Sixgunner: The Sixguns Of Hamilton Bowen By: John Taffin


Biggest Of The Big

It wasn’t too long ago when .45 was as large as it gets when it comes to sixguns, however we now have access to six .50 caliber versions. The lineup is the .50 AE, .50 GI, .500 Linebaugh, .500 Wyoming Express, .500 Maximum, and .500 S&W. The latter two .50s require large, heavy sixguns, while the first two are great choices for lightweight easy packin’ sixguns. The .500 Linebaugh and .500 Wyoming Express fit right in between, making them perfect for standard sized sixguns.

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Hamilton builds five-shot versions of the .500 Linebaugh on both the Ruger Redhawk and Bisley Model and sent along versions of both for testing and showcasing for our readers. The Redhawk .500 features a full-sized five-shot cylinder, line-bored, andtightly fitted with no end play or sideto-side movement. A custom L-frame style heavy ribbed barrel with an integral compensator and very easy to see sights consisting of a Bowen heavyduty Rough Country white outline adjustable rear sight matched up with a slanted black post front sight with a white bar inlaid in the face of the sight, round it out. The front sight is on a base and is of the interchangeable variety allowing the full range of different front sights.

The Bisley Model .500 features all the same attention to detail and sights as the Ruger Redhawk. Instead of stainless, it’s blued with case hardened hammer and frame and fitted with an oversized base pin. The crowning touch is the custom barrel, which is octagonal instead of round. Octagonal barrels matched up with the flat top of the Ruger mainframe are especially attractive. Hamilton offers these barrels on several conversions in either 51/2? or 71/2? length. This little big, or big little sixgun is especially difficult for me to send back. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Hamilton trusts me to do just that very thing.

Both .500 sixguns were test-fired with Grizzly Ammunition’s 410 gr. plainbased LFN bullet rated at 900 fps. This is not what you would call a hot load, but rather an easy to shoot and control big bore load. In the 5? Ruger Redhawk it clocks out at 900 fps over the PACT PC, grouping four shots in 3/4? at 20 yards, while the 51/2? Bisley Model does 945 fps and 5/8? respectively.