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  #1  
Old 12-05-2004, 10:51 AM
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.500 Vs .454 Recoil


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I have heard that the .454 caliber has an ungodly recoil and I was wondering if anyone has shot both the .500 and the .454 and could give me a comparison on the recoils. I read that the .500 generates 50,000 psi but the .454 generates 60,000 psi. Is the pressure generated the primary force behind recoil?
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2004, 11:15 AM
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I have shot the 454 and the 500 I thought the 500 was a lot worse. It was to the point that I could not even shoot it. The 454 was a lot of recoil but it was manageable for me. The 500 shoots a 440 grain bullet at 1600 fps that is essentially a shotgun slug of one ounce in your hand in an 8 inch barrelled pistol. The 454 shoots a 300 grain at about 1700 fps which is a lot of power but not quite like a shot gun. The 500 shoots a bullet 1/3 bigger at about the same speed. I am not knowledgeable enough to comment on the pressure and its relation to the recoil. I will let some of the more advanced gunners speak on that. my 2 cents.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2004, 11:24 AM
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Recoil to the shooter comes from the weight of the powder and bullet that exit the gun (and their velocities), basic physics. Heavier gun = less felt recoil, and vise versa. Things like porting help, because some of the powder gas goes up, instead of forward.

Pressure isn't recoil, per se, but the higher the pressure, the louder the muzzle blast, and that contributes to our perception of recoil.

There are some nuances with heavy bullets slow vs. light bullets fast, where the recoil seems to be a bit different when the numbers say it should be the same, but those are small factors in the scheme of things.

With a handgun, how well it fits your hand has a great deal to do with perceived recoil. So, it's hard to compare the .454 vs. the .500 exactly, unless you have both chambered in nearly identical guns.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2004, 12:31 PM
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MikeG is correct on what makes a gun recoil. Murphy's law- for every action there is an exact and opposite reaction, or something to that extent. I have a freedom arms 454 casull which is darn near same size and weight as a superblackhawk. If you load her up with some of these heavy bullets, Yes it gets very uncomfortable to shoot. A friend has the smith 500. This gun is huge, heavy and ported. Loaded with same bullet weights and same velocity (as close as we can) the smith recoils less. But because it is heavier and ported you could expect this. I rarely load up to max with the casull. I found a 300 grain lbt gas check at 1500 fps is a real nice load for casull. It will kill anything you shoot with it. And in mine is very accurate. Be careful about shooting these heavy recoiling pistols from the bench. I shoot mine from my picnic table off a rest. Every shot it bangs my elbow on table. Can get really sore after awhile.
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  #5  
Old 12-06-2004, 06:43 AM
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I have a Taurus .454 Casull w/ 6.5" bbl. The "expansion chamber" measures 1.285". So the actual bbl is under 5.5". The general ergonomics of the weapon is excellent. The backstrap is very well padded/cushoned.The trigger,when the hammer is cocked, comes almost all the way back to the rear of the trigger guard. The trigger pull is heaver than i would like it to be for single action shooting(the only way to shoot any double action,heavy recoiling,hunting pistol),and it has a fair amount of overtravel. I can live with all these things in an "out of the box" pistol. RECOIL---- With heavy loads of H110 and 335/360 gr hardcast bullets the percieved recoil is less than my Ruger SB .44 Mag shooting heavy loads of H110 and 300 gr XTP's. I have not shot the .500 S&W. I did talk to the S&W Rep.for the SE US the other day. He just happened to be at our local gunshop when I walked in. He has shot (and owns) the 500 in the 10.5" S&W performance center gun,the standard 8.5" gun, and the 4" gun. He has taken game and has shot alot of rounds through all three guns,plus the other manufacturers .454 Casulls. He claims that the S&W 500's recoil LESS. Now remember who I was talking to. I'm just repeating what i was told. He also said that S&W will be coming out w/ a 6" 500 "in the very near future". It will have ports also. Also they will be coming out with an "all new" .460 S&W. He showed me a loaded round. It looked to me,in legnth,close to a .445 Super Mag. Maybe slightly longer. I can't remember what cal.he said it would be. He stated to me that the S&W .500's were designed from the start to be a big,heavy recoiling pistol,shooting big bullets. The other manufacturers simply put bigger bbls and cylinders on their already existing pistols. That is why(he stated) that the .500 S&W's recoil is less than the other heavy recoiling pistols. This,to me,makes some sense.-----GOOD SHOOTIN'----pruhdlr
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  #6  
Old 12-06-2004, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backwoodswalker
MikeG is correct on what makes a gun recoil. Murphy's law- for every action there is an exact and opposite reaction, or something to that extent. I have a freedom arms 454 casull which is darn near same size and weight as a superblackhawk. If you load her up with some of these heavy bullets, Yes it gets very uncomfortable to shoot. A friend has the smith 500. This gun is huge, heavy and ported. Loaded with same bullet weights and same velocity (as close as we can) the smith recoils less. But because it is heavier and ported you could expect this. I rarely load up to max with the casull. I found a 300 grain lbt gas check at 1500 fps is a real nice load for casull. It will kill anything you shoot with it. And in mine is very accurate. Be careful about shooting these heavy recoiling pistols from the bench. I shoot mine from my picnic table off a rest. Every shot it bangs my elbow on table. Can get really sore after awhile.
Just pointing out that it's Newton's Law which says "equal and opposite reaction." Murphy's Law is the one that many of my hunting trips go by. "If it can go wrong, it will go wrong."
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  #7  
Old 12-07-2004, 12:40 PM
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.454 vs .500 S&W

