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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 09-07-2009, 09:11 AM
Jimmy.C Jimmy.C is offline
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Talking 6.5 S&W 500 What is your opinion

I handeled one of these at a gun store a couple of days a go and really like the feel of it. I noticed the ports go all the way round the barrel and vent out the top. 1st question does it have any discoloration around the barrel after being shot a lot? 2nd guestion would you change any thing on it? I would like it to have a removable front sight, but other than that I like it.

Last edited by Jimmy.C; 09-07-2009 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:22 AM
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Unless, you just has to have the 500 then I would get a 460 if the X frame is your thing. The 460 allows for 460, 454, and 45LC to be fired versus the 500 and only being able to use proprietary ammo.
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:00 AM
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I like the X frame also and looking at picking up a 460 when I get back home. You also have a fourth cartridge, the .45 S&W Schofield for a cap gun load. I live in NC so the 460 would be more verstiable then the 500. Now if I lived in Alaska then the 500. i also reload.

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Old 09-07-2009, 11:02 AM
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I'd opt for a longer bbl i.e. more overall weight if you're going to shoot full blown 500 loads and not reduced loads - just my $0.02!
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:46 PM
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6 1/2" picture courtesy of S&W.

The 6 1/2" is very nice. I picked mine up last summer. It is my fourth 500 S&W Magnum. The ones that get the most attention at the range are the shorter barrels. The 4" and the 2 3/4".




If you hand load, there is no reason to have a 460 over a 500. The 500 is capable of firing light weight 275 grain HPs at wimpy power levels up to heavy jacketed or hard cast projectiles like the 725 grain wad cutter pictured below along side a Remington factory 250 grain core cast hunting load for the 41 Magnum.



You can achieve more than a ton and a half of muzzle energy with the 500 S&W Magnum cartridge and not even hit max pressure.

As to the porting. This is the same design that Dan Wesson has been using for about 34+ years now. It was introduced with the DW Model 44 in the mid seventies. Your only discoloration is above the ports on the exterior of the firearm. That will clean of as easily as a cylinder face.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:54 PM
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Default 6.5 500

Thanks for the info on the ports, I didn't know that Dan Wesson had used that style of porting. I have 2 460,s also, that is the reason for the interest in the 6.5 barrel 500's. I asked a Smith-Wesson representive about the 6.5 and he said there is a good chance that they will build the 460 in the 6.5 also. So I was wondering about the porting on the 500 and how it worked. Thanks for the input.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt_saa View Post
Your only discoloration is above the ports on the exterior of the firearm. That will clean of as easily as a cylinder face.
That's my experience with my 6.5." Firing just leaves a little "smokestack" on the inside of the ports that slightly discolors the side of the front sight ramp. Easily cleaned, no issue.

It is significantly lighter than either the original 8.375" models or the PC models with the heavier shrouds so it does have heavier recoil for a given load. Don
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:45 PM
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Colt SAA pretty well summed it up. As to handloading - the 500 S&W is very versatile and you can reload for your needs rather cheaply compared to purchasing commerical. With hard cast bullets I think you'll find your cost to be in the neighborhood of $.37 a pop - cheaper if you cast your own. Unless you want to push velocities past 1,500fps you can go with Winchester large pistol primers - you'll get lower pressure and the velocity drop will be from 25 to 30fps less than with the rifle primer.
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:55 PM
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I'd never seen one with that short of a barrel. That thing looks like it would be a bitch to hold on to. What would be the need for such a short barrel on such a powerful cartridge, other than to point out who the "little girls" in the bunch would be that would be too scared to shoot it?
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by .38 Sharpshooter View Post
I'd never seen one with that short of a barrel. That thing looks like it would be a bitch to hold on to. What would be the need for such a short barrel on such a powerful cartridge, other than to point out who the "little girls" in the bunch would be that would be too scared to shoot it?
It'd be very compact and if you were fishing in Alaska it might be the thing to have. Personally, I'd much prefer the 4" barreled model. That very short barrel would have a fierce muzzle blast and considerably reduced velocity. Don
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Old 09-08-2009, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by colt_saa View Post

6 1/2" picture courtesy of S&W.
I don't care for it. I don't like muzzle breaks as they are too loud. I use to remove the break when I shot it, now I just made a plug for it.

