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.454 or 500 S&W Magnum

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Zombiphobia, Dec 13, 2010.

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  1. Zombiphobia

    Zombiphobia Member

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    Let's say that, hypothetically, you had to face down an angry/hungry boar grizzly bear.

    Would you rather have a .454 Casull or a 500 S&W?

    Pick your gun, bullet, load, and why you chose that one.

    Note: I'm not talking about hunting grizz, but defense from the grizz.
     
  2. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I do believe, as powerful as the .454 Casull is, the .500 S&W magnum has more punch.

    If I were at "whites of the eyes" range of an angry grizzly, I'd want all the punch I can get, especially if I were only able to get off a couple rounds before I took a swipe of claws to the face. I'd go with a .500 S&W magnum, probably something along the lines of Corbon hunter SP.
     
  3. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Having shot a .454 next to a .500 I would go with the .500 because frankly it was softer shooting (not that either is exactly soft).

    In a weird way its like comparing the recoil of .40 and .45 ... .40 is snappy, .45 is a shove ... same with .454 vs .500 (only the snap and shove are somewhat greater).

    So I would feel more comfortable making quicker followup shots with the .500 and with an attacking bear I want to get as much lead downrange as possible.
     
  4. paul105

    paul105 Member

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    I have Freedom Arms Revolvers in both .454 and .475 Linebaugh -- If I was going fishing in Alaska and had to worry about coastal brown bears, I would choose the S&W 500 -- 4" version.

    FWIW,

    Paul
     
  5. GoodKat

    GoodKat Member

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    Probably the .500 for the greater power, but I have read about grizzlies taking 1 of them without dropping, so tbh if I were going into bear country, it would be with either a semi auto shotgun loaded with powerful slugs, a marlin guide gun in 45/70, or an ar in .50 beowulf, in order of likeliness.
     
  6. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    I think the standard logic would be along the lines of what Zundfolge said knowing you will actually be in an immediate self defense encounter.

    But...

    This changes everything.
    The gun you have with you is the one that will protect you on that rare occasion.
    The .454 comes in a much more compact package, allows familiarization with less expensive and widely available .45 colt, and is far more likely to actually be carried on your hip if you end up needing it. It can also be handloaded anywhere in between, using both commercial .454 bullets or those designed for .45 colt velocities, and so may be tailored to specific uses or regional threats.
    It can also double for self defense against humans with .45 colt, filling a role in more environments.
    It is has performance not far behind the .500S&W in .454.


    After people hike around in the rugged outdoors with a massive .500 many times without ever needing it but quite aware of its uncomfortable bulk they typically start to leave it behind.
    The gun left behind won't do you any good, and so the gun that will actually get carried is a better defensive gun.
    Being agile and climbing, hiking, backpacking, or exploring in the outdoors with a giant .500 on your hip is just not going to be enjoyable.
    Once the uncomfortable monster gets left behind or stowed away in your pack as a result it ceases to be available for immediate unexpected self defense.

    The same can be said for long guns, a practical sidearm you will actually carry is far more likely to save your life because the long gun will often become a burden and get left behind. Or set down while skinning/cleaning/filleting or hauling something.
    So the best self defense rifle leaned up against a tree several feet away while you deal with real life chores requiring two hands might as well be miles away when the bear comes calling unexpectedly.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  7. murf

    murf Member

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    i would be happy to have eithr weapon in this hypothetical situation. i would load a hard cast, heavy-for-caliber bullet and push said bullet as fast as legally possible. and pray i get more than one shot!
     
  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    My reasoning would echo Zundfolge's and the nod would go to the 500 S&W in your comparison.
     
  9. 340PD

    340PD Member

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    Why not the 460 S&W. It shoots 45 LC, 454 casull, and 460 S&W. Pretty versatile firearm. Plenty of stopping power with the 460 load.
     
  10. NELSONs02

    NELSONs02 Member

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    Either would work just fine. More important would be finding a double action revolver you can shoot well and get out of the holster fast enough.
     
  11. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Given a choice, neither. Between those two, probably the .500 as a cartridge, though the .454 is available in platforms that do not require wheels. In this context, the .460 offers nothing over the .454. Velocity is highly overrated. What you need is a big, heavy cast LBT and pushing them to .460 velocities won't help your cause any. Whereas the .500 utilizes a bigger, much heavier bullet and that's what you need more of, mass, not velocity.
     
  12. dnovo

    dnovo Member

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    It's a pressure curve thing. The 454 has a nasty, and abrupt recoil. The 500 has a more gradual curve and shoots 'softer' as a result. If you can find a 500 in one of their now-discontinued 'Survival Kits' which has the shorter bbl and use the comp that is designed for a cast bullet, should be a more effective bear stopper than a jacketed load. Dave
     
  13. rogertc1

    rogertc1 member

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    I have both. The 500 is less felt recoil.
    Top shelf
    room9.gif
     
  14. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Member

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    I'd rather have a .500 s&w revolver in my hand if existence was boiled down to an angry bear, a pistol, and me. But the simple fact is that there will never be a fifty-caliber revolver in my hands; I already find a .44 magnum to be a heavy thing to lug around after a few days of tromping in the woods. A .454 would be a notch up from a .44, and would be cheaper to become proficient with than a .500. You can also keep a few speedloaders filled with .45 colt in your pocket if you get worried about 2-legged problems.

