Tag Archives: Dick Casull

That little gun doesn’t kick at all

Long before Smith & Wesson made the .500 S&W, a gunsmith in Wyoming cut down a .348 Winchester case to craft the first successful .50 caliber revolver/cartridge. Named the .500 Linebaugh after its inventor– John Linebaugh– the same six-gun smith went on to craft the .475 Linebaugh and follow-on .500 Linebaugh Max and .475 Linebaugh Max.

“Big Bore Handguns” author John Taffin, in his first review of the .500 Linebaugh in 1985, found a 260-grain bullet to clock in at 1,700 fps, punching through quarter-inch sheet steel and penetrating 10 inches into a solid wood block with ease, although he noted the recoil was “fierce,” even when shooting the 10-inch revolver from the bench and off sandbags.

However, speaking to “Gun Digest” in 2013, Linebaugh said his EDC piece was a .500 Linebaugh with a 4.25-inch barrel, saying, “That little gun doesn’t kick at all.”

Which is unsurprising for anyone who ever met the slim little cowboy.

Mr. Linebaugh passed at his home outside of Cody last week.

When it comes to services, a public visitation will be held at Ballard Funeral Home in Cody on Saturday, March 25, 2023, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a graveside service at the Bennett Buttes Cemetery in Clark on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. followed by a reception at the Clark Pioneer Recreation Center.

Little Guns, now Employee-Owned

Formed originally in Salt Lake City around 1971 as the Rocky Mountain Arms Corp, the company that today is North American Arms was founded by Richard J. Casull, who was also the father of the .454 Casull cartridge.

A gunsmith gifted with both exceptional intellectual ability and creative productivity, Casull was the holder of more than 20 patents including several filed in the 70s for small, single-action revolvers with a floating firing pin and an improved cylinder lock system.

These things: 

I’ve owned a ton of little 22 Mini Revolvers over the years, and they are nice to have in your pocket while hunting or fishing.

Rocky Mountain eventually changed its name to North American Arms around 1975 while Casull later went on to found Freedom Arms in Wyoming, with NAA concentrating their efforts on mini-revolvers while the newer FA went on to produce more full-sized guns.

For most of its modern existence, or at least the past 30 years of it, NAA has been owned by a top-shelf gentleman by the name of Sandy Chisholm.

Well, Sandy, looking to spend more of his time in Florida than Utah, has eschewed offers to sell out his mini-revolver biz to other players in the firearms industry– a move that would have likely seen it shift production to a Big Factory somewhere to save costs, leaving most of its current rank-and-file behind to look for another job– and instead has transferred ownership to a trust to make it employee-owned.

Class act.

What’s in your fifth pocket?

Did you know that Dick Casull– as in the father of the big ole thumping .454 Casull cartridge– also invented the modern mini-revolver in the 1970s?

This thing.

They actually have a pretty interesting story and have grown in popularity over the course of the past five decades.

More in my column at Guns.com.