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SKU: 18DG 400 Long/20

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400 gr. Mono-Metal LONG WFN @ 1,575fps / ME 2,203 ft-lbs
20 Round Box


For Use ONLY in 500 S&W and BFR Revolvers in normal operating condition

At the time of this writing (02-19) I’ve long wanted to introduce a line of mono-metal, non-expanding, dangerous game loads for our large handgun and 45-70 offerings. These new “Dangerous Game” (DG) loads are super high quality, very powerful, and will live up to their namesake.


Mono-metal bullets have a few advantages (a couple of disadvantages too) over typical non-expanding hard cast bullets. These advantages may or may not be meaningful to each individual, depending on your usage. The advantages are that they are cleaner burning/firing than hard cast bullets. Also, hard cast bullets can smear their nose profile when they hit large bones at close range/high velocity. When the flat nose smears and changes shape, it can impact straight-line penetration. The disadvantages are cost and case capacity issues……. mono-metal bullets made of copper or brass alloys are lightweight for their length. As an example, the 380 gr. bullet used in our DG 45-70 load is as long as a 500+ gr. hard cast bullet, depending on its alloy. This means that (for example) the 45-70 casing, with its limited capacity, will have much less propellant capacity when this long bullet is seated into it, so with this limited powder/case capacity, we have to get creative in choosing a propellant that will give us the velocity we need, but not burn so fast as to raise pressures beyond 43,000 PSI. The case capacity issues become more complex with casings that are much smaller than 45-70 like say a 44 Mag. casing. Lead-based bullets are heavy for their length and generally allow for much more case/propellant capacity. By choosing correct propellants, we can generally get great velocity from the long-for-weight mono-metal bullets. We’ve long ago learned that flat-nosed, lightweight, mono-metal bullets penetrate far deeper (in a straight line too) than the typical lead-based bullet of similar weight—FAR DEEPER!

This is strictly a personal taste/belief issue, but after having killed a LOT of big critters over many decades, it’s obvious to me that no handgun cartridge that is designed to be fired from a typical packing sized revolver is the equal, or even close to, the equal of a typical high powered elk-rifle cartridge like a 338 Win. Mag. or 300 Win. mag., etc. When using revolver cartridges as a dangerous game stopper, in a packing (much smaller than the S&W X frame) revolver, they start with a purpose-designed 454 Casull load. I know many folks have used non-expanding 44 Magnum loads to kill dangerous game, but for me, the 454 Casull and up (480 Ruger/475 Linebaugh, 500 JRH or Linebaugh) is where effective stopping cartridges start. Also, I’ll put a plugin for the quality and strength of the Freedom Arms model 83 and the Magnum Research BFR as two packing sized revolvers that are high quality and are chambered in 454 Casull. These revolvers will generally fit into most holsters made for the Ruger Super Blackhawk.

There’s a prevailing argument that any double-action revolver is faster and therefore better than a single action revolver, should a bear be on top of you or should a buffalo be goring you. I disagree and would argue that practice with any revolver is the key to proficiency under any set of circumstances. I’ve been carrying single action revolvers chambered in 454, 475 and the various 500’s, for 35 years and since I have shot them a lot, (including in the dark while using a flashlight) I find no advantage in using a double-action revolver. When the manipulation of the firearms control features become second nature, the exact types of those features matter little.

The 500 S&W is a monumentally powerful revolver cartridge. I have little use for the giant/heavy X frame S&W revolvers, but that is a personal taste/use issue and is no reflection on the X frame revolvers themselves. If I were to use one of those X frame revolvers, it would be that short-barreled version for its packing qualities, as you certainly cannot duplicate this type of power for stopping any dangerous animal, in any other type of packing sized revolver, even in that shortish 4-inch barrel, velocities are high enough to generate incredible amounts of crushing power on big critters. Having said all that, you’ll note that one of my test guns is the Big Horn Armory model 89 and in this carbine, this load is even more capable of stopping any earthly critter you need to stop. Since I am not a fan of revolvers with cylinders long enough to house rifle cartridges, if I use the 500 S&W cartridge, it is being used in a Big Horn Armory model 89. I’m used to carrying Marlin 1895’s chambered in 45-70 with our very powerful magnum loads, but this 500 S&W Dangerous Game load, would, with its bigger bullet diameter, be the equal of (in terms of effectiveness, not energy) our stiffest 45-70 loads. This is a great place to read about how bullet energy (Ft. Lbs.) is not a meaningful gauge of what kills big animals. If you want to seriously swat big critters with a handgun cartridge, this is it!


