S&W Model 460XVR

the performance center’s dino-Blaster!

The sheer size and weight of the 460 helped tame recoil. Mark said the hand-filling rubber finger-grooved grips made a big difference too.

There’s no doubt, most Americans like things big — really big. We like big trucks with big tires and big motors. Big boats, big homes, big farms, you name it — and we like it big. And we have big appetites, “Give me a number four and super-size it!” It’s a good thing they don’t offer mega-size or we’d order it. Well, if big is better then biggest is surely best. So, if you’re in that category, you’ll definitely like the Smith & Wesson Model 460 XVR.

That XVR stands for “X-Treme Velocity Revolver.” This is a large revolver tipping the scales at 77.8 oz., and that’s unloaded, and before mounting any optics. We’re talking almost 5 lbs. of power here. Yes, this 5-shooter is a serious hunting handgun for big game pursuits. If you’re looking for a conceal-and-carry rig, you’d best move along now.

Even sans-scope, the S&W Model 460XVR is a brawny beast of a handgun at almost 5 lbs.!

Beasty Boy

Our test gun arrived in a nice black carrying case embroidered in gold with the Smith & Wesson Performance Center logo. The revolver is based on S&W’s massive X-Frame, originally intended for their .500 S&W Mag cartridge. The colossal unfluted cylinder holds five rounds. There’s plenty of steel in the cylinder walls to accommodate magnum, teeth-rattling, dynamite loads, should you desire. The barrel/cylinder gap is so tiny you can barely see light past it, and lockup is tight.

This revolver features a greenish, HiViz fiber optic front sight, and the rear sight is an adjustable square notch with white outline, if you stay with “irons” — which I doubt you will. I’ll admit, though, there’s something about the bright green fiber optic sight making it easy for the eyes to acquire and get on target. For those who can’t get enough shooting with irons, this works well.

The unique looking barrel is 7.5" long and is equipped with an effective muzzle brake. The slab sided barrel has “Performance Center” etched on one side and “460 S&W Magnum” on the other. The ejector rod is housed in the underlug, so things are tidy there for a field gun. Underneath the barrel lies a small hole designed for a sling, supplied with the gun. After all, this would be a load to pack around in any type of holster and makes a Walker Colt look like a pocket pistol.

An integral scope base comes with enough space and slots to mount your optic with lots of flexibility. You can either mount a red dot or reflex sight of some sort or go with a scope. Like all other current models, this revolver comes with a key-locking system.

The Performance Center hand-tuned action is silky smooth and didn’t disappoint at all. This test gun had a real nice trigger and broke crisply at around 3 lbs. The double action was almost charming, although I’ll probably never shoot the gun in that manner.

The overall fit and finish is superb and is what the Performance Center is all about. I really liked the black finger groove rubber grips that contrasted well with the all stainless steel revolver. They had a slight texture so your hands won’t slide around. The grips were very comfortable and that’s an asset when shooting 460 magnum rounds. The wide hammer spur is checkered providing a positive surface when cocking, which is likely the way you’ll be shooting this brute.

S&W touts the 460 S&W Magnum cartridge as the highest velocity factory round at well over 2,240 fps with a 200-gr. bullet!

Glassing It

Before going to the range I wanted to mount a scope on the mighty 460 Mag., and not just any scope. Under this amount of recoil, you really need a scope able to handle severe punishment. Fortunately, Leupold’s FX-II 4x28mm handgun scope rides to the rescue. This fixed power scope has been abused in the past and continues to digest brutal recoil from the biggest monsters I’ve had it on. I had plenty of confidence the Leupold would hold up to the 460 Mag.

To make sure the scope wouldn’t slide around under recoil, I installed Warne rings. Not only is the selection of scope important, the rings play a critical role in the equation too. In the past I’ve used Warne rings and bases on some heavy hitters and these quality items have never failed — ever. Warne rings are available in blue or silver so you can match your rings to scope and gun. When looking for scope bases and rings to withstand severe punishment, Warne will deliver. And, as a sort of added benefit, they look good too.

Mark found the Leupold 4X scope to be about perfect. Rugged and predictable it stood
up fine to the hefty recoil. Note the stock muzzle brake on the barrel.


Checking the ammo bin I found plenty of factory stuff to keep me busy. Included in the testing process were two loads from Winchester, their 250-gr. JHP and their 260-gr. DJHP Bonded Hunting load. DoubleTap offers a 275-gr. Barnes XPB, Federal 275-gr. Barnes Expander, Hornady 200-gr. FTX, Buffalo Bore 300-gr. J.F.N. and two “old” loads from Cor-Bon, a 275-gr. DPX and in their previous Hunter line, a 325-gr. FPPN load.
I also found out it doesn’t take long to find your real friends when you ask around for help to shoot something like this 460!

The 460 S&W Mag. is a stretched out .454 Casull and a step up in both length and power. The versatility of the 460 Mag. lies in the fact you can shoot .454 Casull and .45 Colt also. I have not handloaded for the 460 Mag. but there are many options and great bullets available. The 460 benefits from a flatter trajectory compared to the .500 Mag. The company states the Model 460 XVR has the highest muzzle velocity of any production revolver on earth. That’s a pretty tall statement but I can’t argue with them about it.

Mark used factory ammo for tests. Keep in mind the 460 can also handle .45 Colt, .454 Casull as well as the 460 cartridge.

The 460 is versatile and can handle (L-R) the .45 Colt, .454 Casull and 460 S&W Magnum cartridges.
Lots of options among them in factory ammo.

Numb Hands

Shooting the big 460 was exactly what I was expecting. The Performance Center revolver is well made, finely tuned, and performed flawlessly. Before you jump to any conclusion the gun is too heavy you need to shoot it first. You’ll quickly appreciate the weight. Obviously recoil is robust with full-house factory loads, but Winchester’s 250- and 260-gr. loads were pleasant, shooting well, with 50-yard groups running a tad over 2". Those finger-groove rubber grips and muzzle brake are assets.

It was early morning when I set-up the Oehler 35 P, with temperatures running in the mid-40s. Launching Hornady’s 200-gr. FTX load out of the 7.5" barrel, let’s just say I was impressed at the velocity. At first, I thought my eyes were deceiving me, but they weren’t. From a revolver, 2,243 fps, pushing a 200-gr. bullet is mighty impressive!

All other loads tested shot respectable groups, including Hornady’s FTX. Big bore handguns, especially revolvers, always seem to have guilt-edge accuracy with just about any load. I was also pleased to note, at the end of the day, Leupold’s 4x scope held up fine, coming as no surprise. Don’t mount a cheap scope on the 460 Mag. and expect it to survive very long.

For serious big game hunting, the 460 S&W Mag. provides plenty of horsepower for any critter. Hunters and shooters not wanting to digest a steady diet of magnum rounds can shoot .45 Colt all day long without fatigue. When elk, moose, bear, or other big game is on the menu, there are plenty of options with factory offerings. The gun and cartridge are capable of delivering long-range shots beyond what standard revolver cartridges can muster.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the fit and function of this big Performance Center revolver. It shoots great and is capable of taking big game on any continent. If I were to carry the revolver in the field, the sling would be the way to go. Whether you’re hunting whitetail on your back 40, chasing big mean hogs, or tracking eland on the Dark Continent, the S&W Model 460XVR will serve you well. It’s a serious handgun — for serious hunting. MSRP is $1,770.

For more info: https://www.smith-wesson, Ph: (800) 331-0852

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