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

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

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  1. Lichen

    Lichen Member

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    P95Carry,

    Wow, that's a lot more wear than anything I've seen...and even though the angle of the shot does not allow for viewing the forcing cone clearly, I can still see it's much more worn than mine. I suppose it's to be expected. And surely these components can be replaced---for a price.


    Quote:

    "I put this quote in my post above reguarding the 460. Does this seem accurate?

    "with 45 Colt ammo you will be wasting your time. Accuracy is marginal because the bullet is jumping a long distance from the shell to the forcing cone. And some people believe that if you shoot a steady diet of anything other then 460 ammo, you will start to get an erosion ring in the chambers and later 460 ammo wont extract properly."

    1) Does that make sense?
    2) Is the same true for shooting 45 LC out of a 454 super redhawk? If so then the interchangeable rounds seem to have some drawbacks"

    Yes, I wuld say this is probably true---but it's gonna take a lot of shooting to get there. And accuracy with the 45 colt and Casull both are outstanding. I can't tell any difference. The flinch factor even makes the tamer rounds seem to be more accurate than the giant one. It takes real concentration to shoot the 460 because it's hard to get used to the blast. It would probably be easier to shoot without the compensator (less muzzle blast) but the recoil gets hard to handle pretty fast.
     
    Mynameisearl likes this.
  2. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, I don't really wanna carry a handgun afield that's heavier than either my scoped contender or M7 Remington in .308. :rolleyes: Well, it may not be heavier, but it ain't light for hiking. Be a good hunting handgun, but I don't need that kind of power for deer and hogs and there ain't no elephants in Texas. If there were, I'd buy a .460 Weatherby, anyway.

    Handguns of this level are over the top to me. Anything past .454 casull and I'm out. I used to think the same about Contenders, though, until I got one, so whadda I know. Cheaper to remain ignorant, I guess. :D

    Be a good caliber for a lever carbine, but then, I guess the .45-70 sort of makes it redundant. Then, too, I COULD get a .45-70 barrel for my Contender if I were masochistic, a hand held artillery piece.
     
  3. Lichen

    Lichen Member

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    Yes, it's a really heavy gun...and even the super blackhawk .44 mag I have is really heavy for hiking. But I suppose if I were to go to Alaska, I'd be happy to take the big gun, just in case.

    460 Weatherby is an awesome gun...8,000 foot pounds of kinetic energy, wowsers.

    A herd of screaming beercans? LOL...

    I shot the 460 XVR at a steel wheel rim a hundred yards away, and I found out that at that distance, a lot of punch is gone already. Still plenty to kill with, I'm sure, but sort of disapointing. Of course, we were hitting it with my .44mag, too, which at 100 yards barely marked that wheel rim. It was made out of some pretty tough stuff, hardened steel.

    I wonder if there's any real point in hunting with the 460 if it's going to ruin meat...unless I can get a headshot or a neck shot. Meantime, I'll just use my winchester .270 for that. It works much better for neck shots, which are my favorite.
     
  4. VC

    VC Member

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    Reality Check about the .460

    Dear Reader,

    I stumbled into the ongoing discussion about pushing the limits of the new .460 revolver somewhat by accident. Ordinarily I would not engage in such an on line debate about anything, but what I read moved me so that I joined THR for the sole purpose of responding to the efforts of one individual to find the edge of the envelope regarding the .460 cartridge. Stated another way, I felt I had a duty to respond in the hopes of saving someone, or thier family from an otherwise horrible and unnecessary tradgedy.

    To be clear, I own a .460. I researched the weapon for months before I purchased it and read everything I could find about its benefits before trading in my beloved .44 mag on the new .460 I bought. I even waited until the initial modifications to the reciever were standard - not an after thought to the production line. In all, I thought I had made a rational and well considered purchase, which as a researcher (my previous life) I was compelled to do.

