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Just how powerful *IS* the .460 S&W Magnum?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by MikeHaas, Nov 13, 2005.

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  1. MikeHaas

    MikeHaas Member

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  2. Rupestris

    Rupestris Member

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    :what: IIRC, One of the local indoor ranges here limits muzzle velocity to 2000 FPS.
    Guess I won't get a chance to rent one there.:p
     
  3. sm

    sm member

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    Yeah well ...

    Still got to nuke 'em from orbit. Only real way to be sure you know...:p

    I dunno, read that and heard that a lot of late, never have posted it...first time for everything I guess...:p
     
  4. fisherman66

    fisherman66 Member

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    not near as powerful as a 300 winmag, but not too bad for a "handgun.";)
     
  5. TMM

    TMM Member

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    i'm thinking i should put the .460 on my "list" to get someday for hunting...

    ~tmm
     
  6. MikeHaas

    MikeHaas Member

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    That Ballistic Comparison Tool displays a lot of great info, but too much to show here. However, shouldn't be too much to show the one chart that impresses ME anyway (but some say I'm easy)...
    [​IMG]

    Yeah, the once-again-American S&W (Yay!) sure is doing a "bang up" job of making up for the sins of the old may-they-rot-British S&W. Guess those anti-gunners learned that you can't own an American gun company and betray American gun owners with partners like the Clinton administration. (I'll restrict my comments to that British firm, since the Blair gov't has been pretty stand-up in the WOT. BTW, a recent non-profit I helped launch this year is http://ProjectBoreSnake.org/ - take a look!)

    Whether you like big rounds or not, who would argue the .460 is "All American", in the tradition of the B-52, A-10 Warthog and the M1 Abrams? Only "we" could build such a brute. :)

    Think of consecutive serial-numbered S&W XVR's, one .460, the other a .500, in a (forget walnut) red, white and blue-tinted thick-glassed box. Remember, you heard it here first. :)
     
  7. brokendreams

    brokendreams Member

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    The .500 Magnum is really not that bad, considering. I mean, all that gun really helps. Now the 3.5 inch, or whatever... I can only imagine (and Imagine I will!).
     
  8. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Tho I have a .454 platform, in SRH and Raging Bull - I do want a 460. main reason being - I can again shoot my .45LC, and my .454 Casull - but also ramp things up to the max with the true 460 load - which as a hunting round does (in theory at least) about eclipse anything much else re handgun stuff.

    I guess unless I get a small lottery win that gun will wait - until which time I don't reckon I'll be too incommoded by the SRH - or come to that even - my BFR with stout loads in 45-70 :)
     
  9. Guns_and_Labs

    Guns_and_Labs Member

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    I think I've found the perfect niche for the .460 S&W... Montana elk hunting in the Restricted Weapons zone, where only handguns or shotguns can be used.

    "Handguns" have to utilize straight-walled cartridges designed for handguns (eliminating the .45-70 in a BFR, I guess).

    My slug gun is not accurate beyond 100 yards, but this seems to extend my range nicely.

    So, either crawl closer or come up with a $1000 for one hunt. Well, I guess my kneepads will last one more year.
     
  10. Cascade Hunter

    Cascade Hunter Member

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    Yep! I bet it will work!

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Cascade Hunter

    Cascade Hunter Member

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    Opps! No images allowed I guess. Try this. (Sorry. I'm new at this.)
     

    Attached Files:

  12. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    That table is severly flawed. They have used a top Hornady load for the .460, and very sedate loads for all the rest. Here are rounded max energy figures for each, listed w/ barrel length required to achieve it:

    .45 ACP: ~550, 5"
    .45 Super: ~650, 5"
    .454 Casull: ~2,100, 7.5"
    .480 Ruger: ~1,400, 7.5"
    .50 AE: ~1,700, 6"
    .460 XVR: ~2,400, 8"
    .500 S&W: ~2,600, 8"
    .308 Win: ~2,700, 22"

    I have .45 auto's (5), a .454, a .50AE and 2 .308's. I have done extensive chronographing. My results pretty much fall in line with claims of premium ammo manufacturers. The exceptions being the .454 and .50 AE, which are not factory loaded anywhere near there abilities within SAAMI spec. I'm betting the .480 could be safely pushed significantly higher as well.

