By Sam Kuntz, Sales and Builder of the SpikeDriver, Big Horn Armory
Back when muskets still ruled the world, a .50 caliber ball was on the low end of the totem pole. In fact, the most common bore sizes for a musket during the Revolutionary War ranged from .62 to .75 inches.
However, George Washington was one of the biggest proponents of what was called the “Buck and Ball” load during the war, which included a .50 ball coupled with 3-6 buckshot balls behind it. The benefits of this load at short range combined the massive impact of a 1/2-inch ball, with the widespread peppering of buckshot. Guaranteeing to stop at least one man at 75 yards, AND slow down the guys next to him was an advantage we couldn’t pass up. Lucky for us, the British felt this load was uncivilized to use in war and it remained in U.S. military use up until The Civil War.
With the advancement of modern firearms and smokeless powder, in particular, caliber size diminished over time. There just wasn’t a need for a giant bullet when the powder became so much more powerful. Until there was…
In 2003, Smith & Wesson and CorBon got tired of Dirty Harry saying the .44 Magnum was the most powerful handgun caliber in the world. So, they partnered up with Smith & Wesson to develop the .500 cartridge for their new X-Frame revolver. After a long history of developing powerful handgun cartridges, S&W decided they’d like to build one that can take down ALL types of big game.
Why? Because apparently, it’s a real nuisance when you’re hunting in Alaska and a Kodiak or grizzly bear decides to join your party, OR ruin it.
The only minor issue with a .500 revolver in your hand is…IT KICKS LIKE A MULE! We’ve found it’s a lot more fun to shoot in a rifle. Less kick, more accuracy, and most importantly MORE POWER!
We may be a little biased, but if you want to learn how a .500 feels in a rifle, give us a call at 307-586-3700.