Does anyone reload 500 Magnum


May 30, 2010, 07:40 AM
Thinking of buying one of these beasts but before I do I want to know if I can afford to feed it. Store bought ammo is way too high. I am wondering if I can reload it for at least half or lower. Can anyone tell me what there cost per bullet is? Thanks for any info.

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May 30, 2010, 07:53 AM
Check out and use their calculator. I don't reload .500 but there's no doubt it would be cost effective.

May 30, 2010, 08:03 AM
I do and last time I figured it out, it was .35 to .40 cents a round.

May 30, 2010, 08:05 AM
What kind of bullet were you using?

May 31, 2010, 11:57 PM
I reload with a variety of bullets. The cheapest are obviously cast lead. My hunting bullet of choice for stuff that doesn't bite back though, are the 275 gr barnes XPB. Recoil even at full throttle is like a hot 44 mag, although to be fair I am using an encore pistol with a bull barrel and brake. A box of 20 of the bullets is about 20 dollars, so figure about 1.25 round once you figure in the life of the brass, powder primers etc. Maybe a little cheaper. Still that is half of what a box of commercial with the same bullet would sell for. With cast lead it is much much cheaper, just like Capt posted.

June 1, 2010, 02:14 AM
This is how the math works out for my 500. It's not an exact science but this is certainly close. I didn't include primers because they're cheap. I haven't tracked my brass religiously but I'd say that I'm getting about 10 reloads per case.

Starline Brass - $55 / 100 (10 reloads per case = $.05)
Hornady FTX Bullets $25 / 50 (others are priced similarly)
Powder $20 / 200 rds (35 gr. avg charge)

= $130 for 200 rds = $.65 / rd

This is for handloads for jacketed bullets which is all that I've ever run. You could get even cheaper with cast bullets.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 1, 2010, 02:22 AM
Using a Solid Copper Barnes 275g XPB and large rifle Bench Rest Primers, I figure about a dollar a round.

June 1, 2010, 07:53 AM

With the recommended charge of H110 powder and large rifle magnum primers. I do not count the price or worn of the brass:

FMJ bullets 350 grains: 32.4 cents
Hard cast bullet 400 grains: 27.2 cents
Hard cast bullets 700 grains from Rick: 42.1 cents.

Thank you

June 1, 2010, 12:23 PM
Thanks you all for the information. Can't wait to buy the Beast.

June 1, 2010, 01:30 PM
It the only way to go! I cast my own 440 grain gas checks and load 'em with Trail Boss. Makes for a sweet shooting load, won't beat you up and if if aint enough use H110!


June 1, 2010, 03:52 PM
It is the cheapest of the .50's to load for. Fairly broad selection of bullets on the market. I have a local caster that supplies a 400gr plain-based RNFP at $84/500rds.

June 2, 2010, 03:27 PM
300 gr FTX (hornady) on top of H110 came to around $.70~ a time.

June 2, 2010, 11:35 PM
FWIW, I had the least luck with H110. Accuracy and velocity haven't been there and it's nasty stuff. I've had the best luck with Hodgdon Lilgun and AA9. Lilgun produces better velocity, but both are very very accurate. I've also run H-4227 but the results were less than stellar. The gun is very consistent with 350 gr. Sierra's, 385 gr. Remington Core Lokts and most recently 300 gr. Hornady FTX's.

June 3, 2010, 01:02 PM
I've reloaded both 440gr gas check LFP bullets, and 700gr gas check LFP bullets for my brother's 500 BFR. I'd estimate the cost for us at around .75cents to $1 per round. The 500 S&W Magnum is not an inexpensive handgun no matter how you feed it. I reload the 440gr stuff to 1000fps, which sorta works out to a powder puff load for plinking. The recoil is very mild due to the tremendous weight of the revolver. The 700gr reloads are pushing 1250fps, and fall into the category of potentially damaging recoil. After a full cylinder (5 rounds) of them my forearm ached and my wrists were sore. I have shot 460's, 454casull's, 475 Linebaugh, and some frighteningly stout 44mag reloads, but the 700grainers thru the 500 are a different league. My brother loves them, but I would never use something like that in the lower 48 unless I was hunting buicks.

