.500 S&W and other uber-mag questions


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Nightcrawler
May 31, 2004, 06:21 PM
The .480 Ruger cartridge is a shortened .475 Linebaugh round, I believe. That is to say, you can fire .480 Ruger rounds in a revovler/levergun chambered for the .475 Linebaugh cartridge, as you can fire .44 Specials in a .44 Magnum.

How does .500 S&W compare to .500 Linebaugh? Are they based on the same case? Which one is the "magnum" and which one is the "special", if they are? How do they compare ballistically?

For comparison, Buffalo Bore makes several loads of .500S&W.

400 grn/1675 FPS
440 grn/1625 FPS
440 grn/1325 FPS

I've heard people suggest .500S&W beats .45-70 hunting loads, but at least when compared to Buffalo Bore's .45-70 levergun loads, this is not the case. For instance, one .45-70 load is a 430 grain bullet at 1,925 feet per second.

This, of course, is from a rifle barrel, whereas the .500S&W loads are presumably from an 8-10" revolver barrel. How would these .45-70 loads rate out of a BFR revovler?

In any case, .45-70 probably has lower peak pressures.

Since the development of .454 Casull, you've had other "uber-mag" cartridges come around. .475 and .500 Linebaugh, .50AE (borderline), .480 Ruger, .500S&W, etc.

Do any of the newer cartridges really offer something that .454 doesn't? It would seem to me that, if nothing else, .454 has been around the longest and would offer the best ammo availability.

EDIT:

DUH! I had only to compare .500S&W to BB's own .500 Linebaugh loads!

435 grn/1632 FPS
440 grn/1275 FPS

There are others, but it would seem that .500S&W edges out .500 Linebaugh pretty handily.

Question, then. Don't these suckers hurt to shoot?

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John Ross
June 1, 2004, 01:37 PM
The S&W round is MUCH more powerful than either the .500 Linebaugh or the less-common .500 Linebaugh Long. The .010" smaller diameter of the S&W is far offset by the fact that the Smith will take a loaded round OAL of 2.320", and the .500 S&W operates at higher pressures than the Linebaugh Long. The S&W 500 has a non-counterbored cylinder 2.300" long, which allows for much longer rounds than in any custom gun based on the Ruger Maximum frame. If you load your ammo for the S&W to an OAL of 2.320", you have MUCH more net powder capacity than any Linebaugh Long round that will fit in a Ruger conversion.

I have developed a variety of bullets that have noses .700" long for maximum powder capacity in the S&W. The lightest of these is 400 grains, with only .200" shank in the case. Top loads break 2000 FPS in an 8 3/8" barrel. You can get 1750 with 510s, 1300 with 650s and 1175 with 725s.

I hate full underlugs and comps on DA revolvers, so I got rid of them on one of my .500s. Now it's beautiful and balances wonderfully. Check it out at http://www.john-ross.net/images/Cust500.jpg

A 6" version with the same treatment is at
http://www.john-ross.net/images/SW500-6.jpg

The fact that S&W's gun will tolerate higher pressures than Ruger conversions doesn't change the fact that you can load it to whatever lower pressure level you want and get amazing ballistics because of the long cylinder.

BTW the grip shape and material of the S&W make it tolerable to shoot with loads that would cause intense pain in a custom SA. The Smith is heavier, but my de-lugged gun goes 3 lbs. 15 oz. and is acceptable with 400s @ 1950, 450s @ 1825, 510s @ 1700, 640s @ 1300, and 725s @ 1175. Loading it down a few hundred FPS makes it VERY shootable.

S&W has built a hunting handgun that is truly amazing.

John Ross
www.john-ross.net

Nightcrawler
June 2, 2004, 12:48 AM
I didn't know that .500 S&W had a different bore diameter than the .500 Linebaugh.

400 grains at 2000 feet per second?

Hmmm....probably too stout for my handgun tastes. I'm sensing a LOT of potential for a rifle, though.

Specifically, a "thumper" carbine. Semiauto, 16" barrel, 20-round, double-stack magazine, AK-style gas system, ghost ring sights.

