What kind of pressure from the .500 S&W?


December 10, 2003, 04:31 PM
I'm thinking that it'd be interesting to see if a 1894 Winchester shortie could be rebarreled/modified to shoot it... but if it is over .30-30 pressures, probably wouldn't be a good idea...

And John, if you see this, has anyone tried wildcatting it yet?

If you enjoyed reading about "What kind of pressure from the .500 S&W?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
December 10, 2003, 04:50 PM
It is not just pressure, it is bolt thrust. At the same pressure as .30-30, the thrust against the bolt will be much higher with the 500 S&W, because the case has a greater area.

Force = Pressure x Area.


A= pi * Radius^2 <== note the radius is squared

If the radius( or diameter ) of the cartridge is doubled, and the pressure is constant, the force on the bolt will go up by factor of 4.

Doesn't mean the gun isn't strong enough, but I would recommend a nice armored box, and a friend with magna fluxing capability to check on your work


December 11, 2003, 10:23 AM
I think the latest edition of Gun Digest (2004) had pictures of a couple 500 S&W wildcats; necked down to .475 and .480, I think. I'll double check when I get home.

December 11, 2003, 10:26 AM
Talk to WildAlaska. His outfit (Wild West Guns) is about to launch a Marlin Guide Gun-type weapon, modified to feed the .500 S&W Magnum. Should be interesting (albeit expensive...) He mentioned it in this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=51780) in the Rifle forum.

John Ross
December 11, 2003, 07:39 PM
S&W has applied to SAAMI for 60,000 psi on a strain gauge as the acceptable max pressure for the .500 S&W. This correlates to about 50,000 CUP using the near-obsolete "copper crusher" system of measurement.

The .454 Casull runs about 5,000 psi higher pressure than the .500, and Rossi makes a stainless M92 clone in that caliber that works well. I think a .500 carbine is doable, but not just on any old levergun made out of any material.

The .500 S&W at full throttle is in a whole 'nother league from any other repeating handgun when it comes to power. With big flatnose 510 grain cast bullets with long noses and short shanks, I have come within 100 fps of some 510 grain .458 Winchester factory loads out of a rifle(!) (.458 factory ammo has been downloaded over the years in deference to the German and Austrian makers who persist in chambering break-open double guns in this caliber.)

The .500 in an 8 3/8" handgun with top loads is the equal of the 450 Alaskan lever action rifle.

Whoever makes a .500 rifle better make sure it will take a loaded round length of 2.320" or my revolvers will be more powerful.

As to wildcatting, in a handgun, bottleneck rounds generally have problems. In a rifle, .50 Alaskan brass is bigger, as are a number of other cases. .22 and 6mm WSM cases are very similar to .500 S&W. I'd like to see the case shortened to 1.000" and put in a five-shot Redhawk, a .500 Special, but I'd probably shoot it once and go back to the full length case.

You would not *believe* the improvement in balance with my de-lugged and de-comped .500 at 63 ounces. Recoil not enough different to matter.


Next step is a de-lugged 5" gun. Should go about 58 ounces and sling a 510 at 1600 or a 725 at 1050.

I would shoot a Scandium .500 with a 6" barrel if it had a regular stainless cylinder.


December 12, 2003, 11:03 AM
John, you just confirmed it.

You're insane. :what:

I need to introduce you to a friend of mine - He decided that his .300 Win Mag groups better if he shoots it free recoil benchrest style... That's gotta leave a mark...

If you enjoyed reading about "What kind of pressure from the .500 S&W?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!