S & W 500 forcing cone erosion - Graybeard Outdoors
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Default S & W 500 forcing cone erosion

Purchased s&w 500 new in January and have put about 600- 700 rounds through it. Hornady 300 gn FTX, 350gn XTP, 500 gn FP, and 700gn cast in about equal quantities. 90% were loaded with Lil Gun at Hornady starting loads. I’m now noticing forcing cone erosion. I’m planning on stopping lil gun as I’ve read of that. Shoots nice, but don’t want to wear out the gun.

Any thoughts
Thanks
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 03:53 PM
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Welcome to the forum Sidney. Forcing cone erosion comes with the territory when using magnum loads in most wheel guns. Large charges of slow ball powder can increase it, and Lil Gun powder has that reputation in particular with some magnum shooters. Even "starting loads" with this powder are "hot".


In magnum revolvers, I have found forcing cone erosion, along with flame cutting of the top strap to be normal, usually self limiting, and can be minimized by using smaller charges of faster burning powders in most loads where maximum power is not needed. S&W does have a factory lifetime warranty on these revolvers if forcing cone erosion should become a factor to the point accuracy falls off, or leading increases. Re-cutting the forcing cone with a 10 - 11 % angle is popular with some shooters as it reduces slightly the erosion issue, and makes for a more consistant bullet entry into the barrel. I have never had it done, as these issues have never really been "issues" with my big bore revolvers in .44 mag. Polishing the forcing cone may slow down the erosion process, but remember, any material removed from the forcing cone cant be replaced, and excessive barrel / cylinder gap could be an eventual result.


Me? I'd shoot mostly target level loads out of it, and not worry until I had to, then let S&W fix it for free if it came to that. I suspect that you have already fired more magnum level loads thru this gun than most .460 / .500 owners do in a lifetime. You see plenty of abused guns around, but how many do you see that are truly mechanicaly worn out?


Larry

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Larry,

Thanks for the reply and information. I just registered the gun with s&w today as the warranty issue may arise.

As far as magnum loads, I was using 36 grains of lil gun with FTX 300’s and 32 grains of lil gun with XTP 350’s- both feel like magnum loads, but not near the max loads. The 700 grain cast, with gas checks, had 25 grains of lil gun: accuracy was awful and the kick was a bit more than the Hornady loads.

Accuracy is great with the Hornady’s, even the 500 grains.

I would load lighter, but am trying to stay within 90% of starting loads. I’ll switch away from Lil Gun also. I could load specials, but I moved up to the 500 for a reason.

Mostly, I’m just surprised at the wear after so few rounds: I’ve fired tens of thousands of rounds through a 44 with no real issues.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 09:00 AM
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I am no expert metallurgist, but I do believe heat, amount & type of powder, and pressure all contribute to forcing cone wear. Lil Gun is noted as being a hot burning powder that can also be abrasive. Freedom Arms specifically does not recommend it for use in its big bore revolvers because of these issues. Also, that big .500 operates at a pressure limit of 60,000 psi, as compared to a .44 magnum, that operates at a 36,000 psi limit.


I am mostly an N frame .44 shooter who downloads for most uses, but I can certainly understand wanting what you paid for power wise when you bought a .500 magnum. Just like the bench rest rifle shooter with the .220 Swift barrel, shorter barrel life is going to be an issue compared to the same rifle with say a .222 Remington barrel. The price of performance. Shorter forcing cone/barrel life compared to standard revolver chamberings may be a consequence of maximum performance.


Larry

Personal opinion is a good thing, and everyone is entitled to one. The hard part is separating informed opinion from someone who is just blowing hot air....
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 10:05 AM
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Had similar issue w/ my S&W 5" 460 using a 350gr bullet and after going thru my Quickloads program found that I could go w/ 4198 in either IMR or Hodgon and cut the pressure by more than 1/3 and only lost about 100-150fps in revolver and less in my 20" Encore.

There are many other powders to try and get comparative loads.
Have you looked at using Alliant 300MP or 2400, they are my next tries.
Good luck

When it absolutely needs to be there, reload

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. While I like shooting the Lil Gun, going to set it aside for nowand use some H110 and IMR4227 for a few rounds. I’ll look into the Alliant 300MP and 2400 as well. Quickload isn’t available for iOS yet, so I’ll stick to published load data for now. With it’s size this gun has enough interesting quirks that I’m cautious with experimenting with loads.
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