At first glance, the .500 S&W Magnum appears to be a huge revolver cartridge (and it is compared to the popular .44 Mag and lesser rounds), but there's no such thing as being "over-gunned" when under threat from "megafauna." GUNS Field Editor Mark Hampton applauds the "impressive looking beast" in October's feature on the X-Frame revolver/cartridge combo, "Big, Bad Belly Gun."
"This revolver was designed to keep you from being mauled, clawed, chewed-up and eaten — not to produce tiny bug-hole groups in paper," Mark says of the hefty handgun. After cycling through a series of handloads and factory ammo of varying weights and types, he found the "sweet" spot with 400-grain cast bullets loaded with Trail Boss. With a fishing trip to Alaska drawing near, Mark's confidence is undisturbed: "If and when we run into brown bear problems … I will be carrying a peace-of-mind insurance policy — the S&W 500."
To a hunter who's walking half a mile from his all-terrain vehicle to a tree stand, a few pounds of extra weight doesn't matter, but it does to hunters who spend time hiking steeper terrain. The essentials included on John Barsness' "The Modern Hunter's Checklist" lighten the load by taking only what you need and needing only what you take.
October's highlights also include John Taffin's test of a Coonan .45 MOT, a sweet-running "linkless" 1911 with innovative touches. Detachable scope mounts provide added value when it comes to saving your hunt as discussed in John Barnsness' "Optics" column. And hearing protection is a no-brainer: Dr. Will Dabbs prescribes ways to safeguard this perishable commodity for as little as a few pennies in the latest installment of "Shooter's Rx."
This month's firearms package giveaway offers a handsome prize for home- and self-defense, EAA's Tanfoglio Witness. The large polymer framed 9mm features a double action/single action trigger, 17+1 capacity, 4.5-inch barrel and an integral accessory rail. Included with the giveaway is a BearOps Bold Action V knife from Bear & Son Cutlery, an A&R Design Kydex holster, a Short Stack AR-15 Multi-Tool and G96 Synthetic Gun Oil. Tallied up, this princely package is worth $832.15. Readers are encouraged to enter the free drawing online by visiting www.gunsmagazine.com/giveaway
Exclusive content is just a click away! This month's Online Feature, "Revolver Rasslin'," offers tips on running a wheelgun the right way. The October issue of GUNS is on newsstands now with a digital version available for purchase online at www.gunsmagazine.com/digital-version/