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.454 Casull Vs. .500 S&W: A more Practical Big-Bore Magnum?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Remmi, Nov 15, 2006.

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  1. Remmi

    Remmi Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    In a sort of follow-up to a previous thread of mine; I'm curious to a few facts about some of the big boys on the Revolver block.

    Since the limit of what I can actually handle in Live-Fire stands at around a .44 Magnum; anything else above that tends to want to break my wrists, I haven't had the suicidal want to test this myself yet, but I'm curious nonetheless.

    I've read many reports on both carts; the .454 has more then half a Century of reliable use backing it's name and claim to the title of a Magnum round; and that's still 50 years plus more availability.

    But if your after a balls-to-the-Wall magnum, I can't say I've seen anything reasonably more powerful then the .500 Magnum; barring the insaneo guns that are chambered to things well above .50 caliber like the .600 Nitro revolver flitting around the internet, but all that power in the .500 Magnum cart comes with a few questions.

    First off, I don't know if anyone here's had a chance to paly around with it it yet, but what's the overall performence in comparison to eachother? I'm working on a bit of fiction, as anyone visiting 'My Unusual Handgun Question' thread will know, and frankly I can't wrap my brain around which round would be more practical.

    Frankly I'm leaning towards the .454 as with again, 50 or so years of history over the .500 Magnum, it's bound to be easier to get ahold of in both manufactured boxes and handloader Brass and Bullets, not to mention there are many frames dedicated to it's use, the original Taurus Raging Bull springs readily to mind.

    For both a Fun Shooting and Big-Bore Hunting/Home Defense sidearm; where does the Shooting Community stand on these two badasses?
  2. Mooseman

    Mooseman Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Just outside of Philadelphia
    Both are overpowered for just about everything. Try finding a range that lets you rent one or both. You'll get to try them without dropping a ton of money.
  3. Socrates

    Socrates Member

    Mar 25, 2006
    454 is a great cartridge, if limited to about 40k pressures, rather then the insane 60k stuff, that wears out shooter, barrel, forcing cone, and your mind.

    The 500 S&W also works best at 40k, rather then absurd pressures. Last I heard, S&W had to recall some 460's for the barrels flame cutting, and, the 500 S&W barrel replacements are cheap, and, occur at around 1500 rounds, if shot with 55k pressure, or more, full house loads.

    What these caliber do well is drive heavy bullets, at moderate velocity, for insane penetration. 325 grain bullets in 454, at 1325 fps, or even heavier 360 grain bullets, at slower velocities will take anything short of brown bear, and, will do them in, when hunting, not trying to stop a charging bear.

    The 500 S&W, coupled with 500-525 grain bullets, starts approaching the true kind of the hill, the 500 Linebaugh Maximum, that uses a .510 bullet, and, has a bigger case then the 500 S&W. Driven at 1300 fps, or less, they will penetrate and kill asian buffalo, bison, bear, etc.

    The .475 Linebaugh, and .500 JRH, and 500 Linebaugh, and .500 Max Linebaugh, all will move considerably heavier bullets then the 454, and, this gives you fantastic penetration, and, they are avaliable in reasonable size revolvers, something that can't be currently said of the 500 S&W.

    Also, due to the extreme pressure avaliable in S&W 500, most custom gunsmiths won't risk doing a conversion, since the very high pressures of the
    500 might blow up a smaller gun.

  4. Tom C.

    Tom C. Member

    Jan 15, 2003
    Southern Maryland
    I view the .500 S&W as being a delightful cartridge to play with at reduced performance levels. Those performance levels reduce the recoil to much more manageable levels, but retain the big bullet performance not matched by the .454.
    Which ever you choose, plan to invest in handloading equipment if you don’t have any now. The .500 is so expensive you won’t be able to shoot much without handloading. Handloading makes both the .454 and 500 very flexible and much more fun to play with.
  5. Troutman

    Troutman member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Gods' Country, Texas
    Try using a 460 magnum. You can shoot 454's in them as well.

    Info on the 460's.


    Info on the 500's.


    Either one of these three are good. Depends on...What floats your boat.

    Their's a lot of claims about these big bores. Being a 500 owner, you can buy/handload, reduced loads for the 500 magnum. Which is called, 500 specials.
    You can use on deer to shooting through concrete blocks. Depends on the load your using. The Winchester Supreme 400 gr. and/or CorBon 325 gr. DPX are terminators.


    You can also use the 45 colt in the 460 as well. Making it a three cartridge handgun. Three choices for the price of one handgun.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2006
  6. GunNut

    GunNut Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Washington State
    My take on the super big bore guns is this:

    The .500S&W is is the biggest bore of factory big bores. The guns are huge and heavy, but they allow the round to be fired without ripping your arm off. There are now .500 Special type loads available which make the gun much more fun to shoot.

    The .454 is available in a gun that is much smaller in size, but still provide plenty of power to tackle any game around. You can shoot .45LC loads through this gun for more enjoyment.

    To me the gun size required for the .500S&W makes it almost as heavy as carrying a rifle, and it's really not a belt rifle..:) The .454 is available in guns that can be belt carried and is still plenty powerful.

    At this time I would go for the .454 cassul, when small guns loaded specifically for the .500 Special loads are availabe then maybe I will change my mind.

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