.500 S&W vs. .454 casual or .44 mag.?


July 24, 2004, 10:23 AM
Is the .500 really that much more powerful than the other two rounds I have listed? What kind of jump are we talkin' here in muzzle energy? Compare and contrast, maybe?

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July 24, 2004, 01:03 PM
Yes, on paper it's a huge jump in energy - but it's also a huge jump in difficulty to control it in rapid, aimed fire! I won't shoot a cartridge/firearm combination that I can't use to obtain rapid, accurate hits in a dangerous situation - and the .500 S&W certainly rules itself out for me on those grounds! Even the .454 Casull is "iffy" in those terms. I'll stick with the .44 Magnum, loaded heavy (read Garrett or Buffalo Bore loads), and let others have the bigger stuff.

July 24, 2004, 01:35 PM
One answer is it depends on ammo.

With a 44 mag you can go from 800 -1400 FtLb with the super hot Garrett loads.

With 454 your range is about 900 - 1750 FtLb.

With the S&W 500 the range runs something like 1600 - 2500 (for Cor-Bon).

I don't think of any of these three as self defense rounds so a follow up shot is not as critical, (unless your hunting griz.)

I find the 500 is easier to shoot then the 454 due to the mass of the gun. More of a push than a sharp slap.

July 24, 2004, 01:46 PM
Two things you gotta ask yourself; how much energy do I really need and how much recoil can I really tolerate? For me, 44 Magnum is all I need at this time and is about all I am willing to tolerate.

Brad Johnson
July 24, 2004, 07:34 PM
If more is better, then too much is just right. :evil:


July 24, 2004, 08:31 PM
S&W 329 PD...... 26 ounce scandium 44 mag revolver; I'd rather shoot the 500 S&W anyday.

July 25, 2004, 11:11 AM
It all depends on what you want to do with the weapon.

July 25, 2004, 10:36 PM
Is ammo cost a factor in your decision? I have both the 44 and the 454 and factory ammo for the 44 is quite a bit less. I'm assuming it's expensive for the 500 S&W.

Tom C.
July 26, 2004, 08:46 AM
I suspect that the loads in .500 S&W Mag that will prove the most useful to the most people will be the downloaded ones. Several are available from vendors now, and can be easily duplicated by handloading. Loading these huge slugs to 1200 to 1300 fps vice 1600 to 2000 will provide most of the benefits of the .50 cal bullet without the punishing recoil. Whether they will be more effective than the .454 or .44 mag is someone else’s call.

July 26, 2004, 10:37 AM
A buddy and I have been playing with new 7 1/2" SBHs in 454 for a few months. Hot loads of 300 grainers from are more than I care to shoot. Same bullet out of 45 Colt case is quite tolerable. Kinda like a 38 Special out of a 357.

Same buddy loaded up some mid-range 454s in 260 grain Nosler Partitions that we tested at 50 yards last week. They were snappy, but not particularly brutal. We put about 25 rounds apiece downrange with decent accuracy using just iron sight - and did not get beat up too bad.

Gonna install and sight in new Burris 2X7 later this week. And run the same 260 grain Nosler load through chrono while sighting in new scope at just 50 feet. Then probably take back to outdoor range to see what we've got at 50 and 100 yards. I'm hopeful that the additional weight of scope will put the gun in "downight pleasant to shoot" category with the mid-range 260 grainers.

To each his own, but I'm quite content to sacrifice some energy on the distant end for more comfort and accuracy on the delivering end. ;)

July 28, 2004, 01:59 PM
I can control the 500 better than the SRH 454. The mass of the gun, compensator and grips are important in the 500's control.

If you only buy factory ammo, stick with the 44. It's way cheaper. If you reload, there's no difference.

I think people like the 500 because they CAN shoot big, heavy loads. But I see they are now making a .500 "special". Shortened case, reduced power. I knew it'd happen.

July 29, 2004, 03:04 PM
Do you want to hunt with it? Then what kind of game? The 500 S&W is, indeed, a truly awsome weapon. It will take down any game in the world. I have recently fired one and I can attest that it is definitely not for me. I haved always fancied that I was not recoil sensitive but, believe me, the 500's recoil was truly oppressive and uncomfortable. Noise was fierce and the cost of ammo astronomical. But, lord it is beautiful and I can't deny that. It is a LOT more weapon than either the 44 mag or the 454 Casul. Believe it! I have taken both deer, elk, and one black bear with my trusty old 44 mag. and, for me, it is still adequate to the task. Good shooting;)

July 29, 2004, 07:18 PM
a friend of mine just bough the 500 and picks up in 10 days (california wait period) so i cant wait to try it out. its more of a novelty for him than anything just something to waste his money on.

must be nice

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