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Old 09-08-2009, 10:20 PM
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It'd be very compact and if you were fishing in Alaska it might be the thing to have. Personally, I'd much prefer the 4" barreled model. That very short barrel would have a fierce muzzle blast and considerably reduced velocity. Don
I think tomorrow I'm going to look on YouTube to see if I see any short-barreled .500s on there.
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Old 09-09-2009, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by 500 Magnum Nut View Post
I don't care for it. I don't like muzzle breaks as they are too loud. I use to remove the break when I shot it, now I just made a plug for it.

Would you be interested in selling one of those plugs? I have been looking all over for one for my 4" 500.
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:02 AM
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FAQ's

Check out my how to notes on this subject.

I understand that S&W is not cooperating with 460 plugs, maybe they are afraid of somebody blowing up a gun, so they dropped the parts?
Call S&W to verify the part you need is still available.
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:46 AM
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I have owned the 5" 460v and the 4" 500 since 2007. I love both...460 is slightly more comfortable to shoot.

I use Hornady SST's in both...200 grain in the 460 & 300 grain in the 500. The 300 grain is twice as expensive as the 200 grain.

My brother-in-law has the 6 1/2" 500...his favorite handgun!!
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:47 PM
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Unless, you just has to have the 500 then I would get a 460 if the X frame is your thing. The 460 allows for 460, 454, and 45LC to be fired versus the 500 and only being able to use proprietary ammo.
I'd be careful shooting too many "short" cartridges (ie., .45LC/.454) in a .460 chambered revolver - especially the .454. It is a high pressure round, and can eventually create a "ridge" where it's case ends, which can make .460 cases difficult to chamber, and possibly create pressure issues with the longer case.

For this reason, Freedom Arms does not recommend firing .45LC in their .454's. Granted, FA has tighter tolerances than S&W, but it's still a practice to be avoided when possible. If you're going to do it, clean the chambers VERY well afterward with a brush.

If you want to fire .45LC's, most would be better off buying a (relatively) light .45LC, not shooting them in a 4+ lb. .460 revolver, imho.

As to the rest of your suggestion, the .500 doesn't use "proprietary" ammo - it's made by every ammo maker on the planet.

Regarding the 6.5" .500, I have one of the PC versions with heavier barrel, and 360 degree porting, which I believe is a different setup than the original poster was asking about.

Still, I think the 6.5" length balances better than any other in the X-frame. I have the 2.5 and 4" guns as well. Have shot the 8 3/8" but didn't care for it.

Recoil on the shorter barrel (2.5 and 4") isn't as bad as you'd think, compared to the longer ones. The velocity drops, and this seems to offset the shorter barrel/less weight in recoil. The 8 3/8" seemed just as bad to me as the 4" with Corbon 440's, for instance . . . probably because of the 200 or so fps higher velocity. Just a guess.

see ya
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Old 09-09-2009, 07:41 PM
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Unless, you just has to have the 500 then I would get a 460 if the X frame is your thing. The 460 allows for 460, 454, and 45LC to be fired versus the 500 and only being able to use proprietary ammo.
The 460 would get my vote for the same reasons. More versatile and less risk of ending up with a devalued gun due to caliber/ammo/component obsolescence. That said, the 500 shoots like a hoot!!
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:27 AM
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I sold my 8 3/8 to get the 6 1/2 inch, its more handy (not as top heavy) as the 8 3/8 inch, plus you get a better sight radius with it than the 4 inch model. I think its the best of both worlds and the recoil isnt that much different than the 8 3/8 inch model. I think you'd like if you bought it. I got the 6 1/2 and have no regrets and never looked back.
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Old 09-10-2009, 11:15 PM
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I would think that 2 1/2" model would singe the hair off your arms to about your elbows.

.
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Old 09-11-2009, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 500 Magnum Nut View Post
I don't care for it. I don't like muzzle breaks as they are too loud. I use to remove the break when I shot it, now I just made a plug for it.


Like you I don't like the break, so glad I had a end cap made for my 4 inch 500 Mag.

I would love a 6 inch 500 mag with out a break as well.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:04 PM
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I would think that 2 1/2" model would singe the hair off your arms to about your elbows.

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Where to keep your thumbs on the 500
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:56 AM
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I like the X frame also and looking at picking up a 460 when I get back home. You also have a fourth cartridge, the .45 S&W Schofield for a cap gun load. I live in NC so the 460 would be more verstiable then the 500. Now if I lived in Alaska then the 500. i also reload.

CD
you can also get 45LC shotshells and use it as a snake gun which I have done with the snub model..

