My Experience with S&W Behemoth Magnums


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Mr.Revolverguy
December 9, 2012, 02:03 PM
In 2003 at Shot Show Smith and Wesson having partnered with Cor-Bon introduced the monster of all magnums to regain its crown of most powerful by releasing the Smith and Wesson 500 Magnum.

Smith and Wesson wouldn't stop there 2 years later in 2005 at the Shot Show Smith and Wesson released the 460XVR the worlds fastest production revolver derived from a partnership with Hornady. The 460XVR is arguably the most versatile big bore revolver to date capable of firing the 460 Magnum, 454 Casull, 45 Colt and the 45 S&W Schofield. This allows the shooter to increase cartridge power, one level at a time, until he or she is comfortable with full-power loads, if so desired. This level of versatility in a revolver—the ability to handle four or more cartridges interchangeably—is duplicated only by the newly released 327 Federal Magnum and the 445 Super Magnum.

Today I had the pleasure of having on the range both -- the worlds most powerful and the world fastest prduction revolvers which I often refer to as "Smith and Wesson's Behemoth Magnums". The "Kings" are capable of launching .50 caliber bunker busting projectiles and .45 caliber projectiles at missile like speed capable of taking the biggest wild life game on God's green earth.

http://www.dayattherange.com/weapons/USSMissouriGuns1.jpg

Full Range Review Here (http://www.dayattherange.com/?p=2599)

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56hawk
December 9, 2012, 02:33 PM
Nice write up. As a side note, I remember the 500 coming out in 2003 and thinking that it looked really stupid with the long barrel. Then in 2008 I saw a History Channel show where Jerry Miculek was shooting a 4" 500. I immediately went on the S&W website and found they had a lot more options for the 500. A couple days later I bought the 2 3/4" 500ES and have loved it ever since.

Mr.Revolverguy
December 9, 2012, 02:40 PM
Yes they have a number of different versions now. I thought the best was the 6inch half lug barrel but they very scarce.

bangbig
December 9, 2012, 02:55 PM
Nice.:D

Now I want one - of each!

Might have to try out those grips on my 629 too.

56hawk
December 9, 2012, 03:06 PM
There was one of those 6" models in my local gun store recently. It did look pretty nice.

Mr.Revolverguy
December 9, 2012, 03:23 PM
There was one of those 6" models in my local gun store recently. It did look pretty nice.

I have never seen one in person, though thats probably a good thing it would suck to drool on one causing rust and having to buy it. :)

MarshallDodge
December 9, 2012, 03:27 PM
The 460 is on my wish list. :cool:

Mr.Revolverguy
December 9, 2012, 03:31 PM
What barrel length are you looking at? I have come to love the S&W 14inch performance center model with bipod heheehhe. I bet you if I had that model with bipod and the netter trigger of the Performance Center model I would have been able to really ring out some good groups.

carlo1776
December 9, 2012, 03:58 PM
The ball of fire that erupts from the muzzle and the horrific blast is nothing short of awe inspiring.

panhead58ak
December 9, 2012, 04:24 PM
nice pistols but they are huge I have had a freedom arms 454 since 1984 it was part of my fishing gear in Alaska its much more compact and as much power as I need.One thing I dont like about the big double action are the u tube videos of fools intentionally using limp grips and getting uncontrolled double taps from the recoil DUMB!!

460Kodiak
December 9, 2012, 04:34 PM
I have a 460V from the first run. It's the perfect trail gun for grizzly or moose country, and a great backup gun if hunting dangerous game. The 5" bbl is the perfect balance of accuracy, velocity, and easy handling. Suspenders help keep the pants up when carrying on the hip.

If I were to buy a 500, the 6.5" would be the model for me. I've handled one, and the tappered bbl keeps the weight down.

My 460 is my favorite handgunI own, and would be the last one to go if I had to get rid of all but one.

codefour
December 9, 2012, 06:33 PM
I love my XVR in 8 3/8 inch barrel. It shoots well and is very versatile. It can be scary accurate too. I debated over the five inch and the 8 3/8 inch barrel. I went with the longer tube. I have shorter .44 magnums that are more than packable to fill that role.

It is a great platform that is suprisingly versatile. I do not shoot Casull or 45 Long Colt either. I just down load the .460 Mag with 19.0 grains of Power Pistol and a 300 grain MBC 45 Colt bullet with a BHN of 18. It comes out at a meager 1450 fps. I have not had any leading issues either.

