Are giant "hand cannon" revolvers practical guns or macho novelties?

I was reading the linked article below in Slate, and short of being ambushed by an elephant in your pajamas, the gun seems more affection that practical defense weapon. Do these giant “hand cannons” have an essential defense role in any situation that can’t be filled more efficiently by other guns?

Big Guns - The wild success of a massive Smith & Wesson revolver.

Well, they do the key things you want from a gun of going ‘BANG!!’ in a satisfactorily scary fashion and ruining the day of anyone who happens to end up in the path of the high-speed lump of lead that comes out of the end. It’s probably fair to say that they are less practical rather than impractical, but I can’t think of a single reason to own something that massive, unless you live in a neighbourhood afflicted with roving gangs of PCP-crazed bodybuilders, and even then it’s only a little lighter than a 12-gauge which is probably a more effective stopper.

Now this thread will end up in Great Debates.

I don’t see ANY guns as practical. They’re hunting tools, as far as I’m concerned. With that being said, I can see how someone might like them for asthetic quality and keep them around just cause they look cool, which I’m down with. In that case, it’s not even necessary to buy ammunition.

I don’t even think guns should be outlawed. I think ammunition should be tightly monitored with serial numbers all over every identifiable part of it. It should be traceable all the way through its manufacturing and creation, all the way through the store that sold it, and perhaps even the person that sold it. When ammunition finds itself at the scene of the crime, you know where it has been the entire time by looking at the evidence. Also, if your ammunition gets stolen, it’s your responsibility to report that to the authorities immediately, lest you are charged in kind for what crims get committed with your ammunition.

Just my two cents on gun control. And no, I don’t get how having a .45 helps deter anything more than a smaller handgun would. It’s a macho talisman, in my opinion.

Since this is impossible, we can ignore it.

Is the .500 an acceptable home-defense weapon? Not really. I don’t even want to think of what the muzzle flash on that sucker is like. I’ll take my Hi-Power or Commander any day. As for .45 vs something smaller…it helps if you know something about basic physics. Shot placement counts more than size of shot, but you still want the biggest peice of lead you can throw that will penetrate but not over-penetrate.

I saw a S&W 500 in a store once. I imediatly thought of that line in Dogma.

“This is the fecalator. One look and the target craps his or her pants”

I suspect a number of people will buy it for the macho appeal, but I’ve heard it’s a good weapon for handgun hunting. You could probably kill a bear with it.

Defense, forget it. The only way it would really be effective would be for the attacker to see the gun and run. But it’s hardly a concealed carry gun and if you’re at home, a shotgun would work better.

The 500 is not, and never has been marketed for home defense. It is for hunting. Have you ever seen a Kodiak bear? It wouldn’t even be too practicle just for goofing around at the range, since I think bullets sell for around 3 bucks a pop.

That being said, I would pay $3 to see what that monster could do to a watermelon.

Oh yes, it’s definitely idealistic to say the least.

I still don’t get why we can’t do without guns. Someone help me along this path.

Why are the bullets so expensive, surely the incremental additional cost of the extra powder. lead and brass required doesn’t justify that kind of price premium? (or does it?)

Around $2 and shipping, off Froogle. I expect you could get similar prices (minus shipping, plus tax) at a competitive range.

Wikipedia confirms that it’s a hunting pistol, and that you can take down a Kodiak with it. Hell, you can take down an elephant with it.

Well, if we are going idealistic… :smiley:

Peace, Love, Dope and Tie-Dye sounds good and all, but the genie has been out of the bottle since the 1400s. You can’t get rid of all the guns, and so long as one is in the hands of a Bad Guy, it behooves a Good Guy to be able to protect his and his own from said Bad Guy.

That, and they are just plain fun to shoot!

Well, now that we have animal husbandry down pat, in principle a completely gun-less society could work provided we also assume a peaceful populace.

But as long as some folks are more violent and less moral than others, some sort of combat tool will be needed. If firearms somehow did not exist, the state of society is such that something similar would be need to be invented.

I just drove off a burglar about three weeks ago from my place. All it took was some firm words, but I had my pistol ready just in case it came to that.

Ditto. The S&W 500 is intended for use as a hunting weapon. Granted, I’m sure many people buy it as a macho penis-extension, much like the Desert Eagle…

As for getting rid of guns…

In this country? Not likely! Gun-control advocates have to fight tooth and nail just to pass bullshit laws like requiring guns to be sold with safety locks.

How would an elephant get in my pajamas?

Something tells me I’ll never know.

Moving thread from IMHO to Great Debates.

Other than hunting, it’s primary use is psychological. I think that if you were a bail agent (“bounty hunter”) attempting to apprehend a wanted felon with a history of violence, sticking the bore of this cannon in his face might help pursuade him to come quietly. In real terms though, I think that unless you were faced with Andre the Giant on angel dust, anything bigger than a .45 is a waste.

But what about zombies?

Or werewolves?

The cartridges are more expensive because they’re produced in much smaller numbers than others.

Any pistol round much bigger than a .45 ACP is usually considered a bad idea because the large recoil makes followup shots a lot slower.

A bad idea for use against humans, I should have said.

Not to metion problems with overpentration, which I suspect would be a very big problem in a S&W 500.

Some comedian (Chris Rock maybe) recommended making bullets ridiculously expensive. When someone gets himself shot with a $1000 bullet, you know he must have pissed somebody off!