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Thread: Smith & Wesson 500 4"

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    Default Smith & Wesson 500 4"

    Hey guys,

    I just bought a new S&W 500 today in the 4". I am going to be hand loading and have been doing some research online.

    So far it looks like lil'gun, H110, and IMR4227 are pretty popular. I am trying to pick a bullet first and then go from there.

    I am wondering what round you guys have found that you like in this gun. I will mostly be using the gun for bear defense. I typically have used cast lead in my 44 and imagine it is probably highly recommended in the 500 as well. I would like to find a copper jacketed round that will hold together well, penetrate, and take the big dog down when needed but if the recommendation is to stick with something like a 440gr. hard cast lead then I'll probably do that.

    Anyway, I am excited to get some loads together. Would love to hear your experiences and maybe get some tried and true recipes if you guys are willing to share your favorites.

    Thanks!

    Derrick
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    I would get with Ranger Rick, home of the T-Rex Thumpers.

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    Call the shop, ask for Hans, he's a hairy walking 500 encylopedia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    Call the shop, ask for Hans, he's a hairy walking 500 encylopedia
    Thanks! I talked to him yesterday while I was buying the gun. Lots of info!
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2PawsRiver View Post
    I would get with Ranger Rick, home of the T-Rex Thumpers.
    I e-mailed him last night to see how far out he is. Thanks!
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Default .500 4" Handloading

    First up - buy one of the Lee 440 gr molds and sizing kits to get a cheap source of bullets - the jacked stuff is just too dang expensive. Not the quickest way to make cast bullets but it works fine and you most likely won't shoot the .500 near as much as a lesser caliber like the .44 Mag. The .500 bullets takes quite bit of force to size and lube and using a big press is not a bad way to go. The liquid Alox seems to work fine with no signs of leading in my gun. I do have several other lube sizers and many bullet molds but I'll most likely continue to use the Lee setup for the .500 - it does work fine for the lesser quanities most of us will shoot.

    About any of the popular powders - Litlte Gun, 296/H110 etc. will work fine for max loads. The .500 has plenty of punch so squeezing the last fps out isn't as big an issue as smaller calibers. The Little Gun is the cheapest if you can find it and you do use about 10% less so it is a good choice. I've only tried a few medium loads with 4227 and they worked fine. Working up some light loads is in the near future- I'll report back.

    I've got some 500 gr Hornady bullets I may carry for bear. I can't imagine anything they won't stop! I think they were the bullet some people kill elephants and cape buff with - plenty enough for bear in any event.

    When you start shooting the heavy bullets remember that they will shoot quite a bit higher than the ligher bullets due to the heavier recoil. I've been using the jacketed compensator even for lead bullets to help reduce the muzzle rise as much a possible. A second shot with the 4" .500 will be a challenge if the first round doesn't stop the bear.

    One good result after learning to shoot the .500: the .44 mag even with heavy loads doesn't appear to have much recoil at all. I can now casually plink with heavy loads in my 6" 629 Claasic without a second though. I had the same experience when I went from a .357 to a .44 over 40 years ago. Big handguns are flat fun to shoot once you master them - and they can be a challenge. Once you overcome flinching with a .500 you can shoot about anything.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    tvfinak,

    Great post! Thanks for the info. I am excited to get to the range.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Default Range

    Which range are you going to? Maybe I'll see you there.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    tvfinak,

    Great post! Thanks for the info. I am excited to get to the range.
    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
    Which range are you going to? Maybe I'll see you there.
    I've been shooting at Birchwood. I might hit Rabbit Creek if I don't have time to run out there.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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    Default Rabbit Creek

    I usually hit Rabbit Creek later in the afternoon on weekends after the crowds die down a bit. I don't like to be watching everyone else and they probably don't care for my muzzle blast either so I try to get in an spot with vacancies to the sides.

    I try to make shorter more frequent trips with the .500 and other large caliber guns with significant recoil. IMO shorter sessions are more productive as far as practice goes with them. 25 to 50 rounds in a session is plenty for me with a .500. Between shooting cylinderfulls in the .500 I'll shoot a lesser caliber and/or talk to other shooters and take a short break.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    I've been shooting at Birchwood. I might hit Rabbit Creek if I don't have time to run out there.
    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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    I've gotten to where I shoot a lot less while at the range. Go and shoot a couple groups with lots of cool down time in between. I enjoying being there with friends and like watching other people shoot as well.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

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