smith & wesson 44 vs 500

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by fadisahouri, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. fadisahouri

    fadisahouri New Member

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    what do you thing is more powerfull smith and wesson 44 8.5" barrel or 500 4" barrel?
     
  2. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

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    No not even at +P+ 44mag levels, and I think they can't shot in the sw revolvers.. Theres allway buffalo bore ammo for the 500 to step it up again. Maybe a ruger 454 cassul or freedom arms.
     

  3. freedom475

    freedom475 New Member

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    I have both and can safely say that the 44 can't even touch the 500. (the 44 will always be one of my favorites)

    I ran a bunch of numbers through some of the ballistics calculators. I know the charts don't mean much, but they are still fun to mess with when it is too dark or cold to shoot outside:D..

    The 4" 500 with a 450gr. bullet at only 950fps (one of my favorite loads) will give almost the same recoil impulse as the 44 with a 265gr moving at 1500fps. ( I chronoed some DoubleTap 440gr 500's at 1485fps out of my 4") But even at only 950fps the 500 carries more power to the target. The energy (with the loads listed) will be higher for the 44 at the muzzle because of the velocity...but energy doesn't represent killing power very well.

    500mag= energy 900,..momentum 61,... KO value 30
    44mag..............1325...................56...................24
    Now if we run the same figures with the 500 and the 450gr at 1480fps, things get interesting...2188...................96..................47
     
  4. fadisahouri

    fadisahouri New Member

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    i didnt mean the recoil i mean if u shoot bulistic gell with the best loads what gun will give you deaper bullet.
    i mean wich is more important the caliber or the barrel length
     
  5. Marlinman

    Marlinman New Member

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    Both are important factors. Equally so since pros and cons are bout even one way or the other. That said the 500 will give deeper penetration w any bullet or barrel length

    God didnt make all men equal colonel sam colt did
     
  6. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    So, why do you need either gun?

    The .44 mag can kill anything in North or South America.

    Why do you need a .500? Going to Africa maybe?

    You need to understand that with these handguns, when you pull the trigger, there is a huge explosion, and then your hands are both way over your head with the gun in your hands. One shot one kill. Fine.

    But the cycling speed of firing a second shot is extremely slow.

    Against multiple assailants you are at a huge disadvantage.

    Any .45 ACP or any 9mm is just as good against 2 legged predators, and with either of these you can shoot faster, expecially with the 9mm, you can shoot really fast.

    So, why do you need this gun? That is always the first thing you need to answer.

    Ergo, what are you planning to shoot at?
     
  7. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    And if you cant get a ballistic gel, then save your old newspapers for about a month, build them into a bale, tighten them with several really big nylon ties, and then take that to the shooting range, and shoot into it at any given distance.

    For a .44 mag, the penetration will be about 9 inches at 25 yards. Enough to kill any bear, although with any grizzly/brown bear, you will still need to empty the entire cylinder into it.
     
  8. Marlinman

    Marlinman New Member

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    No offense but you are wrong on the recoil of an 8" barreled 44 mag. If you know what you are doing you can shoot a taurus raging bull 454 one handed and have it only rise 4". I know cuz i do it all the time w 275 grain cast bullets loaded 3 grains under max. Im 6' 165 lbs w long arms so if i can do that then anyone can.

    God didnt make all men equal colonel sam colt did
     
  9. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    Well maybe my .44 loads are just more powerful than yours.

    My barrel is 8" exactly.

    I am 5'10" and 225 lbs.
     
  10. Marlinman

    Marlinman New Member

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    Have you ever shot a taurus raging bull? Thats what mine is. Im also shooting 275 grain cast lead bullets loaded to max.

    God didnt make all men equal colonel sam colt did
     
  11. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    Handguns I am familiar with:

    S&W .44 mag
    S&W .357 mag
    Casull .454 mag
    Colt .45 ACP
    Browning 9mm
    Walther .380
    Colt .22 Woodsman
     
  12. Marlinman

    Marlinman New Member

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    Ok i have 3 44 mags. My bull and 2 s&w w 4" barrels-the smiths do have some hellacious recoil. My other raging bull is 454 cassul. The 454 has a scope on it which helps alot but i shoot it quit abit w just iron sights one handed just to stay in shape w those sights. The reason my 44 bull doesnt kick that bad is its weight.

    God didnt make all men equal colonel sam colt did
     
  13. freedom475

    freedom475 New Member

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  14. CubDriver451

    CubDriver451 New Member

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    There are few few distinct advantages that come with increased bore diameter. The most obvious is that the ability to launch heavy bullets increases with bore diameter. Heavier bullets generally retain velocity better than lighter bullets, and offer better penetration. Frequently, a heavier bullet of larger diameter will penetrate deeper than a lighter bullet in the next smaller caliber at higher velocity.