    I'm not disputing the power of the .460, and would like to get one. But it is not as high above the rest as this table would have you believe. And it is not above the .500.
     
  13. kasTX

    kasTX Member

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  14. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    The chart is a good example of the differences between statistics and facts. ;)
     
  15. MikeHaas

    MikeHaas Member

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    As the author of the program that generated the table, I respectfully differ with your assessment.

    1. The Average muzzle energy for the .460 is based on 13 loads, the factory 200 grain load and 12 handloads using Hodgdon powders. The value for the .460 is definitely not that high because we "used a top Hornady load for the .460, and very sedate loads for all the rest" - we didn't! All available loads for all rounds are calculated for each round, and in the case of the more popular rounds, that can be hundreds of loads. Over 60 loads are used to calculate the .500's values - all available on the site - they aren't "picked and chosen" to end up with a specific result.

    2. The reason the .460 has an edge over all the other rounds - including the .500 - is it's maximum average working pressure of 65,000 psi. This is in the realm of high-performance short magnum rifle rounds and long-range competition cartridges - unheard of in handguns, especially revolvers. The .500 does not come close in the regard. Note that the .460 requires special manufacturing techniques the .500 doesn't need to prevent top-strap cutting and throat erosion. It also requires gain-twist rifling (1-in-100 inches at the start of rifling, 1-in-20 at end of barrel.), which the .500 does not. The .460 is simply a much hotter round.

    The full ballistic comparison at http://ammoguide.com/?tool=bcompare&it=30|239|144|193|143|221|389|92 shows how many loads are calculated into each average. The algorithm even uses a weighted average, meaning a predominance of loads using light or heavy bullets will not skew the result.

    Mike Haas
    author, http://ammoguide.com/
     
  16. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Disagree or not, your table does not represent the potential of the other cartridges. The small number of loads currently available for the .460 are all premium hunting loads, where the others have many lower-powered loads that you factor in. That would be like suggesting a GM vehicle has less torque than a Ferrari by averaging the torque of every vehicle in each companies line up. It would be foolish to assume that, by this conclusion, a Ferrari would out-pull a GM Kodiak 6500 HD just because GM has so many lower powered vehicles that bring down the average.

    To make an accurate comparison, you have to take the top performers in each category and compare them, which is what I did.

    And maximum working pressure as rated by SAAMI does not dictate a more powerful round. The .416 Rigby is more powerful than the .416 Rem mag, despite its lower pressures.

    The .460 is a powerful round, but is not more potent than the .500 and is not half again a .454.
     
  17. MikeHaas

    MikeHaas Member

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    >your table does not represent the potential of the other cartridges. The small number of loads currently available for the .460 are all premium hunting loads...

    No, half the loads listed for the .460 are Starting loads, the other half are Maximum loads, as labeled by Hodgdon. Again, your claim is simply not factual. I am not picking and choosing data to arrive at a certain result, but it appears you may be.

    >where the others have many lower-powered loads that you factor in. That would be like suggesting a GM vehicle has less torque than a Ferrari by averaging the torque of every vehicle in each companies line up. It would be foolish to assume that, by this conclusion, a Ferrari would out-pull a GM Kodiak 6500 HD just because GM has so many lower powered vehicles that bring down the average.

    Automobiles? I'm afraid I fail to draw the similarity.

    >To make an accurate comparison, you have to take the top performers in each category and compare them, which is what I did.

    Never heard THAT before. When comparing two objects, it is usually not helpful to consider the extremes in one's available data. Such an approach is vulnerable to specific variations not related to the actual phenomenae under review. For example, a handgun with loose bore, moly'ed bore, tight chambers, etc. - these and other characteristics of a specific handgun will yield different ballistics than another handgun in the same caliber that is at the other end of the scale. The concept of weighted averages takes into account these other factors to a much greater degree and is a more reliable indication of what the average shooter can expect.

