460 s&w for dangerous game

Kenneth McMillan

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I would like to know if the .460 s&w is suitable for most dangerous game in Africa. I will also be using .454 Casull in it.
 

Forrest Halley

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I'd say it's a possibility with the right bullet. The .460 was designed as a high velocity revolver round out to 200 yards. Maybe you could try the CEB 200 grain solid or the 300 grain solid. I'd be looking for penetration more than expansion. Presumably you've got some sort of a barrel on this hand cannon right? You'll need it to develop velocity.
 

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Now this has me curious to see the responses! Handgun hunting for DG sounds way more interesting than going to my office tomorrow. This also sounds like the level of risk taking that might even get my wife to raise an eyebrow.
 

flatwater bill

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A forum member once suggested using a .338 Win Mag on buffalo, and was roundly criticized for such foolishness. Other than a few pronghorn, I've not hunted much with a handgun. No dog in this hunt. (I'm guessing this was a hand-gunning question) But I still take an interest in these questions. Some expert PH's chimed in to tell how inferior the 338 Winny (and it's 5000+joules) is, and yet had no problem taking out a bow hunter whos weapon delivered a meagre 100 joules. Interesting to me where experts place the 460 Smith in this spectrum..........FWB
 

Forrest Halley

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Now this has me curious to see the responses! Handgun hunting for DG sounds way more interesting than going to my office tomorrow. This also sounds like the level of risk taking that might even get my wife to raise an eyebrow.
With a S&W .460 with full power loads and the right bullet...I fear nothing. I'm pretty sure you're gonna shoot whatever it is more than once and it's gonna be close. So be prepared to use that double action trigger.
 

Kenneth McMillan

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I'd say it's a possibility with the right bullet. The .460 was designed as a high velocity revolver round out to 200 yards. Maybe you could try the CEB 200 grain solid or the 300 grain solid. I'd be looking for penetration more than expansion. Presumably you've got some sort of a barrel on this hand cannon right? You'll need it to develop velocity.
Yes it's a Taurus Raging Hunter with an 8.75 inch barrel that I will be using
 

Forrest Halley

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Yes it's a Taurus Raging Hunter with an 8.75 inch barrel that I will be using
Make sure it's reliable in double action. I'd go and shoot three hundred .45 LC loads just to learn the gun and maybe 100 .460 in load development and practice. Steer clear of .454. It's a pita to load small primer on one shell when all the other take a large primer albeit different large primers.
 

Country

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Last I checked traditional revolvers didn't have slings, bipods, or even porting.
Without a scope how much better is an X-frame .460 magnum than say a .45 colt shooting moderate loads on deer sized game? I mean if a keith type bullet in a .45 colt at 1000 fps is good enough for deer, the same bullet screaming along at twice the velocity must make the deer deader from the .460 I understand the need to slap a scope on this gun to take advantage of performance. Still, more weight and bulk.
My definition of traditional revolver is just a bit different.
 

Forrest Halley

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Last I checked traditional revolvers didn't have slings, bipods, or even porting.
Without a scope how much better is an X-frame .460 magnum than say a .45 colt shooting moderate loads on deer sized game? I mean if a keith type bullet in a .45 colt at 1000 fps is good enough for deer, the same bullet screaming along at twice the velocity must make the deer deader from the .460 I understand the need to slap a scope on this gun to take advantage of performance. Still, more weight and bulk.
My definition of traditional revolver is just a bit different.
Neither traditional revolvers not whitetail hunting were mentioned in the OP, so I presume you're just thinking aloud on a tangent. As I have been shooting these guns since they came out, allow me to indulge.

The X frame revolver, for whatever reason, caught on because it because it was heavy enough to make those ridiculously powerful handgun cartridges shootable by the common man. Since it is just a barrel shroud over a cylindrical barrel they can make the barrels to whatever length they want. They have had quite a bit of sales at the extreme ends oddly enough with the Emergency Kit snub nose being quite popular and the 14" with bipod mount also being popular. Personally, with the 8⅜" throwing a monster fireball with the original 200 gr. XTR and 52(yes 52 not whatever they've reduced it to now) grains of Win 296, I can only imagine how ridiculous the snubby would be. The difference in mounting a scope and having iron sights on the revolver is increased precision at 50 yards and 100 yard capability offhand with frequent practice. Shooting sticks are a must beyond 100 yards and most people simply cannot handle supporting the mass of the revolver freehand. Presumably the bipod was added for the folks seeking to punish themselves by shooting the revolver from inside a stand on a table. The revolver is unusable without earmuffs in anything above .45 LC. The use of the .454 Casull cartridge is futile because it is loud and annoying without the power of the .460. I have fired the gun once with a .454 hunting and no plugs. It was so painful that the deer and I winced at the shot. I saw the correction, but was unwilling to make it. The .460 will literally knock man and deer off their feet from the shockwave of the shot. People who are unaccustomed to the report will dive for cover even after being advised of the intent to fire. Game will be also startled from their feet so it's quite important that you hold on the game to ensure you actually killed it instead of advancing to only to have it run away as you are negotiating briars crossing a creek. Electronic earmuffs, if you haven't figured it out by now, are a must. If you're not willing to wear them, take a mild .45 LC load for this gun or something else entirely. You will hear this one fire while hunting and feel it too.
All that said, it is just more powerful than a traditional revolver with more sight options. Yes, I love my single actions but when the shots get long, I will take the added energy of the .460 and holster that classy six gun in its cross draw holster. After all, nobody ever said I couldn't hunt with two handguns...
 

