Wondering about a .500 -- is the Wyoming Express here to stay?


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ExMachina
July 31, 2011, 01:01 AM
Ok, I've decided that I really really want either a 500 Wyoming Express or a 500 Linebaugh :what: :)

I'm leaning more toward the WE because I can get a revolver faster :p and the gun itself will be slightly smaller than a Ruger Bisley converted to .500 Linebaugh. However, I'm not sure I like the proprietary belted case of the WE and am concerned that it may or may not be available within a decade or two.

So, I'd really appreciate the collective's thoughts on the WE and whether or not if I get one, I am risking getting stuck with an obsolete cartridge.

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56hawk
July 31, 2011, 01:18 AM
Well, as far as I can tell the 500 Wyoming Express is an entirely new proprietary case. The 500 Linebaugh is wildcat based on the 348 Winchester which isn't very common either.

As far as I know neither round is very common and I can't see the 500 Wyoming Express doing very well compared to the 500 S&W and the 50AE.

Guess it just depends on how bad you want one.

Sunray
July 31, 2011, 04:13 AM
Hi. Either will be expensive to shoot. There's more than one .500 Linebaugh too. A 1.4" and a 1.6". Midway wants $24.99 per 50 for the former. The latter runs $115 per 250 from Starline and it's on back order.
The 500 S&W and the 50AE isn't much better. Nor easy to find.
The .500WE is a belted proprietary cartridge of Freedom Arms. Dies, brass, etc will be horrendously expensive. Grizzly Cartridge lists ammo at $65.95 per 20 for 400 grain ammo. $126.95 per 20 for 420's. $6.35 per shot.
If you opt for any of 'em, buy as much brass as you can, loading dies and a shell holder at the same time. But re-think the whole idea.

David E
July 31, 2011, 04:23 AM
I was intrigued by this stuff, mostly due to Ross Seyfrieds articles about such things. I'd read and think, "Hey, I need one of those!"

It finally occurred to me that I'll never hunt Cape Buffalo ever, much less with a .475 Linebaugh.

I don't need handgun power beyond a .44 magnum or hot loaded .45 Colt. That right there saved me a lotta money.

ExMachina
July 31, 2011, 11:05 AM
I don't need handgun power beyond a .44 magnum or hot loaded .45 Colt. That right there saved me a lotta money.

There's very little with me and guns that has ever been driven by the word "need" ;)

And of course I'm not doing this to save money--guns are a hobby for me and that right there make 'em not cheap ;) . For me, the only gun that is a waste of money is one that I don't enjoy shooting (and I already know that this is not a case of that :) ).

I definitely want one of these calibers, but the proprietary nature of the W.E. gives me pause.

InkEd
July 31, 2011, 11:19 AM
Do you already have a S&W 500 magnum?

ExMachina
July 31, 2011, 11:33 AM
Do you already have a S&W 500 magnum?

no. i've shot one and it's fine to shoot. but i'm not very interested in that cartridge. IMHO it's more powerful than it needs to be which results in the shooting platform being more heavy and bulky than I like a handgun to be.

OTOH, the ballistics of the 500 Linebaugh (which are essentially identical to the 500 W.E) are pretty ideal and either cartridge lends itself nicely to making a portable package.

CraigC
July 31, 2011, 02:29 PM
I wouldn't hesitate. It shares bore size with the .500S&W so there are many more commericial bullets available than the .500Linebaugh. A plus for me for I don't plan on casting my own in the foreseeable future. Worst case, if in 20yrs you can no longer obtain brass, you can always convert it to a .500JRH. Which is nothing more than a cutdown .500S&W. Dies are not terribly expensive at $96 for RCBS carbide. Particularly considering you're feeding a $2000 revolver. Hell, Hornady .500Linebaugh dies are only $70 a set. Brass isn't what I'd call "horrendously expensive" either at $343/500rds. As long as you understand you're not feeding a 9mm. That's only $43 more than Hornady .475 cases. All these big bore sixguns are easier and cheaper to feed than they were 15-20yrs ago.

IMHO, folks are irrationally afraid of components becoming unavailable.

The .500JRH in a custom Ruger is what appeals to me. Easy to make cases, readily available cast bullets. Only caveat is waiting 1-2yrs for the gun to be built. Don't plan on the FA being slightly smaller though. The model 83 is a big, beefy sixgun!


And of course I'm not doing this to save money--guns are a hobby for me and that right there make 'em not cheap . For me, the only gun that is a waste of money is one that I don't enjoy shooting (and I already know that this is not a case of that.
I like the way you think!

Action_Can_Do
July 31, 2011, 05:13 PM
I'm with CraigC on this. How often do you hear of components actually becoming impossible to get? Expensive maybe, but not unavailable. You can still get components for guns that went OOP about a century ago. If the 500 WE is a complete flop, you'll still be able to find components for it in 75 years. Ditto the 327 magnum, the 45 GAP, and the 223 WSSM.