    For background, I now work as a farmer. I must carry a weapon daily for safety (cougars) and crop damage control (black tail deer). My .44 was a good weapon but not capable - unscoped in my hands - of humane kills at the distances I must acquire and quickly respond to threats with. Including at night, when most of our work must be done. The .460 as "advertised" sounded like a reasonable solution to our problems and the gain twist feature something I could understand and believe in. The "advertisd" recoil sounded manageable - including off-hand - which at night is a necessity whan the other has a light or other gear in it. [We have all the permits required to control crop damage at night; it is regulated but legal].

    Anyway, the weapon I first recieved was nothing of what I expected and very little of what was "advertized." I will spare you the litany and cut to the chase here:

    That weapon started to jamb and impede cylinder rotation and casing extraction by about the 50th FACTORY 200 Gr. SST load. It went back to the manufacturer FOUR times before they themselves replaced it in whole. The last replacement is now back at the factory UNFIRED as it had obvious flaws that even the dealer through whom this saga has evolved noticed on unpacking.

    This exchange has taken about six months to evolve and I must say that while it has been frustrating to spend a thousand dollars on a weapon that is essentially useless and manifestly dangerous to me, the manufacturer has been patient and ultimately lived up to thier lifetime warantee. It did take more effort than I thought it needed to to recognize in the first weapon that the cylinder bore shape had changed and to admit that being able to fire more than two consecutive rounds without having to "hammer" the casings out or reseat unfired cartridge so the cylinder could rotate again... was a bit unrealistic in a "here comes the cougar again" situation.

    To restate the obvious: the above was with FACTORY loads and I saved all the brass I could remove from the weapon to prove it - though 10 rounds went back to the manufacturer stuck in the cylinder (on two sepreate returns).

    From a practical standpoint, I had come to the opinion that this could be a fine weapon for my use if it was DOWN loaded to a more manageable recoil level and muzzel flash. I did get tired of being hit in the face with ejected mass on every discharge as well (left side only ??) and that there is absolutely no good reason to support the weapon on the hood of my truck, the side of a trellis post, or other object unless you wanted to flame cut that object too or suffer further ejected mass.

    I could go on, but simply close with an appeal to the writer determined to push the envelope of the .460... Buy a TC single shot and experiment with that in a vise and a leash if you must persist in this risk to your life. There was a great comparison article between the two weapons in the same calibre in a popular shooting magazine some time ago that I think you would appreciate.

    Also, find the copy of HANDLOADER magazine that specifically described safe - and unsafe - ranges for this cartridge and how to get what you are looking for in terms of performance from this round.

    Last, I appeal to your senses with sincere respect for the life of another human being: what possibly can you accomplish that would not be better served by a simple change in projectile mass and shape? CorBon has already tried all the experiments either of us will probably concieve and put safe rounds of all descriptions on the shelf for our use. If you still feel like you need more than say a 395 grain hard cast bullet has to offer in that calibre then maybe you are trying to turn the .460 into a Barret .50, which I for one would not find very practical to ride around o the tractor with...

    I your defense: I made a good living pushing the envelope in many scientific realms and practical applications. I respect that ability and need in a person but can state from experience that your faith in "stainless" or the repeatable accuracy (manufacturing error and tolerances) in this case are way overstated. In fact they are dangerous assumptions.

    With this I remain yet a loyal S&W customer, but a wiser one than I was before "experimenting" with this weapon. May you be more fortunate.
     
  5. Lichen

    Lichen Member

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    I stand appreciative of the previous post. Thanks for your words of caution and your valuable experiences.

    For the record, the only shells that became stuck in my new 460 were ones I purposely loaded to 53 grains in the 460 round, 23gr in the 45 colt, and 48 grains in the 454 casull.

    Otherwise, I have no problems. I have found I can load the 460 shell to 50gr with no shell expansion strong enough to make it hard to eject the shells. I can see no stress cracks, and the cylinder turns fine. The gun works perfectly, and if it ever malfunctions, I will report it here.

    I also appreciate the words of encouragement viv-a-vis buying a TC and putting it in a vice with a leash, and someday, I may do just that. I'll find the hottest powder and compact it in the shell, and see what I can get in blowing holes in 1/2" steel plate and speed over a chrono...but for now, I'll just load my 460 rounds about 2grains hot, and call it good enough while I attempt to master the actual firing with accuracy of this monster magnum.

