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Thread: Big bore recoil

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    Member 2dawgs's Avatar
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    Default Big bore recoil

    So, I have this really cool S&W .500 4" barrel monster. It shoots great and is accurate as any pistol I have ever shot. My problem is the recoil just tears me up to the point I don't like to shoot it much. Heck the last time I took it out it took 2 months for my hand to heal (that was my fault shooting SA with a winter glove, went boom before I was ready). My question is for you guys with a lot of BB experience, is there much difference in recoil between the monster and say a 460 or 454?

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    I've owned and fired a couple, 44 mag snub and 6.5" 500 s&w. I can say the 500 in that platform was a lot more comfortable to shoot than the 44 snub. I felt the 500 more in the shoulders but overall, I think due to the better handle, higher weight, and longer barrel on the 500, I could enjoy it a lot more. I also found if I wrap my supporting hand's thumb over the top of my trigger hand, I could use both hands and arms to control the recoil.

    As far as how it compares to the 460 or 454, I can't say. Though I will speculate that your 4" (actually 2-3/4") barrel leaves a lot of unburned powder by the time the bullet leaves your muzzle and that creates a lot of blast and "jet" effect.

    Hand loaders can use faster powders and milder loads to reduce that effect quite a bit, which is something I believe factory ammunition makers should take advantage of more. I've heard it countless times that "the 500 s&w is what got me into hand loading". Not just because of the savings in cost (which there really isn't in the end), but because of what can be done with hand loading for that cartridge. A 400+ grain 50 caliber bullet doesn't need to be going nearly as fast as it's often loaded to by factories to be effective on the biggest creatures, especially for folks more interested in the 4" model.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dawgs View Post
    My question is for you guys with a lot of BB experience, is there much difference in recoil between the monster and say a 460 or 454?
    I won't claim to have "a lot" of experience. That said, I don't think a "big bore" necessarily be brutally abusive by nature. There are lots of variables at play. Peak pressure and shape of the pressure curve, and subtleties of ergonomics make a big difference. Seems like S&W's intentional goal was to create a big, ugly, abusive gun / cartridge combo, simply for the sake of doing so, as opposed to creating something practical and useful....but that's just my impression. My 500 Linebaugh is pretty snappy, but it's not abusive to fire....but you couldn't give me a 500 S&W for free. It wouldn't be worth the effort to sell the stupid thing.
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    I agree with much of post #2 on this. You don't need to load the 4" 500 hot to get the job done. I run a 400 grain RCBS cast bullet at mild loads for fun shooting. And it is fun to shoot. I up that to a 440 grain hard cast commercial bullet at midrange loads for more serious carry. Pick a powder that burns more in the barrel than in front of the muzzle. I replaced the ported brake with a non-ported part.

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    The 454 push most to their limit. That's why the 480Ruger is making a come black,big bullet with just a little more recoil than 44mag
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've shot plenty of 454's, 475's and 500's and that is why I have a 480. To me the 480 is the most recoil I can handle in a revolver of reasonable weight without resorting to a muzzle break. That and if 400 gr @ 1100-1200 fps isn't enough, I'm taking a big rifle, not a bigger revolver.

    To me when you surpass the 480's level of recoil it takes a tremendous amount of practice to master the gun, and it will beat you up in the process.
    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.

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    Member 2dawgs's Avatar
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    I've been using the 400gr buffalo bore which I think is pretty hot. I've got a friend who is set up to load .500, claims he has a recipe that will kill unruly bears that a 12 yr old chearleader can handle. I claim bs but I've got some brass so I'm gonna try it before I find a sucker to buy this thing.

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    I was thinking seriously about the 454 and curious about the 460, never shot either. I have not concidered the 480 river before, gonna look into that as well. Sad because I can shoot this 500 really well, just tired of getting my arse
    kicked doing it.

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    Member 2dawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post

    To me when you surpass the 480's level of recoil it takes a tremendous amount of practice to master the gun, and it will beat you up in the process.
    Paul, you got that right. Tremendous amount of money in ammo to.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Fortunately I cast my own bullets and load my own ammo so other than the investment in the tools, ammo is relatively cheap. I lost count but have at least 5000 rounds through my 480 with about half those rounds full power. I also have the flexibility of using lighter bullets at ~1000 fps for target loads.

