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Old November 16, 2004, 04:06 PM   #1
OhioJohn
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Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum

I am looking for a section of this Forum that deals with the S&W 500 Magnum. I bought mine last week, and started reloading last Sunday. Any and all info would be appreciated.
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Old November 18, 2004, 12:06 PM   #2
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Welcome to the board. I would think either here or the revolver forum would be best place to discuss your sixgun. I can't help much with the big 500 as I don't own one. I do however make a bullet for the thing. The DC 500-400-K. I don't have a picture on our site but the bullet looks a lot like the DC 45-355-K or the DC 475-400-K, both of which can be seen on the bullet page at www.creeker.net
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Old November 18, 2004, 06:33 PM   #3
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In my experience with two of them, cast bullets below about 400 grains do not like to go fast. However, they make for amazingly accurate "plinking" loads, if you can call a 350 grain bullet at around 1200 fps a plinker. I use 15-16 grains of Unique with the 350 grainer, and can consistently put all five rounds into a 4" group @ 100 yards with the stock iron sights. I bought a Weigand Weaver-type base rail and am waiting on a 4x Leupold LER scope to arrive to try to improve on that. H110 and Li'l Gun are the powders of choice for full power loads. H110 may have a slight edge in the velocity dept, but recoil is noticably sharper than with Li'l Gun. I have an NEI mould that casts a 460 grain bullet with my alloy, and I can push it to an honest 1600+ fps out of the 8 3/8" barrel. The lightest bullet I've tried is the 270 grain Barnes, which should be able to hit 2200 fps with max loads. Jacketed 325 grainers can top 2000 fps. Heavy bullets at velocities like this, out of a hangun barrel, is absolutely phenomenal.
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Old November 18, 2004, 10:14 PM   #4
OhioJohn
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I am loading a 325 grain Sierra bullet over 40 grains of LiL' Gun in Starline brass, large rifle primer, oal around 2.010". I just want a consistent round I can hunt with. I am very unhappy with the mess from this powder. It might just be the way this round is, but I have never seen a gun get so dirty so quickly.
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Old November 19, 2004, 09:27 AM   #5
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40.0 grains of Li'l Gun is listed as a starting load in my data, with a maximum of 44.5. The top load should give you right around 2000 fps. I haven't noticed Li'l gun to be exceptionally dirty, but with a stainless gun, everything looks a little dirty. Try H110 and see if it's any cleaner.

I've been using the above load of Unique and a cast 350 grainer for a hunting load this year. Even though it's just a "plinker" in this monster, it's still well above the energy levels of standard full bore 240 grain .44 magnum loads.
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Old November 21, 2004, 05:34 PM   #6
OhioJohn
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How do I set the crimp? What is "Meplat"? The problem I am having is due to recoil moving the bullet forward in the case. (Speer 325 sjhp over 40 grains Lil' Gun) Can I cut the crimp groove in the bullets I already have? How wide, how deep, and is the groove square or tapered? Yes, I have the ability to cut them if I can get the right info.
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Old November 23, 2004, 06:44 PM   #7
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The meplat is the flat nose area of a flat nose bullet. Loading data for the .500 is still quite limited, but when the manuals start printing it, there will also be an overall length listed. This isn't a problem with bullets with a crimp groove, of course, and as you've found out, smooth jacketed bullets can't be gripped tight enough to keep from moving under recoil. I assume the bullets you are using are for the .50 AE, an autoloader cartridge which would use a taper crimp instead of a roll crimp.

Crimp grooves aren't cut into the bullet, but rather swaged or rolled into it. Cutting into the jacket weakens it and could result in a partial jacket seperation. Tools are made to roll a cannelure into a bullet that doesn't have one, and I'm sure someone must make a swaging tool too. Some cannelure's are tapered (the swaged type) and some are square (the ones rolled into the bullet with a tool). The cannelure tool resembles a miniature knurling tool more than anything.
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Old November 23, 2004, 10:05 PM   #8
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Thanx for the help. I just finished loading a batch of the Hornady 350 over 40 grains of Lil' Gun (OAL= 1.985 +/- 0.003" or so), and the new bullets are knurled. I also got an indepth dissertation from "The Man" about bullet construction in general and crimping in particular and how to set-up my press. I definately did not have it right. All seems well at final inspection, I will report on the test firing asap.
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Old November 25, 2004, 09:34 PM   #9
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Ok, tested Thanksgiving morning. The Hogdon book in my hand shows this 350 grain Hornady XTP bullet at 42 grns Lil' Gun, 1912 fps, 48k psi. I don't own a Crony yet, so I can't give any fps numbers. I did ten rounds at 40 grains, and ten rounds at 38 grains. The first group of 38's went about 3" overall, but the second group went honestly and absolutely within a silver dollar at 30 yards. ( The gun likes to be dirty? ) The 40 grainers were all over the map at 60 yards, probably a 4" group. I have twenty 38 grainers and twenty 37 grainers ready to be tested Friday afternoon. I will report on these tomorrow.
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Old November 26, 2004, 10:13 PM   #10
OhioJohn
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Friday: 37.0 grains (+/- 0.05) of Lil' Gun under a Hornady 350 XTP, OAL 1.990" ( +/- 0.003" ), thirty yards, four inch groups. Same everything except powder weight went to 38.0 grains, honest two inch groups. Not badly uncomfortable, and yet very consistent in my pistol. This will be my hunting load next week in Southern Ohio. Wish me good hunting.

