Smith & Wesson Model 500
|Smith & Wesson Model 500|
A comparison of the Smith & Wesson Model 500 (above) and its .44 magnum sibling, the Model 629 (below). The difference in size between the .44 magnum and the .500 magnum cartridges is also shown.
|Place of origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Smith & Wesson|
|Weight||56 oz (1.59 kg) to 79.6 oz (2.26 kg)|
|Cartridge||.500 S&W Magnum, .500 S&W Special|
|Muzzle velocity||Approx. 2,075 ft/sec (~632 m/s)|
|Effective firing range||165 ft (~50 m)|
|Maximum firing range||330 ft (~100 m)|
|Feed system||5-round cylinder|
|Sights||Iron sights, night sights|
The S&W 500 is built on Smith and Wesson's largest frame, the X-Frame, which was developed because none of S&W's existing double-action frame designs could handle the muzzle energy and pressures generated by the .500 S&W cartridge. It is one of the most powerful production revolvers in the world today and is marketed as "the world's most powerful handgun" by the manufacturer.
There are a few larger caliber revolvers, like the Pfeifer Zeliska .600 Nitro Express revolver, however this is a custom made firearm from Austria and is not widely available. The Model 500 can fire a bullet weighing 350 gr (22.7 g; 0.8 oz) at 1,975 feet per second (602 m/s) generating a muzzle energy of over 3,030 foot-pounds force (4.1 kJ) and a momentum of 13.7 Newton second. Commercial loadings are available in bullet weights ranging from 275 gr to 700 gr. The Smith & Wesson .500 Special is a shorter cartridge that is fully compatible with this pistol.
Instead of a traditional barrel, the S&W 500 uses a rifled tube inside a barrel shroud that is secured by tension from the front. This tensioning leads to stability, making barrels cheaper to produce and resulting in a more accurate revolver.
The advanced design of the firearm helps in counteracting the recoil felt by the shooter. This includes the sheer weight of the firearm, use of rubber grips, the forward balance, and the use of a compensator. On certain S&W Performance Center models the compensator is replaced with a muzzle brake.
Articles, statements, and opinions vary widely on this firearm. Any of the available bullet weights can be relied on to take game at a range in excess of 200 yards (183 m), a feat matched by only a handful of other handguns.
Like most big caliber handguns the Model 500 is suitable for sport and hunting applications. The high energy of these rounds makes it possible to hunt extremely large African game successfully.
- Model 500ES: 2.75" barrel, stainless steel emergency survival revolver (no longer manufactured as of December 2009).
- Model 500: 4" barrel, stainless steel with 2 compensators.
- Model 500: 6.5" barrel, half lug, stainless steel with compensator.
- Model 500: 7.5" barrel, stainless steel with muzzle brake.
- Model 500: 8.38" barrel, stainless steel with compensator.
- Model 500 HI-VIZ: 8.38" barrel, stainless steel with interchangeable compensators.
- Model 500: 10.5" Lothar-Walther custom German rifle barrel, matte finish stainless steel with muzzle brake.
- Model 460: version chambered in .460 S&W Magnum
Other variants are available through the Smith & Wesson's Performance Center. Like all Smith & Wesson revolvers, "custom" variants are available on special production runs with a minimum order of 500 units. An example is the John Ross Performance Center 5" .500 S&W Magnum, which features a 5-inch barrel with an external muzzle nut instead of a muzzle brake or compensator and a Millet dovetail front sight.
- "Model 500 S&W500™ 4" barrel The Big Rock Sports Exclusive".
- "Smith & Wesson Model 500 .50-Cal. Magnum Is The King Of Handguns", Popular Mechanics, 1 September 2003
- Sweeney, Patrick (10 December 2004). "The Biggest Magnum". The Gun Digest Book of Smith & Wesson. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. pp. 154–162. ISBN 1-4402-2487-0.
- Underwood Ammo
- Supica, Jim; Nahas, Richard (3 June 2016). Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson (4 ed.). Iola, Wisconsin: F+W Media, Inc. pp. 292–293. ISBN 978-1-4402-4563-3.
- Thurman, Russ (2005). "The Battle Of The Hand Cannons". Shooting Industry. FMG Publications. 20 (2): 35.
- Africa Hunts with Smith & Wesson 500. Hampton, Mark (2004). "To Africa with a .500 S&W". American Handgunner. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
- Thompson, Leroy. "The John Ross S&W Performance Center 5" .500 Magnum". GunBlast.com. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- Model 500ES: 2.75" barrel, stainless steel
- Model 500: 3.5" barrel HI VIZ® Fiber Optic sight, stainless steel
- Model 500: 4" barrel, stainless steel with 2 compensators
- Model 500: 6.5" barrel, half lug, stainless steel with compensator
- Model 500: 7.5" barrel, stainless steel with muzzle brake
- Model 500: 8.38" barrel, stainless steel with compensator
- Model 500: 8.38" barrel HI VIZ® Fiber Optic sight, stainless steel with interchangeable compensators
- Model 500: 10.5" Lothar-Walther custom German rifle barrel, matte finish stainless steel with muzzle brake