.500 Linebaugh Custom Revolver
The most prominent trend in handguns in recent years has been the consumer’s perceived need for ultra-powerful, larger than .44 Magnum chambered, super revolvers. The movement was pioneered by custom pistolsmiths like Hamilton Bowen and John Linebaugh, who began equipping heavy single action revolvers with stouter five-round cylinders allowing shooters to fire really souped-up loadings of the .45 Colt. Then, Mr. Linebaugh began creating wildcat revolver cartridges on a previously unimaged scale, allowing the shooter to fire from a handgun bullets of size and velocity suitable for the largest and most dangerous big game animals.
John Linebaugh’s Ruger Bisley conversions offered the shooter the opportunity to have a really decisive weapon available, the kind that will stop an angry grizzly, lion, or Cape buffalo in its tracks, in the form of a readily carry-able backup handgun.
Before long, the standard handgun manufacturing companies hastened to jump on the bandwagon, and today’s shooter can buy super-revolvers made by Smith & Wesson, Ruger, or Taurus in colossal .50 caliber chamberings for a good deal under the price of a custom handgun.
These kinds of trends have a tendency to keep going in a particular direction, and big bore handguns, I just learned from the News Junkie at Maggie’s Farm, have taken another big step in the direction of way-too-far.
It seems that Swiss enthusiast by the name of Zeliska commissioned the firm of Pfeifer Waffen of Feldkirch, Austria to make for him der stÃ¤rkste Revolver der Welt. The Pfeifer-Zeliska Revolver would be chambered in the largest hunting cartridge ever produced during big game hunting’s golden age, the legendary .600 Nitro Express. Introduced by Jeffrey in 1903, the .600 Nitro Express was intended to be the decisive solution to the extremely angry elephant problem. The .600 was loaded with 900 grain bullets and propelled them elephantwards at a vigorous 2050 feet per second. You wouldn’t want to fire many rounds, because in addition to what the gun will do to you, each round costs something like $40.
The Pfeifer-Zeliska has a 13″ (33 cm.) barrel and weighs 13.23 lbs. (6.01 k). It costs 13.840,- EUR — $18,338.
My own version of John Linebaugh’s .500 revolver has a 5″ (12.7 cm.) barrel, and weighs 2 lb. 11 oz. (.94 k). Linebaugh charges $2200 (1.665, EUR).
The last time I test fired my .500 Limbaugh I developed considerable bruising and a distinct lump at the base of my right thumb. Even with the addition of the extra poundage, I expect a .600 Nitro Express revolver would go harder with the shooter.