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500 S&W, is it really THAT bad?

FreeSiftyTheven

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So I picked up a snub nosed S&W 500. Took it to the range and shot a few different loadings including the ol' 700gr. Anyway, my roomate and I put 50 rds through it between the two of us. I'm an average guy, so is he. Neither of us are jacked or work out or anything. We are both reasonably experienced shooters and it really wasn't what it was cracked up to be. Neither of us 'lost control' or broke our wrists etc. Don't get me wrong, it kicks brutal, but idk. You see videos of veteran shooters like Hickok and shit always saying things like "I'll only shoot a couple" and "oh man, ouch" etc. Are they just being dramatic? Seems like as long as you're somewhat experienced and have a solid master grip, you're good to go. Even the guy at the store was telling me how I had to employ this special 'lock your support hand around your wrist' grip technique. Very dramatic if you ask me.

Other people that have shot these, what are your thoughts?

P.S. most fun I've had shooting for sure haha
 
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I have a 4" S&W 500 Mag and it is a hoot. I have some cast lead loads that I make up with Trail Boss powder that are as mild as a .38 special. IMR says fill case to where the bottom of the seated bullet is and you can never be over-charged. I also have made up some "Stout" loads that will make your palm tender after a few shots.

As for interweb dweebs and their "impressions", ya just being dramatic.
 

Michael J. Spangler

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I’ve only shot one a few times.
I found it was more of a wrist pressure than a slap in the hand like you get from a hot 44 mag.
It wasn’t that bad but I bet if you made a steady diet of 50 a week you wrist would be showing some signs of wear awful fast.
I preferred the BFR in 45/70 myself.
 
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I’ve only shot one a few times.
I found it was more of a wrist pressure than a slap in the hand like you get from a hot 44 mag.
It wasn’t that bad but I bet if you made a steady diet of 50 a week you wrist would be showing some signs of wear awful fast.
I preferred the BFR in 45/70 myself.

I've shot the snubby .357 it didn't fit my hand right and kept biting me. First time a gun ever made me bleed outside of ricochet.
 

Michael J. Spangler

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I've shot the snubby .357 it didn't fit my hand right and kept biting me. First time a gun ever made me bleed outside of ricochet.
Yeah I shot my buddy’s 329. Those scandium revolvers are not fun to shoot.
I put 250 rounds of 20 grains of 2400 under a 250 Keith through my 629 one week.
Shot 2 out of my buddy’s 329 before handing it back to him.
 

Glockster30

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I've shot the snubby .357 it didn't fit my hand right and kept biting me. First time a gun ever made me bleed outside of ricochet.
Although they are a little more than twice the weight of a scandium model, the Ruger SP101 isn't much different with full power loads, especially if you have large hands. Unless I want to bleed out, I limit myself to 15 - 20 rounds with only a couple of bleeding knuckles. [laugh]
 

Whiskeywon

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Yea it's not a wrist break at all. It's built big enough to handle it. You want a revolver that hurts, shoot the SW scandium frame .357 or .44 mags ...
Depends on the .357, but definitely agree with the .44 magnum. The J-Frame scandium .357, yeah, hard pass. I have a 327 that is a wonderful gun as long as the frame holds up. But no signs of flame cutting or other issues yet after a steady diet of about 2500~ .357 and probably 2000~ .38sp. Now that being said I still prefer the all steel versions because it just tames it outright. But hey, I still love looking at the 329PD, just not in my future. I died though at watching a buddy of mine bleed to a 340PD that he rented before deciding against buying.
I've shot my friends 4". I really don't mind it. Yes, it kicks. Wrist-breaker? No.

I do wish someone had a slightly less absurdly-priced version of this. I think this would be extremely fun and useful in a hunting situation.
Model 89 - 500 S&W - Big Horn Armory
Love the concept of that! Looks like a well built gun to assuming the QC holds up to those photos. Have a full size 24" 1886 in 45-70 still and wonder how it would compare to that. The standard power of the 45-70 is obviously higher, but just thinking about hand loads. Educate me~
 

hv55maxx

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Love the concept of that! Looks like a well built gun to assuming the QC holds up to those photos. Have a full size 24" 1886 in 45-70 still and wonder how it would compare to that. The standard power of the 45-70 is obviously higher, but just thinking about hand loads. Educate me~
I load for my friend so he can actually shoot it regularly, so for me the 500 vs 45-70 is solved since i have dies already. Just need a non-$3k firearm lol
 

Whiskeywon

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I load for my friend so he can actually shoot it regularly, so for me the 500 vs 45-70 is solved since i have dies already. Just need a non-$3k firearm lol
Well that's what I mean, I'm just imaging a 1886 redone for .500S&W. Then it becomes a 1100-1500$ gun. That could be very fun, maybe not market feasible, but definitely interesting and fun.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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So I picked up a snub nosed S&W 500. Took it to the range and shot a few different loadings including the ol' 700gr. Anyway, my roomate and I put 50 rds through it between the two of us. I'm an average guy, so is he. Neither of us are jacked or work out or anything. We are both reasonably experienced shooters and it really wasn't what it was cracked up to be. Neither of us 'lost control' or broke our wrists etc. Don't get me wrong, it kicks brutal, but idk. You see videos of veteran shooters like Hickok and shit always saying things like "I'll only shoot a couple" and "oh man, ouch" etc. Are they just being dramatic? Seems like as long as you're somewhat experienced and have a solid master grip, you're good to go. Even the guy at the store was telling me how I had to employ this special 'lock your support hand around your wrist' grip technique. Very dramatic if you ask me.

Other people that have shot these, what are your thoughts?

