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BFR 500 S&W Mag

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by XGibsonX, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. XGibsonX

    XGibsonX Well-Known Member

    Recently procured one of these with a 7 1/2" barrel, so it is listed.

    Started with a box of factory loads, then moved to my own recipe. I have worked up to what seems about my limit with the Lee 440 grain cast bullet. It is a gas checked bullet and I am running it at around 1625 fps. It is accurate.

    The revolver is quad ported by mag-na-port but honestly, it is a handful with this loading. I have put about 100 rounds through it in the last week. These are absolutely solid guns. I cannot overstate it. Smooth, accurate and the Lord only knows how much these could take barring shooting a full load with a 'squibbed' barrel or maybe a double charge of some fast powder. STRONG, strong guns. I have been having some concentricity issues because of bullet seating die trouble. I THINK I have it worked out but I can tell you having to press the cartridge in to get it to seat properly in the cylinder throat led to a few rounds that were pressured UP. The BFR ate 'em without a hitch.

    Today is first day my hands got beat up a bit. Hammer bloodied my thumb. But I know why, oily hand. . .

    I am a WFN with a heavy for caliber bullet kind of guy so I am thinking, next step will be a cast bullet in 700 grain chugging along at around 1125 fps. Hopefully in the next month or so I can get a loading worked up with that round and get out and try some hunting with it.

    First time I fired it:


    God bless and take care, adios!
  2. gbran

    gbran Well-Known Member

    Will you hunt with it?
  3. XGibsonX

    XGibsonX Well-Known Member

    Maybe. I'll have to see how it goes.
  4. gbran

    gbran Well-Known Member

    I specifically bought my 454 SRH for hunting. It's stout enough I can't imagine using it for sport. Your BFR is a beautiful piece and would be perfect for hunting.

  5. XGibsonX

    XGibsonX Well-Known Member


    VERY nice!

    Here are a few pics of mine:




    Right now I just shoot in my yard, it would be nice to make a long journey someday for a hunt. Or even a local trip for a boar hunt. Who knows. Right now, it's just load development. I actually get a certain enjoyment from working up my own loads. The occasional bloody thumb notwithstanding, I enjoy just shooting big bore revolvers. I'm a masochist that way, I suppose.
  6. Action_Can_Do

    Action_Can_Do Well-Known Member

    I had a BFR in 475 linebaugh. I really liked it. Unfortunately, I had to sell it and many other guns when the economy died and took my job with it. Still, when things settle down again and disposable income is no longer a dream from the past, I very much plan on buying a new one. That load you're using sounds quite potent. How many will you fire before calling it a day?
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    Action Can Do, if you are in TN, I may well be buying your 475 BFR. Have what appears to be a slightly used one in layaway and working on paying it off at the moment. I am looking forward to shooting it. But I am not going to rob the bank account for the $, it comes from mad money.

    XGibsonX, hope you enjoy this revolver. I have shot up to 400 gr 500 S&W loads in a factory Smith. They get a bit uncomfortable as you increase the bullet weight.

    Try shooting gloves. I use a shooting glove with my SRH in 480 Ruger. The first day out with that thing and I ripped the web of my hand pretty good. Have not had the problem since, but I shifted my hand on the grip a little lower also.
  8. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    I have a BFR in 30-30 and can definitely attest to the accuracy and quality of these fine guns.

    I don't have any problems with recoil but the blast from this monstrosity can be quite the ear facefull

  9. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member


    Most of us dont think of 30-30 as a high powered cartridge, but out of a revolver that thing has to have a ton of blast! I shot a blackhawk in 30 carbine and wow, did it have a real blast to it.
  10. XGibsonX

    XGibsonX Well-Known Member

    I really like it.

    I'll probably put another 20-30 rounds downrange this evening. Just however many I feel like printing up. I am "practicing" with it.

    Keep a tight grip on 'er and set 'em off. Crazy, I know, but I really enjoy the whole thing, even the recoil. Makes me feel alive. Difficult to conceptually express how that the "uncomfortable" can be fun, but it is, for me. And it's not that severe. (My thumb was in the wrong place, yesterday. I've cut it worse with a .45 ACP slide. FAT hands.)

    I just posted to tell the folks here about the BFR. Knowing full well, that you already know about it. But anyway, I cannot recommend it more highly. For what it is, it is reasonably priced and IT IS A TANK. The frame and cylinder are both crafted from 17-4PH SS.

    I'm keeping the God-forsaken ugly grips but am looking for a holster. It is remarkable similar in size to my Walker Colt. The long cylinder has already grown on me. It does have some weight to it but I spent decades lifting heavy objects, so it's actually kind of comfortable for me.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  11. critter

    critter Well-Known Member

    I was very impressed with the only BFR I ever got to shoot. It was a 9 1/2" barreled gun in 45-70. Handled everything we fed it and was very, very accurate. I'm sure it would be quite a thumper in the game field. Besides, it was not unpleasant to shoot like I expected.
  12. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    Tell your camera guy to drink less coffee.... :D

    The recoil I'm seeing in the video doesn't look that bad. But then how something looks and how it feels are often two different things.
  13. XGibsonX

    XGibsonX Well-Known Member

    That was my little boy. He was standing back away and using his phone.