    If it does blow up on me, and I live through it, I will bring the tale here first.

    Shane
     
  6. Redhawk1

    Redhawk1 Member

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    I have been shooting the 460 Mag for a few years now, I never had a problem with anything at all. My buddies that bought some of my 460 Mag are not having any problem either. One of my buddies only shoots the factory 200 gr. bullets in his. He has shot the heck out of that gun. Me I reload and shoot 300 and 325 gr. hard cast bullets only in mine. Not one problem with any of the 460 Mags I have owned.
    Here is the list of 460's I have owned. 2 of the 7.5 inch PC models 2 of the 8 3/8 inch models and a 5 inch. I only have one of my PC models left, all my buddies now own the others.

    But no problem with any of the 460 Mag at all.
     
  7. Lichen

    Lichen Member

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    Redhawk,

    Does your 460 mag show any flame cutting? Does the forcing cone show much pitting?

    How many rounds have you touched off through it? (The one you use the most, I assume it's a pc model, the only one you have left?) Do you just plink with it, or what?

    I have figured my reloads at $.25 apiece, as opposed to the $1.35 for factory loads. Pretty cheap plinking, overall.

    Also, I'd appreciate some feedback from you on my stuper-loads. I have backed off, and fear for my safety (a healthy fear, I'm certain) has made me decide to keep them down perhaps just a grain or so above recommended loads. What are your thoughts on whether I have possibly weakened my 460 mag to the point it's now dangerous?
     
  8. Redhawk1

    Redhawk1 Member

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    Lichen, my PC model have about 1400 rounds fired through it. 99% have been 460 Mag loads. All reloads, no factory ammo. I have no signs of flame cutting what so ever and no erosion in the forcing cone. When I am plinking with my 460 Mag, it is with 460 Mag ammo that I hunt with, I bought my guns to shot the 460 Mag. I don't care for the 454 Casull or 45 Colt rounds in my 460 Mag, I have other guns made for them rounds. If I want to shoot 45 Colts, I will shoot my Ruger Blackhawk, you get the idea.

    I could not tell you if you have done any damage or not to your gun with them loads you were shooting, the only way is to have the gun magna fluxed to see if there is any cracks or damage done. My advice to you is, stay within the reloading data, no need to go over recommended data. If you want to shot hot 454 Casull's, just jump to the 460 Mags.
     
  9. VC

    VC Member

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    Last and final .460

    Dear Reader,

    After three replacement weapons I regret to report that the last is no better than the first and scheduled to be returned in due course for a new .44.

    Given the failure of the third replacement weapon I again caution you to please be careful with even factory ammunition, inspect the weapon carefully and regularly with use, and above all to take a scientific and ratinal approach to experiments with this platform.

    Last, if you don't believe me: search the web for the videos of it being blown out of peoples hands, scopes being torn off by the recoil, and pictures of the muzzle flash travelling backwards towards the shooter. There are more posted every day...

    I really wanted this weapon to work for me, in my aplication, as an everyday companion. As it stands, it is with regret that I feel the safest and most responsible thing I can do is to return to farming life armed with "just" a .44.

    Nevertheless, I wish you better fortune and peace,

    VC
     
  10. Redhawk1

    Redhawk1 Member

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    VC, you lost me. Are you talking about the 460 MAG?? If so, it is news to me about all the "videos of it being blown out of peoples hands, scopes being torn off by the recoil, and pictures of the muzzle flash traveling backwards towards the shooter." Now the only thing I can agree with is the muzzle flash, but it is nothing that will hurt the shooter.

    I have never and I mean never seen a S&W 460 mag fly out of anyone's hand, as for the scope, it could of been a poor mounting system. Like I said, I have owned 5 of the S&W 460 mags, all with a scope or red-dot, and I never had a scope fly off. That is with thousands of rounds fired. :D

    These are handguns, or a firearm, not Weapons as you keep calling them . "A weapon is an item that is intended for use in combat - to injure, kill, disarm or incapacitate an opponent or victim, or to otherwise render resources non-functional or unavailable.

