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Smith & Wesson Model 460XVR: Most Powerful .45 Magnum on Earth

Smith & Wesson Model 460XVR
Image: Smith and Wesson.

No conversation about modern American revolvers is complete without mentioning Smith & Wesson.

The company has been in business longer than almost anybody: the Springfield, Massachusetts-based firearm manufacturer made their first revolver nearly 170 years ago. It’s true, revolvers today aren’t the most modern firearms on the market — but rest assured, Smith & Wesson’s are the best of the best.

Smith & Wesson Model 460XVR: A Cannon or a Gun? 

One of their stand-out models is the Model 460XVR — the X-treme Velocity Revolver — easily one of the most powerful revolvers on the market today, and according to Smith & Wesson, a revolver that has the “highest muzzle velocity of any production revolver on earth.”

The Model 460XVR is one of Smith & Wesson’s extra-large X-Frame revolver sizes, big enough to handle the largest cartridges available like the .460 S&W Magnum as well as the slightly larger diameter .500 S&W Magnum. In the Model 460XVR’s case, the revolver cylinder can accommodate 5 .460 S&W Magnum cartridges.

The .460 S&W Magnum cartridge is one of the so-called super magnum cartridges and is essentially a lengthened version of the powerful .454 Casull cartridge, which is itself a lengthened version of the older .45 Colt cartridge, which in turn is a lengthened .45 Schofield cartridge. Though a bit confusing, the important thing to remember is that the .460 S&W Magnum cartridge is one of the most powerful commercially available super magnums.

Smith & Wesson Model 460XVR: A Unique Firearm

The Model 460XVR revolver’s barrel uses a unique gain-twist, or progressive rifling pattern, a type of rifling that starts with a slow initial twist rate that progressively increases down the length of the barrel. This can help reduce barrel wear over the length of the firearm, particularly important for high-pressure cartridges like the .460 S&W Magnum.

The Model 460XVR is currently available in two different variants, a 5-inch barrel as well as an 8.38-inch barrel. Both revolvers come with two sets of muzzle brakes to help control the not inconsiderable recoil generated by shooting the large .460 S&W Magnum cartridge, one for jacketed bullets, and the other for unjacketed lead bullets. Both Model 460XVRs come with large synthetic rubberized grips for a firm and tactile grip surface.

Both revolvers are considered highly accurate, but the 8.38-inch version is particularly precise and can reliably take down deer and larger game out to 250 yards. That accuracy does come at a price, however. According to the Smith & Wesson website, both the 5-inch as well as the 8.38-inch Model 460XVRs retail for $1,389. While the price point is high, all Smith & Wesson products are backed by the company’s lifetime warranty.

Smith & Wesson is one of the best in the business and has thought through each and every aspect of the powerful Model 460XVR revolver.

For those looking for one of the most powerful and accurate hunting revolvers, the Model 460XVR is an excellent choice.

Caleb Larson is a Defense Writer based in Europe. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.

Written By

Caleb Larson, a defense journalist based in Europe and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. He lives in Berlin and writes on U.S. and Russian foreign and defense policy, German politics and culture.

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