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Discussion Starter #1
Was watching vids on Handi Rifles on Youtube and tripped over the vid below about a .500 S&W...

It's definitely kicking a bunch, LOL!

Have to admit... that made me want it all the more, LOL!

But I was thinking... Does the .500 really do anything the .45-70 can't in a similarly strong rifle?

Your thoughts?

 

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Bigger diameter bullets. Using bullets with minimal expansion like cast, a 22% larger impact area matters.....at least a little. Novelty and exclusivity. I hunted moose with a .50-70 for years, vey effective and you’ll not likely meet someone else hunting with it.


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If you look at the loads for a modern 45-70 (non-trapdoor), you'll find 405gr +P ammo from Buffalo Bore, Grizzly, and other manufacturers that is about 100 fps faster with similar weight bullets. When you consider the ballistic coefficient of the 45-70 over the 500 S&W, you'll see the 45-70 gives better performance with both distance and penetration. Here's a quick comparison from 22 inch barrel rifles:

300 grain Buffalo Bore 45-70 = 2350 fps
300 grain Hornady 500 S&W = 2248 fps

350 grain Buffalo Bore 45-70 = 2100 fps
350 grain Hornady 500 S&W= 2056 fps

400 grain Buffalo Bore 45-70 = 2000 fps
400 grain Cor-Bon 500 S&W = 1971 fps

I own handi rifles in both 500 S&W and 45-70 (plus 2 trapdoors). I use my 500 S&W for brush hunting out to around 75 yards. I am comfortable using my 45-70 out to 300 yards to hunt, then the bullet drop gets a pain in the rear to start calculating.
 

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This tells me you have more experience with the 45/70... 100 fps equates to 75 yds vs 300 yds?
 

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I don’t have any experience with the .500 but with the information available I don’t think there’s anything it will do that the .45-70 won’t with a proper load.
 

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Ill go this route. I like classic and the 4570 wins I that category hands down. But in killing id take the 500. Bigger bullet, bigger metplat. As to sectional density that's an easy one to cure. Use a heavier 500 bullet. 400 grain 4570 bullets are in the medium to large for caliber category. 400 grain 500 bullets are light for the caliber. Step up to a 450-500 grain lfn that has as good of sectional density as a 400 grain 4570 bullet and because of its weight its going to penetrate better. Trajectory to me means nothing. If im going to hunt where shots are past even 200 yards the 4570 is staying home. Sure it can do it. heck ive hit steal at near a 1000 with a 4570 but that doesn't make it a perfect hunting round for those distances. In all reality its like comparing the 475 Linebaugh to the 500 Linebaugh. Either will kill about anything. Especially if you use heavy for caliber bullets and make velocity a secondary concern. Id rather have either of them with a heavy for caliber cast lfn or similar design at 1500 fps then either with a 300 grain jacked hp at any velocity. Math numbers like ft lbs of energy don't kill. Trajectory is another non issue to me. Neither are flat shooting. I don't see how knowing I have to hold over 7 inches at 300 yards means a spit difference then knowing I have to hold over 10 inches. What kills is a big bullet that leaves a long wound channel and breaks down an animal. You can dig up arguments that favor either. Im not a bit 500 smith fan. Why? Because I think the guns smith made to chamber them are huge and ugly. In a lever gun it would make a very formidable cartridge though. Especially for someone that doesn't handload. To equal it in a 4570 you about have to be a handloader or pay for expensive buffalo bore ammo. Again a non issue to me but its a real one. Want my real opinion? If you want real horse power in a lever gun skip both and get yourself a 50 Alaskan. It will eat the other two for lunch.
 