    A lesser known advantage of larger bore diameter is the ability to launch bullets of equal weight to higher velocities than a smaller bore, with less pressure. Having a larger surface to work against in a larger bore yields more force for the same amount of pressure and thus will do more work than with a smaller bore. Force=pressure x area.

    John Linebaugh presents some interesting information based on pressure testing that he has conducted comparing the .44 mag and the .45 Colt loaded to it's potential. Give these articles a read...

    Linebaugh's Custom Sixguns - Heavyweight Bullets

    Linebaugh's Custom Sixguns - The .45 Colt - Dissolving the Myth, Discovering the Legend

    As pressure changes, the recoil impulse also changes. generally speaking, lower pressure loads are more pleasant to shoot than higher pressure loads that develop the same energy. Over the years, I have found that I would much rather shoot larger bore handguns loaded down, than smaller bores loaded to max pressure levels. Big bullets do not always equal heavy, unpleasant recoil. I can load my .475 and .500 Linebaughs to equal or more power than a .44mag, and do it with less pressure, making them more pleasant to shoot than the .44.

    Here is a copy of a post I made on another forum that details a study that I did testing this theory. While I am not a professional researcher, I think this data shows some pretty interesting results.


    recoil vs. caliber comparison

    Go to any gun forum on the internet and you will see posts asking for opinions on this caliber vs. that caliber and which has less recoil or is easier to shoot. We have all seen and participated in these types of posts offering what insight we can to assist fellow shooters, but how good is this information really? Using myself as an example, I have been shooting for nearly thirty years. I own handguns in various configurations in calibers ranging from .22LR to .475 Linebaugh. I shoot a lot of big bore revolvers and have become accustomed to heavy recoil. For me to say that the recoil of a given caliber is not abusive or unpleasant may not be the most objective view. Not to mention such variables as hand size of the shooter, configuration of the gun, loads being shot and a multitude of others. This lead me to an idea for a long term experiment that began this summer and may continue well into my elderly years, but so far it has been fun and educational, so I thought I would share what results have been gathered so far.

    This all began with the common question of "should I get a .40 or a .45?" I first asked myself how these two should be compared, as they really are very different critters. My opinion, though never tested objectively, was that I preferred the .45. My reasoning was that the larger caliber, loaded with bullets of the same or similar weights at similar velocity, was more pleasant to shoot due to lower pressure. Why bullets of similar weight and velocity? Simply because within these two calibers, factory ammo is readily available within these parameters, and I wanted this to be a comparison of caliber vs. recoil, not power (however you decide to determine it) vs. recoil.

    To conduct the experiment, I needed two identical guns, but chambered in the two calibers. I already had a great shooting custom built STI in .45, so why not just build the same gun in .40? Problem solved! Now for ammo... I selected a 180grn bullet for use in the .40 and a 185 in the .45. These are readily available not only in component form as well as factory ammo, although the initial tests are being done with handloads. These two calibers are a wonderful set to compare because when using simlar weight bullets, max pressures in each cartridge achieve almost identical velocities, with a wide difference in pressure. In researching SAAMI specs for the two cartridges, I found that the max operating pressure for the .40 was listed as 35,000psi and the .45 as 19,900psi, a difference of 15,100psi. The .40 will drive a 180grn bullet at 1,000fps near the top of its pressure range. The .45 will do the same with a 185grn bullet near its max pressure.

    Loads were assembled and shot across an Oehler 35P chronograph, then adjusted as needed to arrive at 1,000fps +/- 50fps. The load used for the .40 was 5.3grns of Unique and a 180grn cast bullet from Midstate Cast bullets for the .40, for an verage velocity of 1012fps with a standard deviation of 26fps. For the .45 was 6.4grns of Universal for 1008fps average and an SD of 16fps. Both of these loads generate about 425 foot pounds of energy for those who prefer that measure of power.


    Now for the shooting…but who should do this shooting? If I do the shooting, as was stated earlier, it certainly would not be objective. I struck on the idea of going to the local range and asking random shooters there to shoot each gun and then fill out s short survey giving their impressions as preferences. The testing was conducted blind, so that the shooters did not know what caliber they were shooting (unless they cheated and observed the ejected brass), and every round was fired over the chronograph to verify consistent velocity. Each gun was loaded with ten rounds, and each shooter shot a total of twenty rounds through each gun, alternating between the two. After shooting both guns the shooters were asked to answer the following questions.

    1. Could you feel a difference between the felt recoil of the two guns?
    2. If a difference was felt, was it a matter of recoil force or recoil speed?
    3. Did you prefer one gun over the other and if so, which one?

    Keeping in mind that I am not a professional researcher, have no formal training in such matters and that there are certainly things that were not taken into account, I think the results are at least as valid, if not more so, than single opinions from various posters on any number of forums. My goal was to get general impressions from a wide variety of shooters, and I think that has been accomplished. A total of 210 shooters participated, all of them, strangers to me, and of various levels of experience. The results were as follows.

