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  • 50 Beowulf vs. 500 S&W

    Does anyone know how close the loading data for the 50 Beowulf and the 500 S&W is? Obviously the two are not interchangeable, but the cases appear to be similar in size, though I have not actually compared the two. Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by pahuntr View Post
    Does anyone know how close the loading data for the 50 Beowulf and the 500 S&W is? Obviously the two are not interchangeable, but the cases appear to be similar in size, though I have not actually compared the two. Thanks.
    I have compared the two..........actually quite a bit. For most powders and loadings, according to printed material, the Beowulf cartridge stops where the 500 S&W starts. The biggest problem with AA's loading data is that most of the bullets they used were ones that aren't easily accessable to the regular consumer. Who the hell is gonna buy those Steel Tipped dangerous game bullets at $80/12????? Maybe for an armored car assault or something. Some of the data also includes a powder (it escapes me at the moment) that has been dropped from production. I have called AA and asked them for a replacement and they said they were aware of it and will look into it, but I wonder. They are so busy with just keeping up with production of guns and ammo I don't really see it for a while. It would be helpful if they would provide better reload data for the general consumer. Ranier bullets in .500 aren't cheap, but they are compared to Hawks and some of the others!!

    I have done some freelance loading for the Beowulf and have submitted it to Bill Alexander. He did email me back and said that he felt they were safe and would test my loads when they got time. I have tested some loads with H110 and found it very comparable with some of the other powders, velocity wise. If you are interested you can find it on my webpage. It is my belief that the cartridge would be able to withstand the higher pressures of the 500 S&W, but it is the AR platform that needs to be throttled down to. It is just too dangerous to "really" test out a load on such a platform without the proper equipment to do so. Bolt guns you can see excess pressure signs a lot easier than you can in a semi-auto. But, do you really need an extra 100 fps with a 350gr bullet? It will already go through cinderblock walls without any trouble!

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    • #3
      What If

      Would love to see a Ruger #1 chambered in the Wulf,if for nothing else but to see the REAL (!) loading potential of the round and/or brass.

      I feel that the Wulf brass would not be able to stand anything near what the .500 S&W will stand. Probably the Wulf's case head would collapse. -----pruhdlr

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PRUHDLR View Post
        I feel that the Wulf brass would not be able to stand anything near what the .500 S&W will stand. Probably the Wulf's case head would collapse. -----pruhdlr
        On second thought, you are probably correct in your thought. The 500 S&W doesn't have the recessed case head and would be stronger. I haven't thought about trying to "jazz" up the round; Only tried other "like" powders to match existing load velocities to gain different powders to use other than those listed by AA. H110 gave good results.

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        • #5
          Thanx

          Thanks for all the work and the info sharing when doing the expieramenting with load developement on the Wulf(and others).

          I would be(am) interested in the info using H110. I have about 10lbs of it on hand and use bunches of it in my four different 44mags and my two different Casull's.

          The tell tale fix to the brass strength thing is the Ruger #1. I have a buddy that has picked brass out of the chamber with tweezers but the action didn't fail. I can very easily shoot a 300gr > 3000fps outta my #1H(Lott). This,with no brass deformity at all. The weapon is great for load developement when sneeking up on max. I say,"keep going up by 1/10gr until your brass comes out in at least two pieces,then back off ever so slightly".(Insert caution:don't try this at home)

          Thnx again -----pruhdlr

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          • #6
            Yeh, the 50Beo is basically a rebated rimmed, slightly tapered case version of the 500S&W. You really could take a 500S&W revolver and have the chambers reamed out for the 50Beo very easily, the big problem being case extraction. That is why a BFR Revolver works, cause it is a single action with a case poker thingy (technical term there!). I REALLY would LOVE to have a S&W revolver in 50Beo, but that damn case extraction is an issue. You could possibly use a moon clip affair like with the 45acp in a revolver, but you are talking more machining and custom work there which wold be kinda silly.

