The Smith & Wesson Model 500 is a five-shot, double-action revolver produced by Smith & Wesson, firing the .500 S&W Magnum cartridge.
It is built on S&W's largest frame, the X-Frame. The manufacturer claims it is the "most powerful production revolver in the world today". The Pfeifer Zeliska .600 Nitro Express revolver is more powerful but it is not a "production" revolver. The Model 500 can fire a bullet weighing 440 grains (28.5 g) with a muzzle energy of more than 2,600 foot-pounds force (3.5 kJ).
Articles, statements, and opinions vary widely on this firearm. Any of the available bullet weights can be relied on to take game at a range in excess of 200 yards (183 m), a feat matched by only a handful of other handguns. The advanced design of the firearm helps in counteracting recoil felt by the shooter. This includes the sheer weight of the firearm, use of rubber grips, the forward balance, and the use of a compensator. On certain S&W Performance Center models the compensator is replaced with a full muzzle brake.
Like most big caliber handguns the Model 500 is suitable for sport and hunting applications.
* Model 500ES : 2 3/4" barrel, stainless steel emergency survival revolver.
* Model 500 : 4" barrel, stainless steel.
* Model 500 : 8 3/8" barrel, stainless steel with standard compensator.
* Model 500 HIVIZ® : 8 3/8" barrel, stainless steel with interchangeable compensator.
* Model 500 : 10" Lothar-Walther custom German rifle barrel, matte finish stainless steel.
Other variants are available through the Smith & Wesson's Performance Center. Like all Smith & Wesson revolvers other "custom" variants are available on special production runs with a minimum order of 500 units. An example is the John Ross performance center 5" which features a 5" barrel with an external muzzle nut and a millet dovetail front sight.
* Smith & Wesson Performance Center Model 500 Hunter : The most powerful S&W variant of this caliber. 12" barrel (10.5" plus a muzzle brake).