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  #1  
Old 03-28-2012, 08:52 AM
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Default 500 Magnum recoil?

How does shooting a steel framed J frame like a 2" 60 with warmer 357 loads compare to a 500 S&W? I've shot some 158 gr loads which go about 1250 out of a 4" barrel, and they felt pretty explosive in a little gun. I was able to shoot about 30 of these loads before taking a break for the day. (well my skin cracked open and started bleeding between my thumb and pointer finger)

So what do 350 gr rounds feel like out of a 8 or 10.5" 500 S&W?
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:34 AM
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It is absolutely different....I know we can hot rod little guns and get them to really sting our hand...like the little j frames or even the 329pd 44mag. But Nothing will equal the power generated by the huge mass of a 350 or a 450 grain bullet leaving in a hurry.

Now take the 400grain bullet and send it at a scorching 1805 fps...you will get all of the snap and high speed recoil of the little guns plus the inertia of 400 grains of lead leaving in a hurrry.

I'll finish by saying the 500 is not really that bad and I really enjoy shooting my 4" with 350 Berry's/xtp's and 450Kieth's....but 1000fps is the sweet spot. You never really escape the force generated by the bullet's mass...there is nothing that compares or feels like a huge bullet leaving, I don't care how hot you load a 357.

Last edited by freedom 475; 03-28-2012 at 05:55 PM. Reason: wrong bullet weight
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:43 AM
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The 500 is more like a long, slower recoil for me. Much more powerful. I only shot my long barrel PC 500 twice. After two shots I sold it. Enough for me. And I like recoil.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:48 AM
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I am now quite used to the recoil characteristics whilst firing my 26 ounce 329PD with 240 gr. loads at 1200+ FPS.

I have absolutely ZERO urge to ever fire the 500 magnum, ever.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:15 PM
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i have a 7.5"hunter model 500 mag.from the performance center...love it...its more of a push back into the hand and is quite managable...i hunt with mine and so far have taken several boars,a merino ram,4-horn ram,and a mouflon ram...love mine!
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:18 PM
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Zero interest? Even working up with handloads? I see it as a challenge to overcome. I've heard the stories about 629's for sale ANIB with a half a box of ammo leftover as well.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:48 PM
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One thing you always have to consider when people say the .500 doesn't kick is what kind of load did they shoot.

When the .500 was new, many people got to demo the gun using the relatively wimpy 275 gr commercial load, a load that is a piddler in a gun as heavy as an 8 3/8" .500 Mag. Of course, they might not have been impressed, a different story had they shot the 440 gr Cor Bons. Don
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:52 PM
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I have a 6.5" 500.

When different caliber handgun recoil is being compared it's important to consider the weight of the handguns in the equation.

The 500's are big handguns. That metal mass dampens much of the "sharp" recoil felt with the smaller calibers but adds to the weighted "push back" felt with the 500.

Many people who don't reload don't realize what an adaptable and pleasant caliber the 500 can be to shoot when powders like Trail Boss, Unique and others are available for reduced loads.

The best suggestion I could give about a 500 purchase is if you are in the least bit recoil sensitive and you don't reload, needing to rely completely on available hot factory ammo, don't buy a 500.. Reloading permits us to tailor-make the ammo to fit our recoil tolerance level and usage needs, all for 1/3 the cost.

The 500 is a wonderful caliber but not for the new or occasional shooter, or those who don't reload or have access to a friend who reloads, IMO. Like the smaller framed light weight magnums, it is an excellent tool for its intended purpose but not a "fun" gun to shoot all day like many others...
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShrinkMD View Post
How does shooting a steel framed J frame like a 2" 60 with warmer 357 loads compare to a 500 S&W? I've shot some 158 gr loads which go about 1250 out of a 4" barrel, and they felt pretty explosive in a little gun. I was able to shoot about 30 of these loads before taking a break for the day. (well my skin cracked open and started bleeding between my thumb and pointer finger)

So what do 350 gr rounds feel like out of a 8 or 10.5" 500 S&W?
Are you considering purchasing a 500 or just asking out of curiosity? It's hard to compare perceived recoil of a J-frame vs an X-frame 500... They are two totally different animals... True a 500 has significant recoil... however it has a much larger handle to give you a solid grip, plus overall the gun is pretty heavy to also help absorb recoil.

I just shot a Magnum Research BFR in 500 S&W a little bit ago for a case I had and I used 500 grain Hornady ammo.. The heavier the bullet.. the more the recoil! The recoil is stout but manageable... this particular model has a pretty long barrel... I shot it off hand, but if I were to own one with that long of barrel I would take a rest off something if I were shooting it for accuracy... which again would help with recoil. I know they are also making 500 S&W Special ammunition now if recoil was that big of concern or werent interested in reloading...

