500 S&W (bear hunting)

Rifleman97

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Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
309
I’ve shot hundreds of rounds through a ported 3.5” 500s&w. I think it was the “emergency” kit or something, came with a yellow watertight case and some survival supplies.

The recoil isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. That being said I wouldn’t want to shoot it all day but I’ve went out and shot 3 cylinders worth of 500 for fun. Wouldn’t want to shoot more than that.

All that being said I don’t recommend it, but not for recoil reasons. But because I believe 460S&W is a far better firearm and cartridge. The ability to shoot smaller powered cartridges through it for practicing is a huge benefit, and anything a 500 can do a 460 does just as well. Imo.
 

Mike Matteson

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Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
818
It will reach out there. That not a problem. It look like not many people have used a 500 SW in a 4" with Muzzle brake. Again I never shot it with factory loads with it either.
 

TxHeartShot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
51
Location
Houston TX
Hello. Looking for a little help with thoughts on a .500 s&w for a sidearm for bear hunting. A friend of mine is selling (3.5” barrel) his and I am considering purchasing for this purpose. I don’t know anything about them other than researching them online. Thoughts on is it a good fit?
QR levers on your scope mount if things get hairy and close-up in brush you can take off the scope and use the iron sights, also bear spray works like a charm (used it once on a fishing trip), a big bore handgun you can't shoot well is a last resort and the short barrel would make it easier to get it in your mouth...
 

shootski

Active Member
Joined
May 24, 2018
Messages
28
Location
Arlington, Virginia
Hello. Looking for a little help with thoughts on a .500 s&w for a sidearm for bear hunting. A friend of mine is selling (3.5” barrel) his and I am considering purchasing for this purpose. I don’t know anything about them other than researching them online. Thoughts on is it a good fit?
Hey Whilton,

Your post is interesting.
First of all it appears you want a "backup sidearm" for bear hunting. That leads to some questions.
What kind of bear?
What is your prey animal or is it a bear?
What is your experience shooting pistol/revolver?
How sensitive to recoil are you?
What kind of hunting terrain?

I carry a 4" barreled .44 S&W Model 29 in a chest rig when going on walks in bear, Moose or Mountain Lion country or when I hunt with a powder burner or a bb gun like this one: http://quackenbushairguns.com/Black_bear.htm
The reason for the chest rig is it is the best location (IMO) for keeping it right now available and out of the way for bow, rifle, bb gun carry/use and when you are doing camp stuff with your bow, rifle, bb gun stowed away and not immediately at hand.

You can probably see that I think a .44 mag is Overkill for Black Bear and enough shootable "Backup" (by most) for Brown & Polar Bear.

Since it really is shot placement, more than FPE that gets the job done, how well do you KNOW you can put round(s) on target with a bear in full charge? That takes practice...i bought my first .44 from a seller who had put 4 rounds through it and unloaded the remaining two unspent cartridges because he had bought a Dirty Harry as his first handgun. .44 Special makes practice with the same revolver much more pleasant and allows the .44 magnum practice to be more effective and directed toward the ability to hold/recover POA quicker. Remember the animal predator can't recognize (or be intimidated) what you are carrying and is only effected by what rounds you can put on target effectively.

Hope my post helps you make a good choice on spending your $$$,

shootski

PS: I'm still looking to bag my first bear with a bb gun...need more States to change their attitude toward bb gun hunting!
Slowly but surely it is happening.
 

Mike Matteson

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
818
Hey Whilton,

Your post is interesting.
First of all it appears you want a "backup sidearm" for bear hunting. That leads to some questions.
What kind of bear?
What is your prey animal or is it a bear?
What is your experience shooting pistol/revolver?
How sensitive to recoil are you?
What kind of hunting terrain?

I carry a 4" barreled .44 S&W Model 29 in a chest rig when going on walks in bear, Moose or Mountain Lion country or when I hunt with a powder burner or a bb gun like this one: http://quackenbushairguns.com/Black_bear.htm
The reason for the chest rig is it is the best location (IMO) for keeping it right now available and out of the way for bow, rifle, bb gun carry/use and when you are doing camp stuff with your bow, rifle, bb gun stowed away and not immediately at hand.

You can probably see that I think a .44 mag is Overkill for Black Bear and enough shootable "Backup" (by most) for Brown & Polar Bear.

Since it really is shot placement, more than FPE that gets the job done, how well do you KNOW you can put round(s) on target with a bear in full charge? That takes practice...i bought my first .44 from a seller who had put 4 rounds through it and unloaded the remaining two unspent cartridges because he had bought a Dirty Harry as his first handgun. .44 Special makes practice with the same revolver much more pleasant and allows the .44 magnum practice to be more effective and directed toward the ability to hold/recover POA quicker. Remember the animal predator can't recognize (or be intimidated) what you are carrying and is only effected by what rounds you can put on target effectively.