My next load develpoment is going to be the Cast Performance 360 and 395 grain behemoths.

My next X-frame will be the 6.5 inch 500 S&W. Why not? I wish they made a five inch 500. Maybe I will get the four inch. It will have to wait till after X-mas.

Mr.Revolverguy
December 9, 2012, 08:25 PM
codefour I to drool over the 6" 500 S&W magnum< I may give your load a try the Speer reloading manual says it is safe. Though I have become very fond of 28.5gr of 2400 under a 300gr cast bullet leaving the barrel at about 1350fps.

The loads I test with today were full house H110 Loads but not loaded to the max.

BYJO4
December 9, 2012, 09:20 PM
If you like recoil, they will certainly provide it.

Mr.Revolverguy
December 9, 2012, 09:23 PM
Really the recoil was not all that bad. I know there are a bunch of horror videos out there on youtube but you have to take into consideration the experience of the shooter. What I mainly see which sickens me is someone giving a rather inexperienced shooter a large handgun so they can get a good laugh. Ignoring all of the safety precautions.

sgt127
December 9, 2012, 10:22 PM
http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j277/sgt127/IMG_2287.jpg

So...I traded for this. It was a package deal, two guns, great price. I have no idea why I did it. But, its mine. Dear Lord. Its a frisky little thing with the full house, rock and roll .460 XVR loads. There is nothing anywhere around Texas I need to kill with it, well, maybe a runaway Buick or something.

But...If...IF I ever find myself hiking in serious bear country, I got it covered.

I may send it in and have it rebarreled to 4-5 inches. Though it is quite a conversation piece at the range, even though it looks like a gun from Who Killed Roger Rabbit.

Mr.Revolverguy
December 9, 2012, 10:27 PM
I would love to get a short barrel like that to test against the longer barrel 8 inch across the chronograph to see what the real world differences are.

That is one nice looking Monster you have there and you are so right they are great conversation pieces at the range.

sgt127
December 9, 2012, 11:30 PM
I have half a box of Winchester Supreme 260 GR Partition Gold. Label shows: MV-2000 fps.

And, I have a PACT Chrono. If you want to match my ammo, I'll be happy to test a few rounds of mine and, you do the same. Thats all the .460 I have right now though. The last few times I shot it, I shot BVAC .454 through it. That dang .460 is REALLY pricey....Like $3.00 a round!

Mr.Revolverguy
December 9, 2012, 11:38 PM
Let me see if I can find that locally here. Would you mind getting the product number off the box or possibly taking a picture of the box so I am sure I get the same ammo.

Though it is not all scientific because it will be different lot numbers it will at least get us very close.

56hawk
December 9, 2012, 11:42 PM
In 500 I have some Hornady ammo that says 1900 fps. on the box. I chronographed it at 1450 fps out of the 2 3/4" barrel. Odd thing is I just checked their website and they list the same ammo as 1700 fps out of an 8 1/2" barrel. Wonder if they used a different barrel length, or if they downloaded it because this ammo is really hot.

sgt127
December 10, 2012, 12:18 AM
http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j277/sgt127/photo460.jpg

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j277/sgt127/photo4602.jpg

You anywhere near Texas? If not, we'll try and find a time when the ambiant temperature is close. I agree, may not be scientific...but, better than nothing.

I scanned the bar code. Outdoor Outfitters.com shows to have it in stock. $58.30 a box.

Lerk
December 10, 2012, 12:26 AM
My buddy's old man has a 500. Heck of a range toy, I've probably put more rounds through it then he has (I'm around 300 if I had to guess). The 460 is a blast also, only got to shoot a cylinder full on that one though but I'm still thankful to the nice gentleman at the range that offered to let me shoot it.

Mr.Revolverguy
December 10, 2012, 12:41 AM
Sgt127

Unfortunately I am in a cold weather area the state of Ohio. I will go out to gander and other local shops this week to see if I can find this brand.

This is awesome.

Mr.Revolverguy
December 10, 2012, 12:45 AM
In 500 I have some Hornady ammo that says 1900 fps. on the box. I chronographed it at 1450 fps out of the 2 3/4" barrel. Odd thing is I just checked their website and they list the same ammo as 1700 fps out of an 8 1/2" barrel. Wonder if they used a different barrel length, or if they downloaded it because this ammo is really hot.