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Ill go this route. I like classic and the 4570 wins I that category hands down. But in killing id take the 500. Bigger bullet, bigger metplat. As to sectional density that's an easy one to cure. Use a heavier 500 bullet. 400 grain 4570 bullets are in the medium to large for caliber category. 400 grain 500 bullets are light for the caliber. Step up to a 450-500 grain lfn that has as good of sectional density as a 400 grain 4570 bullet and because of its weight its going to penetrate better. Trajectory to me means nothing. If im going to hunt where shots are past even 200 yards the 4570 is staying home. Sure it can do it. heck ive hit steal at near a 1000 with a 4570 but that doesn't make it a perfect hunting round for those distances. In all reality its like comparing the 475 Linebaugh to the 500 Linebaugh. Either will kill about anything. Especially if you use heavy for caliber bullets and make velocity a secondary concern. Id rather have either of them with a heavy for caliber cast lfn or similar design at 1500 fps then either with a 300 grain jacked hp at any velocity. Math numbers like ft lbs of energy don't kill. Trajectory is another non issue to me. Neither are flat shooting. I don't see how knowing I have to hold over 7 inches at 300 yards means a spit difference then knowing I have to hold over 10 inches. What kills is a big bullet that leaves a long wound channel and breaks down an animal. You can dig up arguments that favor either. Im not a bit 500 smith fan. Why? Because I think the guns smith made to chamber them are huge and ugly. In a lever gun it would make a very formidable cartridge though. Especially for someone that doesn't handload. To equal it in a 4570 you about have to be a handloader or pay for expensive buffalo bore ammo. Again a non issue to me but its a real one. Want my real opinion? If you want real horse power in a lever gun skip both and get yourself a 50 Alaskan. It will eat the other two for lunch.
Big Horn Armory makes a very nice lever action .500 S&W, One day I wouldn’t mind to have one of their rifles in a different caliber but being I already shoot .45-70 I probably won’t. Very nice looking rifles though
 

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I had a Handi Rifle in 500 S&W. It didn't show me anything to compare with my .45-70s. Recoil was more, components cost more, recoil was more, and trajectory sucked. I load 405 .45-70s to 1950 fps. It does all I can see and need out to 400 yards or more. I have never had anything walk. I've missed a fox at 400 yards. but that's pilot error. But I killed fox and coyote at the same 400. I never had a deer go more than two jumps, and I've taken them at 300 plus. I might like a .500 if T Rex was smashing my front door! It's a pistol round not a rifle cartridge, don't expect it to perform like one.

Over the .500, I much prefer what I call my .45-70 short...my .445 Super Magnum. It beats the .500 in cost and recoil. A nice PISTOL round that is happy in a rifle.

Pete
 

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ya pete up here and in most states both are more then what is really needed. A good 44 mag lever gun shooting 300 grain casts will kill anything that walks. Actually my favorite lever gun isn't my 4570 or my 50ak. Its a little marlin 94 17 inch gun in 475 lineabaugh that Rob Applegate built for me. Light, handy, easy to carry and even loaded down with a 350 grain lfn at 1200 fps will kill anything in the continental US. Another favorite of mine that sometimes over looked is the 444. Flatter shooting then either the 4570 or 500 smith and it packs some serious punch.
I had a Handi Rifle in 500 S&W. It didn't show me anything to compare with my .45-70s. Recoil was more, components cost more, recoil was more, and trajectory sucked. I load 405 .45-70s to 1950 fps. It does all I can see and need out to 400 yards or more. I have never had anything walk. I've missed a fox at 400 yards. but that's pilot error. But I killed fox and coyote at the same 400. I never had a deer go more than two jumps, and I've taken them at 300 plus. I might like a .500 if T Rex was smashing my front door! It's a pistol round not a rifle cartridge, don't expect it to perform like one.

