460 S&W recoil


March 12, 2010, 08:23 AM
I'm considering the 8 3/8" ported barrel of a 629 but wanted some real world advice on recoil. Before I bought my 629 6" in 44 mag two years ago, I was worried about recoil as I had only shot 40 S&W, 9mm, 38 and there were tons of horror stories on the net -- hammer hitting someone's forehead, gun flying out of their hands, etc. Well, I bought the 44 and shoot full loads with absolutely no problem -- all of the hype was exactly that -- hype. I can easily shoot a box of 50 that I reload w/ max H110 or W296 and 270gr lead. So, I guess what I'm asking is whether the 460 recoil with hunting loads is really THAT bad or is it just something you have to get used to.

Side note: I know there are 45 and 454 cassull loads for 460 but I'm not really interested in those.

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March 12, 2010, 08:47 AM
My Blackhawk 4 5/8 45LC pushing a 300grain hardcast has more felt recoil than my 460S&W pushing a 200grain Hornady. The weight of the 460 and the fact that it is ported makes it tame to shoot.

March 12, 2010, 09:25 AM
I'm a big fan of 44MAG wheel guns and own a few. I like the recoil and fast/bang of the shorter barrels too.

Picked up a 460V (5" version) in the past couple of weeks, shooting 454 Casull out of it was a walk in the park. Less recoil than 180gr Remington 44MAG in my short revolver (btw, the 180's are great fflash/bang show).

The 200gr Hornady rounds are another beast entirely! Epic and awesome are words that come to mind. It's certainly a round that gets your attention and rightfully so. Uncontrollable no but it's not something I'd hand to a newbie at the range either.

If you like the 44MAG and can handle it, don't see why you wouldn't enjoy a 460 S&W Magnum :D

March 12, 2010, 09:32 AM
Thanks, good info. I'm becoming more convinced that it will be controllable. I do reload so I'm sure I could load down a bit if necessary. I originally bought my 44 mag to use for whitetails but once I saw what my son's 44 mag marlin 1894 cowboy failed to accomplish on a doe (one shot kill but not the nicest death I've ever seen), I decided that the 44 really isn't the best deer pistol, especially at any distance.

March 12, 2010, 10:42 AM
Believing that more ooomph in a handgun will make up for bad shot placement is wrong.

March 12, 2010, 11:09 AM
.460 from a pistol and your sons 1894 .44mag aren't that far apart power wise. A few of the loads will even overlap.

March 12, 2010, 11:13 AM
It's manageable IMO. I can shoot it all day with 300 XTP-MAG loads. Actually I find fun to shoot.

March 12, 2010, 03:28 PM
It's manageable IMO. I can shoot it all day with 300 XTP-MAG loads. Actually I find fun to shoot.

I agree.......there's not much of a difference in recoil from my .460 as from my 629 with true magnum loads. My youngest son has shot my X-frame since he was 14 years old, and weighed 80lbs soakin' wet.

March 13, 2010, 07:43 AM
As someone who owns and shoots pretty much every ultra-heavy handgun cartridge you can get these days, I'm going to share a piece of wisdom I've picked up. If you can control and enjoy shooting full power 44 magnum loads, you can control and enjoy shooting pretty much any other handcannon. Whether 500 S&W, 475 linebaugh, or 50 action express it really doesn't matter.

March 13, 2010, 03:29 PM
Thanks Gents. I agree with all but may take exception to Oic0's comment comparing power. The 460 is slinging the 240gr XTP .452 lead faster than the 1894 can shoot the 240gr XTP .44 lead; In fact it uses almost twice as much H110.

So, I did it. Bought one yesterday and shot a box of Hornady 200gr FTX bullets today. The recoil (at least from those loads) is basically like a high-end 44 mag load from my 6" 629 -- totally manageable in the X frame w/ 8 3/8" barrel and compensator (port). In fact, I may replace the compensator with a cap. Having said that, holy crap does this thing draw attention at the range. Loud as a cannon and 12" fireballs out of both the side (ports) and the barrel. In fact, I was leaning on my shooting bag with the ports near the edge of the bag (4-5" away) and look what the flames/pressure did to the bag. People 10-20 ft to the side said they could feel the shock wave.

What a great gun and very fun to shoot. I'm very excited to load my own. Thanks all for your advice. I will now be getting a scope and sighting in for deer season.

March 13, 2010, 03:39 PM
"Believing that more ooomph in a handgun will make up for bad shot placement is wrong."

Kanook, I couldn't agree with you more. My son's shot placement was decent, it just didn't seem to have as much power as I would like for a big deer at 75-100 yds. In addition, I just like shooting big bore guns which is the other 50% of the reason to get one...