If you have a particular application (hunting.. just plinking, etc) we could probably give you better advice for comparisons. For the most part (not always) the 500 is a niche setup that you will take to the range and shoot a box or two of ammo here or there... Or setup for hunting... It's probably not something you would take to the range to shoot all day long...

Oh and if you hear of any of those 629s for sale ANIB with half of box of ammo, let me know! I love 629s!

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Old 03-28-2012, 03:38 PM
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Ha ha. My 629 has already seen more than a box or two! But it's only seen about 10 or 15 rounds of factory. 2400 and hard cast bullets go together well.

The purpose is purely plinking, long range plinking, and an excuse for more dies, brass, powders, etc. I really plan on getting one.
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:16 PM
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In a nutshell, the 500 lets you know for sure its there but its not really all that bad. Frankly, I'm a little tired of hearing scenarios like "I bought one, shot it twice and sold it." I have the 6 1/2" version and I love it!

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Old 03-28-2012, 04:57 PM
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After I shot the 500 it ruined my aim on other handguns for the day. I was actually hitting the dirt with my glocks after that because the 500 messed me up mentally

It was fun though.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mclark202 View Post
After I shot the 500 it ruined my aim on other handguns for the day. I was actually hitting the dirt with my glocks after that because the 500 messed me up mentally

It was fun though.
Hmmmm.... Kind of an "off the wall" way for ShrinkMD to gain new patients. Perhaps he can advise here..

Actually most people have found shooting a 500 has greatly improved their control and accuracy with hot loaded 41 and 44 Mags. The big gun can make those notorious high recoil calibers seem docile by comparison...
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:33 PM
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Closest I have experienced was firing a light, pistol gripped 12ga. shotgun with magnum slug loads. The shove is the same IMHO but the initial snap is different. The heavy loaded 500 shoves HARD without much snap but you know something big left quickly.

Firing heavy loads 1/2 a box or 25 rounds makes for a work out. Loaded down you can fire it all day.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by PA Reb View Post
In a nutshell, the 500 lets you know for sure its there but its not really all that bad. Frankly, I'm a little tired of hearing scenarios like "I bought one, shot it twice and sold it." I have the 6 1/2" version and I love it!
Maybe they were shootin these.... Try em.... WILD!



500 mag with 700 grain bullet - YouTube

Scroll down on next link...bottom load.
http://www.ballisticsupply.net/Defau...x?tabid=252105
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:05 PM
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Maybe they were shootin these.... Try em.... WILD!



500 mag with 700 grain bullet - YouTube

Scroll down on next link...bottom load.
WWW.BALLISTICSUPPLY.NET > 500 Smith & Wesson ( DNN 2.1.2 )
That guy was in for an obvious surprise right from the get go. He's an "I'll buy one cause they're the new fad" kinda guy and is clueless. I'd bet he sold it this next day!
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:20 PM
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Default Hunter Model 6.5"

I purchased a S&W 500 that has a tapered barrel lug, and a full quarter rib that also tapers. The barrel is 6.5", and added to that is 1" compensator. I haven't been able to shoot it yet. I'm not afraid of the recoil, but I have a healthy respect for it. What other handgun round uses a large rifle primer?
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:37 PM
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My S&W PC 500 recoiles up & not that bad to me.
Here is the Granson @ 16 shooting it.


When he shot my M29, he said "Papa, that hurt!"

And my reloads for the 500 are not wimps.....
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:03 PM
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Smile RECOIL?

Of course there is recoil. However, if your are holding on a 6pt Elk, or even a nice wild boar, recoil doesn't matter. Do I want to spend a day on the range going through a couple hundred rounds, well, maybe not.

ELK READY:
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:08 AM
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I have owned and shot each barrel length in the 500 (2 1/2" Bear gun, 4" and 8 3/8th). I currently have just the 6.5". I reload and have shot everything from wimp loads to the 700 grain hot loaded. The most interesting load was 50 grains of black powder behind the Lyman 515141 bullet. Smoke and kick, shoot and wait for the area to clear to check targets.
Its a matter of perspective and training. Start out light and work up. I got one of the first 500's in Utah back in the day and shot the hell out of it. Now I use 12 grains of unique behind a Lee 350 grain hollow based mini ball. Its the full wadcutter from hell. I can say that two or three cylinders of the hot stuff is about all I care for in one setting though. Its a fun gun and you sure feel more manly after shooting it than you would with a 22.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:17 AM
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I put a scope on mine only because as I get older, a scope may help in hunting.
One deer 5 or 6 years ago was OK, but at only 35 Yds.