That is strange. I do know the Hornady ammo is the hottest rounds I have fired out of the 500 it is up there with Cor-Bon. Now you talk about concussive blast it just shakes your entire insides. I sware it jared one of my fillings loose the next day I was in the dentist office getting it taken care of. :)

56hawk
December 10, 2012, 12:52 AM
That Hornady ammo was what made me decide to load above book max. Max book load chronographed at around 1250 fps. Took seven more grains of H110 to hit 1450 fps. Still no signs of pressure though.

Mr.Revolverguy
December 10, 2012, 12:58 AM
56hawk what manual re you using?

I have a lil' gun load right out of the book that gets 1700fps with a 350gr bullet. That is capable of taking anything but you have to do it with the first shot because second shot follow ups are not fast :).

Please becaureful going above SAAMI max as the ammunition manufacturers use powder which is available to us.

56hawk
December 10, 2012, 01:11 AM
I am using the Lyman 49th. Used quickload to estimate the pressure of my hot loads and they came in right at the SAAMI max of 60,000 psi. The majority of the ammo I shoot is right at book max, but I have shot at least 50 of these high pressure rounds.

Twiki357
December 10, 2012, 01:35 AM
Come-on guys. Your making me drool all over my keyboard.

Mr.Revolverguy
December 10, 2012, 08:21 AM
I am using the Lyman 49th. Used quickload to estimate the pressure of my hot loads and they came in right at the SAAMI max of 60,000 psi. The majority of the ammo I shoot is right at book max, but I have shot at least 50 of these high pressure rounds.

When loading up to SAAMI max like that how is the ejection of empty cases?

sgt127
December 10, 2012, 10:52 AM
Sgt127

Unfortunately I am in a cold weather area the state of Ohio. I will go out to gander and other local shops this week to see if I can find this brand.

This is awesome.


Geez...thats a huge temperature difference between us. Maybe you should set your thermostat to match what the outdoor temp is here in Texas and run your test in the house.......Couple old phone books should work.


:)

56hawk
December 10, 2012, 01:28 PM
When loading up to SAAMI max like that how is the ejection of empty cases?

They fall out if you shake the cylinder a little bit. I was surprised that I never even got to the point where I needed to use the ejector. I really wonder what it would take to get a case to stick in the 500. Not sure if it could be done with H110, would probably need a faster burning powder.

Mr.Revolverguy
December 10, 2012, 08:01 PM
56hawk,

Though I ask the question about the cases sticking remember this is not a good indicator of pressure issues especially in this platform. I know that S&W spends a little extra time on the X-Frame cylinders polishing them really well. So you may see other indicators of pressure first or may actually exhibit a failure before you see pressure signs and that would be really bad.

56hawk --- Please be very careful --- Stop while your ahead and have all your digits.

codefour
December 11, 2012, 12:25 AM
codefour I to drool over the 6" 500 S&W magnum< I may give your load a try the Speer reloading manual says it is safe. Though I have become very fond of 28.5gr of 2400 under a 300gr cast bullet leaving the barrel at about 1350fps.

The loads I test with today were full house H110 Loads but not loaded to the max.

Yes, some day, I will have a 500 S&W in either a 6 or four inch. I LOVE big revolvers! I too drool all over the 6 inch at my favorite LGS. And, yes I will be completely honest, I handgun hunt with a .44 mag Redhawk. I just love huge revolvers. Someday, I will take one of the cannons on my first Elk hunt (I got into hunting at a late age). Although a properly loaded .44 Mag is not a slouch!

Power Pistol is a great powder BUT, in my experience it can spike in pressure fast. I have only been loading for the 460 Mag for 8 months. If it is ok with you, Mr. Revolverguy, I am going to try your load with 2400. I was loading full house 40.0 grains of H110 with LRM CCI primer and a 300 XTP Mag bullet. It was zooming at 2000-2040 fps. But that is expensive to shoot and load. Besides, I do believe these full house loads do shorten barrel life versus a milder 300 grain SWC at 1300-1500 range.

BTW, my Power Pistol load mentionend in my last post was not chrono'd with my C.E. Chrono but a shooting buddy's (I don't remember what brand) that sometimes reads a bit optimistic compared to mine.

BTW, dayattherange.com is a great web site. Keep up the great work..!

