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Thread: Light loads for a S&W .500

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default Light loads for a S&W .500

    Ok, I have a John Ross S&W .500 on the way. This may be a dumb question, but where do I find a 'light' load for this? It seems like everything is huge bear loads. Maybe I am just not use to the numbers for this, but with my .454 I can shoot 45 to just put some rounds though it without going up to the high power rounds. I asked one guy and he said hand load them. Does someone sell something in town that is easy to shoot in this gun?
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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    Not the answer you are seeking but it is time to start reloading
    Then you will find lots of info.

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    Default let me know..

    PM me when it comes in and I'll meet up with you at the range and bring a variety of my re-loads and my 4" & 8 3/8 .500s. I've love to see and shoot your Ross gun and we can compare and shoot all three. I've got 400, 440, and 565 gr bullets I load.

    If you want to learn to shoot the gun you really need to get into reloading and bullet casting. It took many hundreds of rounds before I really felt comfortable with mine and I've been shooting magnum handguns for nearly 50 years. Factory ammo is so expensive that it doesn't take long to justify the reloading equipment. I can help you get started if you like.


    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    Ok, I have a John Ross S&W .500 on the way. This may be a dumb question, but where do I find a 'light' load for this? It seems like everything is huge bear loads. Maybe I am just not use to the numbers for this, but with my .454 I can shoot 45 to just put some rounds though it without going up to the high power rounds. I asked one guy and he said hand load them. Does someone sell something in town that is easy to shoot in this gun?
    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

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    If you decide you want to reload for it shoot me a pm as I will be selling all my S&W 500 brass (most of it unfired) as well as a set of S&W 500 RCBS dies.

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    I'd be interested if jrodgers doesn't need it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    If you decide you want to reload for it shoot me a pm as I will be selling all my S&W 500 brass (most of it unfired) as well as a set of S&W 500 RCBS dies.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    I'd be interested if jrodgers doesn't need it.
    I am still going to resist getting into reloading for a while...

    I do appreciate the offer from Snowwolfe though.
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    Good score on that brass. I've been dragging my feet on brass and the only Starline .500 S&W I can find in stock is Cabela's at "Holly Crap!" prices.For the OP: I don't know what's avail. in factory loads but I load mine pretty mild and it's enjoyable to shoot.

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    I picked up some 500 S&W from Scheels in Reno NV for 37.99 + tax, box of 20. This was two weeks ago, they had 200+ boxes out and more in the back. I bet they would ship to AK. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361594605.695932.jpg

    I also found some at Cabelas for less than $40 too, this was in November. Can't find them any more at this time.ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361594843.967516.jpg
    I am shooting these out of a 4" Smith and Wesson.
    I will hand load mine soon!

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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361595219.451971.jpg This is my 4" 500 and guide's choice holster for mine.

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    $2 a pop - double ouch!

    You gotta get into reloading and casting your own bullets. I don't mind the recoil but the $2 a round would defintly cause me to flinch


    Quote Originally Posted by Team Kabob View Post
    I picked up some 500 S&W from Scheels in Reno NV for 37.99 + tax, box of 20. This was two weeks ago, they had 200+ boxes out and more in the back. I bet they would ship to AK. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361594605.695932.jpg

    I also found some at Cabelas for less than $40 too, this was in November. Can't find them any more at this time.ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361594843.967516.jpg
    I am shooting these out of a 4" Smith and Wesson.
    I will hand load mine soon!
    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

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    Ya ouch! Seen the same rounds for $80 a box. Ya $2each is a expensive range day. But I didn't buy that gun to shot all day. That's what my 22 is for.

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    Find a commercial reloader (licensed, insured, all that) and ask them to make some ammo for you. Got to AmmoKing on Boniface or Great Northern Guns off of Tudor if you cannot find a loader in the Yellow Pages or on the internet. If anyone knows a custom ammo maker, they would.

    They will probably have a minimum order size which might be daunting, but after that, you will have the brass, they will have the dies and you can buy a year's supply at a time for a substantial savings over regular retail stores.

    I started reloading the same week I started shooting and recommend it to you. I estimate that For about $300 you could buy all the gear and enough powder, brass, primers and bullets to load $300 worth of ammunition. After that, 75% savings over factory ammo is easy to achieve.

    My friend has a 500 Smith and I taught him how to reload. I introduced him with Trail Boss, a voluminous powder that makes it easy to see the charge in the case. It is a smokeless powder, designed for Cowboy Action Shooting Sports. He gets 800 fps with 350 grain bullets. In his 500, they recoil like a 22 rimfire. I think he uses about 12 grains of powder, which (if I remember correctly) fills the case more than halfway.

    Sometimes, at the range, he will let other people shoot it. They can start with the light loads and work their way up to full power (or stop anywhere in between).

