.500 x 3

User: JimmyP

Date: 25 Jan 2009 at 01:34


Have any of you heard of an original loading for the .500 x 3" black powder cartridge that used a 500 grain bullet? A double rifle that I am considering is marked on the lumps with an inscription denoting that the gun is regulated to use 500 grain bullets. Cartridges of the World mentions bullet weights for this cartridge that range from 340 grains to 440 grains but no mention is made for the 500 grain loading. Double rifles are entirely new to me and I would like to find out what I will need to load for this rifle. Do any of you know where a proper bullet mould for this cartridge can be purchased? Do any drawings exist that a new bullet mould could be made from? I appreciate any help that can be provided.

Best regards,

Jim Poynor

[ This message was edited by: Tiger on 2009-02-03 18:39 ]

User: Tiger

Date: 03 Feb 2009 at 20:02

Hi Jim,

Can't really help! We've been working our way through old catalogues (working backwards), but haven't found a .500 500grn bullet. It may have had a short life around 1880, which predates most catalogues.

A 1930 catalogue lists a .500 3" BP Express cartridge with the usual 340 grn bullet (copper tube), and another of 1926 offers a 380grn lead solid cartridge. Another, dated 1909, lists the following machine made bullets: 340 grns papered tubed, 380 papered solid, 440 cannelured and tubed, 480 cannelured solid, 440 cannelured steel pointed, 310 papered steel-cored.

The 3" .500 bullet had a .510" diameter (0.040" rim), but you probably know that!

We'll keep looking, but you might try asking a specialist bullet maker such as Woodleigh ( www.woodleighbullets.com ) of Australia. They don't list a 500grn one but they might be able to tell you something!

A book you might like, if you haven't got it, is "Shooting the British Double Rifle", (A modern guide for load development and use) by Graeme Wright (ISBN 0 646 25936 9).

User: JimmyP

Date: 04 Feb 2009 at 00:13


Thank you for the information. The owner of the rifle that I was talking about mistakenly told me over the phone that the rifle had marks indicating that it was regulated for 500 grain bullets. I received a picture of the proof marks and the markings in question simply say 500EX which refers to the chambering, not the bullet weight that the gun was regulated for. Your information from the catalogues is interesting though and I am filing that with my other 500 BPE data. Thank you for your help!