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The Freedom Arms revolver is extremely well made. I have one in .454 and you are correct, the FA revolver's window and cylinder is not large enough to use .475 Linebaugh made from .45-70 brass. It must use the smaller rimmed Hornady brass, or you need to turn the rims down on the .45-70. As far as quality goes between a Freedom Arms and a Linebaugh, that is pretty much in the eye, and pocket book, of the beholder. From the Linebaugh pistols that I have looked at, they are decidedly better built than the Freedom Arms. But, you will pay about $500 more for the Linebaugh than the FA locally (slightly higher on the cost of the Linebaugh conversion, but you have to remember to add the price of the new revolver that you must supply to him for conversion, unless he is providing completed guns now, I have not kept up with his doings in the last few years). As to them being $500 better, I guess it depends on how you value your money spent. The FA revolver will do everything the Linebaugh revolver will do (except use .45-70 cases as the parent case) and be just as accurate, but the fit, finish and smoothness of the Linebaugh is just enough better that you can see and feel the hand built one at at time difference. Since case forming is not a chore I particularly like to do, and I have to do quite a bit of it, I would opt to use the Hornady or Starline brass in either revolver. I do not take that much joy in forming and trimming down cases like the .45-70 to .475 Linebaugh dimentions, not when factory brass is readily available. I love Linebaugh handguns, and cannot say anything bad about them, and John Linebaugh is a top notch guy to talk to and a complete gentleman, but if money were a deciding factor, I honestly do not think you would ever regret getting a Freedom Arms revolver. But, if you have the extra money to spend, I would spend it to get the Linebaugh. Remember, this is just my opinion and worth exactly what you paid for it. Good luck. I'm sure you will love the .500 Long.
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