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Thread: Recommendation: SW500 ammo

  1. #1
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    Default Recommendation: SW500 ammo

    I am intending to grab a bunch of various ammo to do some initial testing:
    1. target shooting: lighter and hopefully something jacketed
    2. bear defense: Cor-Bon, Buffalo Bore, Grizzly, etc.


    Questions:
    a) Any general recommendations?

    b) Lead fouling: Do gas-checked bullets really work to cut down on lead fouling?
    How do you guys manage the lead fouling issues? I know you can lube your bullets but is there anything special I can do to factory lead bullets to cut down or completely by-pass lead fouling?

    c) Cartridge cases: Which type of factory cartridge case has the best quality for reloading? Winchester, Cor-Bon, Hornady, Federal, others?

    Thanks!
    PS: I'll reload later but not now.

  2. #2
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    Default .500 S&W loads

    I've put well over 1000 rds of heavy cast lead bullets thru my 4" with no signs of leading at all. Longer barrels may be an issue however. I've also had no issues with lead buildup in the compensator - I put the one for jacketed bullets on and left it on as I see no need for the other one.

    Most of my bullets were cast in the Lee 440 ge gas check mold and lubed with the classic beeswax/alox mix. I did shoot some early on with the Lee Liquid Alox lube and didn't have any issues - it was just messy. I later picked up an RCBS 400 gr plain base bullet and sizing dies for my lube sizer. I've also been experimenting with a light 350 gr .50-70 bullet since I already had the mold. Plain gas bullets save about $.06 a piece by eliminating the gas check.

    With the very high cost of factory ammo I'd seriously consider starting handloading right away. The Lee equipment works fine and the initial cost is low - not much more than a couple boxes of factory loads. The .500 S&W is a tough gun to master - I put hundreds of rounds thru mine before I felt really confortable with it and I've been shooting magnum handguns for nearly 50 yrs.

    I have a mixture of cases and haven't had any failures yet. Some take pistol priers- watch out for those. There is also a variance in case wall thickness but it hasn't caused any problems. If I was buying new ones I'd get the Starline - it is less expensive and works well.


    Quote Originally Posted by arthury View Post
    I am intending to grab a bunch of various ammo to do some initial testing:
    1. target shooting: lighter and hopefully something jacketed
    2. bear defense: Cor-Bon, Buffalo Bore, Grizzly, etc.


    Questions:
    a) Any general recommendations?

    b) Lead fouling: Do gas-checked bullets really work to cut down on lead fouling?
    How do you guys manage the lead fouling issues? I know you can lube your bullets but is there anything special I can do to factory lead bullets to cut down or completely by-pass lead fouling?

    c) Cartridge cases: Which type of factory cartridge case has the best quality for reloading? Winchester, Cor-Bon, Hornady, Federal, others?

    Thanks!
    PS: I'll reload later but not now.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  3. #3
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    I paid for all my reloading equipment in the course of a summer just reloading for 500 Smith. if you have the time and the inclination and the patience you'll need abotu $500 worth of gear to get started. Loadign 500 smith will pay that off in a hurry.

    In general, I used Starline brass and had no trouble with it. The Spec on the case was changed to Large rifle primer many years ago. I am sure there are some cases out there that take the other primer - not even sure what it was. new production Starline is all pocketed for large rifle primers.

    In commercial loads, I would not buy the winchester platinum tip. They are load so hot and heavy that I had extration issues in both by 4" SW X frame and my 7.5" BFR.

    There used to be a MagTech load around 350 grains that is pretty close to the handload I setteld on, as hot as possible but still controllable.

    The Ultramax 325gr load used to be loaded in Starline brass, the price wasn't so bad on those once I realized I was getting brass to reload and excellent packaging to keep my reloads in. That is the round I would start 500sw n00bs on.

    I never fooled with expanding or cast bullets, I was strictly a jacketed soft point loader then.

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    Thanks, for all the juicy tips, folks.

    Which reloading manual is most relevant for SW 500?

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    I understand that the self-protection hard-cast does not foul, but for range practice factory loads that have soft LRN, do I need to spray it with anything to reduce lead fouling?

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    For load data and price (free!) the Hodgdon Reloading Data Center (on the web) is hard to beat.

  7. #7
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    Reload ur own. It's a great caliber.
    Steve

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    Yes, I am intending to but needed a box or two to test the gun when it arrives.

    I looked at http://www.reloadammo.com/500sw.htm and there are enough recipes in there to last me a life time.
    Which load have you guys tried and can find a good middle ground to start off?

    So far, I'm going to start off with the 375gr Berry's with Enforcer powder on Starline cases as an appetizer.
    What do you recommend for the main course and dessert?

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    What I did was buy a box each at 325, 350, 400 and 440 grains, and shoot those off to see what I could handle.

    I stuck with low end 325gr Speer bullets for a while as I got accustomed to the gun, more or less duplicating the UltraMax load.

    For powder you will _most likely_ end up using Lil Gun or H-110 for about everything you load in .500 Smith. Probably burn one pound of each before you buy a second pound of either.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by swmn View Post
    What I did was buy a box each at 325, 350, 400 and 440 grains, and shoot those off to see what I could handle.

    I stuck with low end 325gr Speer bullets for a while as I got accustomed to the gun, more or less duplicating the UltraMax load.

    For powder you will _most likely_ end up using Lil Gun or H-110 for about everything you load in .500 Smith. Probably burn one pound of each before you buy a second pound of either.
    I disagree to a degree? many powders now available for the big 500.
    Steve

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    The Berry's plated bullets and Enforcer may not be a good combo. Plated bullets should not be loaded above 1200 fps, and Enforcer is a slow ball powder designed for maximum loads. I would call Berry's at (800) 269-7373 to get their recommendations for that bullet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drow View Post
    The Berry's plated bullets and Enforcer may not be a good combo. Plated bullets should not be loaded above 1200 fps, and Enforcer is a slow ball powder designed for maximum loads. I would call Berry's at (800) 269-7373 to get their recommendations for that bullet.
    I just corresponded with Jay at Berry's and he said the jackets are thick and can withstand speeds up to 2,000 fps. So, no issues there with the speed that Enforcer is producing.

  13. #13
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    arthury, maybe, this site will be of use? http://john-ross.net/. He's done a bunch of reloading in this caliber.
    Steve

  14. #14
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    Good news about the thick jacket, that must be something special for the 500.

    Here is Ramshot's load guide: http://www.ramshot.com/wp-content/up...dgun_rifle.pdf

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