Hope my post helps you make a good choice on spending your $$$,

shootski

PS: I'm still looking to bag my first bear with a bb gun...need more States to change their attitude toward bb gun hunting!
Slowly but surely it is happening.
I see people or adds on TV showing a person pulling an 8" 500 SW. That would take all day to get it out. At that time it would be better to stick it in your mouth and pull the trigger. That way no pain. I may get a 44 mag. The 500 SW is heavy in a 4" and longer barrels at to the weight.
 

skipglo

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
1,784
Location
Alberta
Hello. Looking for a little help with thoughts on a .500 s&w for a sidearm for bear hunting. A friend of mine is selling (3.5” barrel) his and I am considering purchasing for this purpose. I don’t know anything about them other than researching them online. Thoughts on is it a good fit?
Perfect fit....but don't shoot yourself in the foot with it! 3.5" barrel....mega recoil...you probably won't miss the first shot...but getting your arm back down out of the tree behind you....will slow the second!
 

flassen

Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
18
I have 3 S&W model 500s. Two non ported in a 5" barrel (John Ross) and one in the 8" ported barrel. The 5" unsorted with full house loads bruise my wife's hand when she shoots it. So I load it down a bit for her. Unless you are comfortable with a LOT of recoil and a lot of time to get back on target I would stay away from the 3" barrel. I did have a 10.5" Performance Center M500, it had much less recoil and was very accurate. I do agree the longer barrels are more difficult to carry. I had Diamond D in Wasilla, Alaska make a custom chest holster for the 5" models. It is very comfortable. I wish you good luck on your hunt.
 

Mrvmax

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
228
Location
Texas
It will reach out there. That not a problem. It look like not many people have used a 500 SW in a 4" with Muzzle brake. Again I never shot it with factory loads with it either.
I agree, I’ve got one and even with iron sights get decent groups at 50 yards. If you are recoil sensitive stay away from it. Unlike what had been stated here it is accurate. It’s a heavy chunk of metal so consider that too.
 

skipglo

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
1,784
Location
Alberta
I agree, I’ve got one and even with iron sights get decent groups at 50 yards. If you are recoil sensitive stay away from it. Unlike what had been stated here it is accurate. It’s a heavy chunk of metal so consider that too.
Did you miss the decimal place? Was that 5.0 yards you meant?🤣
 

skipglo

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Joined
Jan 23, 2015
Messages
1,784
Location
Alberta
I see people or adds on TV showing a person pulling an 8" 500 SW. That would take all day to get it out. At that time it would be better to stick it in your mouth and pull the trigger. That way no pain. I may get a 44 mag. The 500 SW is heavy in a 4" and longer barrels at to the weight.
Come on Mike...all day....bit of an exaggeration here! It only takes me 30 minutes....but I practice alot! And I limit ALL BEAR CHARGES...they must start at 1750 yards...no closer...not allowed...so I have adequate time to get it out and aim!
 

Treeslug

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Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
526
Location
Hill Country, Texas
Thanks for all the reply’s. Very much appreciated and you’re verifying my thoughts that it should only be used as emergency. Not a very practical firearm
I have the 3.5" 500 S&W and I loaded it with some 700 gr. bullets I bought from a guy in Alaska that no longer sells bullets. Just because I am the way I am, I fired five rounds from the "Hip" position as fast as I could, one-handed, at a bear sized circle at 10 yards. Yep, the first shot would have killed a grizzly bear. The next four shots would not have even scared a grizzly bear. Well actually, three of the shots completely missed the circle, and one shot hit what may have been a flesh wound. No doubt the first shot was a killer shot, but after that, I would have done as well throwing the pistol at the bear.

I use that pistol for shooting hogs that I accidentally walk up on occasionally. I am a sneaky rascal in the woods. I use both hands and the range is about 10 yards or less. I have never needed a second shot using both hands at that short-range, but the hogs I have killed that way were not fixing to eat me. If the owner is a true friend, make him let you shoot the 500 a time or two. I'm pretty sure you will want something a little more manageable.
 
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Treeslug

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Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
526
Location
Hill Country, Texas
Come on Mike...all day....bit of an exaggeration here! It only takes me 30 minutes....but I practice alot! And I limit ALL BEAR CHARGES...they must start at 1750 yards...no closer...not allowed...so I have adequate time to get it out and aim!
C'mon skipglo, If you had 30 minutes and a bear charging from 1750 yards, you and I could finish off half a bottle of rum and reload a box of whatever bullets you decided to shoot the bear with. Besides that, whenever the bear got to about 100 yards away and got a closer look at you and smelled that nasty aftershave lotion you use, the bear would probably fall over laughing and die on his own.
 

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