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Thread: 460 S&W vs 500 Mag

  1. #1
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    am44mag's Avatar
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    460 S&W vs 500 Mag

    I might have the opportunity to go to Alaska later in the year, so I am using it as an excuse... I mean, I see a significant need for getting a bear defense gun.

    After looking at a few, I am stuck between two choices. A 5" 460 S&W, and a 6" 500 Mag. The 460 seems more versatile since I can shoot 45 Colt and 454 Casull in it too, but the 500 is the epitome of knockdown power as far as handguns go. 500 Special is also an option for those days that I don't feel like trying to rip my hands off at the wrist. The guns themselves are basically the same. The 6" is a half lug which I will admit is more my style since I love that classic look, but there is nothing wrong with the 5". I don't feel that there would be that much of a advantage/disadvantage to going with the 5" over the 6" or vice versa. They both also have a factory compensator.

    I don't know which one I want. At first I thought I wanted the 460 more, but the more I look at the 500, the more I want it instead. What do you guys think?
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  2. #2
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    Plate plinker's Avatar
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    They both have plenty of power, so I would look at which one you realistically want to carry around. The weight is everything.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plate plinker View Post
    They both have plenty of power, so I would look at which one you realistically want to carry around. The weight is everything.
    60.9 oz vs 60.7 oz. The 6" 500 is actually a tiny bit lighter than the 460 despite having an inch more of barrel.
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  4. #4
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    I think both are over bloated guns, chambered for cartridges that are beyond what any possible benefit can be gained. I have a hard time believing you would ever feel troubled with a 44 magnum or 454 casull. If you felt you had to step up, 475 Linebaugh/480 Ruger offers tremendous performance. If you absolutely have to have the big 50, there are a number cartridges that fit in a more reasonable gun. 500 JRH comes to mind. A S&W X frame is not something I would want to strap to my hip. If you carry it over your shoulder, you might as well make it a shotgun.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    I think both are over bloated guns, chambered for cartridges that are beyond what any possible benefit can be gained. I have a hard time believing you would ever feel troubled with a 44 magnum or 454 casull. If you felt you had to step up, 475 Linebaugh/480 Ruger offers tremendous performance. If you absolutely have to have the big 50, there are a number cartridges that fit in a more reasonable gun. 500 JRH comes to mind. A S&W X frame is not something I would want to strap to my hip. If you carry it over your shoulder, you might as well make it a shotgun.
    I am not opposed to getting something like a 480 Ruger or a 475 Linebaugh. I have not seen many guns chambered in those rounds though. The only double actions I have seen for the 480 is the Super Redhawk. and the SRH Alaskan. I cannot get over how ugly the SRH is with how it's barrel transitions to round after 2.5", and the Alaskan looks very unpleasant to shoot with it's 2.5" barrel. I cannot imagine how snappy a gun that would be. I haven't seen any double actions chambered in 475 Linebaugh.
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    I have a 4" 500S&W and it is heavy. I have a nice belt holster for it and it just plain wants to pull your pants down. Maybe with suspenders it wouldn't be too bad?

    I would get a Super Redhawk in 480, cut the barrel to 5-6" and remount the front sight.

  7. #7
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    I can't blame you. The super redhawk might be the ugliest revolver ever made. You can't fault its performance though.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    I can't blame you. The super redhawk might be the ugliest revolver ever made. You can't fault its performance though.
    That's what I've heard. After doing some digging, I understand why they did it. Still though, I think I'd have a hard time paying that much money for something I couldn't stand the looks of.

    After looking, I found that the Super Blackhawk Bisley is chambered in both 454 Casull and 480 Ruger, and for about $300 less than the 460 or 500. That's kinda tempting. I'd prefer a DA, but it's still tempting.
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    Night&Day..one is fast and furious.. the other is Thunder!!

  10. #10
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    I like them both and I own a 460. I have spent time in remote Alaska but I don't consider myself anywhere close to be an expert on brown bear defense. To me the X-frames are just too big and heavy for every day carry for what I am doing. I have seen a couple of 8 1/2' grizzly bears at a 100 yard plus. I was about 40 feet away from a 6 to 6 1/2' grizzly. They do get your attention.

    I am going back up this summer for 3 or 4 weeks. If l take one it will be a 44 Mag. 629 or a 10mm Auto. A buddy has a 2 1/2" 500 that I could take if I want but don't to deal with the weight. If I don't take one I will just borrow my buddies 12 gauge. He owns a Salmon and Grizzly bear Guide Service. http://nortonsoundguideservice.net/

    Too me the 460 is much louder than the 500 with the same barrel length.

