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S&W 500 loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Constrictor, Jul 5, 2012.

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  1. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    Im looking at component prices for this cartridge and am not coming up with any savings over the $1.65 per shell i can buy them for. anyone got any sources or info on components any cheaper? I like to buy in bulk so thats not a problem.

    Edit: jacketed bullets only
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    You should be able to get the components for around $250 for 1000, not including the brass.. just get like 50-100 pieces of brass.

    Oh, I didn't see your edit.. I initially posted the above using lead prices and found that plated is actually cheaper than the first place I looked.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  3. Strongbad

    Strongbad Member

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    It's quite a bit cheaper to handload them if you're comparing to any of the premium offerings. Sticking solely to jacketed here per your request. Here's some math.

    Figuring on a 50 ct. quantity of handloaded ammo

    Hornady FTX Bullets $26.50 / 50 rds $.53
    Approx 175 rds per lb of powder @ $25 per lb = $.14 / rd
    Starline Brass - $27 / 50 = $.54
    Primers $.05 / rd
    _______________________________________

    $1.29 / rd

    Now, this is assuming virgin brass every time. The Starline stuff should last you conservatively 10 rds, so now you're down to $.05 /rd on the brass.

    Now you're at $.80 /rd. A quick glance at Midway shows that @ $.80 /rd you're running about 1/2 of what their lowest price offering is for factory loaded jacketed ammo.

    Trust me, it's worth it. You could get it down even lower with cheaper bullets like the Berry's etc. but you can't drive them as hard as a regular jacketed in the 500.
     
  4. arthury

    arthury Member

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    I have never seen complete 500SW cartridges sold for under $2.25 per round. Where are you seeing $1.65? The ones I have seen so far fall into this price range $2.50-$6.50 per round.

    Why only jacketed bullets? There are many decent lead bullet dealers in the country and the issue with lead fouling is not because it's lead bullet but gas-cutting. Gas-cutting will disappear if you get the right sized bullet for your chamber throat.

    Also, if you cast your own, it will drive the price down even more. As you can see, one of the largest costs is the bullet among the rest of the components in post #3.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  5. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    Well, there's your problem. Shoot lead and you can get the price down to about 25¢ a round. I get my bullets from my local gunstore, but they are the same as these: http://cliffsgunsmithing.com/Cat_BC4850.htm
     
  6. Strongbad

    Strongbad Member

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    He's probably like me and doesn't want to screw with the cleanup lol. I shoot my 500 S&W quite a bit, and even then shooting jacketed isn't that expensive, not to me anyway. Everything is relative I suppose.

    Arthury, I checked Midway this morning and they had factory loads with jacketed bullets for ~ 1.65 /rd
     
  7. mahansm

    mahansm Member

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    Watch for the Midway blemished bullet sale; last time they had the Hornady FTX 300 grain included. I got a couple hundred but they sold out quickly.
     
  8. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    Ok this gives me some good info.
    I would have thought the reason i wanted to stay with jackets
    would be obvious to experienced shooters, leading. of course
    when you shoot the biggest handgun in the world ( i know there
    are bigger) you want to push it what it can do. Little by little
    ive switched over all my magnum pistols to jackets because of
    leading. And yeah, i like to shoot light loads most of the time and
    for that i get out the .38 special. absolutely love shooting it.

    I had been searching and was only finding bullets that were over
    a buck each and it didnt look like much savings.
     
  9. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    You can throw a plain base lead slug out of a barrel pretty/plenty fast, no problems.
    I'd say without even slugging the bore and chambers, just go ahead and buy like 50-100 normal hardness (around 12 brinell) lead slugs and see how she does. Or get plated.. your targets won't really care that it's not an "uberperforming hi-tech" slug. anyway
     
  10. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    I don't get any leading in my 500 and I load above book max. Of course it only has a 2 3/4" barrel, so a 340 grain bullet tops out at around 1450 fps.
     
  11. arthury

    arthury Member

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    If your lead bullet's diameter is around 0.001" bigger than the chamber throat, leading should not occur because the seal is going to be good during the discharge.

    Take a look at this article. You'd probably learn a lot from it. I know I did.
    http://www.montanabulletworks.com/page9.html
     
  12. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    And the chamber throat not smaller than the barrel's groove diameter, too, I think. Am I correct in that?

    Gas checks do wonders to reduce leading.

    But the biggest factor is fit to bore (thanks Arthury) and lead hardness (thanks, Certaindeaf).