    Weapons may be used to attack and defend, and consequently also to threaten or protect. Metaphorically, anything used to damage (even psychologically) can be referred to as a weapon. A weapon can be as simple as a club or as complex as an intercontinental ballistic missile."

    "A handgun is a firearm designed to be used in a handheld fashion. This handheld character differentiates handguns as a general class of firearms"

    :D
     
  11. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    Wow, What an old thread going on!

    My wife got her .460 for Christmas. She (and myself somewhat) have shot probably 500 rounds through it, about 90% reloaded .460. We have had one problem - when I first started reloading I worked up a box of 250 gr bullets with only 35gr of H110. Don't ask me what I was thinking. She got powder burns on one hand because of inadequate ignition due to too little powder. I now load 46grains H110 behind the 250gr bullet, but I prefer Lil' Gun over the H110.

    I think the video's of the gun flying out of the hand and scopes ripped off, etc are the custom built .500 (or .600) Nitro Express on an Encore (http://www.metacafe.com/watch/363927/nitro_express_pistol/). We love the .460 and have not seen any signs of wear. It's great when my wife starts shooting at the indoor range - she will shoot a box of 20 at a time - and usually attracts a lot of attention.
     
  12. MikeHaas

    MikeHaas Member

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    Where did you get the value of 53 grains? I don't own a .460, but a 250 gr bullet in front of 53 gr. Lil'Gun appears to be dangerously overloaded in the .460 - likely in the realm of proof loads. it's maximum working pressure is STILL only in the area of 65KPSI.

    I must caution you to learn about the concept of a STARTING LOAD, otherwise you are certain to experience a major failure sooner or later, no matter what gun, no matter what cartridge.

    I looked on my site...
    .460 Smith & Wesson Magnum - http://ammoguide.com/?catid=389
    ...and found a (non-starting) Lil'Gun load for a 250 grain bullet. Based on the "reduce by 5%" rule, I would have started with about 40 grains. I don't have a 250 gr bullet/Lil'Gun maximum load listed, but I suspect 53 is several grains above it. For a 260 gr. bullet, a maximum Lil'Gun charge is about 46 grains.

    Using charge weights calculated by the seat of your pants is not a safe approach to reloading. If you have a reloading resource that recommended that load, what was it? They should be informed.

    Be careful out there, now - every taxpayer is important! :)

    Mike Haas
    http://AmmoGuide.com/
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2007
  13. BM59

    BM59 Member

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    Sabot for .460?

    I took advantage of the S&W employee's discount offered at the range I work at towards the end of last month, and since S&W was offering their $99 Sigma special with the purchase of a .460, sent in the money for the Performance Center 12" Hunter. The employee's discount made it a deal too hard to refuse, I got it for less than dealer's cost. The funds were sent in a anner to arrive in time to qualify for the $99 Sigma, but the package has not arrived yet, I anticipate it's arrival any day.

    I have shot the .500 at the range, definately a handful.

    But my real question is, has anyone considered what velocities might be obtained by using a sabot down to say, .357 caliber out of the .460? It would seem that such an approach might make it possible to push a .357 projectile out to well over 3,000 fps.
     
  14. roger460xvr

    roger460xvr Member

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    Redhawk1 said it all...460xvr is the king of the hand gun revolvers for hunting..Ive got over 800 to 900 hand loads out of mine no problems....powerful just RIGHT.......ROGER460xvr
     

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  15. Eddie L

    Eddie L Member

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    Be careful with the top-strap cutting. In the welding inspection field and metalurgical studies, the cutting contributes to what is called the notch-effect.the results are similar to cutting part way across a 2x4 and reducing the strength. Eddie L (new know it all)
     
  16. Redhawk1

    Redhawk1 Member

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    I have a couple of thousand rounds down my 460 Mag and no top-strap cutting, I also use 300 gr. bullets not going 2300 fps either.
     
