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500 Linebaugh

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by bluetopper, Jul 23, 2007.

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  1. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

    Dec 17, 2005
    Northeast TX
    Yesterday at the range, a friend of a guy I was shooting with came to the range with a gun he had just ordered. He bought a Ruger 44 Magnum and sent it to a smith and had it converted to 500 Linebaugh caliber.
    Absolute awesome gun and caliber. My question is, is there a gun that comes from the factory in 500 Linebaugh caliber? Or are they all conversion guns?
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
  3. Jim March

    Jim March Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    The 475Linebaugh is actually more of a beast (more raw energy on tap) than the 500. Thicker cylinder walls let you run the pressure up higher on the 475. And if that turns out to be more fun than you can handle, Ruger later came out with a caliber called the "480Ruger" that's a milder, slightly shorter version of the 475L and can be used as a "mellower" load in 475L guns.

    Freedom Arms is also supplying factory guns in 500L and 475L but...they cost BIG bucks.

    The web page for Mr. Linebaugh shows him shooting one of his 500Ls on a 44Mag-size frame with one hand. This is an unbelievable demonstration of SKILL! Note how he brings the gun back and past his body.


    Us mere mortals should shoot these from a Weaver hold and use the "asymmetry" to bring the gun past our heads rather than into our foreheads. And if you don't know what a Weaver hold is...then...well, you ain't ready for this much horsepower until you DO know the Weaver down pat cold. A proper Weaver, doing push/pull instead of "cupping" with the off hand.

    The symmetrical Isosceles hold WILL plant the front sight into your forehead with the wildest loads...if you're lucky, it'll stop at the barrel.

    If you are seriously interested in shooting handcannon-class pieces like this, you need to transition to the Weaver as your main hold.

    What else...OK. Go read what Linebaugh writes under the "Writings" section of his site:


    What he's doing is showing you his EARLY research, and why he lost interest in the 44Mag in favor of the 45LC in strong guns. He used the extra case capacity of the 45LC to reduce peak pressures. And he later extended that principle into the 475 and 500. So if you go back to the BFR pages, you might re-think these calibers in favor of the 45-70(!) which has BIGTIME case capacity.


    Because there are quite a few 45-70 rifles left over from LONG ago (hint: Custer's men used it at the Little Bighorn!) there are mild factory loads available that in a gun this size won't feel any worse than a 44Mag...but there's also some serious stompers or you can roll your own :).
  4. DrLaw

    DrLaw Member

    Mar 24, 2007
    Wild Western Illinois
    If I were to get a Linebaugh caliber gun, I would go to Linebaugh to get it.
    Having met the man, heard his and seen his data, I know that the .500 Linebaugh (and .475 Linebaugh) would be more gun than I would ever need.
    (Not really planning on heading to the woods for bear and elk, etc... - sorry, never got that involved with hunting). I do know that he designed the guns and cartridges to bring out the maximum efficiency of a handgun cartridge in something that you can actually shoot well, without maxing out on the pressures involved and break guns as a result.

    Full-power Linebaugh loads are managable and recoverable such that you can get a second shot off fast (two-handed) from a single action revolver. We set up a 'charging bear' - a paper plate target suspended from a trolley wire.
    The plate is pulled towards the shooter and runs fairly fast, about the same speed as a charging bear. I got off two shots which both hit on the plate (would have been head shots) in the time it took the plate to traverse 25 yards. (That sucker was moving!!!!) :what: I am not that hot a shot with a gun I am not familiar with, yet I was still able to nail it twice. Now that is controlability! :p

    For those who need the power, these are dang fine guns. I'm not selling them for him. Just shoot one and it will sell itself to you.

    What Linebaugh does is to convert Rugers to his 5-shot cylinders, with new barrels, of course. It is not cheap, but still in line with what a custom gun will be.

    Like I said, I really don't have a need for it, but have experienced it, and it was a very good gun. (shot more than those two shots, of course, with lighter power loads)

    The Doc is out now. :cool:
  5. Colt46

    Colt46 Member

    Jan 29, 2003
    Stick with the .45 colt

    His .500 and .500 long are for the serious aficionados only. His 5- shot .45's will take care of anything a handgunner might want to shoot anyway.
    There are a few other smith's that rechamber to those calibers. Hamilton Bowen, Jim Stroh, David Clements come to mind.
  6. CMcDermott

    CMcDermott Member

    Feb 15, 2003
    Broomfield CO, USA
    The 500 Linebaugh is available only as a conversion, the Freedom Arms revolver can't fit the rims into the cylinder.
    Same as when Buffalo Arms came out with commercial 475 Linabaugh brass; the rim size was reduced from the parent 45-70 case rim size so Freedom Arms could produce a gun in 475 Linebaugh. Now Freedom Arms has brought out the 500 Wyoming Express caliber, because they couldn't reduce the rim size of the 500 Linebaugh enough to fit their revolvers, but wanted something more powerful than the 50 AE cartridge.
    The 500 Linebaugh full power loads are something that a shooter has to work up to before you can handle the recoil level. Just buying a gun and going out to shoot it without having lots of experience shooting the 44 Magnum and 454 Casull calibers is a very bad idea. A 500 Linebaugh is easily capable of implanting the front sight into your forehead if you aren't familiar with the recoil level, or even if you are familiar but just aren't concentrating well that day.
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