    Some good info on actual handgun usage below.

    https://www.ammoland.com/2018/02/def...#axzz5i7K0p2zP

    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/a-...k-10mm-pistol/
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 02-21-2020 at 04:06 PM.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."

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  11. #11
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    A friend of mine has the S&W 500, the day he bought it he came over to shoot. He shot 2 rounds reloaded the cyl. and handed it to me. I thought something fishy here but I love big guns. I shot 2 complete cyl. full then handed it back. Great gun if a herd of baffalo come thru Tn. or a grizzly sneeks in. Didn't think twice about shooting it until evening, dang my hand , wrist and arm felt BAD. The gun is heavy but should do a great job, of coarse adrinlyn does wonders for shooting big guns in emergencies. Myself a nice 44 would ride along, once with the 500 was enough.LOL
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  12. #12
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    I have a matched pair of 500s&w 8 1/2 barrels and really like them,heavy but accurate.also have a tuarus raging bull 8 inch barrel in 480 and like it but not near the gun as the 500.one of my carry guns is a raging bull judge 3 inch barrel 454,45,410.its heavy but not as cumbersome and it shoots well

  13. #13
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    I have a TC rifle in 460 only because I wanted to be able to shoot my 454 Casull rounds in it (so I could have a rifle and revolver in same.

    Went ahead and loaded some 460 in the rifle one day. The cases and reloading stuff has been sitting in a box ever since. Annoying the power for such a little rifle.

    I can’t imagine shooting that round in a Revolver. 454 will do the job and do it well.

    BUT if you were to choose which between a 460 and 500, buy the 460. You can always shoot “460 special” in it (454 casull or 45 colt). Not sure what you can do with the 500 besides dumbing down the rounds.

    454 casull will keep the grizzlies away enough. Not sure about a 44 mag though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by djryan13 View Post
    BUT if you were to choose which between a 460 and 500, buy the 460. You can always shoot “460 special” in it (454 casull or 45 colt). Not sure what you can do with the 500 besides dumbing down the rounds.
    The 500 JRH has a 1.4" case and the 500 Special is 1.275" long. Both will fit in the 500 S&W chamber.

  15. #15
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    I'm not sure about hand guns, but I have a TC Encore in 500 S&W and can't imagine shooting it in a hand gun! Some loadings aren't too bad, but others will break your shoulder! I think if I where going where big bears are a real threat I'd do a pump shotgun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by am44mag View Post
    That's what I've heard. After doing some digging, I understand why they did it. Still though, I think I'd have a hard time paying that much money for something I couldn't stand the looks of.
    That's what I thought too. After owning one for awhile it grew on me. Basically, the gun shoots so well I couldn't help but love it. I bought another.

  17. #17
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    I had a S&W .500, bought it second hand with a nearly full box of cartridges that had 3 fired ones in it. Sold it a couple of months later with the same box of shells, with a few more fired out of it. Every round fired from the covered firing point at the range was accompanied by a cascade of dust and bird crap falling from the tin roof overhead. Too much candy for a dime, AFAIC.

    Heavy, bulky, and I bet the muzzle brake will deafen you if you have to shoot it without ear protection. Although I’d rather be deaf than in a bear’s stomach.

    Think I’d look at a standard Redhawk in .45 Colt and some suitable hard cast heavy bullet loads. And a chest holster.
    Last edited by Buzz Krumhunger; 02-19-2020 at 10:08 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz Krumhunger View Post
    Think I’d look at a Redhawk in .45 Colt and some suitable hard cast heavy bullet loads. And a chest holster.
    I have one of those too (including the chest holster). It shoots very well, it's comfortable, has a great trigger, and like the SRH, it's built like a brick outhouse. You can't go wrong with the big Rugers.

  19. #19
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    Tough call, either one is good. But I think that in a pinch you would be able to find at least .45 Colt ammo in most gun stores everywhere. So the .460 S&W would work better in that case.

  20. #20
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    The four inch 500 is an incredible revolver. Accurate and as much power as the shooter can handle. I really like mine, it gives me comfort to pack it in the hills. Last summer a young gal shot it after one of her shooting sessions. She handled a cylinder full of trail boss loads just fine. My “heavy” loads basically duplicate my 500 Linebaugh but the Smith is faster to reload and I love double action.

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