    One thing to consider is that a 4" model 500 weighs about as much as a .454 Super Redhawk with a barrel nearly twice as long; factor in the muzzle energy from those two, and the .454 might turn out to be a better stopper.

    People say that the recoil of a .500 is more manageable than that of a .454, but usually the .500 is ported while the .454 is not. I'd be curious of the difference in recoil if the .454 revolver was also ported.

    All said, I'll probably never carry anything bigger than a 6" model 629 or Redhawk. Call me average.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  15. Zombiphobia

    Zombiphobia Member

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    Taurus makes a ported .454 Raging Bull. I've heard some less-than-satisfactory reviews of Taurus and their products usually don't *feel* like the highest quality.

    However, I'm looking for a VERY hard-hitting, high-caliber, high-velocity handgun for the fairest price, and most affordable ammunition. Versatility is good. Light-weight(lightER weight) is good, heavy recoil is not really the primary concern, as follow-up shots really don't need to be lightning quick or at more than 15 meters, but being able to handle the gun with one hand(if neccesary) is desireable, as well as not needing to tote it around on a sling or a pack mule.

    That being said, I will not buy a short-barreled, heavy recoiling pistol. SO with the two choices, a 4inch barrel is out of the question.
     
  16. gbran

    gbran Member

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    I have the 454 in a 7 1/2 inch SuperRedhawk and while a bit brutal with high power rounds, the gun is actually packable. For a defense weapon I'd look into the Alaskan model. The 500 S&W platforms are just physically too big to lug around.
     
  17. lloveless

    lloveless Member

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    Zombiphobia wrote: "I will not buy a short-barreled, heavy recoiling pistol. SO with the two choices, a 4 inch barrel is out of the question." So tell us how much of a barrel you desire. Remember you will have to draw that gun with a bear hurtling towards you. Yep I can see it now. Poor guy never had a chance got that long barrel stuck in his holster.
    ll
     
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking when I saw this thread. I like the idea of being able to shoot 4 different calibers in 1 revolver (it shoots the .45 Schofield too) and the .460 S&W Magnum will surely take care of anything that wants to eat you.
     
  19. dnovo

    dnovo Member

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    Again, the 454 is justly known for it's harsh and nigh-on impossible to control recoil. You can get better results with a heavy 44Mag Buffalo Bore load or something like a heavy load 480. Either will take out anything on two or four legs and let you control the gun to deliver a quick second round on target rather than putting your second 454 up in in air while you wait for the gun to return to a horizontal attitude. I have shot all of these and the 454 in any configuration is too much of a beast for my taste. Dave
     
  20. Action_Can_Do

    Action_Can_Do Member

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    I would choose the biggest most powerful handgun I own (if it had to be a handgun) which is my 500 S&W with a 10 and half inch barrel. I would use a 440 gr hard cast hunting bullet loaded as hot as I could get it. In all fairness though, I wouldn't exactly just give up and die if I only had a 454 casull. They can drop a grizzly pretty well.
     
  21. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    When I got a chance to shoot the two side by side both pistols were ported.

    The .500mag was a S&W with 6-1/2" barrel, the .454 was a Taurus Raging Bull with 8-3/8" barrel.

    According to their respective web sites the S&W weighs 60.7oz and the Taurus 62.8oz

    The .454 was still snappier than the .500
     
  22. Buck Snort

    Buck Snort Member

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    The 454 will kill'm dead but the 500 will kill'm deader!
     
  23. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Member

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    Couldn't be from the person shooting while scared poopless missed the mark a bit could it? I mean granted the rounds from a .500 S&W are pretty large ( I use 500 grain JSP in my 4") but you still have to hit the mark pretty well as with ANY cartridge.

    Ammo for either (As far as what you want for defense) is going to be close to the same price. The .500 is a bit more expensive but you are getting a LOT more power for your expenses.

    Here is where you have a problem. I have both the 4" and the 8.53" .500 S&W. The 8+ is scoped and I use it for hunting. I carry the 4" when I am in Grizz country. The recoil is substantial but very manageable both one and two handed. DRAW speed is what you really want in those situations Zombie. In my hunter I load the 300gr LEVERevolution and have yet have an animal take a step after contact. 1 was a 320 pound boar hog.

    I am accurate with my 4" out to 25 yards. Past that and I suck to put it mildly but that is more about me than the weapon.

    To sum it up, I would easily pick the 4" .500 S&W over the .454. More power, the 4" packs well and holsters well. All those saying it is so heavy obviously has not held them both. It is very little more in weight than a .454. It is actually lighter than most of the 6 inch .454's.
     
  24. Zombiphobia

    Zombiphobia Member

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    thanks for all the replies, guys. Outstanding ^^^^^^ that one, that's what I was looking for. Much appreciated


    Added: How about exit wounds, how would you describe that?
     
  25. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Member

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    It varies with the animal as well as the distance. Big and slow tends to not destroy meat like the fast rifle calibres. A couple of deer had baseball size exit wounds when I hit shoulder at pretty close range (around 30 yards) with the 300gr Evo's but I have hit some hogs with 400gr Hard Casts that just blew right threw but of course a .50cal entry and exit wound size is MORE than sufficient to drop pretty much anything that walks. I have blown apart a few 6x6 posts with the 500gr JSP in the 4". Can you say Toothpicks anyone? :)

    Basically, if you want power and reliability, you would be hard pressed to find a better weapon for Grizzly land. Love mine and I feel plenty safe with it on my side.
     
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