March 13, 2010, 07:46 PM
God I hate to sound like a commercial for BB but they are one of the few manufacturers that offers stout loads that stand up when chronographed (according to reports of others, I don't own a chrono). If you are happy with the performance of the 8 inch .460 they've got some that will get your sons 1894 in the same neighborhood (~2000ft lbs). They offer a +p+ but who knows if that's safe or not. http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=48
Isn't 2000ft lbs the same neighborhood? I just hate to see a good 1894 go to waste ;)

March 13, 2010, 10:04 PM
Well, I wasn't aware of such hot loads. Must use some damn hot powder to reach the velocities of the 460 which uses 40% more H110 for the same bullet! Think about it, the case for the 460 is almost twice as long and is wider to boot! But, I wouldn't be surprised either if some manufacturer is hotloading 44mags with some more advanced powder. Thanks for the tip, we'll look into the BB loads (after we call Marlin to make sure the action won't explode...) Also don't get me wrong, we love our 1894 (and my 1895 45-70). I just had second thoughts about deer hunting with the 44 and the 460 seemed like the next logical progression. And, besides, nothing like causing everyone else at the range to say *** when I pulled the trigger... I'll always appreciate my 44s (pistols and levers) but this 460 is way more gun and way more fun.

March 13, 2010, 10:38 PM
I have shot the buffalo bore 44 mag +p+ out of my smith 629 and my marlin. Out of my smith 44 it felt like full loads out of my 500 mag.But worked great out of my marlin.Will not shoot any more 340 grain +p+ out of my smith [for the sake of the gun]

March 13, 2010, 11:41 PM
Franco, if you managed OK with factory .460 loads you'll love the push from using reloads with your H110/W296. The H110 being slower burning pushes hard rather than smacks as I'm sure you've felt with the other loads. On the .460 this means it's very managable. Not to mention a real good show at the range.... :D

March 14, 2010, 11:13 AM
Will not shoot any more 340 grain +p+ out of my smith [for the sake of the gun]

Smart decision Mattt. There is no practical reason to shoot ammo outta a gun that is hotter than the gun was originally designed for, even if the gun can handle it. That's why they make bigger guns......and @ $2 a pop for .44mag, I doubt if the advantage of the BB over standard .44 ammo is worth the cost.

March 14, 2010, 11:37 AM
Working our club's annual deer rifle sight-in, I got to shoot all three. (I own a BFR .475 Linebaugh.)

I don't care if I never shoot the 500 again.

The 480 Ruger seemed like way too much bang for the trouble.

The 460, kinda like Little Red Riding Hood, was just right in the S&W X-Frame.

I don't mind heavy .44 Mag loads and carry 300-gr hunting rounds in my S&W 329 when backpacking. I don't like them, but I can handle them.

I have a BFR in .475 Linebaugh. The revolver is big enough to make the round acceptable to me for hunting, though it is way too heavy for backpacking.

BTW, I saw the same effect on a sand bag as shown above, from the 460 ports. Wouldn't want a hand (or my face!) anywhere near it.

I recommend looking up John Taffin's advice about shooting the heavy hitters. I shunned the .44 Mag until I read his work, then was able to handle the heavy loads and even my Hamilton Bowen-built .500 Linebaugh on a Ruger Redhawk. I don't LIKE to shoot them, but I can, as necessary.

March 14, 2010, 12:27 PM
I have and shoot both, both with scopes, the 44 mag-Ruger Redhawk-460 S&W with a 83/8bbl.The 460 is not hard to shoot Hunting I use a Barnes 275gr.Barnes also makes it in a 200gr. I also shoot a 240gr.jhp none of the above is hard to shoot. It does kick more than the 44 but is very manageable.

March 14, 2010, 02:09 PM
Franco, an added note, If you reload, make sure you use the mag bullets,example, Horndy .45 hp-xpt, make sure you use Horndy .45 hp-hpt-mag

March 15, 2010, 09:02 AM
Thanks all. I just ordered dies, brass, etc from midwayusa that should arrive tomorrow. I already have a ton of H110 and W296 that I use for 44 mag so I'm very excited to load. I also ordered the Hornady xtp mag bullets in 240 and 300 gr. (Thanks arp, caught the Mag difference when using Hodgden's reloading website). I'm told that as of 2008, W296 and H110 are exactly the same powder. Hodgdon's reloading website seems to confirm this as they have the same amounts for every load. However, load books like Hornady's shows a difference but they were copyrighted in 2007. Does anyone know that, assuming they are the same if manufactured after 2008, then would you use old H110 data or old W296 data? In other words, did the dumb one down or beef one up?

Thanks again for all of your help. Will have a scope on it by next week.

March 15, 2010, 06:04 PM
H110 is like you said 296, is the same stuff now. Loading data should be the same. I still have H110 on the shelf and my local dealer has it on their shelves. I also have the Winchester 296 packaged stuff. I tend to stay at the mid powder loads or less, H110/296 is 38 to 42.5 grains per the Hodgdon loading info.