PS... is anyone else unhappy with the grips and sights on this unit?
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Old November 26, 2004, 10:16 PM   #11
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I like the Hogue Monogrip on every DA revolver I've ever tried it on. What is it about the sights you don't like?
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Old November 26, 2004, 10:23 PM   #12
OhioJohn
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The trigger guard is slamming against the top of my middle finger knuckle. Makes it swell up real quick. Might be due to having very large hands. The sights are adjusted all the way down, and the impact is a solid and very consistent four inches high at thirty yards. I also do not like the actual view I get through the sight window. I think the front sight is much too wide, and consequently the rear is too open. I would prefer something a bit more precise.
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Old November 27, 2004, 10:33 AM   #13
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Hitting high at closer ranges was a problem early on, so S&W started including a taller front sight blade in the box. If you don't have it, they will send you the taller one. It takes only a few seconds to change it.
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Old November 27, 2004, 07:42 PM   #14
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I received my 4x Leupold EER scope today and mounted it up. This revolver was amazing with 4" open sight groups at 100 yds, but now 1 1/2" three shot groups are common, and most five shot groups are well under 3". Only one of the groups I shot today (40 rounds total) was over three inches. Fantastic! And with home-cast bullets too!
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Old November 27, 2004, 10:29 PM   #15
OhioJohn
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I am grateful for all your help. The new front sight was in the box, under everything. I remember seeing it when I bought the cannon, I had forgotten it was there. I don't have a clue how to install it, but that is a "no hurry" item because I will not alter anything this close to my season. I am absolutely positive that the gun will hit where I aim, as long as I aim a few inches high at 30-50 yards, and a couple inches at 100-150 yards. That has got to be considered "whitetail accurate". I will continue to experiment with heavier loads to get ready for boar and bear hunting, and just because the gun REALLY intrigues me. I also solved the "uncomfortable grip" issue with the timely council of one good brother. He noticed I had the gun buried in my fist just as far as I could jam it in there, in some subliminal attempt to control recoil. Hey, if I don't want to feel it, I shouldn't shoot it. It is going to get rowdy. I must accept it. I now hold it farther out in my fingers and its a lot more comfortable, plus the trigger feels more like what I am already used to. Once again I want to thank you for all your help. I have never done this "forum" type of communication before and I am pleased it worked.
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Old November 28, 2004, 12:02 AM   #16
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The notches in the sight hold it in place with a fixed pin at the front and a spring loaded plunger at the rear in the slot in the sight base on the gun. To remove it, push the sight blade to the rear, which compresses the spring, and lift the front up. To install the taller one, insert the rear of the sight in the slot, and push to the rear until the front can be pushed down into the slot.
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Old November 30, 2004, 11:03 PM   #17
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I have been shooting my 8 3/8" 500 for almost 1000 rounds now. I love it. I found the 440 gr leadhead bullets (same lead cor-bon uses) to be absolutely fantastic. They are gaschecked and reasonable price wise. I talked to the owner at lengths and he said the cor-bon is using 38 gr of H110. I get a 1.3" group with 5 rounds at 75 yds with 38.6gr and the 440 lead! It is one of the most accurate guns I have ever shot. For a light load, try the rainier plated 325 with 16.1gr of unique. You will be very surprised! My wife shoots this a lot and likes. I also crimp heavily in a second die and really prefer this seating practice. E-mail me if you want specifics "OhioJohn"

John
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Old December 1, 2004, 10:52 AM   #18
Jbar4Ranch
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15.0 - 16.0 grains of Unique and any 325 - 350 grain bullet seems to be a universally accurate load for this caliber. And, like John just said, definitely crimp is a seperate operation rather than during bullet seating.
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Old December 8, 2004, 03:34 PM   #19
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OhioJohn

I have a couple of good working loads that I use all the time and a huge amount of data for many different weights . The two best loads are 1. 700gr WFNGC bullet ,25gr H110 vel 1125 . 2.575gr WFNGC bullet , 33.5 LiL Gun vel 1442 . At 100 yards with the 700gr I have 4"-5" groups and with the 575gr 3"-4" groups , they both do about the same . I have the PC Hunter 10.5 version . This is hands down the best big bore revolver . Here is a picture of a loaded 500 round with a 700gr along side a 44 mag with a 230gr bullet . Other picture is my PC 500 along side my 44 redhawk.

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Old December 15, 2004, 08:46 PM   #20
OhioJohn
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I have a working load that is a Hornandy 350 grn XTP over 38.0 grns of Lil' Gun, Starline brass, CCI LR primer, COL 1.990". I can put five in a 1.625" circle at 30 yards. Several groups were very nice, under 2" consistent. In the field I put three in a row over the back of a huge doe at about 130 yards. I will get proficient with this load. I will be working up a mega-hammer load for hoggies in the very near future.
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Old January 26, 2005, 10:36 PM   #21
dad11345
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370 grain Cast Performance gas check bullet over 44.5 grains of H110.
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Old January 26, 2005, 11:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
have a working load that is a Hornandy 350 grn XTP over 38.0 grns of Lil' Gun, Starline brass, CCI LR primer, COL 1.990". I can put five in a 1.625" circle at 30 yards. Several groups were very nice, under 2" consistent. In the field I put three in a row over the back of a huge doe at about 130 yards. I will get proficient with this load. I will be working up a mega-hammer load for hoggies in the very near future.
John, this is the EXACT load Im using. (though I might be at 38.5). Its a bit of a handful to shoot but over all, very accurate and very fun. I can shoot it one handed with out ot much issue.

If you do a search of this forum you should see quite a few posts about loads for the SW500.
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