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Reloading .500 S & W

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bk42261, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. bk42261

    bk42261 Well-Known Member

    Is anyone out there reloading for the .500? I would like to try some big old cast bullets, but don't know if the expense of dies,etc. would even be worth the effort. Thanks for any input. BTW, I have a 8 3/8 bbl.
  2. Pete D.

    Pete D. Well-Known Member


    I reload the .500 S&W. Dies are not expensive, nor a basic press.
    When you consider that a box of 20 factory loaded rounds will cost anywhere from $40 to $60+, loading your own becomes very attractive. It surely does not cost two dollars or more per shot (provided that you have the brass)
    And you can load some pretty exotic, powerful stuff - ammo that you cannot buy. My favorite is a 600 grain Rick Gibson bullet at 1300 fps. A real thumper.
  3. mahansm

    mahansm Well-Known Member

    It's worth it. You can come very close to factory loadings (Hornady FTX 300 gr. at 2000 fps vs 2050 FPS factory using 'Lil Gun, for example) or download to whatever is comfortable.

    I rather like a 400 grain cast lead from Missouri Bullet works over about 10.5 grains of Trail Boss for plinking. My wife and daughters enjoy this loading.

    Dies are not real expensive and if you already reload it's a no brainer. I ended up purchasing another press (the Dillon Square Deal won't handle .500
    S & W) and just setting up all my small primer stuff on the old one and the large primer rounds (.45 ACP, .44 spl/mag, .500 S&W) on the new RL 550b.

    You can load your own with all new components for less than the cost of new factory rounds and as you reuse the brass the cost really drops.
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Well-Known Member

    I reload for it also but I use it in a NEF Handi Rifle. I also really like the Trail Boss for light lead loads. And as stated you can really push some large bullets down the barrel.:D

    There are some deals on the brass at times on Gunbroker I find.
  5. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    I just use a set of Lee dies I found online for about $30. the 500 is a really easy cartridge to handload. Straight walled case with big bullets. No need to mess with case trimming like you do a rifle. I get my hard cast lead gas check bullets from Montana Bullet Works; under $30 per 100. They are super. I shoot their 350gr bullets out of my Handi-Rifle at over 2100fps with no leading at all. My barrel stays clean as a pin.
  6. BrokenWheel

    BrokenWheel Well-Known Member

    +1 on the trailboss powder! I have the length version as you do, Hornady makes a good die, but the Redding version has the carbide insert so technically the Redding doesn't require lube.

    The 500 is my favorite caliber to load for because the huge variety of bullets from Hornady 300 grain to 700 grain lead cast "thumpers".

    Reloading for this caliber is plain necessary!

    BTW I get my bullets from here, pretty reasonably, IMO.

    Ranger Rick big bullets
  7. Pete D.

    Pete D. Well-Known Member


    Ranger Rick - that's the man. Rich Gibson, Homer, Alaska. Beautiful (and big) bullets.
  8. snuffy

    snuffy Well-Known Member

    The big smith is not any harder to load than any other big magnum revolver. Everything is just bigger.

    I'm loading for my daughters, boyfriends .500 magnum with a 10+ inch barrel. He wants to be able to say he has the biggest gun with the biggest bullets, so he wants to shoot the 700 grain bullets. He must have found the R.R. website in a search, said he would buy the bullets so I could load them. At that time I was aware of the group buy being discussed over at castboolits.com for the 700 grain WFNGC. I said we could split the cost, I would get in on the group buy. The mold should be made within the next few weeks, CAN'T WAIT!


    If anybody casts, there's still time to get in on it. You'd have to register on castboolits, then put your user name in for the mold.

    This one will come with 2 different HP pins, and a third to make it a solid. The mold maker is miha, he lives in Europe. The mold material is brass.

    I also have the lee 440 WFNGC mold, it makes a fine mid-range bullet for the .500.

  9. Pete D.

    Pete D. Well-Known Member

    About big bullets - I am not particularly sensitive to recoil. I shoot "heavy" recoiling guns regularly.
    That being said, those 600 and 700 grain bullets out Of my T/C Encore.....every shot hurt, every single one. I was amazed.

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