But I'm dreaming here. :D

As for S&W's X-Frame...I still say they should make a 10-shot .357, just to say they did. :p

Jim March
June 2, 2004, 04:05 AM
NC:

http://www.gunblast.com/50Beowulf.htm

http://www.gunblast.com/Alex_Overwatch.htm

Nightcrawler
June 2, 2004, 04:21 AM
Here's another question. What would a 400 grain bullet at 2,000 feet per second do to a Level IIIA soft armor vest (with or without trauma plates)? I don't think the bullet would be aerodynamic enough to really penetrate (it's fat and blunt instead of pointy and streamlined), but I think the guy wearing the vest would receive quite a bit of blunt trauma.

(I still have an idea for an armor piercing .454 Casull round, featuring a super hard (tungsten, solid brass, whathaveyou), very pointed bullet over a hot charge... :D )

Jim March
June 2, 2004, 05:35 AM
NC: any idiot can glue a cut-off steel nail tip down a hollowpoint cavity and produce an AP load.

The downside: with no expansion, lethality drops.

Nightcrawler
June 2, 2004, 06:16 AM
The downside: with no expansion, lethality drops.

True enough! And that's the big downside to FN's 5.7mm round, and HK's 4.6mm round. The rounds are tiny to begin with, don't have enough momentum to do secondary damage (hydrostatic shock, tissue rupturing, temporary wound cavity), and are too streamlined to crush much tissue. (And because they're so light, they lose their velocity quickly when penetrating barriers.)

This wouldn't be so much of a problem with a 300 grain, pointed, tungsten projectile moving at 1600 feet per second. You'd have plenty of thwack with that, I'd think, even if it didn't expand. :D

John Ross
June 2, 2004, 09:15 AM
"Here's another question. What would a 400 grain bullet at 2,000 feet per second do to a Level IIIA soft armor vest (with or without trauma plates)? I don't think the bullet would be aerodynamic enough to really penetrate (it's fat and blunt instead of pointy and streamlined), but I think the guy wearing the vest would receive quite a bit of blunt trauma."

Funny you should ask. I shot the bullet pictured at

http://www.john-ross.net/images/450BR500.jpg

at 1800 FPS at an old Level IIIA vest and it went through both front and back. Maybe a new one would fare a little better. Factory ammo stops in the second side of a level IIA (2A, not 3) vest. I am certain that the trauma plate will defeat any 500 round, although I did not specifically try this.

BTW your comments on the FN 5.7 need modification. The bullets, I believe, are designed with the CG such that they become unstable after entering flesh. This seemed borne out by the groundhog I shot with one. Exit wound VERY un-icepick-like.

I have been told that Fackler estimates the FN 5.7 to have the same lethality as an average .38 +P with 125 JHPs. In a 20-shot 27 ounce gun, this is just the ticket for downed chopper pilots.

JR

_____

Ktulu
June 2, 2004, 12:05 PM
Here's another question. What would a 400 grain bullet at 2,000 feet per second do to a Level IIIA soft armor vest (with or without trauma plates)?


Does this answer your question?

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040602/dcw030_1.html

What will these clowns come up with next?

Nightcrawler
June 5, 2004, 03:05 PM
Just going off what I've read. (http://www.tacticalforums.com/cgi-bin/tacticalubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=78;t=000050#000000)

I know FN says it'll tumble, but from the research I've done, it seems that SS190 ammunition does exactly what one would expect it to do: slide in, slide out.

I could be dead wrong. I've never even seem a single cartridge of 5.7, muchless tested it, so I'm just parroting others here.

Myself
June 7, 2004, 12:09 AM
VPC - a sholder holster that will make the gun easy for criminals to conceal. Give me a break. I supose if someone made a sholder holster for a 10G they would say criminals will be carrying them concealed also!

:cuss:

dmftoy1
June 7, 2004, 03:15 PM
I can't tell you what it would do to body armour, but my next door neighbor let me shoot his pistol yesterday and I have to say "WOW". We shot at one of my silhoutte rams (1/4 scale) and it made a huge divot in the metal and actually bent the plate slightly. The Ram is cut out of 1/2 inch thick plate and has been shot by everything from .44 mag down to .22 with no damage. (a rifle will easily damage it though). We were shooting the Corbon 400 grain JFN.

The first shot scared me a bit, but the next four weren't bad at all and the gun was incredibly accurate. It's on the top of my wish list right now. I'm just trying to figure out if I would be stupid to get a 3 inch (4 with comp) version or if I should stick with the 8 3/8 inch model that I shot yesterday.

Have a good one,
Dave

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