  17. AgentOrange

    AgentOrange Member

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    (master of old thread revival!)

    i have put probably 5500 rounds of 240 and 250gr hornady XTPs i handloaded with 44.5gr o lilgun down the pipe on mine, and have no pitting, no flamecutting,ect. thats not even counting the few thousand 45 colts and 454 cashulls ive shot

    i love my 460 ( and my 500) to death. only thing i dont like about them is the intense cleaning you have to give them ater each range session. i tear mine down, take the cylinder and crane o the rame,ect and scrub it down good. looks like new each time too!

    tip:

    when cleaning the 460 or 500, go to the auto parts house and buy a pack o detailing brushes. they come in a 3 pack with 1 brass, 1 nylon and 1 stainless bristles. the nylon is great or scrubbing in and around the barrel throat, and the stainless is super or removing heat rings and grime without scratching the gun at all.

    also i you shoot lead, invest in a box of choreboy copper scrubbers. there creat or removing lead and rings inside cylinders if you shoot the shorter 45 colt and casull rounds.
     
  18. AGL_Alaska

    AGL_Alaska Member

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    Just purchased a Smith XVR - I bought a box of Buffalo Bore ammo with it and so far have only managed to get 5 rounds the heavy BB ammo thru it. After the 2nd shot the cyl bound up and I had to punch the cases out of the cylinder with a wodden dowl. 2nd try I got 3 rounds off before the cylinder bound up.. found out the primers had blown out of 2 of the rounds and one was binding the cylinder. I've posted on an Alaskan Form and quite a few guys have been having trouble with the Buffalo Bore Ammo.. anyone on this form have trouble with this stuff. (I put a dozen rounds of .45 long colt thru it to try to "polish out the cylinder" - didn't seem to help). The guys on the Alaska Form are telling me not to shoot the BB Ammo for fear of the gun blowing up - like LICHEN posted above... I 'hope' that a good revolver should be able to handle ANY Factory load sold for it. I really like the revolver and I like being able to punch a bunch of Long Colt thru it but don't want to adverscly effect the gun by running shorter cartriges thru it... Comments?
     
  19. Evil One

    Evil One Member

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    Since these are hunting rounds... post energy and velocity at 50-100 yards.
    Thats more of a story than at the muzzle... unless you are belly gunning the deer... :D


    Jim
     
  20. smac

    smac Member

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    The 460 is capable of higher muzzle energy

    The 460 has a greater case capacity and can produce more foot pounds of energy. Here are some published loads:

    460 S&W: 335 grain at 2064 fps out of an 8 3/8ths barrel for 3169 foot pounds / Efficacy 513
    460 S&W: 300 grain at 2080 fps out of an 8 3/8ths barrel for 2882 foot pounds / Efficacy 467
    460 S&W: 395 grain at 1796 fps out of an 8 3/8ths barrel for 2829 foot pounds / Efficacy 458
    460 S&W: 360 grain at 1864 fps out of an 8 3/8ths barrel for 2777 foot pounds / Efficacy 450
    500 S&W Corbon load: 325 grain at 1800 fps 2338 foot pounds / Efficacy 459
    500 S&W: 360 at 1843 fps out of an 8 3/8ths barrel for 2715 foot pounds / Efficacy: 440
    500 S&W Corbon load: 440 grain at 1625 fps for 2578 foot pounds / Efficacy: 507
    500 S&W: 700 grain at 1300 fps out of an 8 3/8ths barrel for 2627 foot pounds / Efficacy 516

    Compare loads at: http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=460%20SqqqW%20Magnum&Weight=All&type=Handgun&Order=Powder&Source=
    Muzzle energy / Efficacy calculator http://billstclair.com/energy.html
     
  21. smac

    smac Member

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    The 460 is capable of higher muzzle energy

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  22. richw

    richw Member

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    These cartridges really won't be interesting until someone makes a .460 S&W Maximum or a .500 S&W Maximum...I mean really...
     
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