In Love With the S&W "X" Frame Magnums

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by rebelcop121, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. rebelcop121

    rebelcop121 New Member

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    Excuse a newbie to the site for GUSHING over guns, but my love affair has been ongoing for about five decades now. The last few years, I have been renewing my vows with the S&W X-Frame 460 and 500 Magnums. I started with the 8 inch model 460 and soon progressed to putting a scope on it in an attempt to come closer to the full potential of the pistol. I've taken 2 black bears, Caribou and Moose with it up here in Alaska. Longest shot was 130 yards.

    I then ventured further and moved up to the 500 S&W. I was leery for a while from all the horror stories of the massive amount of recoil, which proved to be greatly exaggerated. I now have an 8 inch model, a 4 inch model and even a H&R Handi Rifle in 500 S&W. I reload, so the fun rarely stops. I test out my near max loads on the H&R for safety, but I don't go to the Max and never beyond. Standard factory Hornady went clear through a seven foot grizzly. It only made another 75 yards into the deep undergrowth before giving up the ghost. I followed a sedate 2 hours later...No use rushing my own demise.

    I've been experimenting. I put a 3-Dot Red Dot scope from a crossbow on the 8 in 500 and it surprisingly held up to the recoil. I suspected it might, since a crossbow has tremendous whip back and forth when fired. The scope worked and I thought I was on my way for a ranging scope on the pistol, but the Red Dots are just too big, even on low settings. At anything past 25 yards, it blots out too much of the target. Going back to my old standby 2-7 Burris Pistol scopes.

    Still looking for an affordable 5 inch 460 S&W. I use the 8 in pistols with scopes, but like the 4 & 5 inch models for hip carry in dense alders and willows in Bear Country. I load the 4 inch 500 with Hornady 500 grain jacket flat points with 32 grains of H110 for close in bear protection. I load Barnes 275, 325 and 375 grain loads over Lil'Gun for the 8 inch. The 375 grain have the best BC I've found for any .500 pistol bullet.

    Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. I load and re-arrange scopes in the winter, then shoot em and try them out in the Spring.
  2. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Resident Science Nut

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    Moved to the correct section (it was in the classifieds)
  3. rebelcop121

    rebelcop121 New Member

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    Thanks,
    Thought I was in the Handgun section, but I must have scrolled down to far.
  4. M.Link

    M.Link Guest

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    I've been looking at those Handi-Rifles. How does the 500 compare to the 45-70? The 45-70 is what I was going to buy. Do you have a scope on yours or open sights? Sorry for asking rifle questions in the handgun section.
  5. rebelcop121

    rebelcop121 New Member

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    I bought the Handi Rifle for the purpose of checking out the handloads. I haven't put a scope on it yet. Surprisingly it seems to kick worse than the handgun. It is really LIGHT WEIGHT and that equates to stronger recoil. If you are debating, I'd go with the 45-70 in a Lever Gun for more ammo. I haven't compared ballistics, but the .500 has some interesting ammo choices if you reload. I'm loading everything from 275 grain to 500 grain bullets. The 275 Barnes XPB can be loaded to over 2000 fps in an 8 inch barrel, should be more in a rifle barrel. Comparable with the 45-70. New LeveRevlolution bullets by Hornady with the new Marlin Barrel have expanded the range of the standard Lever Gun.
  6. rebelcop121

    rebelcop121 New Member

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    Posting this THREAD must have been Prophetic. Today I got a call from a coworker who heard an ad on a Radio Trade show from a guy selling a 5 inch 460 S&W Magnum. The guy must have really needed money after Christmas, because he drove 100 miles to deliver a slightly used .460 for $750. They've been listing at about $1100 in the shops when you can find one. Manna from Heaven! Okay, so I get a little carried away when it comes to my guns...
    Now I have to come up with another gun that I just have to have in my collection for some obscure and totally unsubstantiated reason. It shouldn't take me long....
  7. MonkeyMagic

    MonkeyMagic New Member

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  8. rebelcop121

    rebelcop121 New Member

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    I've heard of them, but haven't loaded any yet. The 500 grain loads meet up with the powder charge as it is and larger bullets would probably result in compressed loads. I use the heavier bullets in my four inch model for close range stopping on Grizzly Bears. Thanks for the input. I have a friend who has loaded up some 700 grain loads, and I'll get with him to find out the exact load criteria he uses.
  9. twoclones

    twoclones Well-Known Member

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    If you're not recoil sensitive, the X-frames are a lot of fun to shoot. There has been more than one guy fire mine and immediately hand it back after the first shot... I carry my .500 S&W 4" at work with 400 grain cast bullets and keep it on a Blackhawk lanyard to avoid loosing track of it while pushing through the bush. Never shot anything other than inanimate targets...

    I also have the TC Encore Pro Hunter in .500 S&W which has their FlexTech™ stock system for reducing recoil. Very nice shooter but just like the revolver, it's for a more experienced shooter.

    Mine with a NAA Mini .22 mag
    [​IMG]
  10. twoclones

    twoclones Well-Known Member

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    Ballistic Supply has shut down until further notice. If memory serves, they used Ranger Rick's Big Bullets for their ammo. I recently bought both the 600 & 700 grain bullets from Rick and he tossed in some other samples. I'm still scrounging to find primers :(

    Ranger Rick's Tyrannosaurus Thumpers
  11. MonkeyMagic

    MonkeyMagic New Member

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    Thanks for the info and link...
  12. rebelcop121

    rebelcop121 New Member

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    Monkey Magic; Primers have been a problem for a lot of people. I have noticed that some are starting to trickle into the market place finally. Good luck on finding some. I slowly accumulated about 3,000 of each type for home use. Always looking for more, especially Magnum Large pistol and rifle, since they perform much better up here in the cold of Alaska.

    Two Clones; I know what you mean about the Recoil Sensitive people out there. I have also had my share of people who will fire the 500 once and then hand it back and say; "That's enough." I personally believe the problem is that they try to control the recoil, by locking down on it to hard. I prefer to just let it happen and concentrate on a good site picture and trigger squeeze. What happens after it shoots, doesn't matter as much as what's happening while you're shooting. People have to learn to go with the gun, enstead of absorbing all the recoil into themselves.
    I have one friend that is 6'-05" and pushing 300#. Believe it or not, he is Recoil Sensitive to the max. While another who is 5'-07" and a buck fifty handles all the big bores and shoots a Thompson pistol in 375 JDJ when we go hunting. I guess it all comes down to technique.

    I had people trying to warn me about the four inch .500, saying the recoil would be too severe to handle for accurate shooting. I then went out with some 500 Grain JFP rounds and shot a cloverleaf at 10 yards which is about where I want to train for close in Bear Encounters. I'll be working on some double action drills in the future to maintain a sustainable rate of fire for a charging bear and work on the recoil recovery time.
  13. twoclones

    twoclones Well-Known Member

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    This video had a bit to do with me shooting my .500 in double action only... Looks to me like one can't count on taking a second shot!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMbnmLLnsfw
  14. rebelcop121

    rebelcop121 New Member

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    It really happens fast when it happens. Every year up here someone gets killed or mauled in a bear attack. Usually someone who inadvertantly walked up on a bear, or was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I know people personally who have been in extremely close encounters and had to kill a charging bear. Kind of gives you a reason to be prepared.