Due to government restrictions, the Smith and Wesson 500 is very likely to hold that title for a very long time — the government will not allow honest citizens to own handguns in a caliber greater than .50!
The 500 S&W cartridge generates 2,600 foot pounds of muzzle energy. This is a pistol you can hunt bears with.
All of that energy requires a massive frame for safety, and a massive frame to help the shooter absorb the recoil. To handle the load, the Smith and Wesson Model 500 is built upon S&W’s Extra Large Frame. With am 8 and 3/8″ barrel, the Model 500 weighs an enormous 72.5 ounces.
Articles on the Smith and Wesson 500
At the 2003 SHOT Show, Smith and Wesson introduced to the shooting industry a new and massive revolver, built on what they refer to as their new X-frame. The new frame was built especially for their newest handgun cartridge: the .500 Smith and Wesson Magnum. The new frame is the largest ever built by S&W, but with a few changes is very similar to the double-action design that has proven reliable for over 100 years.
With its 8-3/8-in. barrel, the overall length of the Model 500 is 15 in. and the empty weight is 4.5 pounds. The cylinder alone is almost 2 in. in diameter and approaches 2.25 in. in length. Thumb the cylinder open and five charge holes await. Each is 1/2 in. in diameter, and the .50-cal. cartridges they hold are almost 2 in. long. Load five of them and the total weight of the handgun climbs to 5 pounds.
There are enough sixgunners desiring the biggest, baddest and latest handgun, that Smith and Wesson’s production line should be kept busy producing Model 500s for a long time. The King is back on the throne. Long Live the King.