    Good luck.

    Lost Sheep

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    It is a MUST to load your own for the big ones. Prices are crazy for ammo. Even better if you cast your own boolits. You can get down to a dime a shot.
    It is common for guys to look for lighter loads in the big guns but if you need to buy them, they are still not cheap.
    Since back in the early 50's, I have never bought any gun without having dies, molds, powder and primers ready to go. The only guns I have ever owned that I needed to buy for were .22's.

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    Default agree..

    I mentioned this before and totally agree for the .500 or any similar big bore with high ammunition costs. With the Lee bullet mold and push-thru sizer you can even get into bullet casting at a low cost. I went the Lee route at first for my .500 before I got some better equipment and I was surprised how well it worked for the cost.

    Even though I've been shooting magnum handguns for nearly 50 years it still took some hundreds of rounds before i felt confortable with the ,500. Only a very few with very deep pockets are ever going to be proficant with the .500 shooting factory ammo.


    Quote Originally Posted by bfrshooter View Post
    It is a MUST to load your own for the big ones. Prices are crazy for ammo. Even better if you cast your own boolits. You can get down to a dime a shot.
    It is common for guys to look for lighter loads in the big guns but if you need to buy them, they are still not cheap.
    Since back in the early 50's, I have never bought any gun without having dies, molds, powder and primers ready to go. The only guns I have ever owned that I needed to buy for were .22's.
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by bfrshooter View Post
    It is a MUST to load your own for the big ones. Prices are crazy for ammo. Even better if you cast your own boolits. You can get down to a dime a shot.
    It is common for guys to look for lighter loads in the big guns but if you need to buy them, they are still not cheap.
    Since back in the early 50's, I have never bought any gun without having dies, molds, powder and primers ready to go. The only guns I have ever owned that I needed to buy for were .22's.
    Unless one has really deep pockets, it's almost impossible to afford to shoot them enough to become proficient with them if you don't roll your own.

    Not only can you save a bundle, you'll work up loads that aren't available from the factory. Shouldn't be hard at all to find a load that pushes a ~350 gr bullet ~1000 fps and produces very tight groups.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Default no deep pockets..

    Took my 4" and scoped 8 3/8" .500s out Sunday and put 40-50 rounds through them - all reloads with cast bullets.

    I shot some 565 gr. bullets with 25 gr. of Lil'Gun. This is a lighter load than I've shot before but still has a repectable recoil in both guns. The 4" gun had a lot more muzzle jump, the 8 3/8" has the fixed compensator that appears to be mainly to reduce muzzle flip. Accuracy wasn't what I hoped for - I've got to do some more work or try a different bullets.

    The rest were some 400 gr bullets out of the RCBS mold. I shot from 30 - 36 gr of Lil'Gun behind them. The 8 3/8" gun won't take the heavier loads without sticking cases. Accuracy was better than the heavier bullets but still needs some improvement. I know the throats are tight in the 4" gun; I haven't checked the longer barreled gun yet.

    Got to get out and chronograph some of these loads esp. in the longer barreled gun.

    Didn't break the bank shooting these but the web of my hand was bruised. I've got to get out and start shooting these guns more.


    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Unless one has really deep pockets, it's almost impossible to afford to shoot them enough to become proficient with them if you don't roll your own.

    Not only can you save a bundle, you'll work up loads that aren't available from the factory. Shouldn't be hard at all to find a load that pushes a ~350 gr bullet ~1000 fps and produces very tight groups.
    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

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    Loading for my X frame, I paid for a really nice reloading setup in about three months.

    These days I am taking .45Colt to the range, nothing special smokeless duplicate of the Elihu Root's 1873 load of 255gr at about 900fps, I spend about 21 cents per round and some relaxing workbench time, retail is close to $1.00/ round.

    I can't believe I was saving money on reloading .38Special last year, but I was.

    If you are willing to invest the time in cleaning up, perceived recoil in a .500S&W using black powder behind a bullet around 300-350 grains ought to be pretty mild. I'd go with TrailBoss myself.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I have my John Ross 5" .500 'on order'. It is a slow process getting it out of them. Hopefully I will have it in another week or so. I am anxious to go shoot it and seems it is taking forever to get it on the way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Kabob View Post
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1361595219.451971.jpg This is my 4" 500 and guide's choice holster for mine.
    Did you steal my gun???? That look's just like mine.....Oh wait, its till here, Sorry!
    If we all agreed....this would be no fun

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    Quote Originally Posted by tabmarine View Post
    Did you steal my gun???? That look's just like mine.....Oh wait, its till here, Sorry!
    Haha! Don't know what I would do with two. Guess I could have dueling pistols!

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