Smith & Wesson Model 500

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Smith & Wesson Model 500
500withsmith629.jpg
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.
Type Revolver
Place of origin  United States
Production history
Designed 2002–2003
Manufacturer Smith & Wesson
Produced 2003–present
Variants See Variants
Specifications
Weight 56 oz (1.59 kg) to 79.6 oz (2.26 kg)[1]
Barrel length
  • 2.75 in (69.8 mm)
  • 4 in (102 mm)
  • 6.5 in (165 mm)
  • 7.5 in (191 mm)
  • 8.38 in (213 mm)
  • 10.5 in (267 mm)

Cartridge .500 S&W Magnum
Action Double/Single Action
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
S&W Model 500 being fired at night

The Smith & Wesson Model 500 is a five-shot, double/single action large-caliber revolver produced by Smith & Wesson, firing the .500 S&W Magnum cartridge, a .50 caliber bullet.

Design[edit]

The S&W 500 is built on S&W'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.[2] It is one of the most powerful production revolvers in the world today, and it is being marketed as being "the world's most powerful handgun" by the manufacturer.[3]

There are a few larger 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. 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.[3]

Lockup is accomplished by a centerpin in the rear of the cylinder and a ball detent in the frame.[3][4]

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.[3]

Reception[edit]

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.[5]

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.[6]

Variants[edit]

  • Model 500ES: 2.75" barrel, stainless steel emergency survival revolver (no longer manufactured as of December 2009).[4]
  • Model 500: 4" barrel, stainless steel with 2 compensators.[4]
  • Model 500: 6.5" barrel, half lug, stainless steel with compensator.[4]
  • Model 500: 7.5" barrel, stainless steel with muzzle brake.[4]
  • Model 500: 8.38" barrel, stainless steel with compensator.[4]
  • Model 500 HI-VIZ: 8.38" barrel, stainless steel with interchangeable compensators.[4]
  • Model 500: 10.5" Lothar-Walther custom German rifle barrel, matte finish stainless steel with muzzle brake.[4]
  • 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, other "custom" variants are available on special production runs with a minimum order of 500 units. An example is the John Ross Performance Center 5", which features a 5-inch barrel with an external muzzle nut and a millet dovetail front sight.[7]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Model 500 S&W500 4" barrel The Big Rock Sports Exclusive". Smith & Wesson. Retrieved December 22, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Smith & Wesson Model 500 .50-Cal. Magnum Is The King Of Handguns", Popular Mechanics, 1 September 2003 
  3. ^ a b c d 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. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h 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. 
  5. ^ Thurman, Russ (2005). "The Battle Of The Hand Cannons". Shooting Industry. FMG Publications. 20 (2): 35. 
  6. ^ Africa Hunts with Smith & Wesson 500. Hampton, Mark (2004). "To Africa with a .500 S&W". American Handgunner. Retrieved 2016-09-27. 
  7. ^ Thompson, Leroy. "The John Ross S&W Performance Center 5" .500 Magnum". GunBlast.com. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 

External links[edit]