    My friend shoots 500 S&W and gets his cast lead slugs from a local caster who does a lot of bullets for power-hungry shooters out of a very hard composition. $0.75 per round is what it works out to.

    Besides, isn't lead easier to get out of the bore than copper fouling?

    Lost Sheep

    p.s. I have not read this yet, but it came highly recommended. It may have value for you before you give up completely on lead bullets. (Lead is favored for self-defense against thickskinned game, like bears and wild pig.)

    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chapter_7_Leading.htm
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  13. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    I shoot hard cast gas check bullets exclusively out of my 500 Handi-Rifle and I drive the 350 grainers at 2200fps. My barrel stays shiney clean, like a mirror, without cleaning. All powder and residue burns completely up in that long of a barrel and a full charge load.
    Utter destruction at anything it hits.
     
  14. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Member

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    Yes, much easier. The trick is to not use ANY solvent first, just run a dry patch down the bore after shooting to remove the loose powder fouling, then take a worn bore brush and wrap Chore Boy pieces around it until it fits TIGHT in the bore. 5-10 strokes back and forth in the bore and it will look like new. Be sure you do this over a paper towel or something, as you will have lead shavings and dust coming out both ends of the barrel (if you have any real leading).
     
  15. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    Here I am a year later, just came home with a brand new smith and Wesson 500 magnum revolver. Now those $1.65 are $3.00.
    I notice bullets range from 275g to 500 g. What is the preferred weight for target shooting? I bet those 500 grainers kick like a mother. I can't wait to shot this thing!
     
  16. Rangemaster

    Rangemaster Member

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    I reload 500 s&w and find for target shooting the 350 gr bullets work the best for shooting targets. I also load 500 gr bullets to shoot for the thrill of the power.

    When I shoot the 500 gr rounds, I can only shoot about 10 rounds before I rest to my shooting hand.
     
  17. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    Ok i spent about 5 hours, and $1.100.00 and got 2 sets of dies, 300 hornady brass, 550 various bullets including cast lead gas checked from 350 grain to 700 grain. 8 pound jug of lil gun ( would love to try the N10 but none available) so this has been a very expensive week but i am very excited.

    I read this article http://john-ross.net/pdfs/maghist.pdf
    very interesting to note one guy hit a 55 gallon barrel 50 times strait
    without missing at 700 yards, and these bullets will go through 36" thick oak!
    this baby is a beast!
     
  18. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Heh, sounds like fun. I'd get a $20 Lee mold and some lead too.
     
  19. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    In Anchorage, jacketed 500 S&W were $3.00 each two years ago. I have not checked availability or price lately.

    Lost Sheep
     
  20. Shrinkmd

    Shrinkmd Member

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    You can definitely make up some lead rounds, even plain base. My fun plinking load is a 330gr lead boolit over 34gr of 2400. I am hoping the cases make 10 loads, which brings this into the $0.28 cent range per round. Of course, I bought once fired 500 brass from TJ Conevera which brings my cost down...
     
  21. Constrictor

    Constrictor Member

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    It looks like if the brass last 10 times I can get lead loads down to .29 and sierra jacketed loads to .85 each. Looks like I'll be shooting a lot of lead loads!
     
  22. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    The biggest thing with the brass is the crimp. The more crimp the more you work and therefore weaken the brass necks. I get my lead GC bullets from Matts Bullets and I recommend them highly. I originally got some of the 650~ grain hollow point GC lead bullets from Snuffy to try about a year ago. They worked so well I ended up purchasing some 700 grainers from Mats Bullets. Those are what you want to use to impress someone! They are flying ashtrays IMHO.:D I use Lil Gun and H110 with good results, depending on whatever I happen to have the most of on hand at the time. I like the 450 GCSWC from Matts with Lil Gun the best for target work as far as accuracy myself.
     
  23. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    What's a "flying ashtray"? The 700 grain bullets are long. I thought the "flying ashtray" moniker was usually applied to a bullet whose length was less than its diameter.

    Just curious. I have heard the term over the years but never really gotten a definition other than that there was a bullet made of multiple stacked disks that was intended to separate into individual "flying ashtrays" and deliver multiple hits from a single (handgun) cartridge. They never caught on.

    Thanks. Please forgive the detour from the thread's original focus.

    Lost Sheep
     
  24. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Just referring to a big 'ol hunk of lead cylinder lobbed slowly down range.:D When that flat nose projectile hits a spruce tree it looks like you tried to shoot a Volkswagen through it. Yeah the term is really for short round WC type projectiles resembling an ashtray IIRC.
     
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