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Thread: 50-70 V 500 s&w

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    50-70 V 500 s&w

    Long been a 50 cal lover. Never had any cartridge rifles in the cal but now have a platform that i can try it in [nope not gonna say which platform].

    I am sure there has been the comparison between these two cartridges but i somehow have missed reading them.

    I intend shooting very mild to wild rounds with BP as well as smokeless powder. Nothing longer then a couple hundred yards and with hunting in mind as well as tin can tumbling.

    Strikes me that with the similarities between these two that maybe a more modern 500 would fill the bill. Seems like i should be able to stuff the 500 full of Ol E and blaze away and still have the option of using smokeless for some up north bear loads hunting from a ground blind with the SIL.

    Thanks in advance for the experience as well as the inevitable snarky fun to be had.

    Ted
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master 5.7 MAN's Avatar
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    If you are going to toy with BP and primarily load smokeless powder I recommend the 500. I'm not sure how much BP you can get in there maybe 65 grains but it will certainly be safer than Smokeless loads in a 50-70.

    Then next question is what gun?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    Since your not going to say what platform you are planning for this rifle I will give you my take on it.
    The action is what limits the pressure that can be safely loaded in it, not the brass.
    I have several 50-70's that I built, one on a falling block action and one on a H&R handi rifle and shoot smokeless only in both. The Starline brass is top quality and if the rest of the gun is up to it you can load the 50-70 up to the point your shoulder will be the first to give out.
    The 500 S&W is a modern cartridge and factory built guns are up to great pressure loadings but not because of the brass.
    I like the larger bullet diameter of the 50-70 and it gives you a larger choice of bullets to use and if you want you can even load long pointy bullets from the 50 BMG in it.
    I guess the platform you use will limit if you go rimmed or rimless ?

    Jedman

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    I'm currently having a 50-70 built using a Ruger #3 action and #1 stock set. That action can handle smokeless loads but I will most likely shoot BP loads. I went 50-70 because of the nostalgia behind the cartridge.

  5. #5
    Boolit Man
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    Jedman, care to share a few pet smokeless loads for your 50-70? Are you using any kind of filler (dacron) or foam backer rod slivers in your cases?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    My 50/70 is a Pedersoli "Long Range" 1874 Sharps (now discontinued) but accuracy at 100 yds with a 510gn boolit and 70gns Swiss black powder is great!

    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    With that load,you might be 'Bad Shoulder Wallace'

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    The Sharps is about 12 lbs, a real ***** to shoot!

    Mind, the 50/90 Sharps with 105gn FG and a 650gn boolit gets your Undivided attention!
    Last edited by Bad Ass Wallace; 05-27-2018 at 06:29 PM.
    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Well began this thought process leaning towards the 500 s&w but now im glad i posted the question here before buying anything.

    I am nothing if not nostalgic and my closet is proof however i started veering off coarse when i put together my TC Encore platform and using the katiden 45-70 short barrel i began my dreaming of my first 50 cal centerfire long gun.

    While the Encore is fun and strong it totally lacks any semblance of nostalgia. I have several 45-70's and love them totally but reading about putting together a 50 on my Ruger number 1 or having my Ruger #1 rebored to 50 by Jess here in Cottage Grove would be more nostalgic looking and still be a nice short light and TOUGH rifle for the Majestic Elk here in the viney maple thickets of coastal Oregon (altho at 62 this year i probably will not desire to tackle those thickets).

    Doubt that the cost of enriching the Rugers life would be any steeper then the Encore settup so HMMM.

    thanks for the input fellers and keep any thoughts/suggestions coming.

    Ted
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Bigted, I built a 500 S&W rifle a few years back and shot it with all manner of loads including black powder. I decided it is a really poor choice to use with black for two reasons. One is it doesn't hold much and is pretty weak, but the main thing is the case walls are so thick that even though I annealed the heck out of my brass it just wouldn't seal the chamber. Lots of blowback in my face, a dirty gun and cases, and not many shots before I had to wipe the chamber. I wouldn't recommend it. With smokeless and paper patched bullets, though, it is really a powerhouse.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobade View Post
    Bigted, I built a 500 S&W rifle a few years back and shot it with all manner of loads including black powder. I decided it is a really poor choice to use with black for two reasons. One is it doesn't hold much and is pretty weak, but the main thing is the case walls are so thick that even though I annealed the heck out of my brass it just wouldn't seal the chamber. Lots of blowback in my face, a dirty gun and cases, and not many shots before I had to wipe the chamber. I wouldn't recommend it. With smokeless and paper patched bullets, though, it is really a powerhouse.
    yet another reason for the 50-70 chamber. brass should last a long time and is thin enough to obturate under BP pressure to seal the chamber. thanks for that bubba.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harleysboss View Post
    Jedman, care to share a few pet smokeless loads for your 50-70? Are you using any kind of filler (dacron) or foam backer rod slivers in your cases?
    My favorite smokeless 50-70 load is a 450 gr. cast Boolit over 30 grs. of I 4198 with no filler or wads, shoots great in my rifles.