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            • #7
              thanks for the info guys. just looking for a ball park comparison of the two. i am new to the site, but i have been shooting my beo since 2001. i bought the first one to hit the shelves in my neck of the woods. curly maple the part on the revolver you were refering to is called an ejector rod. thanks.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PRUHDLR View Post
                I would be(am) interested in the info using H110. I have about 10lbs of it on hand and use bunches of it in my four different 44mags and my two different Casull's.
                -----pruhdlr
                pruhdlr,
                In case you missed it, it have the H 110 loadings on my website. You can view it on the page, or you can download it as an Excel file. I just added that feature last week so if you need the data it is there. The info on the Platinum Powerbelts is on there as well. I still need to get som pics up of the rounds and the target, but the load data is there.

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                • #9
                  This Question has been poping up for years now about the use of H110 and we did get a answer from the maker of the gun you want to shoot using H110! i have copyed the answer from Bill A. on this thread so all can see it one time again Heres His answer to using H110!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  Bill
                  Industry Member

                  Join Date: Nov 2005
                  Location: VA
                  Posts: 24

                  Sorry, got to rush this repy, work calls.

                  H110 has two long term problems in the Beowulf.
                  i)The chamber pressure at 33,000 psi is too low for the powder and you run all sorts of risks with secendary ignition and detonation.
                  ii)In hot weather the new round cycling into a hot chamber,raises temps further and both pressure and velocity run away.

                  2400 is simply too fast. at good chamber pressures the gas port pressure is low. Might be a good powder forbullets >250 grains but I have no figures.

                  Bill Alexander

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                  • #10
                    I submitted my load data to Bill, including my loads with H110. Here is what he said regarding the loads I have listed on my website:

                    "Dear Marty,
                    Thank you very much for your work on these loads. I have not yet had chance to run these through the pressure breach but I would commend your work from my initial inspection. The loads look to be conservative and to maintain a
                    good safety margin. The powders selected for the bullet weights are also not too sensitive to individual loading errors that naturally occur when a load is used by many handloaders on many sets of scales. I will run these loads when I next do load work for the Beowulf. The loads with H110 are of
                    particular interest and I will also be in contact with the powder manufacturer to ensure that this powder does not have any problems at the pressure
                    generated, particularly at low temperatures. Again thank you for your submission of these loads and for your support of AA in both this and your purchase of the rifle.
                    Best regards,
                    Bill Alexander"

                    All my "freelance" loads I list on my page functioned flawlessly on my rifle. That is not to say that they will work in your rifle/setup. These loads were not accuracy tested, only function tested so I don't have any accuracy information associated with most of the loads. In the end, whether you use H110 or any other propellent is up to you. My problem is with the powder selection, or lack of, that has been supplied from AA. One of the powders listed is no longer in production and a lot of the bullets listed in the data is not readily available in a lot of places or are exceptionally expensive to use as plinking ammo. I understand that the info provided by AA was most likely developed for a specific purpose (military, LE, etc...), but we as the ultimate consumer and end user need viable, cheaper, and available components to make this round more user friendly. Granted, $25-$27/box is not extremely absorbent when compared to some other high quality rounds, but in the AR platform it doesn't take long to burn up a box of factory ammunition. If the manufacturer nor the powder companies are willing to take the time to provide usable reloading data then it is going to take somebody else to do the legwork for them. I am willing to do that, within reason, so that we can all have a better selection of loads to choose from.

                    Ok...........Off my soapbox. Sorry for the long response, but I feel that the only way this round is going to gain popularity over the new factory production rounds (450 Bushmaster, 458 Socom) is if more people can gain access to its use. The more people using this round means more attention to it from the powder and bullet manufacturers. If everybody who owned a Beowulf would contact Hodgdon and ask for load data, then maybe they would move it up on the priority list for testing. If nobody asks, then it will sit right where it is. Its the "squeaky wheel that gets the grease" concept.

                    Bill has said he will pressure test my loads and I take him at his word. He has been very gracious in the past with information and assume he will continue to. It is obvious that the Beowulf has been put on the back burner for AA when compared to the 6.5 Grendel, also a great cartridge. But AA has to cater to the round that will keep them in business and, as I understand it, the Grendel is doing much better in the sales department than the Beowulf. Great for AA, but not too helpful the the Beowulf users.

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