Looks nice to me....
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 1sgpierce View Post
The most interesting load was 50 grains of black powder behind the Lyman 515141 bullet. Smoke and kick, shoot and wait for the area to clear to check targets.
I am definitely not trying to be nasty toward you here, I do some different things with reloading myself. I'm curious why you would try black powder when it is certainly inferior as a propellant when compared to smokeless and there are so many good smokeless powders for the .500? Don
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:08 PM
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Been shooting the S&W 500 Mag for many years, all I can say is, it depends on the load you are shooting. My 700 gr. at 1250 fps is brutal, and my 275 gr. load is like shooting a hot 44 Mag. I have shot a light weight S&W in 357 Mag, that had a very hard recoil, and I would rather shoot my 500 Mag then the light weight 357 Mag any day.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:22 PM
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I put a scope on mine only because as I get older, a scope may help in hunting.
One deer 5 or 6 years ago was OK, but at only 35 Yds.



Looks nice to me....


this is the same 500 mag.from the performance center that i have except mine is a black and silver pinto...excellent shooters!
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:44 PM
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That guy was in for an obvious surprise right from the get go. He's an "I'll buy one cause they're the new fad" kinda guy and is clueless. I'd bet he sold it this next day!
No he didn't sell it but he was surprised. Can't say I didn't warn him though. We corresponded quite a bit a few years ago about Ranger Ricks big slugs and he decided to try them in his 4" model. He is a big bore enthusiasts and if I remember correctly he has a couple of Linebaughs.

Kennyb,
If you have a 6-1/2" pinto model I'd like to see a picture of it. I know the 7-1/2" model was a pinto and only 2000 were made. As far as the 6-1/2" model, only 500 were made in the configuration shown. I'd like to see some of the odd ball 500's floating around.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:01 AM
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I love shooting my 500s. They are more friendly to shoot than my 44 mag. People bought the hype, or are used to shooting 38s.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:36 PM
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I also love the 500's.
I have the JR Performance Center 5" and the factory production 6 1/2" models.
As some has said, the recoil isn't all that bad, just the brute push back force, espically when fireing the 500gr and 700gr bullet.
The 325gr isn't bad at all, the 400gr & 440gr has a bit more force.
Actually my 50AE Desert Eagle & .454 Rageing Bull has more flip up recoil than the 500 does using the 325gr in my opinion.
Even my S&W .460 has more recoil flip than the .500 but without the brute push back force.



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Old 04-07-2012, 05:50 PM
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I was actually surprised the first time I shot my 500; I was expecting a lot more recoil. although it could be because it fits my hand really well. I have the 500 with the 8 3/8" barrel and was shooting 350 gr rounds. It goes back more into your hand than it goes up. Overall it's a fun gun to shoot, but 40 rounds will make your hand sore for a few hours.

In case you're interested, here's a video of the first 5 rounds I shot. As you'll see, not all that much recoil.

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Old 07-24-2012, 10:05 PM
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A "real man" can hang on to anything with a set of grips......Recoil is recoil..
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:21 AM
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Well, I've been shooting my 10.5" 500 for a month or two now, and I really enjoy it. I haven't shot any factory yet, but a variety of handloads. I've shot 330 gr lead RNFP with Trail Boss and Unique, and Berry's Plated 350gr with Power Pistol, 2400, and 300MP. The most powerful round I've shot was the max load of 300MP, which was running around 1600.

Assuming my chronograph is correct, these are still several hundred fps below a factory 350gr, right? I still need to play around with magnum primers and some slower powders. But I'm having fun.

About 15-20 of the stouter loads is enough for a range session if I still want to be able to shoot other things. But I must admit, full power 357 out of my 640 doesn't seem as much as it used to!
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by ShrinkMD View Post
I still need to play around with magnum primers and some slower powders. But I'm having fun.
Reloading data like that from Hodgdon's doesn't recommend magnum primers, just Large Rifle. Most recommend brass like Starline which is built around LR primers. Don
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:35 AM
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I thought all the Alliant data is with large rifle magnun primers. Fed 215?
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:51 AM
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Default Mild to wild, stubby to huge

The 500 is not as bad as the myth makes it out to be.

But, it all depends.

Short and light uncompensated barrel, Vs long and heavy compensated barrel?

Light, normal or hot loads?

Bullet weight of 250gr or 700 gr?