P.S. most fun I've had shooting for sure haha
You dont need to be jacked, that doesnt mean anything. You just need to hold the gun right and have your arms right.

If you are holding it like a BB gun, bending your elbows, not expecting the recoil, that's when you end up on Youtube.

Edit: OP, did you ask the gun store guy if his nail polish could withstand the recoil?
 
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grey

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Never mind being jacked or not - the people who death grip the 500 and subsequently rapid fire a second shot either up or even slightly pointed back at their head are flat out really dangerous. Plenty of youtube vids of that as well as a few confirmed deaths
 

Dennis in MA

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I've said it before, but it bears repeating because it's such a funny story - Clint Smith audited one of his own classes carrying a snub nose 500. He used teh lightest loads he could get. It was do-able but he said the shooters on either side of him weren't real happy. LOL
 

gerrycaruso

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I was just shooting mine this morning. It's an 8 3/8" but I've also shot the 4". Recoil is quite heavy but not as bad as a titanium .357 snubby which was painful. It's a bit large to carry in the woods but it's pretty easy to produce handloads that are more powerful than the .44 magnum with much less recoil.
 

drgrant

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I can understand the appeal of a SW .500 if I was hiking in Alaska. But as a range toy? No thank you very much.
A 4" 500 with most loads is a lot less abusive than a lot of it's peers. I'd much rather shoot a 500 any day of the week vs a .454 Casull, .480 ruger, etc.

-Mike
 

JDL

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The S&W X frame is heavy even the short barreled 500's and the very beefy rubber grip helps with the recoil. If you want to try something that really stings try a 629PD with the stock wood grips. 44mag Scandium Alloy frame a gun that weighs and feels as though it is made from a card board box or even the S&W 360 357mag Scandium Alloy frame J frame.
 
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jek

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I enjoy shooting and am much more accurate with the 4" S&W 500 than my 4.2" Ruger SP101 in .357mag. Just got an N frame .357, so will have to compare the 500 with that.
 

Supermoto

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I really want to try the 340PD, I know it's a bruiser. Also those single shot 12 gauge pistols look pretty serious.
I carry a 360PD, its a gun that you practice with because you have too, not because its fun. I don't find it that bad to shoot, but its definitely not a gun I'm going to put a 50-100 rounds thru each practice.
 
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I shot a lot of boomers, mostly rifle calibers in a TC pistol configuration, and even so, the worse example was a 45 Colt load from Buffalo Bore through a 10" TC pistol config. Cant remember the load details aside from it wasn't pleasant. At all. I've heard the Linebaughs are really nasty, can't imagine shooting one of the plow handle single action revolvers chambered for them. Bisely grip, maybe.
 

andrew1220

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I shot some Magtech 325 gr ammo through a 4" 500 and had enough after 2 rounds lol.

I’m not a noob shooter and shoot tons of 44 mag and 357 mag regularly but the 500 just wasn’t very pleasant in my opinion. Not a wristbreaker but it felt like my palms were being whacked with a sledgehammer [laugh]
Maybe shooting the 500 with a longer barrel and/or with the compensator might be better? Not sure.

44 mag is plenty of power/recoil for me. But to each their own.
 

MisterHappy

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Biggest thing I've ever shot (and that includes the .500) was a Magnum Research BFR in .45-70.

I had a good solid stance, and I'm not a lightweight...it still pushed me back on my heels. [laugh]

I asked the owner why he had it. "To hunt mule deer."
What's it do to them? "I don't know. I said, 'hunt,' not, 'shoot.'" [rofl]

My then 14-year old son ran 3 or 4 cylinders.

Oh....it wasn't the owner's "Hot loads" either.

I have to say, that the gun's design makes a difference....my .45-70 Contender lets you know that you've pulled the trigger, but the recoil is more manageable.
 
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Yea it's not a wrist break at all. It's built big enough to handle it. You want a revolver that hurts, shoot the SW scandium frame .357 or .44 mags ...
This. I have a Smith 360PD that I sometimes shoot with LN levergun loads. "Excuse me young man, would you mind moving over one? Your muzzle flash is coming into my stall"

l2shoot that without flinch and the 500 with moderate loads feels like a 44 mag

Technique is about 90%, the rest pain tolerance.
 
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Michael J. Spangler

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Biggest thing I've ever shot (and that includes the .500) was a Magnum Research BFR in .45-70.

I had a good solid stance, and I'm not a lightweight...it still pushed me back on my heels. [laugh]

I asked the owner why he had it. "To hunt mule deer."
What's it do to them? "I don't know. I said, 'hunt,' not, 'shoot.'" [rofl]

My then 14-year old son ran 3 or 4 cylinders.

Oh....it wasn't the owner's "Hot loads" either.

I have to say, that the gun's design makes a difference....my .45-70 Contender lets you know that you've pulled the trigger, but the recoil is more manageable.
I agree with the design on that. I've shot a contender with some warm loads and I've shot a BFR with HSM bear loads. I would shoot the BFR over the contender any day. The bear loads by the way were 430 grains at 1800 giving about 3100 ft/lb of energy. Granted they weren't getting that velocity out of the 7.5" (IIRC) barrel but they sure hit steel with some authority.
 
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I agree with the design on that. I've shot a contender with some warm loads and I've shot a BFR with HSM bear loads. I would shoot the BFR over the contender any day. The bear loads by the way were 430 grains at 1800 giving about 3100 ft/lb of energy. Granted they weren't getting that velocity out of the 7.5" (IIRC) barrel but they sure hit steel with some authority.
"How much muzzle energy do you want in your bear loads sir?"

"Yes"
 
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