Reloading 500 S&W - Tips?


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Plastic Cowboy
October 16, 2006, 05:43 PM
Well I have a shiny new 500 Smith on its way and have loaded up a half box of 500gr Hornady XTP's with 28gr Lil' Gun in Starline (R) brass per Hogdon's website to try this beast out.

The problem:
When I tried to run the new unfired brass through the re-sizer on an old Lyman turret press I had to use both hands and nearly ripped the press right off the bench. I think its because this is such a large thickwalled cartrige. Anyone else experience this?

My plan is to upgrade to a Rock Chucker Supreme because it's a much heavier press and has a two stage compound lever. Am I on the right track?

Any of you that have reloaded these big thumpers have any tips? Which powder do you think works best as far as cleanliness and accuracy?

I'm giddy as a school girl!!! I can't wait for that big hogleg to get here!!
The biggest think I've shot so far is a ruger blackhawk in .44mag so I hope I am in for quite a surprise!!:evil:

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Ben Shepherd
October 16, 2006, 05:59 PM
Use carbide dies.
Use a little hornady one shot case lube.
Use a firm to heavy crimp.

As far as your press change goes, I'd say it's a step in the right direction.

CMcDermott
October 16, 2006, 06:10 PM
It's more money, but my Forster Co-Ax press has resized 45-70 cases with no lube and no problems. Not that I recommend this, but the press can do it. You would need to get the "LS" jaws for the press as it doesn't use conventional case holders.

taliv
October 16, 2006, 06:15 PM
yeah, i was going to mention the co-ax too.

this (and buying a 50bmg press this summer) has me thinking that it would be interesting to see a comparison of the differences in mechanical advantage of the various presses. anybody ever seen such a comparison showing how much leverage each press had?

EddieCoyle
October 16, 2006, 06:35 PM
I load them by the hundreds on a Hornady L-N-L progressive. It takes a bit more force to load these but I've never come close to even moving my bench. I use RCBS carbide dies and no case lube.


I have the 4" barrel revolver. For plinking loads, I use 12 or 13 grains of Titegroup behind Rainier 335gr plated bullets. Be careful! You can fit a double (or even triple) charge of Titegroup in this case. I like Titegroup in the short barrel. It's fast burning and clean, and the light loads are very accurate.

For full-house loads I use the Remington 385gr JHP with 42 grains of H110. Hang on though! These are LOUD and throw a fireball like you've never seen. One of the guys I shoot with told me that he thought my gun blew up when I touched off one of these.

Don't use reduced loads of H110. If you go even a grain or two under the minimum recommended, squib loads can result.

Plastic Cowboy
October 16, 2006, 07:25 PM
I should have mentioned, I am using a 4 piece Hornady New Dimensions die set. They say that the resizer has a Titanium Nitride finish and does not need lube. I greased em up with RCBS resizing lube anyway cause the went in and out so hard. The wood on the bench was actually snapping and groaning under the pressure. I may stick a piece of sheetmetal under the rockchucker when I get it because the wood alone may not take it.

I also noticed very fine lines up and down the top 2/3's of the brass when they came out of the sizer. Probably nothing to worry about I hope.

Is new unfired brass possibly manufactured slightly oversize. Maybe they are just tough the first time they are sized?



EddieCoyle-- that description of your full house load just made me grin ear to ear. Thats mostly the reason I dropped nearly a grand on this big boy. Sure a .357 is more than enough for any practical purpose, but if anyone has to ask why go with the 500 mag? -well then they just wouldn't understand would they!! :D

EddieCoyle
October 16, 2006, 10:54 PM
EddieCoyle-- that description of your full house load just made me grin ear to ear. Thats mostly the reason I dropped nearly a grand on this big boy. Sure a .357 is more than enough for any practical purpose, but if anyone has to ask why go with the 500 mag? -well then they just wouldn't understand would they!!

Yup. I decided to go with the 4" when a guy over at the S&W forum told me that the fluorescent lights above him at an indoor range exploded when he fired his 1st shot.

If you want some out-of-the-box fun, try these from Magtech (http://www.magtechammunition.com/sitepages/pid103.php?productId=585&ltemplate=details&templateId=14&pageId=103&search=details).

CMcDermott
October 17, 2006, 02:40 AM
Plastic Cowboy - I think I'd take a brass bore brush and some cleaning solvent and clean the inside of your sizing die. Sounds like some dirt or crud is scratching up your cases and making you work too hard to resize them.

Plastic Cowboy
October 17, 2006, 09:26 AM
They are brand new dies, right out of shrinkwrap box-- the instructions said to clean them out because they ship with some preservative oil in them. Could be that I didn't get it all out.

I'll try taking that sizing die apart and giving it another good cleaning, that might help.

Tom C.
October 18, 2006, 01:03 PM
The large .500 S&W cases have a lot of surface area to push through the die. I use my Dillon 550 to reload .500 S&W and while it works fine, I can definately feel the difference the fat case makes.
Your load of Lil'gun and a 500 gr. bullet is right at the top. It could be over the top, depending on things like case capacity, seating depth, etc. Perhaps you should consider working up to max loads? I feel using my .500 is more fun with less than full power loads.

Plastic Cowboy
October 18, 2006, 08:17 PM
Tom C.

That 28gr. load is right off the Hogdon website and is only one grain above their starting load (and 2 grains below max) so I'm not sure what you mean about this being near or over the top. I also measured my seating depth with a calipers to match their recipe exactly.

http://www.hodgdon.com/data/pistol/500swmag.php

I certainly don't want to hurt myself, I missing something here??
:confused:

dmftoy1
October 18, 2006, 09:54 PM
Thanks for posting the 500 grain load info . . .I've been looking for that forever. (had a box sitting on the shelf). I'm loading mine on a dillon 550 and a RCBS JR and both can do it no problem .. ..about every 8-10 shells I put a really light smear of case lube on the outside of a casing and it makes a world of difference. I don't know what the brand is but as little as I use the tub (size of a butter tub) should last me about 1000 years. FWIW

Have a good one,
Dave

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