    Jedman

  13. #13
    There's also the 50 Alaskan, 500 Linbagh, 50-90 all using .510 bore and maybe a couple more to consider.
    I can't give you any specifics from first hand experience with any of these though.

  14. #14
    50-70 rifles are too expensive for me. all i needed was a 500 linebaugh in a 24" MGM barrel and my tc encore. the 500L round(in a revolver) and smokeless powder is equal to a 50-70gov(rifle) and black powder. i use a .512" 460gr lfn gc with hs-6 that goes about 1200-1300fps(i have to chrono that), same as the 50-70 does.

    the 500 alaskan produces more velocity and more recoil and i really do care about the recoil. i hate and loathe it!!!! the 500 S&W (.501") is a monster. it recoils ALOT!!! i know, i have tired it. i was using a h&r handi rifle in 500 S&W and a 400gr jacketed fn over a large charge of h110. i shot it once. never AGAIN!!! now i see why the 500S&W is on resale market.

    i think its under $400 to have MGM make a 500L or 500 S&W in a encore rifle barrel.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 500Linebaughbuck View Post
    50-70 rifles are too expensive for me. all i needed was a 500 linebaugh in a 24" MGM barrel and my tc encore. the 500L round(in a revolver) and smokeless powder is equal to a 50-70gov(rifle) and black powder. i use a .512" 460gr lfn gc with hs-6 that goes about 1200-1300fps(i have to chrono that), same as the 50-70 does.

    the 500 alaskan produces more velocity and more recoil and i really do care about the recoil. i hate and loathe it!!!! the 500 S&W (.501") is a monster. it recoils ALOT!!! i know, i have tired it. i was using a h&r handi rifle in 500 S&W and a 400gr jacketed fn over a large charge of h110. i shot it once. never AGAIN!!! now i see why the 500S&W is on resale market.

    i think its under $400 to have MGM make a 500L or 500 S&W in a encore rifle barrel.
    Is that 500 S&W a factory load or were ya hotroddin it? -- I shot a 500pistol on a visit over there ten years ago and was pleasantly surprised by it - only factory 350 grain HP ammo I think - short barrel pistol he got for a bear gun - then later I see idjits on utube doin accidental double taps with em and recoil back over their heads - whats that all about? . Proly with ya on the alaskan - I have a 348 - its comfortable enough but the AK would be easy double the recoil I guess - dont think that would be fun .

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    The negative to the .50-70 was that it was a short stumpy bullet in a slow rate of twist, so the trajectory wasn't really a great deal better than round ball. A .50-90 can solve both those problems, but it's not really a smokeless kind of proposition.

    The truth is, that if you're not shooting super long distances, the .50-70 is a good bit of fun. At 100 yards, you have enough time after pulling the trigger to mentally say "waaaaaait for it" before your milk jug explodes, and because of that delay, you can also HEAR the milk jug take the hit. Rolling block Remingtons chambered for the round are simply a hoot.

    But from a practical point of view, .45" diameter projectiles came in few years later as a much more efficient option for aerodynamics, penetration, use of powder, use of action space, and ultimately, shifting over to smokeless in appropriate actions. For your mild to wild requirement, a .45-70 repro Browning/Winchester High Wall will probably give you a wider performance envelope with even heavier bullets than either of your two half-inchers. For slightly more exotic brass there's the .45-90, plus you can also delve into the likes of Ruger #1's in .458 Win Mag, which is basically a .45-90 with a belt.
    WWJMBD?

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    my pet load in the trap door 50/70 are 27 grs of 4198 with rice krispies or drier lint or cotton filler with out any problem.

  18. #18
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by toot View Post
    my pet load in the trap door 50/70 are 27 grs of 4198 with rice krispies or drier lint or cotton filler with out any problem.
    Dryer lint? Thats the first time I've heard of a use for it! Interesting!

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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