Over the .500, I much prefer what I call my .45-70 short...my .445 Super Magnum. It beats the .500 in cost and recoil. A nice PISTOL round that is happy in a rifle.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ya pete up here and in most states both are more then what is really needed. A good 44 mag lever gun shooting 300 grain casts will kill anything that walks. Actually my favorite lever gun isn't my 4570 or my 50ak. Its a little marlin 94 17 inch gun in 475 lineabaugh that Rob Applegate built for me. Light, handy, easy to carry and even loaded down with a 350 grain lfn at 1200 fps will kill anything in the continental US. Another favorite of mine that sometimes over looked is the 444. Flatter shooting then either the 4570 or 500 smith and it packs some serious punch.
A stainless Marlin 1894 is definitely on my bucket list. Or potentially the Rossie M92. In . 44 mag.

Seems to me, a Lee Loader Classic, a Lyman 429421 and some 2400 and one has all one needs for anything out to about 100 yards in the lower 48. (Grizzley possibly excepted.)

That said... despite having a Marlin 1895 GS, Handi and BC in .45-70... I still want the long barreled Cowboy model in .45-70... LOL! Would like to have a Rolling Block in same...

I think .45-70 are addictive... :)
 

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i have two tc encore's in a 23" MGM heavy factory barrels in 444 marlin and 500 linebaugh. i load them up slow because i had a stroke a few years ago. the 444 marlin is a 300gr fn gc over 2400/tuft of dacron that goes 1624fps avg. the 500L is a 460gr lfn gc over hs-6 that goes 1235fps avg. they are great for deer and black bear.

i have a 45-70 handi rifle but i don't use it. i've killed deer with the 45-70 but......it just wasn't for me. its my "borrow" gun. i'll even give the guy ammo, 405gr fn cast that goes 1300+/-fps(can't remember the powder load).
 

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It looks like a lot of fun, but what ever happened to the .450 Marlin? I thought that it would give the .45-70 all it could handle, sales wise anyway.
 

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I never understood why the 450 marlin didn't take off better myself. Ive never owned one but my buddy who has forgot more then most of us know has one and loves it. For a non handloader it gives you a big power increase over the 4570 and what I like about it is its a lot easier to push rounds into a marlins loading gate. All common sense says it should have put a deap cut in 4570 sales but I guess it just doesn't replace nostalgia
 

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I never understood why the 450 marlin didn't take off better myself. Ive never owned one but my buddy who has forgot more then most of us know has one and loves it. For a non handloader it gives you a big power increase over the 4570 and what I like about it is its a lot easier to push rounds into a marlins loading gate. All common sense says it should have put a deap cut in 4570 sales but I guess it just doesn't replace nostalgia
my guess is the belt. :confused:

lever actions don't need no belt!!!!

my 2cents worth.


i don't have a 450 marlin but i do reload. i have a 45-70 handi and it takes trapdoor loads.
 

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Not to start a dust-up but I could NEVER understand buying a cannon and then loading it down to popgun status. Nor can I understand using a 45 cal "whatever" to shoot deer. I fed a growing family shooting deer with a 22 LR and later on a 17 FB, several 22 cal center-fires and most other cals up to 30 cal.

The last deer I shot was with a 12 GAFH and a 800+ gr "missile" basically to test the results of an ≈2 oz hunk of lead a ≈3/4" in diameter. It basically wiped out all the "good eats". I saved the hind quarters and part of the straps. The slug hit the scapula and used it as a carving/bludgeoning hammer to destroy or tear up most of the front end...the head and neck down to the shoulder junction was left hanging on by a few pieces of hide.

It DID answer my question tho'.

I also get a bit tired of the "this VS that"...a sure way to get the pot stirred and not add anything of much value, besides the inevitable "apples vs oranges" and more appropriately "kumquats vs Dolphins".

I know this is "vs", "apples and frog legs" is part and parcel of forums and us men, but I think it would be much better to just post the data for a particular shooter/load you have/like and leave off the comparisons...I can do that myself.

