Bowen Classic Arms .475 Linebaugh

Nimrod - close but not quite the .475.  From

Nimrod - close but not quite the .475. From

Ross Seyfried was a big influence on me in the early days of my gun interest. It was he who turned me onto the .475 Linebaugh and it was he who made me spend ungodly sums of money.  One such recipient of my money, no thanks to Ross, was Bowen Classic Arms (BCA).  This was the days before digital cameras so I the best I can do is show you a photo from his Bowen’s website.

BCA has refined this version over the years.  I liked this latest iteration with its little evolved refinements better than what I had. When I got mine, it was still somewhat novel.  Mine started out as a blued .44 Mag Ruger Bisley.  I don’t recall if a stainless version of the Bisley was available then but most certainly it wasn’t otherwise I would have opted for the stainless. Some like blued guns, I prefer stainless.

BCA opened up the cylinder frame and then put in a custom beefy 5 hole cylinder into the frame. The factory barrel was  replaced with a  cut rifled 5-1/2 in Douglas (I believe) bull barrel. The conversion looked fantastic compared to original Ruger and oozed quality. It felt that much heavier and muzzle heavy. I replaced the grips with faux ivory grips to give in a nice offsetting look.

Some cool features:

  1. Free spinning cylinder. With the cylinder gate opened, the cylinder was free to spin silently in either direction. This was to facilitate unjamming a cylinder jammed by a bullet that may have unseated.
  2. Barrel band.  It just looks cool. Think of it as a sexy curve on a supermodel.

I started shooting the gun with 425 grn bullets at about 900 fps. These were actually pleasant to shoot. But I was obsessed with firing full bore loads. That would have to come later.

I finally worked up to the max loads of 425 grain bullets at about 1300 fps plus a few. There was certainly trepidation using these rounds. Part of it was fear that I put too much powder in and I was going to blow up the gun. The .475 at max was monstrous in recoil. I’d had shot the .454 Casull but this took it to another level. I wore PAST gloves and while the recoil didn’t sting my palm like the .454, it definitely did a number on my wrist.  After firing a cylinder full, my hand was shaking and my wrist hurt for about a week. I only shot mild loads in the gun after that. My dream that one day I would hunt Cape Buffalo hunting with it died with the pain. I couldn’t practice enough to be proficient without doing some serious nerve or tendon damage.

Eventually I sold the gun, another bone headed impetuous move. Another regret. It’s true, people don’t learn from history.


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