Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Predator Tactical .500 S&W
For those of you with a lot of money to burn through...
The new Predator Tactical .500 S&W. It is a pump action rifle with a 16.5" barrel and a six round tubular magazine. The basic model comes with a Cerakote® finish in black or tan with Ashely Express sights. It weighs 7 pounds, unloaded. It was developed to maximize the ballistics of the .500 S&W cartridge, developed by Cor-Bon and Smith and Wesson for the X frame revolver. The basic idea is that with a rifle you have a longer barrel, giving the projectile greater velocity. Also, you have less muzzle flash and report because more of the hot gases are used up pushing the bullet out of the longer barrel. You can also have a longer sight radius (the length between rear sight and front sight) this makes it easier to aim, giving better results in most cases. The third benefit is that you can shoulder the weapon and steady it with your weak hand, making it easier to shoot, especially at longer range.
I have fired one(1) round from a S&W .500 and I think the pressure wave gave me a mild concussion. It is something else. Although, in felt recoil, it wasn't too much worse than the .454 Casull Raging Bull I fired. Some of you may not be familiar with the world of ballistics, so I have included two pics to help you:
First, the ballistics data. Not very sexy, but it does give one an idea of the type of power we are dealing with here. For comparison, I have a very "hot" (high pressure = high velocity) 9mm cartridge, the Cor-Bon Pow'rball. It fires a 100 grain projectile at about 1400 FPS. Most of the above loadings are that fast, but 3 times heavier.
Next for those who like a more visual representation:
This is the .500 S&W next too what was once the standard for powerful handgun rounds, the .44 Remington Magnum.
Here is a neat video of the PT 500 being shot:
Who drinks Coke Zero? Be a man and drink real Coke or drink water.
Now the truth is that this is going to be an only marginally useful gun. It would be okay for some types of hunting, but the 16.5 inch barrel will limit its range, making it a good gun only for relatively short distances, perhaps 150 yards as a practical limit. For dangerous game, I would rather have a full sized rifle and a 4" barrel .44 Magnum revolver. It is mostly a gun for rich guys to take to the range and impress their friends. Why rich guys? Because it is from a custom gun shop and is listed at $1895.00 US. All that being said, I sure would like an afternoon with this little gun and a stack of paint cans. Of course I would need about $200 for all the ammo. Oh well.
I would like to see it in a "tacticool" version with rails, polymer furniture and pistol grip with a collapsible stock, but that's just me. And if you are a traditionalist, you could go the lever gun route with the Big Horn Armory Model 89 in .500 S&W.