flatwater bill

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Thanks, Forrest. I have always had a little curiosity about the X frame revolvers: never having shot, or even seen one. Good to hear from someone with extensive experience. Without intending to hijack this thread here, but which would you choose for a buffalo hunt? The 460 or 500? To a casual observer like me, they seem to be pretty close, with a lot of overlap.............FWB
 

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I’ve not shot the 460, but I did shoot the 500. I was taking a class and was using a Ruger Bisley in 45 shooting 300 or 325s (can’t remember) at about as fast as you could get them to go. It happened that S&W had a rep there rolling out the 500 and ammo was free. Thank god, because the X frame in 500 was SOOOOOO much more pleasant to shoot than my gun. They definitely have their place.

As far as hunting dangerous game with a handgun, I’m of two schools of thought. One is sure you can do it. You can also shove a black mamba up your butt. Why would you want to?! The second is life is short and often hard and pursuing one’s dreams makes it worthwhile. I say go for it if you can!!!
 

Bert the Turtle

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Thanks, Forrest. I have always had a little curiosity about the X frame revolvers: never having shot, or even seen one. Good to hear from someone with extensive experience. Without intending to hijack this thread here, but which would you choose for a buffalo hunt? The 460 or 500? To a casual observer like me, they seem to be pretty close, with a lot of overlap.............FWB
The 460 is more for range and the 500 is more for up close. I’m speaking of handgun ranges of course. Never tried the 460 but a ported 500 with the 10 inch barrel (approximately- not sure if that is exactly right) is quite reasonable to shoot.
 

edward

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i have 2 460s,a scope sighted encore with 14 inch barrel,and a s&w p.c. revolver with a 12 inch barrel and scope.ive taken elk,thar,water buck with the s&w and bison with the encore.the cal will take any thing on this planet,BUT,proper bullet construction and perfect PLACEMENT is mandatory.the punch bullet is best for straight wall cases as far as im concerned,but you cant get them anymore,for bottle cases i use the woodley hydrostatic solids in my encore in 9.3x74r.i had to use the cor-bon 2oo gr bonded jn the encor for the bison.i belive barns has a 300 gr well constructed bullet.i have a ton of the hornady 200 gr i use in the s&w but they are great on varmint,nothing bigger,if they dont get between the ribs they blow up.the red dots are great for handguns,at my age my eyes dont do well with open sights.ive hunted all my life with handguns so i have some experience.s&w on the left,460 encore on the right,bottom.

002 (10).JPG
my pictures 159.jpg
 
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Forrest Halley

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Thanks, Forrest. I have always had a little curiosity about the X frame revolvers: never having shot, or even seen one. Good to hear from someone with extensive experience. Without intending to hijack this thread here, but which would you choose for a buffalo hunt? The 460 or 500? To a casual observer like me, they seem to be pretty close, with a lot of overlap.............FWB
As @Bert the Turtle has already said, the .460 was designed for velocity and the .500 for up close brute force. Those were the initial designs.
I have a .460 so I would work on that getting it loaded with a properly constructed bullet. The mistake many folks make, especially the Encore crowd, is to push the bullet too fast and then have it blow up. With the coming of the .450 Bushmaster those problems are largely eliminated as bullets have been developed to stay together at the higher velocity and this is where I would start for an expanding bullet.

There is of course nothing wrong with the .500 and there are many bullets suited for its powerhouse job. You will find that it drops considerably as the range gets longer and may not preserve its energy as well as the .460. My only experience with this caliber was in the 4" variant mainly shooting 440 hard cast loads and a marvelous 325gr JHP. It was a great gun to carry as it was small and had a good holster to offset its weight. The only thing I ever shot with it was a car struck deer and it made a God awful noise and woke everyone up for half a mile. Ohh to be young...

I must also add that if you're going to be shooting these guns a lot, it's worth it to invest some time in working out and getting in shape physically. The recoil isn't the problem as the gun just rises and falls. The falling back down is the issue as the body is trying to catch a five pound weight at the end of the arms. How that translates into the back, neck, shoulders forearms and elbows can be a tremendous strain. My Father's complaints were the neck and forearms after shooting the X frame on one session and subsequently he never fooled with it again.
 

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Some time ago I bought a 5 shot, 3.5” 460S&W PC X-frame revolver. The intended use was brown bear protection.