My normal compensated 8 3/8" shooting Berrys Plated 350gr chronographed at 1640fps has just a little more kick than a 44 magnum. I have shot 50 rounds in one sitting as I was attempting to sight in both iron and red dot sights with various loads between 1450 and 1650fps.

Even my 51 year old wife shoots the 500 (sorry, no offense intended to all the shoot it once and sell it types).

Here is youtube shooting 385gr Remington Core-Lokt in reduced load A5744 at 1145fps.

Bonnie shoots the S&W 500 - YouTube

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Old 07-25-2012, 02:51 PM
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I thought all the Alliant data is with large rifle magnun primers. Fed 215?
I don't know abou Alliant but both Hodgdon and Accurate Arms Powder specify Winchester's WLR primers. I think Federal's 215 is WAY too hot, that's what is used in max loads for the .458 Win Mag and, I believe, the .460 Weatherby.

Suspect that such hot primers may cause significant pressure excursions. Don
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Old 07-26-2012, 04:44 AM
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As with most things, the recoil of the M500 Smith is highly "over-reported." The gun kicks, but not nearly as violently as some would have you believe.
I own the 6.5" model and absolutely LOVE the kick of the "mild" 300 grain loads producing "only" 1100 lb-ft of KE. I find the 350 grain Hornady bullet at 1550 fps/1867lb-ft KE to be stout but not at all difficult to handle. The big gun pushes "back" more than it flips up so you feel it in the palm of the hand and a cylinderfull of 350 grain Hornadies will make you shake your hand.

I've shot all manner of light-weight revolvers and pistols with hot hand-loads and none have ever given the same, or similar sensation as the M500 Smith. About the closest sensation I can remember is firing the M629 Mountain Gun (29oz.) with top, .44 mag loads. The short barrel .44 kicks straight back into the palm like the M500 does and you KNOW you've just touched off something powerful.

Bear in mind that barrel length and actual chronographed - not advertised velocity and kinetic energy is where "truth" lies. One reason the super-short barrels of ANY caliber are "shootable" is because the bore-time is so short and muzzle velocity is much lower than the longer barrels.

For example, the HSN ammo I chrono'd at 1550 was advertised to go 1700-ish which is a BIG difference in KE, however, most .500 loads are probably being chrono'd from longer barrels to create more impressive numbers...so figure any chronographed loads you see are from 8.375" to 10" barrels unless they specifically state otherwise.

Don't let anyone kid you...a 275 grain solid copper bullet from a 4" barrel M500 loaded to the top will cancel the ticket of ANY creature on the North American continent if the shooter has the stones to "Stand and Deliver." That is to say, short barreled revolvers are more efficient with lighter bullets. The ideal handload for the 4" models is something in the 275 or 325 grain Barnes X bullet with high ballistic coefficient and the potential for deep pentration at close range.

Ideally, the 6.5" barrel is only marginally heavier than the 4" meaning similar balance, yet added speed, and in fact is probably the ideal "field" revolver of the model line.

IF one is handloading then a host of options opens up, but it must be remembered that lead bulelts are going to shave metal as they pass the barrel ports on the 6.5" and this cannot be disassembled for cleaning. I would advise using only jacketed or copper plated bullets for the 6.5".
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:11 PM
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Exact model I have (if that's a 6.5" barrel)! I hadn't a thought in my head about buying a revolver, much less a 500 MAGNUM! I actually felt contemptuous toward the 500 Magnum and had dismissed it from my mind...until I saw the one above listed on Gun Broker, unfired, all the paperwork and a Performance Center Rug to carry it in. My bad attitude was immediately cured and I hit the "Buy-it-Now" option. I haven't have a chance to shoot it yet, but I have removed that infernal lock and put THE PLUG in. I'm going to send it to a top-rated gunsmith for an action job, and to get him to permanently attach the flag to the hammer to fill that 1/8" void it leaves when you remove it.

Beautiful, beautiful revolver. Mine came with a cant-lever Piccatinny rail that screws onto the barrel and puts a rail over the top of the cylinder so you can get your scope beck from the gasses escaping the muzzle brake.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:21 PM
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...If one is handloading then a host of options opens up, but it must be remembered that lead bulelts are going to shave metal as they pass the barrel ports on the 6.5" and this cannot be disassembled for cleaning. I would advise using only jacketed or copper plated bullets for the 6.5".
Is this phenomenon present only in the 6.5" barreled models?
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:35 PM
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Yes, the new comp 4 and 8 3/8" models have a lead bullet comp without top vents to prevent leading like this.
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by paochow View Post
Yes, the new comp 4 and 8 3/8" models have a lead bullet comp without top vents to prevent leading like this.
Just to clarify, the 8 3/8" compensator for lead still has top vents, in the form of a large oval top hole, to provide relief from vertical recoil. This compensator extends a little further out from barrel than jacketed compensator which sits flush with barrel housing.