    Besides, the .500 has 60 loads on AmmoGuide, and the .460 has only 12 (so far). It is likely that when the .460 has as many posted, it will include a load that exceed that .500 maximum load you want to hang your hat on as proof. That's another example why comparing exdtremes is not reliable.

    >And maximum working pressure as rated by SAAMI does not dictate a more powerful round. The .416 Rigby is more powerful than the .416 Rem mag, despite its lower pressures.

    Again, I believe your analysis is flawed. First, the.416 Rigby is a MUCH larger case - 122 gr. H2O vs. 97 gr. H2O. Who is picking and choosing data now? The Accurate Powder Co. would seem to agree with me: "...Although smaller than the .416 Rigby, the .416 Remington Magnum produces nearly the same ballistics because of its higher working pressure..." It's at http://www.accuratepowder.com/data/...7.pdf#search='416 Rigby 416 Remington magnum'

    Common sense and basic ballistics tell us that, when dealing with similar bore sizes and bullet weights, that a round that develops higher pressure will produce higher velocities and energies. The .460 is simply more powerful because with similar case capcity, it can generate much higher pressures to expel similar-weight bullets than the .500. The .500 has nothing to make up this "edge" because it simply cannot be loaded as hot. When a 300 gr. something whatever leaves the barrel, velocity is determined purely by how much acceleration can be applied to the bullet, not to the caliber stamped on the bottom of the case. That acceleration is determined by the amount of pressure pushing on the base of the bullet (and firearm variations such as friction coefficient of the barrel and other variables INDEPENDANT of the ammunition.)

    >The .460 is a powerful round, but is not more potent than the .500 and is not half again a .454.[/QUOTE]

    That case has yet to be made. It is usually helpful in a discussiont to come up with some verifiable facts rather than stating your opinion as fact. Unfortunately, your opinion violates a few rules of physics as far I can determine.

    Both are very powerful rounds, surely the most powerful 2 in the world.
     
  18. UnTainted

    UnTainted Member

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    460 takes me to montana?

    OK, SO YOU'VE GOT ME INTERESTED NOW...

    I got the 460 mag 2 weeks ago and I'm very interested in finding hunts where handguns have an advantage or are allowed when rifles aren't. what can you tell me about the montana restricted hunts?

    thanks.
     
  19. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    k I'll bite How powerful IS a S&W .460 :neener: :neener:
     
  20. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Averaging out the loads does make the .460 appear to have more of an edge than it really does. I don't know too many tables that cite "AVERAGE" loads. I don't even know what that's supposed to tell us. The .308 is loaded in hundreds of configurations and can certainly best any handgun in a standard hunting load let alone a light magnum at near 3,000 ft lbs. If you want to compare maximum potential power, you cite the maximum potential loads and compare them. If you want to cite maximum potential range of loads, you cite the smallest and the largest and compare the spread. But what does the "average" load tell us? It may just tell us that one cartridge covers more ground than another.

    WHat's an "average" .308 load? Does it even really exist? Do I care? You should redo the chart showing maximum possible loads, since that's what we're really interested in when we ask "just how powerful is the xxxx"
     
  21. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    That is exactly what I am doing. I am picking the top loads for each cartridge.


    :confused: The similarity is in the ill-concieved logic of this averaging technique. Again, compare comparable items, not the average or medium of a sum that is heavily weighted. Apples to apples, if you will.

    We are not comparing different guns and are not arguing a finite 2 or 3 ft/lbs of energy here. We are talking about substantial differences. And in case you hadn't noticed, virtually all publications will compare top performers. To cite automobiles again, when Car&Driver does Mitsubishi vs. Subaru, they compare the Lancer Evo and the WRX, not a 3000GT VR4 vs. Legacy Wagon.