After shooting it a bit I dropped the idea. Not beacuse it’s heavy which it is, not beacuse it’s very large which, despite a short barrel, it is. Not beacuse of the recoil which although substantial is tamable, but because of it’s tremendous blast. I don't doubt it can be effective against attacking animals but shoot it without hearing protection, and your hearing will be instantly damaged to some extent.

My local shooting club holds a casual style, high power handgun competition every other week. Folks shoot 357 Mags, 44Mags, 10mm Auto, occasional 454 Casull etc. All fairly loud, particularly on an enclosed 25m range. But when I let my 460 rip the range turned silent, and one by one the other 14 people came over to see what kind of mad boom stick I was shooting. Hearing protection is mandatory and everyone was wearing some. It is that loud.

As to the gun itself I gotta say I rather like it. It is demanding and unforgiving to shoot, any mistake and you’re not hitting what you aim at but focus on your actions and it’s ok. The trigger on mine is very good, particularly in SA mode and the rubber grip does an excellent job of taking the edge of the recoil.

Below are some standard olympic handgun targets I shot at 25m free hand. Keep in mind I’m a weak handgun shooter although I’m working on it. The gun is accurate, more so than me.

460SW25mISSF%20(2).JPG

460SW25mISSF%20(1).JPG


and the revolver itself, for size comparison

with 2.5”, 7 shot 357Mag
IMG_4332.JPG


with 5” Government 1911
IMG_4338.JPG


with G20
IMG_4334.JPG


IMG_4339.JPG


Compared to the X-frame Glock G20 feels nimble and small in hand. That’s the 3.5” version. A mate of mine has the 8.4” S&W version. With the muzzle brake it’s even louder and because of it’s weight it is difficult to hold steady at the target.
 

Forrest Halley

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Some time ago I bought a 5 shot, 3.5” 460S&W PC X-frame revolver. The intended use was brown bear protection.

After shooting it a bit I dropped the idea. Not beacuse it’s heavy which it is, not beacuse it’s very large which, despite a short barrel, it is. Not beacuse of the recoil which although substantial is tamable, but because of it’s tremendous blast. I don't doubt it can be effective against attacking animals but shoot it without hearing protection, and your hearing will be instantly damaged to some extent.

My local shooting club holds a casual style, high power handgun competition every other week. Folks shoot 357 Mags, 44Mags, 10mm Auto, occasional 454 Casull etc. All fairly loud, particularly on an enclosed 25m range. But when I let my 460 rip the range turned silent, and one by one the other 14 people came over to see what kind of mad boom stick I was shooting. Hearing protection is mandatory and everyone was wearing some. It is that loud.

As to the gun itself I gotta say I rather like it. It is demanding and unforgiving to shoot, any mistake and you’re not hitting what you aim at but focus on your actions and it’s ok. The trigger on mine is very good, particularly in SA mode and the rubber grip does an excellent job of taking the edge of the recoil.

Below are some standard olympic handgun targets I shot at 25m free hand. Keep in mind I’m a weak handgun shooter although I’m working on it. The gun is accurate, more so than me.

View attachment 438449
View attachment 438450

and the revolver itself, for size comparison

with 2.5”, 7 shot 357Mag
View attachment 438451

with 5” Government 1911
View attachment 438452

with G20
View attachment 438453

View attachment 438455

Compared to the X-frame Glock G20 feels nimble and small in hand. That’s the 3.5” version. A mate of mine has the 8.4” S&W version. With the muzzle brake it’s even louder and because of it’s weight it is difficult to hold steady at the target.
They are highly impractical without hearing protection. You are correct about the instant hearing damage and in the indoor setting unless you are wearing double protection you are still liable to have damage. I fired my 8⅜" once in field after announcing it to the others in the hunting party that I was doing so and to cover their ears. I had electronic earmuffs on. When I fired they shut off and when they came back on all I could hear was groaning. The men behind had instinctively dived for cover at the report when they saw the fireball and shockwave move the vegetation. There was much cussing and groaning as two older gentlemen recovered themselves from diving away what they thought was a grenade going off in my hand. I would not have the experience repeated. When I hunt with the .460 I take something else for the trips in and out of the stand if I am going with other hunters.
 
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As a life long handgun hunter ( only) I’ve tried about every revolver there is. To me the power of the 460 isn’t in question, I am not in favor of the balance of an X frame S&W. I mostly shoot one handed, with my off hand under my strong side wrist. I find I can move freely, with a moving animal. Personally I prefer a SA FA83, or Ruger Bisley with a 4 degree grip frame. The weight of an X frame definitely helps with recoil, but I feel it slows my movement down. The 460 was created to move a lighter bullet, faster, and at greater distance, and the design and rifling does just that. With a heavy bullet in .45 or .454, (475, 510) you can use a much handier platform.
My .02 cents worth of opinion. I want accurate, fast handling, especially when something wants to eat you or stomp you.
 

edward

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no matter what you use,,or how you use it,i prefer the ONE SHOT KILL!!!.if your good enough .my 2 cents.
 

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