The .500 Smith & Wesson is a lot of cartridge to pack into a six-gun. If we compare it to the world’s most common big game rifle caliber, the .375 Holland and Holland Magnum which is sometimes referred to as the “.375 Ouch and Ouch” we start to get a perspective on what level of power is coming out of that six-gun barrel. A 375 Holland and Holland sends a 270 grain Barnes bullet downrange at around 2750fps out of a 24″ barrel. The .500 Smith & Wesson sends a 275 grain Barnes bullet downrange at around 2100fps out of a 10″ barrel. With the .500 S&W we have a handgun cartridge with which to actually be able to take on some kinds of dangerous game. People have certainly taken American Bison with the .500 S&W and it would be guaranteed to drop a big brown bear. But if you’ve got a .500 Smith & Wesson handgun looking lonely in the gun cabinet do you know what you really need to give it some companionship? Yes, you’ve guessed it, you need a lever action rifle in .500 Smith & Wesson, and what is more your .500 Smith & Wesson cartridge fired from your lever action rifle barrel will gain a couple of hundred feet per second of downrange attitude to make it even more fearsome than it already is. Do our comparison with the .375 H&H again, that .500 S&W 275 grain bullet going 200fps faster at 2300fps is catching up on the .375 Ouch and Ouch quite nicely. In fact it equals the .375 Scovill which is the 30/06 necked up to .375″.
Does anyone make such an animal as a .500 S&W lever action. Yes indeed, the nice people at Big Horn Armory do exactly that.
Big Horn Armory make their .500 S&W Model 89 lever action rifle in carbine and rifle styles. The carbine has a short 18″ barrel with a full length tube magazine whereas the rifle has a 22″ barrel and a shortened five shot magazine.
There’s a nice video review of the Model 89 carbine at Gunblast.com’s YouTube channel below:-
The Big Horn Armory Model 89 rifle provides a little more muzzle velocity and two less rounds in the magazine which can be useful if your state laws require a maximum five round magazine capacity for game shooting such as for deer or moose.
The video review of the Model 89 rifle version from Gunblast.com is below:-
The Big Horn Armory Model 89 rifle and carbine feature a well designed stock to make the rifle comfortable to shoot. The fore-end has a nice hand filling swell about it to ensure those with big hands get a full grip, and the comb is set straight in a very similar way to the Winchester Model 70 Safari models which have to tame the recoil of calibers such as the .458 Winchester Magnum. So you can expect that the comb will recoil away from your cheekbone and not into it.
If you’d like to find out more about these rifles from Big Horn Armory a visit to their web site is worth while.
You’ll find the Big Horn Armory web site if you click here.
You’ll find the Big Horn Armory page for the Model 89 carbine if you click here.
You’ll find the Big Horn Armory page for the Model 89 rifle if you click here.
There are a couple of Big Horn Model 89 carbines in .500 S&W available at Cabela’s at present and the prices are a tad lower than the recommended retail price.
You’ll find the rifle pictured above if you click here.
You will find the other Model 89 Spikedriver at Cabela’s if you click here.
So if you are looking for at little something chambered for the .500 Smith & Wesson the Big Horn Armory Model 89 would be guaranteed to please.
Jon Branch is the founder and senior editor of Revivaler and has written a significant number of articles for various publications including official Buying Guides for eBay, classic car articles for Hagerty, magazine articles for both the Australian Shooters Journal and the Australian Shooter, and he’s a long time contributor to Silodrome.
Jon has done radio, television, magazine and newspaper interviews on various issues, and has traveled extensively, having lived in Britain, Australia, China and Hong Kong. His travels have taken him to Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan and a number of other countries. He has studied the Japanese sword arts and has a long history of involvement in the shooting sports, which has included authoring submissions to government on various firearms related issues and assisting in the design and establishment of shooting ranges.