On the lighter side I have a Browning 450 Marlin BLR I like very much basically because I can load it to magnum pressures same as a 300 or 458 WM. The 450 Marlin got a bunch of bad pres from idiots that call themselves writers and then the RE-Pete's got in to the act with their mindless garbage and the 45-70'ers went totally ****** with their "passion fruit vs monkey" comparison...you can always kill a lie but you can NEVER kill a half truth...which is just what happened with the 450 M leverguns. It just really shows how gullible we shooters are.

I have a dozen 45-50 cal rifles/leverguns/SS in 45-70, 458 American, 458 Lott, 50-70, 50-90's, and wildcat 50 cals with barrels from 22 to 34"...I DO know something about them, but I guarantee everytime I talk about what ballistics a particular rifle produces I get a ton of arguments why I don't know what I'm talking about...so I don't post much of my data...that BS that comes from trying to teach someone something is just NOT worth the candles.

And NOW I'm off on a couple of 444 M and 458 Lott wildcat delusions for my Marlin 336 that is SURE to set off a few booms if I ever post my results...or there will be NO interest because the BOTH will have more recoil than most lever-gunners want to deal with. Oh, Well...C'est La vie.

Good Hunting
 

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This is the kind of thread that gun lovers live for. A discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of everything. The biggest advantage I can see for the 500 is you can hunt deer with it in the shotgun zone of mi. and many other states as well. I have a 500 and ammo is too expensive. I don't handload, 45-70 ammo is cheaper but I can't step out my backdoor and shoot a deer with it.

mike
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not to start a dust-up but I could NEVER understand buying a cannon and then loading it down to popgun status. Nor can I understand using a 45 cal "whatever" to shoot deer. I fed a growing family shooting deer with a 22 LR and later on a 17 FB, several 22 cal center-fires and most other cals up to 30 cal.

The last deer I shot was with a 12 GAFH and a 800+ gr "missile" basically to test the results of an ≈2 oz hunk of lead a ≈3/4" in diameter. It basically wiped out all the "good eats". I saved the hind quarters and part of the straps. The slug hit the scapula and used it as a carving/bludgeoning hammer to destroy or tear up most of the front end...the head and neck down to the shoulder junction was left hanging on by a few pieces of hide.

It DID answer my question tho'.

I also get a bit tired of the "this VS that"...a sure way to get the pot stirred and not add anything of much value, besides the inevitable "apples vs oranges" and more appropriately "kumquats vs Dolphins".

I know this is "vs", "apples and frog legs" is part and parcel of forums and us men, but I think it would be much better to just post the data for a particular shooter/load you have/like and leave off the comparisons...I can do that myself.

On the lighter side I have a Browning 450 Marlin BLR I like very much basically because I can load it to magnum pressures same as a 300 or 458 WM. The 450 Marlin got a bunch of bad pres from idiots that call themselves writers and then the RE-Pete's got in to the act with their mindless garbage and the 45-70'ers went totally ****** with their "passion fruit vs monkey" comparison...you can always kill a lie but you can NEVER kill a half truth...which is just what happened with the 450 M leverguns. It just really shows how gullible we shooters are.

I have a dozen 45-50 cal rifles/leverguns/SS in 45-70, 458 American, 458 Lott, 50-70, 50-90's, and wildcat 50 cals with barrels from 22 to 34"...I DO know something about them, but I guarantee everytime I talk about what ballistics a particular rifle produces I get a ton of arguments why I don't know what I'm talking about...so I don't post much of my data...that BS that comes from trying to teach someone something is just NOT worth the candles.

And NOW I'm off on a couple of 444 M and 458 Lott wildcat delusions for my Marlin 336 that is SURE to set off a few booms if I ever post my results...or there will be NO interest because the BOTH will have more recoil than most lever-gunners want to deal with. Oh, Well...C'est La vie.

Good Hunting
Well... the reason I bought a .45-70... and load it down to trapdoor levels is... cast bullets. I can get the energy levels up with heavier bullets, at cast bullet velocities, without having to have gas checks or other trickery... and yet if I really needed the thump factor... jacketed is an option.