In deference to the Big Horn Armory Model 89 chambered in 500 S&W, we are making two variations of this DG load.

By seating and crimping the bullet in its most forward crimp groove, we have a loaded cartridge short enough to fit/feed/cycle in the model 89. The issue with this is that if we choose to seat the bullet out to the second crimp groove, we get a cartridge that generates less pressure, with more velocity, but is too long to cycle through the model 89, but is more suitable at less pressure, for the long cylindered revolvers that S&W and Magnum Research are making.


You’ll note when looking at the photo of each, side by side that the longer version looks funny, but it allows us to generate more power at less pressure for these long cylindered revolvers……..This likely creates a more accurate load for those long cylinders as well as there is less bullet jump before engaging the riflings.

Revolvers will also be able to fire the shorter version, but there is a greater chance (it really depends on the internal dynamics of your individual revolver) of experiencing sticky extraction of the fired casings with that shorter/higher pressure cartridge. The Big Horn Armory model 89’s we’ve tested will fire this shorter load with no sticky extraction issues. Folks often make the mistake of thinking that because a certain load works fine in a (for example) S&W X frame, that the same load will function in the same way in all X frames and this is a critical mistake. EACH FIREARM, even if it is made on the same assembly line on the same day in the same factory by the same workers, can and normally does have internal variations that can make a huge difference in things like accuracy with a given load or in pressures generated when firing. This is a good place to link you to this article….


If you’ve followed my writings or practices for very long, you know that I do not believe in the industry-wide duplicitous practice of using extra-long barreled laboratory test barrels to establish our advertised velocities. These types of industry practices generate false high velocities that a person would never get in an actual firearm made for field use. Instead, we use real firearms. Below see the velocities we obtained with our firearms with this new DG 500 S&W load.


➤ 1,840 fps -- Big Horn Armory model 89, 18-inch barrel
➤ 1,575 fps -- S&W X Frame, 10.5-inch barrel

We’ve noticed that the BFR revolvers (in 460 S&W) are giving much higher velocities than the S&W revolvers, even when the BFR revolver has a much shorter barrel……this is generally due to tighter chambers and a smaller barrel/cylinder gap. While I do not own a BFR chambered in 500 S&W right now, I’ll probably buy one, just to include the velocities here. Later, you may see that I add the velocities from a third or even fourth revolver. We’ve had the short and long versions of this load test-fired in the new BFR, but by a gun writer that owns one, as we do not own one yet. The short version showed sticky extraction of the fired casings, while the long version did not……. same goes for many (not all) S&W X frames thusly chambered.

Item 18DG 400 LONG - Exterior Ballistics Charts for several Muzzle Velocities


Muzzle Velocity @ 2200 fps for Item 18DG 400 LONG


Muzzle Velocity @ 2100 fps for Item 44DG 400 LONG


Muzzle Velocity @ 2000 fps for Item 44DG 400 LONG


Muzzle Velocity @ 1900 fps for Item 44DG 400 LONG



Muzzle Velocity @ 1800 fps for Item 44DG 400 LONG



Muzzle Velocity @ 1700 fps for Item 44DG 400 LONG



Muzzle Velocity @ 1600 fps for Item 44DG 400 LONG



Muzzle Velocity @ 1500 fps for Item 44DG 400 LONG



Muzzle Velocity @ 1400 fps for Item 44DG 400 LONG



Muzzle Velocity @ 1300 fps for Item 44DG 400 LONG



Muzzle Velocity @ 1200 fps for Item 44DG 400 LONG


Field Proven pistol and handgun ammo. Maximum firepower ammo. Best ammunition for pistols and handguns for sale. Buffalo Bore. Strictly big bore. Strictly Business.

You must be 18 or older to order ammunition. Ammunition must ship UPS ground. Due to Department of Transportation regulations, we cannot accept returns on Ammunition. Make sure to use the correct ammunition in your gun. Check local laws before ordering.


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