I also started using the "mild load" of 40 grains of LIL'GUN (44 is max) pushing a 325 grain gas checked bullet at 1,900 to 2,000 fps. The LIL'GUN produces less pressure per Hodgdon. I'll have to get some rounds down range to get a better opinion of the LIL'GUN, so far so good.

The factory Hornady 200 grain loads are tame to me also. Lots of muzzle flash and all but, the recoil is soft. 300 grain .452 or larger bullets are felt much more and there are many molds to choose from if you want to cast your own. The 300 grain FN Lee mold produced 326.4 grain examples from wheel weights. A good and cheap "plinking" bullet with great penetration for hogs and such. I have lots of them so that is what I shoot now 90% of the time.

Cor Bon has the hard hitting cast loads if you don't want to load them. They use Star Line brass, good stuff for reloading later. Its pricy stuff though. Reloading is almost a must do if you want to shoot more than 200 grain rounds often and not spend $60.00 per 20 rounds. Heck .500 ammo is less than the .460's, must be a volume thing. :)

March 16, 2010, 01:25 PM
This H110/W296 thing has come up in other threads I've read. A few years ago the production lines went to one with two names. But at one time they were different powders. The key is to know if your powder is new stock or if it's ancient. If old then use the old books. For new powder you're good with the newer books that show the same loads.

March 18, 2010, 05:22 PM
Thanks BC. I posted in the reload section and I'm still a little confused. My powders are only a year old. My manuals are also up to date. However, for 460 loads, Hornady's manual (copyright 2007) lists different loads for the two. I would have thought that 2007 is recent enough to recognize that they are the same powder, assuming they are.

March 18, 2010, 05:44 PM
You gotta try some LBT 360 & 395 WLN GC, also Ranger Rick has some 535's for this bad boy. I got some and am gonna try them when I have plenty of time to play.

Ranger Rick Bullets (http://www.lsstuff.com/ranger-rick/)


March 18, 2010, 07:11 PM
I already have a ton of H110 and W296 that I use for 44 mag so I'm very excited to load. I also ordered the Hornady xtp mag bullets in 240 and 300 gr.

I have found that around 46 grains of H110/W296 works best in my .460 with the 240 grainers and around 38 grains works the best with the 300 grainers. Any more than that leads to hard extraction. The .460 has more than enough power at moderate loads.....no reason for me to push it any harder. I've been using a lot of IMR4227 lately with the .460. It works well in the long pipe, is accurate and the recoil is more of a push than a slap. It also seems to be less sensitive to temperature changes, and since I shoot the .460 in weather from 95* to 20 below, it works for me. It still does not give the velocity that H110/W296 gave me, but again, the .460 does not have to pushed to the max to be effective. I used Lil' Gun quite a bit, but have since quit using it altogether with handguns since it has been shown to erode forcing cones prematurely because of the high heat it produces. When I shot with Lil' Gun, I could only shoot a few cylinders worth before having to let the barrel cool down....didn't matter if it was for the .460, the .44s or the .357s. Don't have that problem with H110/W296 and IMR4227. Others still swear by it, but I'm not gonna take the chance with my guns, besides it never gave me the accuracy of H110/W296 and 4227 with the Hornady bullets.

March 21, 2010, 08:53 PM
I currently shoot a .500 S&W with the Magtech Lightloading 325 gr SJHP and its not bad at all.The .460 seemed to be a bit like shooting my .475 Linebaugh which is fairly easy to handle..Try using lightloads (lighter bullet weights help) I have shot big bore cals for many years so I am pretty use to them..I am at odds with smaller calibers..Also grips play an important part..But I am sure you know all this..

Buck Snort
March 21, 2010, 11:12 PM
Believing that more ooomph in a handgun will make up for bad shot placement is wrong.
Did the OP say he was a bad shot?

March 28, 2010, 08:30 AM
I think that kanook was just throwing out the common (and correct) thought that one should consider their accuracy as much or more than the caliber for hunting and/or self defense. I'm actually a very good shot, just hoping to hit my target with a little more kinetic energy at extended yardage.

April 4, 2010, 08:45 AM
Just for anyone who cares. I just scoped my 460 with a 2x fixed leupold and very heavy Warne base and rings. I used high rings so that my fat gloved thumb can fit between the hammer and scope eye piece next winter.

April 17, 2010, 07:12 AM
Just an update after 80 rounds of 240gr XTP Mags and 40 rounds of 200gr FTX, both loaded with mid-upper quantities of W296 and CCI 200 primers. The scope has stayed dead on and is shooting 2" groups at 50yds and 3-4" groups at 100yds. Should be pretty deadly come deer season so long as I have something to lean on!

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