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Location: California, United States

I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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A Feast For Crows
This latest installment of Gearge R. R. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice" series isn't quite as gripping as the previous books but is still a pretty good read.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

500 S&W Magnum

Ever since I posted earlier about a video of a watermelon being shot by a person using a S&W .500 magnum revolver, I've been getting a lot of referrals from search engines for people searching for things like:
  • .500 mag
  • s&w 500 mag
  • 500 mag
  • 500 magnum watermelon
  • s&w .500 ban
Given that there seems to be a lot of interest in this, I thought I would provide some information about it here so that my visitors from search engines don't go away disappointed.

Basic Info about the .500 Magnum cartridge:
According to Wikipedia:
It is the most powerful handgun cartridge commercially manufactured with over 2600 ft·lbf (3.5 kJ) of energy created with a 440gr bullet travelling at 1650 fps.

The .500 S&W Magnum can develop over 2600 ft·lbf (3.5 kJ) of muzzle energy, nearly three times as much as the 900 ft·lbf (1.2 kJ) generated by the .44 Magnum made famous by Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry movies. This is a difference of over 600 ft·lbf (0.8 kJ) of energy more than the .454 Casull, the previous commercial record holder.

Currently available is an even more powerful round developed by DoubleTap Ammunition which produces a 350 grain, 1975fps monster punching at over 3032 ft-lbs!

Reviews of the S&W .500 Magnum Revolver:

Shooting Times has a great review, complete with a nice photo showing the size of the .500 Magnum cartridge next to a number of large caliber rounds for comparison.

Popular Mechanics has a nice 3 page article about both the gun and the round, and goes more into more of the technical details about the cartridge.

Guns and Ammo also has a good review, and includes a chart comparing the muzzle velocity and muzzle energy of the .500 S&W to a number of other large caliber handgun rounds. There's also a photo of a .Model 629 .44 Magnum next to the Model 500 to give you an idea of just how large this revolver is.

Reloading Info for 500 S&W:

For those of you interested in reloading this round, and each have a page that you might find helpful.

Taurus Raging Bull in S&W 500:
If you are looking to buy a revolver chambered in S&W 500, you can now add Taurus to your list of choices. provides a review, complete with gun photos and short video of mean being fired.

.500 S&W Special:

According to an American Handgunner and Wikipedia Article, there is also a shortened and weaker "Special" round available, which should make this gun a lot cheaper for plinking, though it won't have nearly the fun kick. This is the same concept as how a .357 Magnum being able to fire .38 special special rounds.

.500 S&W Ban:

For those trying to find out if this caliber has been banned, I did some research and thus far have not found any credible articles saying that the .500 S&W round is banned. In CA, a ban was passed against the .50 BMG rifle caliber (something altogether different), but not on the .500 S&W handgun round. I found a few references of a Florida democrat calling for a national ban on the .500 S&W, but it appeared to be local partisan whining without any real support. If anyone has a link about a ban being in effect for this specific round in the U.S.A., please post it in the comments so others can see it.

.500 S&W Lever Action Rifle:

I have seen a few references to a 500 S&W Lever Action rifle possibly being made for this round, but as of yet I have not found any actually for sale.

.500 S&W Collectors Knife: has a .500 S&W collectors knife for a very reasonable price, and it includes the folding knife, a single .500 S&W cartridge and a collector's tin.



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