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The Smith & Wesson 500: This Is No Gun (More Like a Cannon)

Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson Model 500. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Sure, the Smith & Wesson Model 500 is a monster of a gun and not exactly a great gun for concealed carry or a popular semi-automatic like Sig Sauer or others. And yet, this big revolver has an even bigger fan base: The Smith & Wesson Model 500 is one impressive weapon. At this point, it’s become almost as much of a classic as Ruger’s 10/22 semi-automatic rifle!

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If you’re looking for one of the most accurate, reliable, and durable handguns on the market today, you won’t be disappointed with the Model 500. It’s made by one of the world’s most reliable manufacturers and backed by the S&W Lifetime Service Policy.

The specific sights you get with the Model 500 depend on the specific pistol you get. The Model 500 Magnum, for example, comes standard with an interchangeable HI-VIZ front sight and adjustable rear sight. These sights are perfectly adequate for my needs, but there is a huge variety of additional sights available to meet the goals of nearly any shooter.

Some models even include a Weaver rail mount instead of standard sights for mounting all kinds of scopes and optics. Just like Colt has improved their popular Python model to keep up with the needs of modern shooters, S&W has upgraded the 500 to do the same.

For one, Smith & Wesson recently developed the innovative “x-frame” to give you a better grip and help to handle the recoil that comes along with the immense power of this handgun.

This makes the 500 very comfortable to handle, and even features a recoil-absorbing rubberized grip complete with finger grooves to let you hold the gun at an angle that allows for optimal control and accuracy.

Another upgrade that S&W recently made to the Model 500 is an improved barrel design. This new design features a rifled tube inside of the barrel, which makes it shoot even cleaner and quicker than it did in the past. Since this handgun is so powerful, recoil is not exactly light. It’s also a pretty top-heavy pistol, which gives it even more of a kick.

Although recoil is substantial, it’s not overwhelming. The improved x-frame and grip angle go a long way to mitigate it. The Model 500 Magnum has a five-round capacity. It uses the Smith & Wesson .500 magnum cartridge, specifically designed to handle this high-powered pistol.

Ammo is a bit more expensive. However, it’s worth the cost for a dead-on accurate shot each and every time. You’ll have no problem getting your target down the first time.

The average barrel length is 8 ⅜,” but if you look hard enough, you can find them as short as 2.5” and as long as 12.” With an 8 ⅜” barrel, the overall length of this handgun is just around 15.” Unloaded, it weighs around 80 oz. It should be noted, however, that the weight of a Model 500 can fluctuate between 56-80 oz depending on the length you choose.

The 500 is a single-action/double-action pistol, which some people love and some people hate. It’s up to you to decide what you like, but I will say the trigger pull on the first shot is pretty different than all the follow-up single-action shots.

However, it’s still very smooth, clean, and accurate, making it perfect for both hunting and self-defense applications. The Model 500 retails for anywhere between $1000-$1500. It is definitely more expensive than some, but this isn’t just any pistol.


Smith & Wesson Model 500.

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Smith & Wesson 500. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Top 5 Firearms Makers

Smith and Wesson Model 500 Revolver. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

For the most powerful handgun on the market, it’s a great value and well worth the money. Whether you’ll be taking it hunting or using it to defend your home, it’s accurate, incredibly fun to shoot, and offers the user unmatched power.

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Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller and other publications. 

Written By

Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast, and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller, and other publications.