Having grown up in the times when .30-06 was considered the "middle" cartridge... I think of 2500 ft lbs. as being the middle energy level (which it isn't of course, since .460 Wby comes in at 10,000, but you know what I'm saying....30-06 was the "standard")... I can get close to that with cast in .45-70 and plain base.

With .30 cal rifles and cast... for the most part they are all limited to .30-30 levels... and well... I have a .30-30, LOL! Jacketed is needed for the performance levels that made those guns famous in the first place. (Experiments with paper patching and linotype not withstanding).

But sure, it is 100% possible to put food on the table and dispatch deer with .22 LR if one knows what one is doing. Worst case... 5 or 10 .22 LR should have the same effect as same number of small buckshot. (Although I know that's not what you meant, of course.)

As for the original question... I just noticed that .500 S&W and .45-70 overlap some on the energy level but pressure levels and diameter are different. So... wanted to hear others thoughts and experiences.

I'm always up for learning something new about this stuff, and often as not, others know things and have perspectives I may not. So it's all good to me. :)
 

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The problem with the internet is it's full of mis-information, dis-information and total "stuff". You/me/ANYONE can cherry pick and "prove a point" whether it's valid or not. "Comparing" energy ratings found online or in other places is like comparing a Ford with a Chevy with a Dodge with a Ferrari...ANYTHING can be gussied up and said to be "something GREAT".

I/YOU/ANYONE can load their shooters to ANY velocity/energy they want(within safety limits) and can equivocate ANY shooter to another one....BUT...you have to understand all the various factors to do so to get/have useful information. I do it all the time to develop a specific load for a specific rifle to get OPTIMUM ballistic potential.

AND everyone usually starts comparing apples with frog legs from the start.

The concept of "flat shooting" is just some "imaginary construct" in their minds and, of course, NO ONE COMPARES POINTY BULLETS WITH POINTY BULLETS" especially in large cal blasters...it's mostly FP's or RN's because they "HIT" harder...a HIGHLY ARGUMENTATIVE subject with mostly SUBJECTIVE arguments...I've seen little actual scientifically developed data...but hey, if it works for you and kills your beasty then what every you used was successful...keep doing it. A 45-70's rainbow trajectory is anything but flat shooting when talking about any range beyond about 50 yds.

I've been at this game a very long time and I'm NOT HERE to defend or denigrate...I just wish people would look at things with a more critical eye and ASK a few more specific questions or not take the on-forum "stuff" verbatim.

Lever guns have a built in length limit except for the few that do a bit of "wildcatting. My marlin will handle 2.75" COAL which means I CAN use pointy bullets and NOT loose case volume...and my chamber is NOT FACTORY...I guarantee I can get ballistic properties far beyond a 444 M and the 45 cal will do even better...at THE SAME PRESSURE LIMITS.

Doing a few "mods" that are easily and safely done can increase ballistic potential by a long ways...you just have to think outside the usual envelope...but you HAVE TO THINK....

OR NOT...it's YOUR TOY and your hunt. do what you think is best for YOU.

Good Hunting
 

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Not to start a dust-up but I could NEVER understand buying a cannon and then loading it down to popgun status.
It DID answer my question tho'.

I don't believe in loading down either. I try to find the heaviest, fastest and above all most accurate load for all of my rifles. I don't load down or up. Accuracy is primary. For example, my .243 load is only an 85 gr. Sierra Gameking over 41.0 RL 15 for 3158 fps. Could go heavier or faster, but accuracy falls off. .356 Winchester, 200 gr. Hornady SP 39.4 gr., IMR4198, 2370 fps. etc. etc.

I choose a rifle to match the situation. I don't alter a load to match the situation. Most of my rifles wear an Allen 9 cartridge holder on the butt stock. The ones I use for distance shooting have a card under the holder giving me a quick refresher on sight in distance and bullet drop for that load. (at my age I need all the help I can get!!).

Pete
 
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