CGT80
December 11, 2012, 02:57 AM
I have the Smith 460 xvr 8 3/8" model. I run loads from 600-800 fps in 45lc and 460 mag loads from 1,000-1,917fps. I have never used factory ammo. Last trip out I hit a clay pigeon that was 50-75 yards out, on the first try. I used a 225 grain bullet flying around 1400 fps. It was my first time shooting that far with that gun. It is scary accurate compared to all the other pistols I have shot. I have not had to move the sights from the factory position for any of my loads.

Here is a video link of my hand loads (I wear foam ear plugs and 31db passive ear muffs for the hot and medium loads-hence I couldn't hear my brother's intro and didn't know he was already recording)

http://youtu.be/2eQA1RJopAY

1st 45lc 200 grain bullet 766 fps average
2nd 460 270 SAA cast hollow point (my own cast)over 10.0 grains of trail boss around 900fps
3rd 200 grain jacketed "flying ashtray" over 38.0 grains of 5744 estimated at 1400 fps
4th 225 soft point jacketed over 38.0 5744
5th 240 Hornady XTP MAG over 45.0 grains of Win 296 for 1917 fps.

The recoil isn't bad, even on the hot load. It is a like a massage to the hands, compared to my grandfather's Ruger 44 mag single action with Winchester white box ammo. The concussion and noise are the reason I limit the number of full power loads I shoot. I probably have 700-1000 rounds through mine since I bought it in the first part of the year. I have only run 50 or so full power loads. My cast bullet knocks steel around like it is nothing. Clear a Texas star sometime with a 460:evil: I shoot a 9mm modified XD for competition and then pull out the X-frame for some fun afterward.

I don't go to the range without the 460. I only use it for target shooting, but it is very fun and versatile. It is a work of art just as much as it is a beast and conversation starter. Yes, I feel like a super hero when I shoot it and it is fun to show off, but I still really enjoy shooting it even when I am by myself.

AKMtnRunner
December 12, 2012, 12:21 AM
I have the 6.5" bbl version of the 500 that some have mentioned. I've been very happy with it and very glad that I settled on that version. Performance wise, it is closer to the 8 3/8 bbl but weight wise, more like the 4" bbl. And hard to not love the look of the half lug. If I did things over again, and had a few extra hundred dollars burning in my pocket I would've gone for the John Ross version. http://john-ross.net/images/largegun.jpg

GJgo
December 12, 2012, 12:40 AM
I used to own this PC 460, what a beauty. Unfortunately S&W put an aluminum hammer on the thing & there wasn't enough mass to reliably ignite the rifle primers used in the cartridge. Dumb.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8325/8105522160_48d5e0846e_z.jpg

I also have a friend with an 8" S&W 500 mag that I've shot, if I had it to do over again I'd pick the 500 any day. It put much more energy on steel than the 460 could.

Side note, based on my personal experience I recommend against using Lil' Gun powder in these, you'll melt your forcing cone. Do some research.

Mr.Revolverguy
December 12, 2012, 02:29 AM
I have the 6.5" bbl version of the 500 that some have mentioned. I've been very happy with it and very glad that I settled on that version. Performance wise, it is closer to the 8 3/8 bbl but weight wise, more like the 4" bbl. And hard to not love the look of the half lug. If I did things over again, and had a few extra hundred dollars burning in my pocket I would've gone for the John Ross version. http://john-ross.net/images/largegun.jpg

Mr. Ross no doubt is a great gunsmith, but I still prefer the 6inch. It's all about personal preference :)

Mr.Revolverguy
December 12, 2012, 02:34 AM
I have the 6.5" bbl version of the 500 that some have mentioned. I've been very happy with it and very glad that I settled on that version. Performance wise, it is closer to the 8 3/8 bbl but weight wise, more like the 4" bbl. And hard to not love the look of the half lug. If I did things over again, and had a few extra hundred dollars burning in my pocket I would've gone for the John Ross version. http://john-ross.net/images/largegun.jpg

Gjgo

Well aware of the Lil Gun issue and you are right it is a serious issue. I recommend minimal loads with that powder, I have heard the same about Power Pistol but have no experience with that powder. As a matter of fact I have used all of my Lil Gun Powder and plant to stick with H110 and 2400 for my light loads. Bob Baker knows what he is talking about in this area and his advice should be followed about this powder.

GJgo
December 12, 2012, 10:36 AM
I'm using up all my Lil' Gun in my 77/44, doesn't seem to be a problem there. Once that & my 296 are gone though I'm slowly switching all my magnum pistol cartriges over to AA9. It's so much more predictable than 296/110 is, and plenty of power.

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