.500 S&W Magnum Loading Data
By John Ross

Copyright 2007 by John Ross. Electronic reproduction of this article freely permitted provided it is reproduced in its entirety with attribution given.

Below are loads developed in the 500 Smith & Wesson. Most are cast bullets of my own design, with long noses and short shanks in the case, to give the most possible case capacity. Molds of my design are available from Dan at www.mountainmolds.com. He has an excellent online bullet design page.

Here are the specs for a very accurate long range bullet with excellent killing power: Bore riding flat point, nose length .700", front band .100", bore ride length .150", meplat 70%, and any weight from 500 to 650 grains. For absolute maximum killing power for close range hunting, specify 93% meplat. For long range plinking, use 40% meplat for a semi-pointed design and weight 400 to 550 grains. Other specs the same. If you like velocity, specify gas check design.

DO NOT use this data for bullets of the same weight that have shorter noses and longer shanks. Pressures will be much higher.

For medium power loads try 4895, H335, BLC-2, H322, 4759, or 4198 powders. Put in as much as will fit and you'll have a uniform, mid-power load with any lead or jacketed bullet. With 100%+ loading density, velocity will be slowest with 4895 and H335, and fastest with 4759 and 4198. No 100% density load with any of these six powders fired in the S&W revolver will be near maximum allowable chamber pressure with any bullet unless the bullet is constructed of a material more dense than lead.

All the usual handloading disclaimers apply. Don't handload if you don't know what you're doing.

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