Left to right: .460 S&W Magnum, .454 Casull, .44 Magnum, .45ACP, .22LR
Place of origin United States
Designer Hornady / Smith & Wesson
Parent case .454 Casull
Case type Rimmed, straight
Bullet diameter .452 in (11.5 mm)
Neck diameter .478 in (12.1 mm)
Base diameter .478 in (12.1 mm)
Rim diameter .520 in (13.2 mm)
Rim thickness .059 in (1.5 mm)
Case length 1.80 in (46 mm)
Overall length 2.290 in (58.2 mm)
Primer type Large rifle magnum
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
200 gr (13 g) Corbon DPX 2,300 ft/s (700 m/s) 2,350 ft·lbf (3,190 J)
275 gr (17.8 g) Corbon DPX 1,825 ft/s (556 m/s) 2,034 ft·lbf (2,758 J)
300 gr (19 g) Buffalo Bore 2,060 ft/s (630 m/s) 2,826 ft·lbf (3,832 J)
360 gr (23 g) Buffalo Bore 1,900 ft/s (580 m/s) 2,860 ft·lbf (3,880 J)
395 gr (25.6 g) Hard Cast 1,525 ft/s (465 m/s) 2,040 ft·lbf (2,770 J)
The .460 S&W Magnum round is a powerful revolver cartridge designed for long-range handgun hunting.
The .460 S&W round is a lengthened, more powerful version of the popular .454 Casull, itself a longer and more powerful version of the .45 Colt. Consequently, firearms that fire .460 S&W are usually capable of firing the less powerful .454 Casull and .45 Colt rounds, but this must be verified with each firearm's manufacturer. For instance, some lever actions are designed to handle cartridges within a certain length and bullet profile range. The reverse, however, does not apply: .45 Colt and .454 Casull handguns cannot generally or safely fire .460 S&W rounds. The length of the .460 S&W was intended to approximate that of the .500 S&W so revolvers designed to fire the .500 could be easily adapted to the .460.
The .460 cartridge achieves high velocities by operating at pressures normally reserved for magnum rifle cartridges. Gain twist rifling is utilized to limit forces on barrel and bullet as the bullet first engages the rifling.
Never fire a .460 S&W hand gun without proper hearing protection even when hunting in the field, the blast is too loud for the human ear even in an open field. The recoil from a standard 8 3/8" barreled model is manageable by most adults. Accuracy from the standard 8 3/8" model using the iron sights is excellent and rivals "brush" rifles such as a lever action .30-30.
Smith and Wesson boasts that the .460 S&W is the highest velocity revolver cartridge in the world, firing bullets at 2330 ft/s. With Buffalo Bore's new loading, the .460 S&W can achieve nearly 2900ft·lbf of energy by driving a 360 grain bullet at 1900 ft/s. For comparison .500 S&W Magnum offers slightly more power driving a 350 grain bullet at 1975 ft/s for a total of 3031ft·lbf. The .460 S&W will destroy small game animals. This cartridge should be reserved for hunting medium to large game (such as a deer, elk, hog, or moose) unless the hunter does not care about keeping the game animals after the shot.