Dustin Linebaugh’s Custom Revolvers


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

June 13th, 2005




I just got back from a very relaxing week at the Shootists Holiday in New Mexico. The event seems to be the shortest week of the year, spent with good friends, plenty of grub, and days of shooting and swapping stories. As my friend John Hosford so eloquently stated, "You can see the bullshit flowing down the hill!" I like a man that gets right to the point. The shooting consisted of everything from punching paper targets, to shooting steel silhouettes at various ranges, to busting rocks out to over 500 yards with sixguns, to plinking at a steel buffalo at 1123 yards with a big Sharps .45-70. There seemed to be an almost endless variety of rifles and handguns available, with every man present gladly loaning his weapons to his fellow shooters to try.

Somewhere along the middle of the week, Chuck Smith came and found me. Chuck is a Louisiana lawman, a brother Shootist, and a good friend of mine. He knows what I like to shoot, and stated bluntly, "Follow me. There is a gun down here that you have got to see." I followed. He introduced me to Dustin Linebaugh, the son of the famous custom gunsmith John Linebaugh. Dustin has also gained a reputation as an artist of grip making, but I was unaware that he was building custom conversions on his own.  The gun to which Chuck was referring was a custom six-shot Ruger Bisley chambered in .38-40. The gun was handed to me for inspection, and was indeed beautiful, but I was a bit disappointed in the chambering, until I fired it. It shoots like no .38-40 that I had ever fired! Dustin built the gun with an oversized six-shot cylinder that allows the sixgun to be loaded to much higher levels of power than a standard .38-40. Long-range accuracy is great with this sixgun, and plinking at rocks and such proved to be great fun with the custom .38-40. Dustin has learned his craft from his Dad, and the care and fitting shows in this fine sixgun, which wears a six and one-half inch octagonal barrel, stainless Bisley grip frame, Bowen rear sight, custom front sight, and custom Cocobolo grips.

Shooting and handling this sixgun piqued my interest in his other guns, so I also examined and photographed a few of them to include here. This article is not intended as a full-blown test of any particular weapon, but as a way of introducing Dustin Linebaugh as a master pistolsmith in his own right to those who are unfamiliar with his work.

The other guns pictured here are also of very high quality. The blued .500 Linebaugh five-shot revolver features a barrel-band front sight, real elephant ivory grips, Bowen rear sight, and a five and one-half inch barrel.

The .475 Linebaugh is Dustin’s personal outdoor carry gun. It is beautifully blued with a stainless grip frame, oversize five-shot cylinder, and fixed sights.

The four and five-eighths inch barreled stainless Vaquero is also chambered for the .500 Linebaugh cartridge and wears an oversized five-shot cylinder and ironwood grips.

Each of these fine guns show a high degree of craftsmanship in the fitting and finishing of the weapons.  It is evident that Dustin has studied under the watchful eye of a Master. I have handled and fired revolvers built by John Linebaugh, and these conversions by Dustin are every bit the equal or better than those built by his famous father. That is saying a lot. If you need, want, or are just thinking about a custom conversion revolver of the highest quality, I suggest that you get in touch with Dustin Linebaugh. You can’t do any better.

Contact Dustin by email at: dustin@tritel.net or by telephone at:  307-899-5368. If you prefer, you can write to him at: P.O. Box 263, Cody, WY 82414.

Jeff Quinn

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Dustin Linebaugh (left) and the author with some of Dustin's exquisite custom revolvers.



The guns of Dustin Linebaugh (top to bottom): five-shot stainless Bisley Vaquero in .500 Linebaugh, Bisley in .38-40., five-shot Bisley in .500 Linebaugh, fixed-sight five-shot Bisley in .475 Linebaugh.



Dustin Linebaugh custom Bisley in .38-40.



Dustin Linebaugh custom five-shot Bisley in .500 Linebaugh.



Dustin Linebaugh custom five-shot stainless Bisley Vaquero in .500 Linebaugh.



Dustin Linebaugh's personal outdoor carry gun: a fixed-sight five-shot Bisley in .475 Linebaugh.



Author with Dustin Linebaugh's fixed-sight five-shot .475 Bisley.