    Of the 210 shooters, 178 (84%) shooters could feel a difference in recoil.

    Of those 178 shooters, 143 (80%) of them felt it was a matter of speed rather than force.

    Of the 178 shooters that were able to feel a difference, 156 (87%) of them preferred the .45 over the .40.

    Of the 32 shooters that could not feel a difference, there was a pretty even split on preference of guns, with 15 (47%) preferring the .40 and 17(53%) preferring the .45. (Please do not ask me how people who could not feel a difference were able to select a preference. I can only speculate)

    Please keep in mind that this was not intended to prove that one cartridge is better than another. No aspect of performance difference of the cartridges was considered. I will leave that up to others to debate. It was simply a comparison of recoil between two cartridges loaded to equal performance in terms of energy, with vastly different pressures. While this portion of the experiment only compared two cartridges, loaded with custom built loads to achieve the same ballistic performance with regard to bullet weight and velocity, some myths can be refuted.

    A .45 does not necessarily have more recoil than a .40. The load makes the difference. A 230grn bullet is not the only option for a .45, just as a 180 is not the only choice out there in .40. Factory ammo is available in the weight and velocity range tested, in both range and self defense ammo. If you are a handloader, the options are even greater.

    Higher pressure does not necessarily equal higher velocity, particularly if there is a significant bore diameter difference. This is for the same reason that a larger hydraulic cylinder will do more work than a smaller one operating at the same pressure. Having a larger area for pressure to work over creates significant improvements in work capacity.

    The .40 has proven itself to be a very capable cartridge that has performed well for a significant span of years. The .45 has a 100 year history that shows similar effectiveness. I will let others argue about which is better, but here are some advantages of each:

    .40S&W-
    -More capacity in same size package
    -Flatter trajectory due to higher velocity, and sectional density
    -Slight advantage in cost when using handloads. Powder and bullets are bought by the pound, no matter how ya slice it and dice it.
    -reasonable selection of bullets available.
    -one of, if not the most popular semi auto cartridge on the market, making ammo and loading supplies readily available.

    .45ACP-
    -Larger bore diameter. I know that this is a hotly contested issue, but I think you would be hard pressed to show this as a disadvantage for most applications.
    -wide selection of bullets available ranging from 155 to around 250 grn.
    -Still one of the most popular cartridges currently in use, making ammo and components readily available.

    I am glad I do not have to choose between owning one or the other, as they are both fine performers in their own right, although I give a slight edge to the .45 because it is so flexible in the roles that it can fill for a wide range of shooters. Through the use of handloading, it can be loaded to what I believe is a much braoder range of applications than the .40 can, even if handloading for it as well. Your mileage may vary.

    As a side note, an idea came to me late in this experiment. I had several shooters compare the comfort of shooting the STI in .45 to my alloy framed, full size Kimber , also chambered in .45. While I did not keep records of this comparison, a noticeable majority preferred the STI. I can only speculate that this is a result of the shape of the grip, with the STI having a wider back strap, thus spreading the recoil over a wider area of the shooter’s hand.


    This is not a completed project by any stretch of the imagination. Future plans include doing similar tests with a variety of factory ammo. This will obviously require a substantial financial investment, so is not on the slate for the near future. Other comparisons that I would like to make are .357mag vs. .44 special .44 special vs. standard .45 colt loadings heavy .45 Colt vs. .44mag . others may be done, but it is hard to say, largely because I feel that any comparison needs to be done in identical guns. This could get even more expensive than it has already! I encourage anyone to take on such projects as you are able to. Not only is it a lot of fun, I think that these types of comparisons can truly challenge our own beliefs and preferences.


    JW
     
  15. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    If I wanted to hunt with a handgun I would get a .454. But I do not.

    My .44 mag is a backup gun.

    And it never sleeps. It is my primary home defense weapon.
     
  16. Marlinman

    Marlinman New Member

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    Mine is either my 12 ga avenger riot gun or both of my gcs 45s. I traded for one bull sight unseen on a saiga ak. When i got there he through the 44 bull in as fair since he got a scope mount and 4 clips with the saiga. So i hunt with my 454 and my fiancee uses the 44.

    God didnt make all men equal colonel sam colt did
     
  17. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    You and your sweetie must be pretty tough and strong then. Would hate to see you two get into a fight.
     
  18. Marlinman

    Marlinman New Member

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    She uses my shooting stick w the strap on top of it. Like i said its pretty heavy-kicks about like 357. So does my 454 when the scopes on it.

    God didnt make all men equal colonel sam colt did
     
  19. BikerRN

    BikerRN New Member

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    I would guess that the 500, even with the much shorter barrel, is more powerful.

    I'm too lazy to go check, or look it up, however. I also know that for me the .44 Mag is the largest caliber I want to shoot for more than a cylinder full.