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Gun Review: Smith & Wesson's 460XVR Revolver

High velocity gives Smith & Wesson's 460XVR revolver the flat trajectory of a single-shot pistol and the accuracy to use it.
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Big-bore revolvers are potent hunting tools. But beyond 125 yards, their lower velocity and rainbow-like trajectory limit their usefulness unless the precise range can be determined and the correct holdover applied. Smith & Wesson's new 460XVR changes that.

Introduced in 2005, the 460XVR (Extreme Velocity Revolver) is built on the same massive five-shot, double action X-frame that houses the S&W 500 Magnum. With an 83/8-inch barrel (1 inch of which is interchangeable compensator) the stainless-steel gun weighs a hefty 73 ounces. Rubber grips are standard. Sights consist of S&W's adjustable rear sight with a black blade and interchangeable front sights, either a gold bead on a black Patridge blade or a Hi-Viz green fiber-optic sight. Like the S&W 500, the 460XVR is drilled and tapped for optical sights.

The .460 S&W Magnum cartridge is a straight-walled rimmed case using a .45-caliber bullet. With the 200-grain Cor-Bon Barnes X or Hornady SST loads, the velocity from the 83/8-inch barrel is 2,300 feet per second. No double-action revolver, regardless of caliber, has ever achieved that speed.

That expands the useful range of the 460 into the single-shot pistol class. In fact, according to ballistic figures supplied by S&W, when the 200-grain load is sighted-in at 200 yards, the trajectory will not put the bullet more than 5 inches above or below the point of aim from the muzzle to 250 yards. That's a "sure-kill zone" given a broadside shot on any deer-sized game animal.

Time spent on the range with the 460XVR indicates this gun can be a tack-driver, too. Shooting from a sand-bagged rest at 100 yards with a scope-sighted gun, I was consistently able to produce two-shot groups (pairs) measuring 1.5 inches. That's quality single-shot-pistol accuracy. And despite the power this gun produces, its perceived recoil was not much more than that of a .44 Magnum. Muzzle blast was significant, however, so be sure to use both earplugs and muffs.

While the 200-grain loads are designed for speed, the 460 can also be loaded for power. Cor-Bon (which developed both the S&W 500 and the 460XVR) provides a 275-grain Barnes X load at 1,750 fps, a 325-grain Bonded Core Soft Point (BCSP) at 1,650 fps, and a 395 hard-cast FP load at 1,525 fps. The 200-grain loads are best suited for deer-size game, but the 275-grain slug would be an excellent choice for boar or black bear. The latter two loads should handle anything one would sanely hunt with a handgun. For reduced recoil during practice sessions, the 460 will also shoot the tamer .454 Casull and the .45 Long Colt in the same manner that a .357 Magnum will shoot .38 Special loads.

The 83/8-inch version is the standard catalog gun, but the S&W Performance Center offers the 460 in barrel lengths of 35/8, 6, 7½ and 10½ inches.

By the Numbers
Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: 460XVR
Type: Double-action revolver
Caliber: .460 S&W Magnum
Capacity: 5
Weight: 73 oz.
Finish: Stainless
Barrel Length: 83/8 standard (also available in 35/8, 6, 7½ and 10½ inches)
Suggested retail: $1,313 (standard 83/8-inch model)
Accuracy: Average size of five-shot groups at 100 yards from a bench was 3 inches using 200-grain Cor-Bon Barnes X loads.

Comments (5)

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from Ryan767 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

The Smith & Wesson 460XVR sounds like an awesome handgun. The variety of loads available would seam to offer great versatility too.
dermatend reviews

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from Tundrabasser wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

I just bought the performance ceter 500 7.5 inch barrel, u guys would love either the 460 or the 500! It is an awesome gun! Looks,build, and most definately the performance! Don't know about the standard production recoil, but the full muzzel break on the performance center tames the recoil and makes it a BLAST( no pun intended) to shoot!

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from Don Johnson wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

wow ----I would love to own that pistol---I know I wont be able to--but I would be mighty happy to shoot one..

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from Pastor C wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

2300 fps?!! yikes! The poor critter won't even hear the blast! pity!

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from Bo wrote 5 years 15 weeks ago

I don't know about anyone else, but I have been in lust for this gun since it came out. It is far more desirable to me than any of the super models out there. And I wouldn't have to worry about picking up any diseases or dealing with drug problems. It won't change outfits or quit eating when I'm out with it. Yeah, this gun is better than any of the fancy women out there. Not better than my wife, mind you, but a real close second.

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from Bo wrote 5 years 15 weeks ago

I don't know about anyone else, but I have been in lust for this gun since it came out. It is far more desirable to me than any of the super models out there. And I wouldn't have to worry about picking up any diseases or dealing with drug problems. It won't change outfits or quit eating when I'm out with it. Yeah, this gun is better than any of the fancy women out there. Not better than my wife, mind you, but a real close second.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pastor C wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

2300 fps?!! yikes! The poor critter won't even hear the blast! pity!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Johnson wrote 4 years 21 weeks ago

wow ----I would love to own that pistol---I know I wont be able to--but I would be mighty happy to shoot one..

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tundrabasser wrote 4 years 20 weeks ago

I just bought the performance ceter 500 7.5 inch barrel, u guys would love either the 460 or the 500! It is an awesome gun! Looks,build, and most definately the performance! Don't know about the standard production recoil, but the full muzzel break on the performance center tames the recoil and makes it a BLAST( no pun intended) to shoot!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ryan767 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

The Smith & Wesson 460XVR sounds like an awesome handgun. The variety of loads available would seam to offer great versatility too.
dermatend reviews

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