    I was fortunate to have shooting buddies with various big bore revolvers so was able to shoot enough of them to find that there is a recoil threshold over which it is very difficult to master the guns. To me the 480 is right at that threshold and if you get custom molds where you seat the bullet out to the cylinder length you can load up to spitting distance of the 475 linebaugh. But you also have recoil to match.
    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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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    I love the 460V. No it doesn't just kill you like a 500 does but there is recoil.

    They are the most accurate revolvers I have ever shot, because of the progressive rifling I believe. I have 2 460V's still sold the XVR. I shoot rocket hot 454s in my 460s and they are less recoil than my 357 Rugger Blackhawk. Full on hot 460 (395g@1450fps) will make your hand throb if you apply the fear grip but I have shot 100 or more in an afternoon with a normal firm grip that lets the grip work. I have had a couple 500 Smiths but they just don't have the versatility of the 460. The X-frame is sure heavy but it tames recoil better for it . . . full house 200g Hornady XTP 460mag is like a 30-06 you can holster on your belt, hole other class of handgun!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dawgs View Post
    I've been using the 400gr buffalo bore which I think is pretty hot. I've got a friend who is set up to load .500, claims he has a recipe that will kill unruly bears that a 12 yr old chearleader can handle. I claim bs but I've got some brass so I'm gonna try it before I find a sucker to buy this thing.

    Give your friend's load a shot. I have no doubt, that the best bang for the buck (performance for the amount of recoil) of all the big bores can be found on the X-Frame by reloading the 500 to mild levels with fast bulky powders. But if you are serious about jumping ship, let me know and I'll trade you a 7.5" 454 SRH in great condition with a smoothed trigger and extras.

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    Member S.B.'s Avatar
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    I'm personally addicted to very large bore, heavy recoiling revolvers. Keep telling myself, they won't make a gun so big no one can shoot it? Granted, the 500 is the biggest one I've shot so far but, who knows what the future holds?
    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKMtnRunner View Post
    Give your friend's load a shot. I have no doubt, that the best bang for the buck (performance for the amount of recoil) of all the big bores can be found on the X-Frame by reloading the 500 to mild levels with fast bulky powders. But if you are serious about jumping ship, let me know and I'll trade you a 7.5" 454 SRH in great condition with a smoothed trigger and extras.
    Hmmm, I'll definitely keep your offer in mind, but I want to try the sissy loads first. 😀

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    Sissy loads hu? Well, if you don't like the recoil from Stupid Loads, why not try something smarter?

    15 grains of HS-6 is both accurate and easy on the hand/wrist. The book doesn't recommend downloading IMR-4227 but 28 to 30 grains with the 440 grain cast are loads that are both accurate and easy on your body. They're all going in the neighborhood of 1,000 fps with the 4227 in the mid-1,000 fps.

  16. #16

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    I tip my hat to those of you that are proficient with a big hand canon. I'm not one of you. A 280 grain LBT hard cast with a hearty powder charge out of a S&W .44 mag. Mountain Gun is my limit. Even shooting that is not what I call "fun shooting"!

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    I tip my hat to those of you that are proficient with a big hand canon. I'm not one of you. A 280 grain LBT hard cast with a hearty powder charge out of a S&W .44 mag. Mountain Gun is my limit. Even shooting that is not what I call "fun shooting"!
    My sentiments exactly.

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    I don't shoot any of these but saw a revolver once in 45-70. I have a rifle in that and it kicks like three mules. Anyone ever fire one of those revolvers?

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    Member S.B.'s Avatar
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    SOTN and .338mag., I doubt anyone who shoots these behemoths endures any better than anyone else, recoil is recoil, it is what it is. I have so much carpal tunnel that it no longer matters to me
    Steve
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S.B. View Post
    I have so much carpal tunnel that it no longer matters to me
    I've had it so bad that my fingers were completely numb and I couldn't make my hands work (couldn't even hold a pencil and sign my name), and the pain was so bad it kept me awake at night. I can't imagine ever saying "it no longer matters to me".
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
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