    You are correct, recoil was nothing; that was the "store bought" ammo. My worked up loading is quite a different thing. These guns can take it though.

    After the kids get home,, I'm going to go out blast a few more rounds into some paper. Still finalizing this loading and working on my own shooting skills a bit.
  14. Giterboosted

    Giterboosted Well-Known Member

    I had one of these and my advice is if your hands don't really fit the grip too good like it is, get some ruger super blackhawk grips, wooden ones, I know it sounds the opposite but the smaller grips let you get a good hold on it, I could shoot all day that way
  15. 56hawk

    56hawk Well-Known Member

    I loaded up some 700 grain bullets for my 2 3/4" S&W 500ES. Managed to get 968 fps with a huge charge of H-110. Expect quite a bit more recoil than those 440 grain bullets by the way.

  16. XGibsonX

    XGibsonX Well-Known Member

    I think I may get some from Matt's Bullets. 50 @ 19 USD.

    I like H-110 a lot. Right now I'm running through WC820, I like it too. I already have a beginning load in mind for the 700 grain bullet.

    An older gentleman put me onto the 700, he shoots it from his 4" Smith. Good guy.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  17. XGibsonX

    XGibsonX Well-Known Member


    If I decide to get some, I'll probably have some made to fit it. This is a "JT".

    Not counter intuitive at all. These FAT hands always held back my deadlift in contest after contest. It's about hand thickness relative to finger length. Thin bar = much easier for me. Ergo thinner grip diameter = easier to hold, thinner grips = easier to hold (in my case, at least)

    Right now, I'm sticking with these. Actually already talked with a guy or two about some grips. But these will do for now. Shot again last evening. Fun, fun.

    Thanks for the post!
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  18. 56hawk

    56hawk Well-Known Member

    I originally tried to get them from Matt's Bullets, but he said he had several months of back orders to fill first. Got them from this place instead: http://www.lsstuff.com/lsstuff--about-us
  19. fastest45ever

    fastest45ever Well-Known Member

    For your 440 1625 fps grain load I get this level of recoil:
    Recoil Energy of 46 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 26 fps.

    Nice that the velocity isn't that high. The foot pounds is getting up there.

    What I would try to start is a minimum pressure load of 4227. That would give you 1496 fps@ 42k pressure.
    See if that's still accurate. You can do the same with H110 with more velocity, 1509 fps. Chronograph them and see if they have consistent velocity. Minimum loads can have velocity variation which works against accuracy.
    That would reduce your recoil to
    Recoil Energy of 39 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 24 fps.

    If I had one, I'd probably settle on 500 grain bullets at 1360 fps for
    Recoil Energy of 41 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 24 fps(30 grains 4227) or better, H110/296 31 grains for 1400 fps.
    Increase in bullet weight increases penetration, as does the speed reduction.
    If you can't get it done with that combination, you REALLY need a BIG rifle.:D Bunch of guys hunt with these things and SWEAR by the 500-525 grain bullets, moving 1100 fps. Hit like Thor's Hammer on hogs, and penetrate like crazy.

    I don't see 700 grains at 1000 fps being much harder hitting,at least on your end then any of the above loads:
    Recoil Energy of 40 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 24 fps.

    One thing I will say about big bullets is they tend to line stuff up, and be VERY accurate, more accurate then lighter bullets.

    Still, most people don't consider 440 grains a 'light' bullet unless you have a .500 Nitro Express.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  20. XGibsonX

    XGibsonX Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tip on the wait, 56Hawk! I'll go with the CR guy at the link you posted :)

    fastest45ever: I appreciate your effort but I wasn't asking for advice. I was just making a sort of exegetical post.

    I have already worked up a loading with WC820 and it is as I vaguely outlined. (I have 16 lbs. of it, I like it, and I am working up loadings wit it, solely. Have already done so with .45 Colt, .357 Mag, and .44 Rem Mag.)

    For a 440 grain bullet, both Cor-Bon and Buffalo Bore consider it a solid velocity. Do I consider 1625 fps a mid-high velocity with a 440 grain HC bullet from a revolver? Most certainly, I do.

    Pull the trigger and get back to me :) J/K

    Velocity is interesting as it is not about high and low numbers it is about the proper number, if we are talking penetration.

    Is my loading at that magic velocity/bullet weight/bullet shape that it seems every or many cast bullets have, that somehow causes BC, DC, and all other other factors, known and unknown to line up and and evince maximum penetration for the round? No clue, very doubtful. But I'll keep sniffing.

    I'm heading out now to resume testing. Going to manipulate alloy BHN a bit, I think, tomorrow. [Edit: I might need to as I just checked my latest casting and they are dropping at slightly >447 grains. Could be "normal" from the Lee mold.]

    I will probably never get to hunting. And I honestly need to look at some penetration tests. I like the testing and shooting the big boomer as much as anything. Something fun about blasting jugs in the makeshift Fackler box. Sounds masochistic, I suppose. . . but I like it.

    I did enjoy reading your well crafted post and I appreciate the effort. I enjoy the material, formal, and efficient causes more than the end :)

    Grab a 500 and give your loading a go; it sounds like a reasonable, thought out start, indeed.

    God bless
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012

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