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Thread: Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum Revolver

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    Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum Revolver

    Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum Revolver

    I recently picked up a Smith & Wesson .500 Revolver for the back country and for the occassional nuissance bear around the cabin.



    With the entry of the .500 S&W Magnum and the Model 500 revolver, Smith & Wesson recaptured the title of the most powerful handgun. The .500 S&W Magnum is considered the most powerful commercial sporting handgun cartridge by virtue of the muzzle energy it can generate. Cor-Bon (now a Dakota Ammo brand) who together with Smith & Wesson developed the .500 S&W Magnum cartridge, offers several loads which include a 325 gr (21.1 g) at 1,800 ft/s (550 m/s), a 400 gr (26 g) at 1,625 ft/s (495 m/s) and a 440 gr (29 g) at 1,625 ft/s (495 m/s). Compared to the next most powerful commercial sporting handgun cartridge, the .460 S&W Magnum, which can launch a 325 gr (21.1 g) at 1,650 ft/s (500 m/s) or a 395 gr (25.6 g) at 1,525 ft/s (465 m/s), the .500 S&W Magnum produces about 15% to 40% more muzzle energy than the .460 S&W. The .500 S&W Magnum comes into its own when used with heavier bullets, particularly those with weights of 500 gr (32 g) or greater. When possible these bullets should be seated as far out as possible to take advantage of the complete cylinder length, so as to maximize the powder capacity which the case can provide.



    I have the 4' barrel version that I carry in a leather Ross holster and a leather Ringler shell slide for extra cartridges. The .500 S&W Magnum has a very high recoil energy and recoil velocity. The high energy and velocity of the recoil will cause the muzzle to rise when shooting the cartridge. Smith & Wesson incorporated design features to help mitigate both the perceived and actual recoil of their Model 500 Smith & Wesson revolver chambered for the .500 S&W Magnum. The revolver is equipped with a compensator and Hogue Absorbathane grips. This shorter-barreled revolver is handier, weighing 56 oz (1.6 kg) and coming with a larger and more efficient muzzle brake than the more common Model 500 8.375 in (212.7 mm) revolvers.

    The .500 S&W Magnum was designed to be primarily a handgun hunting cartridge. It also serves a secondary purpose as a back-up survival handgun cartridge as a defense against the large bears of North America. Due to its power, recoil and size, the 500 S&W Magnum is a poor self-defense or concealed-carry weapon, especially in an urban environment.

    The .500 S&W Magnumís success with large dangerous game is in part due the availability of heavier bullets with exceptional sectional densities. Bullets above 500-grain (32 g) have the sectional densities required for hunting heavier African dangerous game. As a hunting cartridge the .500 S&W Magnum has been found to be effective against elephant and African buffalo as long as ranges are kept within reasonable limits. Bullet selection is extremely important when hunting thick-skinned dangerous game. Smith & Wesson bills the Model 500 revolver as "A Hunting Handgun For Any Game Animal Walking".

    In North America, it serves the purpose of hunting all North American big game species. The cartridge has had success in harvesting of Alaskan brown bear, American bison, moose, and elk. It is also used to hunt black bear, whitetail deer, wild boar, and feral hogs. The cartridge gained some notoriety as being the cartridge which was used to hunt the supposed Monster Pig.

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    Re: Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum Revolver

    I have a co-worker who bought the 460 winchester magnum for back country protection. For work we had a team building day at the range and he brought that gun among many others that we all brought to the range. It was a lot of fun to shoot as we put .45, 454 Casull, and 460 magnum through it. One of our more inexperienced co-workers shot the heavy 460 magnum loads and accidently double tapped it due to recoil and fired a bullet through the roof of the range It happened so fast it almost sounded like one shot except for the hole in the roof. That gun was loud even with hearing protection, I can only imagine the .500...

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    Re: Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum Revolver

    Sweet revolver, I wouldn't want to shoot it too often though
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    Re: Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum Revolver

    what do you use to protect your ears ?

    are ear-plugs enough or do you need those ear-muff sound deadening things ?


    i was curious about the bullets -

    handgun -


    rifle -
    i smell bagels.

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    Re: Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum Revolver

    Huh What I have the rubber insert plugs for my ears and they work fine. Yeah, I went shooting the S&W yesterday and some factory loads were not bad at all. I then tried some Winchester loads and damn near broke my wrist from the recoil - and the heat balst wave rolled back into my face even though my arms were fully extended. All I can say is "WOW!!!" and pity the nuisance bear that come around my cabin. My poor nephew fired two rounds and said he had enough and my brother decided he was done after all five rounds.

    That said, it was fun and aside from the Nitro Express 600, this is the most powerful revolver I fired. Definitely what I will carry when in the back country and should I get a bear tag this gun will come in quite handy.

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    Re: Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum Revolver

    that's a freakin' Beast....never shot one but I used to have a .44 Mag and shooting it with Mag loads could be punishing IF you made a day of it....now I have it's little brother, my charter arms 5 shot DA Bull-Dog Pug in .44 spl, small lightweight but makes big holes
    If you don't think to good, don't think too much

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    Re: Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum Revolver

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Blade View Post
    Huh What I have the rubber insert plugs for my ears and they work fine. Yeah, I went shooting the S&W yesterday and some factory loads were not bad at all. I then tried some Winchester loads and damn near broke my wrist from the recoil - and the heat balst wave rolled back into my face even though my arms were fully extended. All I can say is "WOW!!!" and pity the nuisance bear that come around my cabin. My poor nephew fired two rounds and said he had enough and my brother decided he was done after all five rounds.

    That said, it was fun and aside from the Nitro Express 600, this is the most powerful revolver I fired. Definitely what I will carry when in the back country and should I get a bear tag this gun will come in quite handy.
    What about the Desert Eagle? Wouldn't that have less recoil?

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    Re: Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum Revolver

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Blade View Post
    Huh What I have the rubber insert plugs for my ears and they work fine. Yeah, I went shooting the S&W yesterday and some factory loads were not bad at all. I then tried some Winchester loads and damn near broke my wrist from the recoil - and the heat balst wave rolled back into my face even though my arms were fully extended. All I can say is "WOW!!!"
    we all have our limits. sounds like yours far exceed mine.

    last time i went shooting with my fellow ex-GIM'er friend & firearms instructor, i stood a good distance away when he brought out the 12 gauge. i watched for a while, then took a shot or 2, with big ear-muff things on my ears.

    impressive re-coil.

    when i'm around guns i take it very slowly. of course, so many of them are so beautifully machined that it's like watching fire or waves breaking at the beach. i find myself just staring at some guns in admiration.

    as i look at it from different angles, i have to remind myself not to look at it from the "barrel view".
    i smell bagels.

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    Re: Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum Revolver

    Quote Originally Posted by Shami-Amourae View Post
    What about the Desert Eagle? Wouldn't that have less recoil?
    It should as some of the recoil is spent cycling the action.
    It was time to move on. Too many jello head moonbats with personality issues post on this forum.

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