Smith's new Backpack Cannon

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You remember watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit as a kid and the detective pulled out a giant numb nosed revolver that fired dum dum bullets?

(Picture courtesy of IMFDB, solving bar bets for a decade.)

Well Smith and Wesson have made that gun, only it is very real. It's already been termed, the Backpack Cannon.

Performance Center heritage

S&W's Performance Center has to be one uber cool job. Those people are the Saudi Arabia of wheelguns, turning out finely crafted five, six, seven, and who knows what else shot revolvers of all kinds. One of their products has long been the Performance Center Model.460.

(Yes, some of the guns in this series come with a muzzle break that could have been borrowed from a howitzer)

These guns, some of them with 14-inch barrels and *factory bipods* look like they could put extra craters in the surface of the moon. The name comes from the .460 S&W Magnum rounds they are chambered for.

This long-range hunting round invented in 2005. Cased from the .454 Casull, Smith boasts that it has the highest velocity revolver cartridge in the world, firing bullets at up to 2900fps. When you take into account that some of these loads can bring 2900-ft.lbs of energy. For reference, very hot .44 Mag loads bring about 1500 ft. lbs. of energy.

Of course the rounds run about $30 a box of 20, but still, you have to pay to play here guys. T-rex isnt going to shoot himself you know.

Don't worry though, if the .460 ammo strains your pocketbook took much, you can also shoot .454 Casull and .45 LC out of it. Who thought there would ever be a revolver that offered .454 Casull as a 'step down' loading?

Left to right: .460 S&W Magnum, .454 Casull, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP, .22LR

Enter the Backpack Cannon

Well Smith decided to see how small they could go with this platform. They came up with a snub-nosed five shot Model 460XVR which only weighs a puny 3-ish pounds and is kept down to 10-inches overall length by use of its tiny 3.5-inch barrel.

Smith got their hands on one at the SHOT Show media day shoot and gave a favorable review to the handgun, saying 'there is still a place for weapons like this especially if you like camping where the critters are big enough to eat you.'


Sure, if backpacking in Kodiak Grizzly country, we would want a .460 under out pillow at night. However, the rest of the year, this is most likely just a range gimmick and safe queen.


Of course, that doesn't stop us from wanting one at all.


  • Model: 460 XVR
  • Caliber: .460 S&W Magnum
  • Capacity: 5 Rounds
  • Action: Single/Double Action
  • Barrel Length: 3.5" (8.9 cm)
  • Front Sight: HI-VIZ Fiber Optic Green
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable
  • Grip: Synthetic
  • Weight: 59.5 oz. (1,686.8 g)
  • Overall Length: 10" (25.4 cm)
  • Frame Material: Stainless Steel
  • Cylinder Material: Stainless Steel
  • Finish: Glass Bead
  • Purpose: Handgun Hunting, Protection

It has a suggested retail price of $1,609.

For which we think it at least should come with its own backpack.

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January 24, 2014  •  11:14 AM
"...with a muzzle break..."

It's a muzzle B*R*A*K*E - nothing has been broken. The recoil has been reduced. The correct word is "brake" not "break."
February 7, 2014  •  10:10 AM
"numb nose revolver..." what???
March 8, 2014  •  10:57 AM
Christopher Eger does a great job considering the number of articles he posts here and I for one really appreciate his efforts even if he has an occasional typo. Keep up the good work bringing us such a wide array of gun topics in such an enjoyable fashion. I myself write a small newsletter for a local club unrelated to guns and know the feeling when people criticize but aren't willing to do the work themselves. Thanks Mr. Eger for another fine article on a subject we love.
March 28, 2014  •  01:02 AM
S&W also brought the 460V back from the vault (it was gone for a few years). It has a 5" barrel and compensators (2 different ones) which make it BEARable to shoot , though it still packs a Wallop and Heat when shooting HOT 460 rounds; like Hornady 200g FTXs. I have one from 4 years ago, right about the time they quit selling them. It goes camping with me in the Northwoods. This little (BIG) booger here would likely be a real HANDFULL to shoot, being shorter, lighter and having no compensator. Somehow, the 5" barrel version is only 1.25" longer overall and 1.5oz heavier however. I like it, it's a REAL Blast and never fails to put a smile on my face. When using 45LC rounds, it's docile.