I've shot hundreds of both and find their recoil profiles to be quite different. Whereas the .454 has very fast recoil and a lot of left to right torque, the .500 is slower and more straight back.....much of this is attributable to the weight of the gun and porting. Of the two, the .500 is a little easier to control, as long as you're using a padded glove. Though there isn't a lot of muzzle flip, the X-frame does smack your palm pretty hard (especially with top end 440s). Hope this helps.

Lee Martin
www.singleactions.com
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  #8  
Old 12-07-2004, 11:25 PM
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Hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Martin
I've shot hundreds of both and find their recoil profiles to be quite different. Whereas the .454 has very fast recoil and a lot of left to right torque, the .500 is slower and more straight back.....much of this is attributable to the weight of the gun and porting. Of the two, the .500 is a little easier to control, as long as you're using a padded glove. Though there isn't a lot of muzzle flip, the X-frame does smack your palm pretty hard (especially with top end 440s). Hope this helps.

Lee Martin
www.singleactions.com
Correct Mr.Lee...
I have the same experience
.454 - more fast recoil
.500 - a slow but hard recoil

In rifle you can say an 338 win mag vs. 458 win mag... and it´s same comparison.

/Andreas
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2004, 06:14 PM
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I also have to agree with Lee . I have shot a limited number of 500s but have shot a good amount of 454s
My 454 is a FA 83 with a 4 3/4 barrel and the 500 I shot was a 8 3/8 with a brake .
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2004, 05:40 PM
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I have a Taurus Raging Bull .454 with a 5" barrel, and a Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum with the 8 3/8" barrel. A friend of mine also has a Smith & Wesson 500 with the 4" barrel which I have shot on several occasions.

All three of these guns have ported barrels, and to me all three of them are very similar in terms of recoil and muzzle flip with hot heavy loads. The main difference in the way they feel to me is that the Taurus .454 seems to have a "sharper" recoil impulse that does make the palm of my hand sting a little, while the Smith 500's seem to have a somewhat slower and stronger rearward shove. The stinging sensation I get from the .454 I think is probably due to the fact the .454 is a higher pressure cartridge than the 500.

While I normally don't shoot more than 30 to 40 rounds at a time through any of them, I don't think that any of them are unpleasant to shoot. If you really like shooting hot .44 magnums, you really shouldn't have a problem shooting either a .454 or a 500.
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  #11  
Old 12-10-2004, 11:30 AM
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I find the fact that we are comparing a 44 mag to a 500 s&w and saying they are the same, a bitstrange. I do not see how a
300 grain projectile going 1300 fps 44 mag
is the same as a
300 grain projectile going 1700 fps 454
is the same as a
440 grain going 1600 fps in a 500

it seems like saying all of these are essentially the same is like saying a 9 mm is not much less powerful than a 10mm.
If people like severe pain and punishment that is fine, but lets be realistic with our comparison of the cartridges.
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2004, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raisincenter
I find the fact that we are comparing a 44 mag to a 500 s&w and saying they are the same, a bitstrange. I do not see how a
300 grain projectile going 1300 fps 44 mag
is the same as a
300 grain projectile going 1700 fps 454
is the same as a
440 grain going 1600 fps in a 500

it seems like saying all of these are essentially the same is like saying a 9 mm is not much less powerful than a 10mm.
If people like severe pain and punishment that is fine, but lets be realistic with our comparison of the cartridges.

Please don't misunderstand me here. I wasn't implying that the .454's and 500's were no different than a .44 magnum in terms of perceived recoil. They are entirely different animals.

The point I was trying to make was that if you are comfortable shooting a fairly heavy recoiling big bore handgun like a .44 magnum, you shouldn't have much of a problem moving up to something even more powerful. The specific point I was trying to make was that if you realy like shooting a .44 mag, then you will probably also like something with even more punch. It's kind of like: if a little is good, more will be better.

I have an old book from 1979 by Edward Matunas, called "American Ammunition and Ballistics", which I still occasionally look at for a few laughs. The author renders his opinion on a number of different rounds. Back in the late 1970's, he considered the .45/70 to be obsolete. In discussing the .44 magnum, he wrote:
"The point here, however, is that it is simply too powerful. Very few shooters can master it....The recoil and muzzle blast are far in excess of being uncomfortable. Painful would perhaps describe it better...." (p. 86) Some people probably would agree with his statement. Many other might not. The author's favorite rounds seemed to be the .38 Spc., 380 auto, and 9mm.