I have not seen Shot Shells offered for the 500 Magnum. I am interested in getting some though.
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:40 PM
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I'm a little disappointed. When I saw "6.5 S&W 500" I thought maybe they'd necked down the .500 to 6.5mm. Sounded like it had potential as a coyote gun.
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:02 PM
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I'm a little disappointed. When I saw "6.5 S&W 500" I thought maybe they'd necked down the .500 to 6.5mm. Sounded like it had potential as a coyote gun.
Why be disappointed??? Load up some lighter weight Hornady SSTs, mount a scope and you could take yodel dogs out quite a ways if you're a good enough shot. Don

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Old 09-15-2009, 11:28 AM
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What kind of trajectory do the .500s have?
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:22 PM
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What kind of trajectory do the .500s have?
Flat enough, with heavy, fast loads, the slugs impact the backstop at ranges up to say 200 yds long before the gun comes out of recoil.

For cal_gunner, I spoke with Speer a long time ago about making shot shells for the .500. They said that they weren't interested. They felt that the costs of new tooling would never be made up in what they thought would be a low sales volume.

I've made them with a load of 11-12gr of Titegroup with a vegetable wad on top of the powder followed by shot and then another wad and a light crimp. Most of them work pretty well and have pretty dramatic effects on cans. If I remember correctly, I got about 200gr of shot in them. A few haven't worked well and dirty up the gun. Some people use gas checks in place of the vegetable wads. I haven't tried that idea yet. Don
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:50 AM
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The more I read about the 500s and the more videos I see of them, the more I want one . I really have no true need for one other than target shooting, practicing on coyotes, and maybe some deer hunting.
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:45 AM
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No need for a .500 here either, but when I look at one in a store or on a website, I develop a major case of gun envy. It's just embarrassing to have to carry glass cleaner with me to wipe the drool off the display case!
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:17 AM
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No need for a .500 here either, but when I look at one in a store or on a website, I develop a major case of gun envy. It's just embarrassing to have to carry glass cleaner with me to wipe the drool off the display case!
LOL. I was looking at ballistics data last night, and the Winchester website said their ammo is still carrying around 2,000 ft. lbs. of energy at 100 yds. Looking at the Remington site at some rifle ammo, it's right on par with a .260 rifle. Slightly more than a .243 and a little less than a .270. Winchester didn't list any trajectory figures, and I haven't looked up any of the other ammo brands yet, but it seems like the .500 S&W would be a good whitetail round that can reach out a little further than a .44 Mag and have a hell of a lot more dropping power. I think Remington ammo was somewhere around 1,000 ft. lbs. of energy on the .44 Mag, but that was at the muzzle. The .500 delivers twice as much power at 100 yds than a .44 Mag has at the muzzle . I think I'll tell my wife that I need one in case I run across a bear when I'm out squirrel hunting, because you never know what you'll find in KY woods .
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:59 PM
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LOL. I was looking at ballistics data last night, and the Winchester website said their ammo is still carrying around 2,000 ft. lbs. of energy at 100 yds. Looking at the Remington site at some rifle ammo, it's right on par with a .260 rifle. Slightly more than a .243 and a little less than a .270. Winchester didn't list any trajectory figures, and I haven't looked up any of the other ammo brands yet, but it seems like the .500 S&W would be a good whitetail round that can reach out a little further than a .44 Mag and have a hell of a lot more dropping power. I think Remington ammo was somewhere around 1,000 ft. lbs. of energy on the .44 Mag, but that was at the muzzle. The .500 delivers twice as much power at 100 yds than a .44 Mag has at the muzzle . I think I'll tell my wife that I need one in case I run across a bear when I'm out squirrel hunting, because you never know what you'll find in KY woods .
The game stopping performance of a .500 is far greater than its energy figures suggest. A .500 Mag detonates water jugs in a fashion that makes a .308 Win look like a pipsqueak and VASTLY outpenetrates it. At close range, a full up .500 Mag is in the same league as a .338 or .375 H&H on heavy game.

And your firearms "needs" are immaterial, if you like it and have the $, get it. Don
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
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For cal_gunner, I spoke with Speer a long time ago about making shot shells for the .500. They said that they weren't interested.
Don, I did stumble onto Magsafe who just came out with a 500 Magnum
round that contains 25 Pieces of #2 plated shot suspended in marine epoxy . 210 Grain wt. that travels at 2150 Feet per second with 2155 FT. LBS of energy.
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:55 AM
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The game stopping performance of a .500 is far greater than its energy figures suggest. A .500 Mag detonates water jugs in a fashion that makes a .308 Win look like a pipsqueak and VASTLY outpenetrates it. At close range, a full up .500 Mag is in the same league as a .338 or .375 H&H on heavy game.

