A Proper Rig

Such a pistol, of course, deserves good leather, and Galco supplied one of their exotic series holsters in black sharkskin sized for the big Blackhawk’s 4 5/8" barrel. It comes with both a retention strap and tension screw as well as a sight track large enough to clear Bowen’s tall front sight without planing out strips of leather when you draw.

Available in other hides such as stingray, alligator and ostrich, it’s not just the leather that makes the exotic holsters special: the craftsmanship is impressive. From the double stitching holding the loops in place to the near-liquid edgework, the extra work that goes into them is obvious.

However, pretty is as pretty does, which brings us to shooting. My first time shooting the .50 Special from a modified Weaver, yielded a couple of inches at 25 yards or so, followed by an offhand group with three or four of the bullets about touching. The accuracy, however, should not be surprising; the five-shot cylinder is custom made and each of the chambers are line-bored through the front of the frame with the cylinder clamped in place, reducing the tolerances that occur when you make both parts separately and then put them together and hope for the best. It is, in fact, the same cylinder blank Bowen uses for the .500 Linebaugh, so it’s plenty capable of taking whatever you want to throw at it. Since there’s not a lot of vetted load data available for the .50 Special, I stuck with fairly conservative loads.