I have a lady friend who is about 5' 2" tall, 120 lbs, and would be considered to be petite. She has a Kimber Ultra CDP in .45 ACP, and shoots in quite well and without complaint. I know some other people who think a .45 ACP is too powerful to be easily controlable. It's all in what you're used too.

The .454's and 500's are a handfull, and they aren't for everyone. There are a group of us out there, however, who like things a little beyond the ordinary.
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  #13  
Old 12-11-2004, 03:02 AM
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Question

Time is the factor you are all refering to. The actule recoil in ft/lbs is deliverd in different amounts of time. The 'faster' it is delivered the 'sharper' it feels, hence the sting. The 'slower' it is delivered the more of a 'push' you feel. And yes this is very evident in rifles as well.
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  #14  
Old 12-15-2004, 04:03 PM
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I happen to prefer the heavier, slower recoil of my .500 S&W Magnum over that of the 454 or even the heavier 44mag. I find it to be much more controlable.
It's realy a matter of individual preference.
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  #15  
Old 12-18-2004, 07:55 AM
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I shot a Desert Eagle .50 AE the other day. Very impressive - the hardest recoiling handgun I've fired to date. I wouldn't call it painful, but after an 8-round magazine I was ready to give it to the next guy for a try. Can anyone compare the .50 AE to the .500 S&W? I've been thinking about a .454 or .500 and would like to know what I'm getting in too...
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  #16  
Old 12-20-2004, 04:23 PM
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i own a couple .5oo linebaughs a .475 linebaugh and have owned a .454. What the .454 does that is worse then the other two is make noise. Ive been told by people that the .454 has a sharper recoil and ive been told by people that the .475 kicks more then the .500 but i just smile when they say it. Load the .500 up with a 450 at 1400 and it kicks more then the .475 does with 400s at the same speed how could it not! and to think that a .454 with 300s at 1500 could is even more ludicrious. To give them credit the load data for the .500 line is alot milder then the data for the .475 but its capable of alot more power then either and the same can be said for the .500 smith stand on it and theres no comparison IT KICKS. Like in most cases believe about half what you read. Go and find out yourself i think youll agree with me.
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  #17  
Old 12-20-2004, 06:02 PM
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I believe the weight and fit of the pistol make the most difference.

The most vicious recoiling pistol I've ever fired was a lightweight S&W in 44 mag. (329??)
I doubt the pistol weighed 36 oz fully loaded and the grip was very small in my hand.

I kind of like the sharp snap of my 454 at 53 oz unloaded, but this was well beyond comfortable,
definitely one of those carry a lot and shoot very little pistols, particularly with full charge loads.
---Also not recommended for long service life.

Compared to the heavier, and better fitting, 475's and one 500 LM, I've had the pleasure
of shooting, the small Smith was truly painful.
On the other hand, I could carry it anywhere comfortably.

I will absolutely agree that the muzzle blast of the 454 is downright annoying.
I always wear foam plugs and muffs when shooting it and find that the heejeebe's stay away a little longer.

Cheers!

Big Mike G
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  #18  
Old 12-21-2004, 05:09 PM
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Mike you made a good point the most uncomfortable handgun ive ever shot was my 396 smith. With 18 grains of 2400 and a 240 it was downright painful to shoot.
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  #19  
Old 12-21-2004, 07:02 PM
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Take it from a high school physics teacher...it's actually Newton's 3rd Law...and recoil is better described in terms of Newton's 3rd Law along with the Law of Conservation of Momentum...my $0.02.
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  #20  
Old 12-21-2004, 08:04 PM
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Simple Newtonian physics does not take into account the "quality" of the grip.

Yes, you could calculate the recoil energy, derive the recoil velocity, and then map that
to the encompassed area of the grip, taking into account any sharp edges, accounting for
off axis thrust, along with rotation about the wrist moment arm, etc., etc. and coming up
a map of the hand showing impulse contours!!!

I'll bet there probably is a calculator somewhere on the net just for that.

But....
How it "feels", to the individual is the determining factor.

If Newton were everything, nobody would shoot a T/C Contender in a rifle cartridge twice!
Or for that matter, a 12 gauge shotgun which has roughly the recoil of a 375 H&H.

Many folks extoll the ability of the plow shaped single action grip to dissipate recoil,
I find the upward roll uncomfortable, and feel as if I"m going to drop the revolver,
particularly in the more powerful loadings.
It is just not for me. I prefer the straight shove of a double action.

This is not meant as a flame to Rifle25, but rather that there are many intangibles
which really cannot be quantified.

Gosh, I'm an analytical chemist, who could get more anal than that!!!

Cheers!

Big Mike G
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