And your firearms "needs" are immaterial, if you like it and have the $, get it. Don
I've seen several videos of the .500s now, and the power is awesome. The first problem I'll have is getting the extra $800-$1000 to get one, second problem will be convincing the wife to let me get it .

EDIT: So was it established that the longer the barrel is on these, the more recoil it will generate due to more velocity being produced, or does it kind of even out on the longer barrels because of the extra weight?
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Old 09-17-2009, 04:06 AM
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.38 sharpshooter- As for bbl lengths and recoil. I have found that the 4" has less "felt" recoil with 275gr-700gr loads. I really did not notice any difference between the 4 and the 2 3/4". I did notice that the 6.5" felt heavier with all loads and did not balance and carry as well as the 4". The 7.5 and 8 3/4 bring a lot of recoil with the extra barrel length, but they both stabilize the 700 gr out to 100yds, where the 4" keyholes the 700gr at 25 yds. I like the 350 XTP in the 4" out to 100yd
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by .38 Sharpshooter View Post
EDIT: So was it established that the longer the barrel is on these, the more recoil it will generate due to more velocity being produced, or does it kind of even out on the longer barrels because of the extra weight?
I'd suspect that there is some recoil tradeoff between a longer barrel creating more velocity, thus more recoil etc.

I've owned four .500 Mags, my current ones are 6.5" models. I think the 4" ballances exceptionally well. Don
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal_gunner View Post
Don, I did stumble onto Magsafe who just came out with a 500 Magnum
round that contains 25 Pieces of #2 plated shot suspended in marine epoxy . 210 Grain wt. that travels at 2150 Feet per second with 2155 FT. LBS of energy.
Thanks, that's interesting might just have to get some of them for s---s and giggles. Don
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vipermd View Post
I like the 350 XTP in the 4" out to 100yd
What kind of grouping can you get at 100 yds with the 4"?
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Old 09-25-2009, 12:37 PM
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i got my 4" 500 mag for cheap at a gun show in atlanta ga. it is hands down the most exciting and fun to shoot handgun i have ever owned. i heard and saw all the "horror" stories but i tell you what, the first time i shot mine i was surprised how well it handled. sure it's a big boom and a handfull but just hold onto it like ant other handgun. i have replaced the "absorbothane" grip with an aftermarket wood grip with the same size and shape as the factory grip. the wood grip is the only grip i have ever shot this gun with. my choice to replace the grip comes from wanting to carry this gun as a personal defense weapon. the rubber grip was always getting caught on my jacket or the seat in the truck or something. with the wood grip it just slides right over everything. btw, my 500 mag is the gun that got me started reloading because of the high cost of commercial cartidges for this gun.
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:36 AM
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You're going to carry an X-frame concealed for personal defense? To each their own, but damn. I hope you don't ever need to fire off five as fast as you can pull the trigger.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:36 AM
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I don't care for it. I don't like muzzle breaks as they are too loud. I use to remove the break when I shot it, now I just made a plug for it.

Can you purchase this part anywhere for a 460xvr? I looked on S&W web site and didnt find much of anything.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:46 AM
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Bad as I hate to admitt it but Im home schooled on this subject. First shot and emergency room here we come. The doctor said I was lucky that it didnt blow up any tendons.
It was on the inside of the hand below the thumb. A few stitches later inside and out and as good as new except for the scar. I have to admitt it does make for a nasty looking wound. Just a big fuzzy opening from the gases about 1.5 inches and its not a clean cut like the carrot
Ill be damned if there wasnt a warnning in the owners manual.
Were just as carefull with the sides as we are with the muzzle.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:18 AM
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I bought one of the 4" guns going on four years ago...one of those "shot once and sold" guns... My shooting load is 18 grains of Unique with a 350 grain Berry's plated bullet...velocity as I recall is in the 1100s and is pleasant to shoot. Every New Years Eve we have a bowling pin shoot at the club I belong to...loads of folks shoot the 500 many of them women...

Last month there was another "fired once" 500 at the same shop that I found the 4" but this one is one of the 6.5" guns...it was $795.00 I think and now on lay-a-way... Will be getting it out in few weeks...

