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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

.460 Smith & Wesson Magnum

Author: Brian Pearce
Date: Apr 23 2020

Smith & Wesson introduced its huge X-Frame revolver in late 2002, along with the .500 Smith & Wesson cartridge. In 2005 the .460 S&W Magnum cartridge appeared in the new Model 460XVR Extreme Velocity Revolver, which was a joint effort between Smith & Wesson and Hornady Manufacturing. Factory loads advertised a 200-grain spitzer bullet at 2,200 fps, but loads later appeared that utilized more conventional bullet weights ranging from 240 through 300 grains.

The cartridge is designed to handle .452-inch bullets, but will also handle bullets of .451- and .4515-inch diameter, which are the same as those designed for the .454 Casull. Incidentally, .454 Casull and .45 Colt ammunition can likewise be used in any .460 S&W revolver; however, due to the cylinder length and long bullet jump or freebore, accuracy is usually substandard. If these “shorter” cartridges are tried, be certain to clean the chambers before firing .460 cartridges, or cases will likely stick.

The Hornady bullets used in developing the accompanying handloading data feature a comparatively thick jacket and are intended to handle the 65,000 psi generated by the .460 S&W (and .454 Casull). Bullets with thinner jackets (and intended for the lower pressures associated with the .45 Colt) should not be substituted, or excessive pressure, bullet separation, poor accuracy and accelerated barrel wear can occur.

The Starline cases used herein are intended to house Large Rifle primers (as are Hornady cases), with Winchester (non-magnum primers) being used to develop accompanying loads.

A heavy roll crimp should be applied, which will help prevent bullets from jumping crimp during recoil. This also aids with proper powder ignition.