I admit to you now, I am a lover of revolvers. Pistols are nice, especially the Model 1911, but nothing beats a good 6-shooter. And of all the revolvers in the world, nothing beats our Fleece’s Fave this week, the Smith & Wesson Model 500, chambered in S&W .500 Magnum.
First, the Round
It would not be inaccurate to label this bullet a .50 Cal, for that is exactly what it is (although 500 Magnum sounds pretty sweet too!), a half-inch diameter bullet. This round was developed by Smith & Wesson in 2003 to recapture the title of “most powerful handgun in the world”, its venerable .44 Magnum Model 29 Revolver (think Dirty Harry) being removed from that honor by pistols chambering rounds like the .454 Casull. In partnership with ammunition manufacturer Cor-Bon, Smith & Wesson recaptured the title in February of that year.
There are many different rounds made in this size, but since we are talking big guns, lets talk about the biggest. There are two rounds that make this gun a total beast. The first one, is the Hornady 300gr FTX LEVERevolution, which has jaw-dropping performance in a relatively heavy bullet. Its muzzle velocity is a whopping 2075 Feet per Second (FPS) and its muzzle energy is a staggering 2858 foot-pounds (ft-lbs), that’s 1.5 tons!
The second round is all about weight, the 500gr CORBON Hunter HC. A 500gr bullet weighs a little over 1 ounce (32 grams, an oz is 28 grams), which is damn heavy for a projectile with a muzzle velocity of 1500 FPS. Weight and velocity combined give us a muzzle energy of 2499 ft-lbs. That is a lot of pain.
Size comparison - Left .44 Magnum and Right .500 Magnum
This round is a total beast, but you need a gun to shoot it from.
The revolver Smith & Wesson designed around their new cartridge required an entirely new frame, the X-Large frame (the Model 29 .44 Magnum is a “Large” frame pistol). This is understandable given the power the new round was capable of producing, not to mention the sheer size of the round.
To compensate for the “kick” produced by firing this round, the new X-Large frame revolvers had two defining characteristics, first, they were heavy as hell. The 8.38″ barrel length model comes in at a whopping 72 oz, that’s 4 pounds. Heavy ain’t all bad, to quote Boris the Blade (aka Boris the Bullet-Dodger):
Heavy is good, heavy is reliable. If it doesn’t work you can always hit them with it.
I wouldn’t want to get pistol-whipped by this hand-cannon.
The second characteristic was a compensator on the barrel. Pretty neat huh, a recoil compensator on a revolver?
Needless to say, kick is still a problem.
Depending on the competence and strength of the shooter, double discharges can be a problem when firing this revolver. The kick can inadvertently force the shooter to squeeze the trigger during the recoil of the first round. Additionally, cylinder roll-back has been observed by shooters (S&W apparently knows of this, don’t know if they fixed it).
From all the reviews I have read on this revolver, the writers all admit to a ton of recoil but concede that it is manageable assuming you don’t shoot for any length of time. Given that rounds are 2-4 bucks a piece, not sure that is a problem.
So what is this gun made for?
In my opinion, this gun was truly made for one reason, marketing. Just like the “fastest car in the world” can sell more cars for a car-maker, “the most powerful gun in the world” will sell more guns for Smith & Wesson. But the stated purpose of this gun is big game hunting.
According to the stats, this gun can kill any game in the world – that means you can kill an elephant with this bad boy! This weapon would most usually be relegated to a back-up self-defense piece in a big-game hunting application – as in, “oh crap, where did that Grizzly come from!” In a non-hunting application, this thing is virtually worthless.
It is too big, heavy and powerful for any concealed-carry application (maybe Andre the Giant could pull it off), though if someone whipped this thing out on me, I would surely crap myself post-haste. The round is overkill for home-defense, you don’t want bullets that will “shoot through schools” to quote Vermin from Johnny Dangerously.
It is most assuredly the most powerful handgun in the world, though useful in only very defined applications. Nonetheless, Fleece’s Faves are all about the biggest and the baddest and no one can question this revolver’s title as “king of the magnums”.
On to the Links!
Always on Watch – So Much For Civility
American and Proud – USA vs Mexico in America… Oh yeah, great…
America’s Watchtower – This day in history: Pickett’s Charge
Answering Muslims – Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Facing Imminent Execution in Iran for Apostasy and Evangelism
Be Sure You’re RIGHT, then Go Ahead – Right Is RIGHT…
Blog de KingShamus -Book Review- “The Wrong War” by Bing West
Bread upon the Waters – Obama: Fed Gov’t Should Stop “Poking Its Nose Into What States Are Doing”
Bunkerville – Food Deserts in DC? Central Planning to the rescue!
Capitol Commentary – New Kalifornia Budget Will Kill Small Businesses: Internet Tax
COMMON CENTS -Californians have forgotten why we celebrate the 4th of July.
Conservative Hideout – The Story of our Declaration of Independence
Conservative Outpost – CDC Prepares for Outbreak of Bachmann Derangement Syndrome
Conservatives on Fire – Have the NLRB and the NMB Outlived Their Purpose?
Conservative Tickler – Obama blames Republicans and big business for his failures.
Disrupt the Narrative – Congressman Randy Forbes on American exceptionalism.
Frankenstein Goverment – Ron Paul Says the U.S. Should Declare Bankruptcy
Manhattan Infidel – An Open Letter From Al Gore
Mind-Numbed Robot – Is “Anyone” Better than Obama?
motorcity times – If The Data Doesn’t Fit The Hypothesis, Create Data That Does Fit
NoOneofAnyImport’s Blog – Cherry On Top Award
Planet Moron – Out to Lunch, Back in Seven
Political Realities – Ron Paul For President In 2012?
Proof Positive – A Primer on How Socialists View Your Money
Questioning with Boldness – Ted Nugent Washington Times Op Ed | NUGENT: Independence Day revival
Republican Redefined – Iran Testing Missiles That Could Carry Nukes
rjjrdq’s America II – Obama Joins Hands With Muslim Brotherhood
Robbing America – Steve Citizen and the Dog Food Suit – Conclusion
Sentry Journal – Minot Flood: Where we go from here…
Edge of the Sandbox – Anti-Gun Agenda Placement in “Parents” Magazine?
Spellchek – Deciphering Obama – does it even matter?
The Swash – SoCal to Secede from California?
Teresamerica – Santorum’s Anti-Obama – Courage To Fight For Jobs Ad
ThatMrgguy’s Blog – Why Doesn’t Obama Come Right Out and Say, ‘Democrats Want to Raise Taxes’?
The Bard of Murdock – To Act or Not To Act
The Daley Gator – Yep, political correctness kills
The Foxhole – Surprise: Obama Lied About General’s Afghanistan Recommendations
The People’s Cube – FLAT FLOTUS Contest: Choose Background for the First Lady
The Spread Eagle Patriot – Happy Free From Tyranny Weekend
Zilla of the Resistance – The Racism Everyone Pretends Doesn’t Exist