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Thread: "Mild" loads for the S&W 500 Magnum

  1. #1
    Boolit Master John Ross's Avatar
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    "Mild" loads for the S&W 500 Magnum

    I've been playing around with Quickload and continue to be impressed. Today I thought I'd show some results that the more "normal" .500 shooter might find useful: Loads that are reasonably pleasant to shoot, yet still much more powerful than a .44 Magnum, using a common and reasonably priced mold, the Lee 440 grain.

    The criteria I used was 25,000 PSI or less, and between 65% and 100% loading density of the net case capacity below the base of the bullet. The program spit out all loads that fit those parameters.

    Realize that many of these loads are NOT suitable, for some powders can give squibs if loaded to such low pressure levels (H110, 296, and 1680), and others leave lots of unburned powder unless the pressure is considerably higher (the IMR rifle powders).

    Further, many of these powders are not well known in North America, and others I have no experience with yet, like Norma and Vihtavouri.

    Last of all, LilGun is a special case: I have NEVER had a gun get too hot to hold in such a short time as I have when shooting loads loaded with this powder, and for that reason I no longer use it.

    All that said, this chart shows several good candidates: Alliant 2400 & Blue Dot, Accurate 4100 & 5744, and Ramshot Enforcer can give you loads that have double the energy of Trail Boss loads at only 10%-15% more pressure.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    JR--the .500 specialist

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Warhawk's Avatar
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    Exactly what I’ve been looking for, thanks.

    I may have to invest in the quickload program.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Warhawk's Avatar
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    I just got off the phone with Hodgdon, learned some interesting stuff about CFE BLK in the 500.

    When using 400-450 grain bullets, you can safety reduce the listed starting loads by 1.0 to 1.2 grains for an even milder load.

    CFE BLK is a fairly hard to ignite powder and should be used with Large Rifle Magnum primers.

    And the 500 S&W loads in the online Hodgdon data were shot in a 10 inch non vented barrel. Velocities in a 5 inch revolver should average about 275 FPS less.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master John Ross's Avatar
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    Either something's not right with their data, or CFE BLK is the densest powder out there. They show an OAL of 2.065" with a 500 gr. Hornady, and both 40.8 and 48.0 grains of powder.

    40.8 grains of 1680 (which is not a bulky powder) gives a loading density of 121% and 48 grains gives 141% with this bullet and 2.065" OAL!!!
    JR--the .500 specialist

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    JR, thank you very much for your efforts on load development for the 500S&W mag. Would it be possible to load a picture in larger print? My tired old eyes are having difficulty reading it. Thanks Dennis

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy Warhawk's Avatar
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    I just did a highly unscientific comparison. Used the biggest LEE dipper I had, 4.3cc and came up with the following weights.

    CFE BLK - 66.1 gr
    H110 - 63.3 gr
    HS-6 - 61.2 gr

    CFE BLK is a very fine powder, even finer than H110.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master John Ross's Avatar
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    Here you go...
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	500 S&W 25KPSI Lee440cast.jpg 
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    Last edited by John Ross; 01-17-2018 at 10:28 PM.
    JR--the .500 specialist

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Warhawk's Avatar
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    Not exactly “mild loads”but Big Horn Armory has sent out a link to their load data. Not only for the 500 Magnum but also data for 500 Linebaugh and 460 Magnum.

    https://bighornarmory.us17.list-mana...d&e=f441d96bda

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    The sheer mass of that revolver makes a mild load relative to only it.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master TMenezes's Avatar
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    I figured 2400 was going to be the powder to come out tops given these parameters. Blue Dot was one I hadn't thought about in this caliber but good to know.

    John can I ask a favor? (Or anyone else that has quickload) While I am a huge cast boolit fan, I have 2 small children and a 3rd on the way so I haven't had much time for casting. Rainiers 335gr plated has been a huge time saver, and with them on sale at Midway for 14 cents apiece, they are cheap as hell (considering the caliber). They run about 1425 fps out of my 7.5 in BFR using 37.3gr of IMR4227.

    This makes a load all my coworkers enjoy playing with at my department's range, and doesn't gouge my bank account to badly.

    Can you run some quickload data with this Rainier slug using 2400 and Blue Dot? Unfortunately I am working and can't remember my exact OAL at the moment, but as these loads are very conservative I don't think that should be a big deal. Either of these powders at 25 to 30k psi, with this cheap slug seems about as economical as this round gets.

    Thank you in advance, Tim

    PS, I still want one of your special edition S&W 500's, maybe after I do my taxes ��

  11. #11
    Boolit Master John Ross's Avatar
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    Here you go:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    JR--the .500 specialist

  12. #12
    Boolit Master TMenezes's Avatar
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    Your awesome! Thank you very much.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master TMenezes's Avatar
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    Anybody have a chance to try any of this data yet?

    Very curious about the Blue Dot load in particular, planning on loading some up tomorrow.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check