Good luck with the 500. I understand the appeal, it's just not my cup of tea. I draw the line at 454casull, since I can't take advantage of the greater range potential of the 460, and just can't get used to the cylinder length on the S&W 460's or 500's. Every revolver in either of these looks and feels awkward to me. My Marlin 1895 Cowboy 45/70 is lighter and more convenient to carry if I want to shoot a slug heavier than 300gr, or shoot beyond 50 yards.

June 3, 2010, 03:50 PM
I use Berry's 350g plated bullets. They have a thicker plating on them over their smaller bullets. 38g of lil' gun, OAL 2.070 and roll crimp on the seam. Never had a bullet come lose. Chronos 1749 to 1665. New Starline brass and LRM primers. I'll shoot 150 to 200 a day at the range. I have been checking my barrel heat with the lil'gun and it is barely warm to the touch.

June 3, 2010, 08:17 PM
No issue running Berry's over 1200fps?

I know this in not a reloading question but what barrel are you all shooting with? There are two with different compensators. What do you like better?

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 3, 2010, 08:20 PM
Two barrels?
You need a special tool to change out those barrels, and they don't recommend doing it more than like once.

To what make gun are you referring?

June 3, 2010, 10:31 PM
The barrels aren't really different. The compensators are different and that is all. Only the performance center guns have different barrels. To answer your original question, factory ammo seems to run from $40 to $60 a box. You can reload it for less than a dollar per round, so yeah, handloaders do save big on this round.

June 4, 2010, 07:34 AM
I meant either the 4inch or the 8 inch barrel. For the compensator S&W calls it model 163500 Standard or model 163501 Interchangable Compensator. Which one are you shooting? I like the looks of the Standard Compensator better.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 4, 2010, 10:28 AM

The gun comes with both compensators.

There is more than aesthetics here, as the manual calls for the shorter compensator to be used for JACKETED bullets and the longer compensator for lead cast bullets (without the top vent holes just under the sides of the front sight).

When I first got the gun, I shot some 440 grain hard-nosed lead bullets using the wrong compensator. It shot fine, however i found some atomized lead on the sides of my front sight which was pretty difficult to remove. So, I surmised that the lead one is designed that way for a reason.

Also, I found that the compensator loosens. S&W replaced the Allen bolt that secures it, and when I asked if I should put Loctite on the bolt, they told me no.

I used red Loctite on the bolt ANYWAY as the bolt would loosen after a shot or two, which in turn loosened the compensator just enough - so that each shot was essentially 'hammering' the moving compensator against the bolt which caused the first bolt's ridges or fins, (or whatever you call them) to be noticeably wearing off, in fact, wearing very quickly!

Cleaned everything up with Rubbing Alcohol and One drop Red Loctite on the bolt threads at the end and I have not had a loose compensator going on over a year now. I realize I will need some heat, should I decide to remove the compensator and bolt, however that is fine by me.

June 4, 2010, 10:55 AM
No issue running Berry's over 1200fps?

When I was researching this, several people confirmed with Berry that you can run them up to 1800. Berry said they put more plating on these for that reason. I went slow and shot a few and kept inspecting the barrel. I probably have shot 500 plus rounds with no problems what so ever. Mine is the 8 3/8 inch.

From their web site:

Depending upon the caliber, the thickness of the plating on our bullets ranges from 3.5 up to 8 thousandths of an inch of plating on each side. This is thicker than paper and ensures no lead in your bore. The bullets designed for higher velocities (45-70, 500 S&W etc.) have the thickest plating.

June 4, 2010, 10:32 PM
Thanks again!

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