In 2014 I talked my wife into letting me get a NIB, 500 S&W Magnum with the 8-3/8" barrel and interchangeable compensator.. While I REALLY liked the gun before buying it, after shooting her, It was True Love!!!!!
The gun goes from Mild to Wild in a big way depending on what round yer using!! After trying several different size bullets/manufacturer's I settled on the 350gr JHP Reduced Recoil bullet made by Winchester. A Very accurate round that has recoil comparable to a S&W Model 29, 8-3/8" barrel using a 240gr OTC Remington. About 2-4" barrel rise using one hand and a smooth recoil! 100 rounds at the range shouldn't be a problem!!
And then I discovered a problem... Ammo for this Beastie was rarer than Hen's Teeth!! Heck at that time, ANY ammo was scarce!!
So after much thought I started looking into reloading...
Now I went into this venture with 2 things I needed to accomplish to make it worthwhile:
1- This should give me the opportunity to "Tailor" my rounds to what the gun "Liked" and to give me a plentiful supply of ammo.
2- The bullets for this thing runs about $3.00/round OTC so I was looking to make the gun affordable to shoot at the range!! As I said: She's FUN to shoot!!
I spent about 2 months doing research on what rig I needed and wound up getting the RCBS® Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit from Cabelas for my base loading kit and added other stuff like digital scales, caliper, etc. as I went.. For the Boollets I use the 350gr Hornady XTP JHP which I'm intending to use for hunting and for target practice I use the Berrys 350gr Round Shoulder Boolets!
Next was choosing/finding the powder... After a TON of reading reloading powder specs and much searching I decided on using Titegroup which I finally found in a Mom and Pop sporting goods store.
So, Now we're getting ready to make bullets.. Looking back I should have done more research and gotten a different powder to use.. Why?? Well, as I discovered, Titegroup is a very "dense" powder and, according to the 1200fps muzzle velocity I was looking for, I was gonna be using about 12.2gr of powder. The minimum size charge for the 350gr boollet is 11.0gr with a chamber pressure of 23,100psi and a max charge of 18.5gr with a chamber pressure of 50,000psi. The 500 is rated for a max pressure of 60,000psi so there's really no problem at 12.2gr's of powder...
Unless you have a double throw of powder.....
Doing the math, You see the problem!! 12.2gr does NOT fill the case very well and as I don't want to turn the gun into a Hand Grenade I am VERY anal when reloading and have set rules I follow to prevent a double powder charge..
I always clean/deprime/prime in lots of 50.
When throwing the powder, pressing the bullet, I do those in lots of 1...… With no interruption between throwing and pressing, the casing goes straight into the press with powder and is pressed.. No exceptions!!! Also I weigh EVERY throw with a digital scale and recalibrate every 5-10 throws..
Is this being too carefull?? Does this method take a lot of time?? Possibly but, I know for SURE what's in each round and I have all the time I need.. I work Cheap!!!
The Cost?? I thing I have about $450.00 invested from press to the initial purchase of supplies like boolets, powder, primers, etc. The savings I think are Very good as I can make an XTP, JHP for about $.85/round while the Berrys go for about $.38/round!! I think I've loaded about 400 rounds so far and I believe I've covered my initial cost at least!!
Feel free to offer suggestions on what I can do better, and powder suggestions are always Welcome!!
A few pic's...