ExMachina
July 31, 2011, 07:01 PM
Good points gentlemen. Stock up on brass and hope for the best!

And the nice thing about these high-caliber, low-pressure rounds is that case-life should be really good on all but the hottest loadings.

Prosser
August 1, 2011, 05:44 PM
CraigC has the right idea.

Contact Jack Huntington at JRH advanced Gunsmithing. 530-268-6877.

Find a field grade .454 for 1000 bucks, convert it to .500JRH, and, you'll have a custom Freedom Arms for 1000 bucks less then the .500WE.

Brass will be cheaper, and, last time I checked factory ammo was 33 dollars for 50. Heck, you can't find factory brass for that.

Do your homework. The .500WE runs at high pressure, more like the .500S&W.
The .500 Linebaugh considerably less.
Out of the .500 Linebaugh, really should have been called the .510 Linebaugh,
you can shoot Gary Reeder's .510GNR, or whatever he calls it, which is a really short .510 Linebaugh case, with the bullet sticking out the nose, but, it's cheap from Andy Rowe, and, comes in a variety of loads, from mild to wild.
Something like about a dollar a round, or a bit more.

Would help a bit for details to know what you are going to shoot, what temperature the area is, and if you reload.

My pick for cartridges go something like this:

.500JRH and .475 Linebaugh for the economical answer.
.510 Linebaugh, and .510 Linebaugh Max, only because I found a
.510 Linebaugh Max at a price I couldn't pass up, and, like the
ability to shoot .510GNR, .510 Linebaugh, and .510 Linebaugh Maximum.

.500WE is tits on a bull. The REAL cartridge was the .500JRH. Instead of giving the guy credit who designed it, and fit it into his revolvers, Baker
put a belt on it, and called it the .500WE.

As for your original question:

Freedom Arms is likely to be around. Don't see much sense in having a knockoff cartridge like the .500@e when the original is just a cut down 500 S&W and, does the same thing the .500WE will, for half the price, and, with
no question that the .500 S&W parent case will be around, and, that dies, bullets etc. are going to be far cheaper then the .500WE.

If you want to shoot 500 grain or heavier bullets, the .510 Linebaugh does that better then the .500JRH or the .500WE. They, like the .475 Linebaugh, top out at around 420-440 grains.

Looks like the WE loading data has been brought down a bit:

http://www.freedomarms.com/500weda.pdf

49k for max loads isn't low pressure, but, keep in mind, the above is pretty much identical for the .500JRH, and, the .475 Linebaugh.

ExMachina
August 1, 2011, 06:37 PM
Great thoughts Prosser.

Yeah, I was looking @ the lower end of the WE loading data which made me think it was on a par with the 500 Linebaugh. Obviously not! "Low" pressure is not a make or break thing for me, but I was hoping to prolong case life a bit.

I'm looking at Jack's work right now and I am intrigued by the idea of scrounging a used Field Grade. That defeats my immediate gratification impulse to get a 500 WE, but I really like the idea of building up a custom gun together too. Thanks again for the thoughts.

Prosser
August 1, 2011, 08:02 PM
Your welcome. Where you live has a cost effect. I like 2-3 pound triggers, since I'm not hunting with gloves on.
The FA's are designed for hunting in cold weather. They have a very crisp five pound or more trigger. They charge you for a trigger job to get it to 3 pounds.

I find custom .475's and .500's on the FA 83 to be beyond perfect:
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/Socrates28/FA83500JRH852010/girls8510PScopy.jpg
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/Socrates28/FA83500JRH852010/DSC_0034.jpg

Everything is for sale, but the prices are high. ;)
And, just so you think I'm making this stuff up, here is my .510 Linebaugh Max:
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/Socrates28/RUGER%20510%20Max/DSC_0079.jpg
http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/Socrates28/RUGER%20510%20Max/DSC_0073500bullets28x6.jpg

ExMachina
August 2, 2011, 02:16 AM
Nice irons there, Prosser!

Been reading up on the .500JRH and think you guys have put me on the right track here--it looks to be a good all-round cartridge and I really like the availability of components.

And tracking down a used FA seems to be easier than I would have expected!

Prosser
August 2, 2011, 06:33 AM
When you are looking through gunbroker, etc. keep in mind that the .510 Linebaugh, on a Ruger, the SHORT version, is a great economy gun, since you can shoot .510GNR from Andy Rowe out of it. Unless his prices have gone up,
his stuff was the best deal going on ammo for the .510 Linebaugh. You can barely buy brass for that.

Ugly round, but, It moves a 350-435 grain bullet at a fairly inconsistent but adequate velocity. For that price, don't expect CCI 350 primers, and 4227 unless you ask.

While I don't do business with this guy anymore, actually he won't do business with me, after having him load a few thousand rounds, here it is:

http://www.cartridgeperformance.com/

Keep in mind that you better know what primer and powder you want, and how many grains going in. I think his ammo is designed for hunters. It gives
meaning to the old saying the animal can't tell the difference in velocity out of a handgun round.;)

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