The lead compensator still allows gases to go straight up and out (as well as to the sides) partially through the top oval extended hole, instead of going into 6 small top holes and through a portion of barrel housing. Any leading would be easier to clean with compensator designed for shooting lead. This can be used for jacketed as well.
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  #40  
Old 07-27-2012, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redhawk1 View Post
Been shooting the S&W 500 Mag for many years, all I can say is, it depends on the load you are shooting. My 700 gr. at 1250 fps is brutal, and my 275 gr. load is like shooting a hot 44 Mag. I have shot a light weight S&W in 357 Mag, that had a very hard recoil, and I would rather shoot my 500 Mag then the light weight 357 Mag any day.
+1
Although I've not experimented with a lot of heavy loads with my 4" 500, I much prefer the recoil of it compared to a 329 or 340 unless they have appropriate grips (not the ones supplied with).
IMO, grips makes all the diff in the world.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:44 AM
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I shot my 4" 500 today for the first time with Hornady 300 gr. factory ammo.
I own multiple guns chambered for .44 Mag., 454 Casull, have owned the 460V and XVR, 45/70 Contender, and own and shoot a host of big bore rifles. I'm not recoil sensitive.

After the first shot from the 500, I think I went blind and crapped my pants at the same time! The *** hurt! I shoulda known when my 500 Handi Rifle felt about like my Ruger #1 .450/400 3" that the same load in a handgun was gonna suck!

I managed five rounds before coming to my senses. I shot about 10 rounds of a handload that consists of a 420 cast bullet over 10 gr. of Trailboss. It was surprising in recoil as well.

I love the gun, but damned if it don't hurt!!
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  #42  
Old 03-17-2013, 01:29 AM
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Kilibreaux: Hits it on the head: 275-700 grain out of the 4" comped or not are not bad at all, because much of the powder is in the fireball at the muzzle. As you start moving up in length , you burn ( use) more powder and therefore generate more recoil. When you get to 7.5,8 3/8 velocity, power and recoil move up. Note: The 600, 700 grain bullets do not stabilize much past 35 yds out of the 4", they do work well from 6 1/2 up to 18". The most PAINFUL gun is a Magnum research 7.5 BFR with 600/700 grain, very accurate but the grip works too well and you torque your elbow, ( caused 2 cases of tendinitis in 3 minutes ), the BFR is a dream at 500grs and under. I will prob replace my 6 1/2 in 500, and get a BFR in 45-70 in 7.5, very soft shooting with 300 gr Rem factory loads. I would like to try some of the Garret "magnum" loads out of the pistol since they are a blast out of the marlin. Be Safe,
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:46 AM
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As others have said, it depends on the load and configuration of the particular model.

There are some uber powerful factory loads available, and if you handload you can duplicate those as well.

For me though, as a handloader, that much power is totally not needed.

I am perfectly happy with 370 grainers moving at 1000-1100fps and 440 grainers clocking at 800-900fps.

A lot easier on me and the gun, and all I need!

Handloading is a must for either a 500 or 460 owner.
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  #44  
Old 05-12-2013, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnumdood View Post
Is this phenomenon present only in the 6.5" barreled models?
The 6.5" S&W .500 is not very different from the old Dan Wesson .44 Magnum with it's radially oriented ports in the barrel and a small "chamber" inside the barrel shroud leading expanding gases out top-mounted vents in the shroud. Dan Wesson was emphatic that lead bullets not be used due to lead build-up in the space between barrel and shroud, and of course Dan Wesson intended the barrel be user-removable. The build-up of lead matters because it begins to fill in available space and would make barrel shroud remvoval difficult or impossible. Since S&W does not intend that the user remove the barrel they probably care not if one uses lead bullets and the number and size of the barrel ports does indicate it would take a LOT of lead bullet shooting to clog up the recoil compensator ports, but I'm sure someone dedicated to shooting a lot of lead bullets might manage to do so!
I have not been able to find any message or warning from S&W about using lead bullets in the 6.5" so maybe they don't consider leading to be a problem.
The other models with removable compensators are able to shoot lead bullets just fine.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:40 PM
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I don't have any idea what the other barrels feel like, I have a 5" no compensator JRC custom 500 but, I can tell you no one has ever shot mine without it leaving traces of rubber from the grips in the web of their hand.

HTHs, Steve

Last edited by S.B.; 10-04-2013 at 07:48 PM.
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