    Sure it is. If that is ever the case, then the .460 will hold the title.

     
  22. UnTainted

    UnTainted Member

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    460 ballistics

    Go to

    http://www.gunsandammomag.com

    to get ballistics charts for penty of cals.

    the 460 is about 2300 feet per second and 2450 lbs muzzle energy. I'll be clocking it myself soon. It doesn't kick as bad as I would have expected with the hunter-compensated barrel from the performance center. i haven't shot the standard 8 inch 460 revolver. p.s. i checked their website, they still haven't updated it with the 460, but it has 500 data. their 2006 annual (on the shelves right now) has the 460 ballistics as well.

    UnTainted
     
  23. Lichen

    Lichen Member

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    Hey, guys,

    I am new here...I have been lurking a little bit for a week or two. It took me about a week to do enough research to make the decision to buy a new 460 XVR. I have owned a .44 mag for a long time, and various rifles and pistols and I'm an arrow shooter, too. I was aware of the .454Casull for some time, and had fired one a few times.I was very impressed.

    But I am now the proud owner of a new 460 S&W XVR, 8 3/8" barrel.

    I have several different types of .454 Casull rounds, a lot of Cowboy Colts, and the Hornady 200gr 'lipstick' rounds, as my wife calls them. I took them to task, along with my .44 mag, to compare these rounds as to penetrating power. I use a peice of 1/2-inch mild steel for this purpose. I set it up at 20 yards, and popped it with the .44 mag first, then the 225gr long Colt, then a 240gr Casull, a 300gr Casull, and finally the 200gr lipstick bullet.

    My .270 pops right through that half-inch steel, even at 100 yards. The Colt .45 rounds barely even dent it at all. The .44 mag puts a respectable ding in it, and so does the 240gr Casull. The 300gr Casull put deep gouge in it. But the lipstick round put a much bigger, deeper pit, shaped like a flower.The Casull round left a much smaller, shallow gouge, much less impressive. The lighter, faster Hornady round is amazing. The 460 is a very strong revolver.
     
  24. Lichen

    Lichen Member

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    I have a question for you guys with more reloading experience than I have:

    I started out with a pound of Unique powder, and was told in a sort of off-hand manner that it's not the right powder. Can someone explain why this powder is wrong? Why does it expand the cases more than Lil' Gun?

    I am chasing the limits. I have already found out that if I put a few grains more Unique powder than recommended, it swells the casings out tight in the cylinder. But I just put 39.5 grains of Lil Gun in a 454 Casull round with -admittedly- a 200grain bullet, and it fired fine, didn't swell the casing at all, and made but a little dent in the steel.


    By the way, for those who feel the Casull is only a little less powerful than the 460 XVR, I have some interesting comparisons to make:

    There is no Casull round to be found that will punch through this piece of 5/16" steel I found. However, the 460 does it easily. Almost all my handloads have, including various experiments with Lil Gun powder, up to 50 grains of powder in both 200gr and 250gr bullets.

    Why does the Unique powder swell the casings? Is it just a more powerful powder, or is it something else?
     
  25. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    All I can say is if you playing with Unique to ''chase limits'' then you are using a powder that is IMO way over the top for burning speed, dangerously so.

    I would class Unique as a mid range powder with a bias towards fast - and is well up on the burning rate chart compared with such ''hot'' load powders as 2400, H-110 etc. That said it could be used to produce light ''powder puff'' loads, I'll grant you, but even so generating a faster burn the pressure peak is likely to be much higher than desirable This is not the same BTW as ''more powerful''! - it just produces a much faster pressure rise.

    I am not surprised and wonder what recommendations were followed because if you are loading to excess with this sort of powder you are treading on very thin ice IMO. I have no loads to hand for 460 but certainly when I reload my .454 I put a 300 grainer over H-110 and would imagine using a similar powder with 460 for full loads.

    As for intentional light loads for that - I would not even bother and would put .45LC ammo thru the gun!
     
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