A friend has one of the first out 8" guns...he was hot loading a 440 grain HC bullet with a case full of H110. It went completely trough one empty BBQ grill propane tank and into the next one in line...

Fun guns...Bob
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:41 PM
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38 sharpshooter,

there are 2 of us at georgia carry. org that carry s&w 500's for personal defense, and who said anything about concealed.....

if yur skeered....just say yur skeered....................
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonD View Post
The game stopping performance of a .500 is far greater than its energy figures suggest. A .500 Mag detonates water jugs in a fashion that makes a .308 Win look like a pipsqueak and VASTLY outpenetrates it. At close range, a full up .500 Mag is in the same league as a .338 or .375 H&H on heavy game.

And your firearms "needs" are immaterial, if you like it and have the $, get it. Don
I have long hunted with .41 and .44 N frames. This year I'll be using a 6 1/2 500 for the first time.

I've taken 4 black bear and 5 mature bull elk with the .44. Both my hunting .41 and .44 are 8 3/8" bbl's and I found them just a little too lengthy for comfortable shoulder holster use. I chose the 500 6 1/2 because I believe the sight picture is much better than a shorter model. I have handled and shot all the barrel lengths and I believe the balance and length are more comfortable and ideal for my purposes with the 6 1/2. I hunt with open sights so those issues are very important to me.

I hand-load as well as cast my own bullets which allows me much versatility with load development as well as substantially reduced ammo costs.

500's are definitely not a pistol for the recoil and noise sensitive but I believe they will be the best choice for quick kills on elk and moose, and the only realistic and dependable handgun choice for Grizzlies and Browns....

JMHO
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  #44  
Old 05-04-2012, 01:58 AM
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I tend to prefer shorter barrels on large magnums because it helps balance them out, and for a backup this is good. Also, short barrels tend to kick LESS due to lower bore time. Yes, they do kick straight back, and HARD with heavy loads, but not as bad as the longer barrels which tend to torque violently.
I ordered the 6.5" barrel for a couple of reasons: The big .500 really does benefit from the added inches, and, with the partial shroud, weight and balance compared to the 4" will not be that different.
Perhaps if the "quick draw" is one's game the shortest barrel makes sense, but if one is contemplating using the .500 for serious defense against a large predator, velocity and "pointability" matters.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:35 AM
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When in time did 8" suddenly become large?
Roughly this size was considered normal when revolvers started becoming popular.

Note my avatar, with a common 1858 .44 compared to todays .500.
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:04 AM
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I've got a plinker 1911 45acp. I've also got a 6.5' 44 mag that'll shoot any heavy 44 magnum out there.....this is one fine gun and shoots great. With the heavy stuff I would feel safe up against anything.......'cept a Grizzly. It might work, I shoot good and got good accuracy but Hmmmm a Grizzly???? So I got a 6.5" 500 Magnum after the first box of ammo.....Heck I don't hesitate at all, I KNOW IT'LL TAKE A GRIZZ DOWN.

I also found that getting a 500 got me into reloading as well. It's just as fun as shooting.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:09 PM
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I really enjoy shooting my 6 1/2" .500 as much as my JR 5" .500.
Both handle full power loads well.
Have also been considering getting the 4" as well.
Never seen the 2 3/4" one before, looks interesting.



Ernie
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Old 05-05-2012, 03:50 PM
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To the OP ~ If you buy a 460 you'll never be happy. If you buy the 500, especially in the 6 1/2" and 4" lengths, you'll love it. Buy it and don't look back - I did !

Last edited by PA Reb; 07-01-2013 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:44 PM
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I got the 6.5 inch barrel and have never had to shoot it. I just pull it out and show it to who ever is on the wrong end and they shake their head and walk (run) away.

No seriously I love the 6.5 barrel, good feel, great accuracy, and most definately a crowd pleaser.

When you go to the range you hear...bang, bang, pow, bang, pow,
KA BOOOOOOOOM <-.500 everyone stops and looks at you.....Like what the **** was that?

Get it and enjoy it.....you'll see.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:38 PM
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Reloading is a must with big bores. That said, reloading the 500 allows for much greater performance envelope over the 460. I can push 300grain FTX bullets from my 5" barrel at 2000fps or 600s at 1200fps.

The gun is a John Ross edition 500. No comp, 1:10 twist, 0.0035 B/C gap. That tight gap shows velocities around the same as a 8-3/8" production line gun. There are still some available if you ask nice.
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