loan to me with the understanding that I would write up an article and get some pictures if I made a kill. You can't make these guns misfire. In fact the safety features, are designed around Bob's fear of lawsuits. They are the strongest and most fool proof that can be made. I plum don't buy Mr. Taylor's story.
I think Taylor came out and was playing cowboy on his hunting trip. I think he caused the gun to go off some how. I don't know if he was fast drawing, or if he had the gun hammer back while the gun was holstered or what. I just don't buy that he went to take his coat off and that caused the gun to misfire. Even if that was true one question I'd like to know the answer to is, "why didn't he have the hammer down on an empty chamber?". That's what the owners manual and hunters safety and every other safety manual suggests you do with a revolver. Like I said before, Taylor was playing cowboy. I don't know if he was hunting elk, deer or antelope but even in the wilds of Wyoming, none of those critters shoot back. He should have carried the gun properly. He should have used it correctly. He should have stayed in Ohio.
Bob Baker shouldn't be on the hook for paying for this guys accident.