An 8 3/8" .500 done just the way I like 'em...


John Ross
August 21, 2003, 02:45 PM
...63 ounces and gorgeous as a Vegas showgirl from a modest distance (surface finish is currently "JR user grade" and not fit for the discriminating connoisseur). Got it done yesterday afternoon.

The way I hope S&W sees fit to offer them after they get caught up. Will shoot it this weekend. Balance is MUCH better. May have to stick to lighter loads, like a 510 @ 1400...

Next up is a 5 1/2" job done the same way, and a recontoured cylinder latch...

BTW that's a floor mat in my shop being used for a background. I'll cobble something nicer next time.

Will have to see how much trouble it is to match the factory finish before I decide whether to offer this service to others. It's very time-consuming, as you can imagine.

JR, The .500 Specialist

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August 21, 2003, 02:51 PM
Very nice, John. Let me know when you start customizing Model 30's and 1917's. ;)

August 23, 2003, 11:34 PM
John, what'll the shorter barrel do to muzzle/cylinder blast? I've experienced only the long barrel, and that was pretty intimidating. I'd imagine you'll need Nomex shooting gloves if you make a .500 snubby! :D

Johnny Guest
August 24, 2003, 02:42 PM
- - - Really pretty classy-looking.

Still 63 ounces, huh? If you took it down to, say, a five-inch barrel, this would make it, what, around 56 oz? Wouldn't be really pleasant to shoot, but it would be a somewhat more portable package for bear defense.



August 24, 2003, 06:23 PM
Watching guns I loved the looks of discontinued while "fugly" guns have taken they're place has been hard on me. Believing in capitalism and the free market I know in my heart it's my conservitive taste thats the problem not manufacturers designs.

That said...To me it's better. When ones cut to 5-6" with that bbl profile it will be "bestest" ;)

August 24, 2003, 06:44 PM
The way I hope S&W sees fit to offer them after they get caught up
I've just had the opportunity to handle one for the first time today. While it was not nearly as ungainly as I thought it would be, I'd have to agree with you.

Meanwhile, you can make some side-money by doing this mod for other .500 owners!;)

One other question. Have you removed or altered the brake in any way? I don't seen the unsightly seam line between it and the barrel any longer, nor the ports.

John Ross
August 24, 2003, 08:36 PM
Victorlouis: The comp is gone. I have often stated that I do not think comps on heavy-bullet revolvers make a noticeable difference.

There are two things that make a gun kick: The bullet exiting the barrel and the powder exiting the barrel. Redirect part of the burning powder and you can change the recoil. To be really effective, you need a LOT of burning powder. On a .50 BMG the powder is 35% of the bullet weight. On a semiauto racegun the powder is maybe 10%-15% of the bullet weight. On the 500 the powder is 3%-8% with the heavy-bullet loads I prefer. You only redirect PART of the powder. How much is part of 3%-8% going to be? Not enough for me to want a noisy, ugly, lead-grabbing comp.

My 63 ounce gun's recoil is a little "worse" than the factory job, but I think it's almost all due to the missing 9 ounces, not the missing comp. Balance is like my old favorite, the 8 3/8" M29. Light-years ahead of the factory 500.

Blueduck: I agree with you completely. I LOVE big rifles, fine workmanship, powerful revolvers, etc. Ross Seyfried does too, but he told me once that when G&A puts a semiauto 9mm (ANY semi 9mm) on the cover, they sell 2 1/2 times as many newsstand copies as when there's a .50 revolver, African rifle, etc. on the cover. I was stunned, but I'm sure he's telling the truth. The full underlugs are there because the market wants them. (Forgive me if I'm vain enough to think that if I were writing regularly for the rags and kept extolling the virtues of more slender barrels, that might change.)

Johnny Guest and others: I have been exploring the potential at max. allowable pressures (650 @ 1285, 510 @ 1700 for example) but milder loads will do the job and be tolerable to shoot in lighter guns. 450 at 1500, 510 @ 1425, 650 @ 1100, and 725 @ 1000. These are no problem for those who shoot heavy .44s and other powerful revolvers.

I know I sound like a broken record but no one has EVER come out with a handgun that will do what this one will.


August 24, 2003, 11:54 PM
Thanks, John.

August 25, 2003, 03:32 AM
I think I might (haven't handled or shot one yet) go for one with a 6.5" full lug barrel and no silly comp. Mag revolvers are loud enough, as it is:(

In the meantime a SRH in .480 or .454 seems a lot more practical

August 25, 2003, 11:06 PM
Hi John,

Your modified gun looks great. I hope S&W will at least offer it without the compensator. I would like to see it in a 6" version without the comp. I could live with the underlug.
I would at least like to remove the compensator. The picture you posted looks like you left a little bit of the metal from the compesator.
How is the compensator attached?
BTW I just got a brand new 500 S&W as a replacement for the gun I was having trouble with. It took a while but S&W replaced it for free.
You mentioned matching the factory finish on the S&W. If you have not already tried it the light grey colored Scotch-Brite pads produce an almost perfect match. They are available at WW Grainger if you cant find them locally.
Would like to read more on comp removal.

Best Regards,

John Ross
August 26, 2003, 01:45 PM
The comp is held on with two little "ears" that fit in recesses in the shroud ans are held in place by the flange at the front of the barrel. That flange is what you see in the picture.

To get the comp off you need to remove the barrel, and to do that you need to make a barrel tool to grab the barrel from the inside by the rifling and unscrew it, with the frame held in a vise.

Thanks for the tip on the grey Scotch-Brite pads. I'll try them. Do they actually dull a polished finish? A large belt grinder leaves a shinier finish than the factory 500 finish.


August 26, 2003, 03:14 PM
The grey Scotch-Brite should dull the polish finish to match the original factory finish. I have been using it for touch-up on my stainless S&W for years. The burgundy colored Scotch-Brite matches the premier grade Freedom Arms factory finish just perfect.

Best Regards,

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