|.460 S&W Magnum|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Designer||Hornady / Smith & Wesson|
|Parent case||.454 Casull|
|Case type||Rimmed, straight|
|Bullet diameter||.452 in (11.5 mm)|
|Neck diameter||.478 in (12.1 mm)|
|Base diameter||.478 in (12.1 mm)|
|Rim diameter||.520 in (13.2 mm)|
|Rim thickness||.059 in (1.5 mm)|
|Case length||1.80 in (46 mm)|
|Overall length||2.300 in (58.4 mm)|
|Primer type||Large rifle|
|Maximum pressure||65,000 psi (450 MPa)|
|Test barrel length: 8.375 inches|
Source(s): Corbon Ammo, Cartridges of the World, Buffalo Bore
The .460 S&W round is a lengthened, more powerful version of the popular .454 Casull, itself a longer and more powerful version of the .45 Colt. For this reason, the .460 S&W Magnum could be considered an example of a "super magnum". Consequently, firearms that fire .460 S&W are usually capable of firing the less powerful .454 Casull, .45 Colt, and .45 Schofield rounds, but this must be verified with each firearm's manufacturer. For instance, some lever-action firearms are designed to handle cartridges within a certain length and bullet profile range. The reverse, however, does not apply: .45 Schofield, .45 Colt, and .454 Casull handguns generally cannot safely fire .460 S&W rounds — nor can they even chamber the .460 S&W because of the longer case length. It is also the most versatile big-bore revolver being able to fire four standardized cartridges, as well as lesser-known rimmed and straightwall cartridges of .45 caliber that predate the .45 Colt. The .460 S&W is built to handle both long-range hunting and defensive performance.
Smith & Wesson says that the .460 S&W is the highest-velocity revolver cartridge in the world, firing bullets at up to 2,409 feet per second (734 m/s). The .460 cartridge achieves high velocities by operating at chamber pressures (65,000 psi max) normally reserved for magnum rifle cartridges. The recoil when shooting .45 Colt ammunition out of the Smith & Wesson Model 460 is comparable to recoil from a 9mm or .380 load, due to the weight of the gun and lower chamber pressures. Since firearms chambered in .460 S&W can also fire cartridges of dissimilar trajectories, such as .45 Colt, S&W provides an additional rear sight with the gun to compensate for bullet drop downrange, depending on the user's load and shooting applications. With Buffalo Bore's loadings, the .460 S&W can achieve 2,826 ft⋅lbf (3,832 J) of energy by driving a 300 grain .452 caliber bullet at 2,060 ft/s (630 m/s) and 2,860 ft⋅lbf (3,880 J) of energy by driving a heavier, 360 grain, .452 caliber bullet at 1,900 ft/s (580 m/s). For comparison, Hornady's 9249 load for the .500 S&W Magnum cartridge offers slightly more energy at the muzzle, achieving 2,868 ft⋅lbf (3,888 J) by driving a 300 grain (19 g) FTX bullet at 2,075 ft/s (632 m/s). Buffalo Bore's loading for the .500 S&W cartridge offers much less energy at the muzzle, achieving only 2,579 ft⋅lbf (3,497 J) by driving a 440 grain .500 caliber bullet at 1,625 ft/s (495 m/s).
Big Horn Armory's Model 90 lever-action carbine and rifle are currently the only repeating long guns chambered in this cartridge. The .460 S&W typically produces an additional 200-400 feet per second through long guns. This extra velocity flattens the trajectory and increases energy. The Ruger No. 1 single-shot rifle is also offered in .460 S&W, as well as the Thompson Center Encore Pro Hunter Katahdin single-shot rifle.
- 11 mm caliber – Firearm cartridge classification
- .45 Raptor
- List of handgun cartridges
- Table of handgun and rifle cartridges – Small arms cartridge data
- Corbon DPX - 460 S&W Magnum (unsecure webpage) Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine.
- Barnes, Frank C. (2006) . Skinner, Stan (ed.). Cartridges of the World (11th ed.). Iola, WI, USA: Gun Digest Books. pp. 312, 338. ISBN 0-89689-297-2.
- "Buffalo Bore - 460 S&W Magnum". Archived from the original on 2020-11-11. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
- Buffalo Bore Ammo - .460 Smith & Wesson Ammo, 2016
- Buffalo Bore Ammo - .500 Smith & Wesson Ammo
- Double Tap Ammunition Co. - .500 S&W Magnum Archived 2008-06-12 at the Wayback Machine.