The 500 for Number 300

Hey everyone, this is a milestone post today!  Hard to believe, but this here post is the magical number 300 in the history of this little project.  It seems like it yesterday I was sitting down to write my first post on a individual having troubles entering a bank (link here).  The rest of the posts since there have included similarly quirky topics but I did branch out some into projects, recollections and of course our photo outings.  All in all, pretty happy with the effort so far and looking forward to another 500 – umm at 6 a month, 72 a year.. holy crap, that’s almost 7 years.  Tell you what, I’ll stick on the current plan and just see where it takes me.

… and ironically (yeah, it was a little contrived) this post happens to be about the number 500.  To be clear about that, I’m talking about the Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum (link here) also known as the “Most Powerful Production Revolver in the World Today”.  This stainless steel beauty is a joy to behold and an ultimate thrill to have the privilege to fire.  A friend of mine from work (Brad R.) invited a bunch of us over a few months back to use his pistol and rifle range.  Ever fly a corporate jet and then try and go back to flying coach on a commercial airlines?  Well, let me tell you, it is exactly the same as having friends over to shoot at your makeshift range and then having the chance to experience the Cadillac of shooting ranges.  Brad’s setup included plate steel silhouettes that drop on contact, plate steel targets for speed shooting and a SWAT setup for practicing firing handguns on the move.  If that wasn’t enough he has a full rifle range to let the big dogs play.  Obviously I’ll need to step up my game.  After shooting our handguns a few hours we made our way up to the long range.  That is when Brad pulled out the 500 and was gracious enough to let us all take some shots.  Here I am checking out the feel.

Hit the jump to read more about this amazing revolver


Now I’ve fired some cool weapons including.22s, 38’s, 9’s, 40’s, 45’s,shotguns, ARs and an M1 Garand.  Up to this point, that M1 had been the biggest thrill due to how beefy that rifle is and the pulse you get when you fire it.  When you did, it felt like you were firing a canon.  The 500 has now surpassed that thrill with a heart pounding fist of death.  There is no mistaking that sound for any other handgun and my ears would probably start bleeding if we did not have our protection in.  Now this is a drawback to being familiar with weapons when it comes to shooting the 500 the first time.  One look at the shells immediately tells you this has a high potential to end up on YouTube and that isn’t in a good way.  So the whole time I was lining up my shot (with his nice scope!) the spidey senses were in overdrive to make sure my grip was firm and the arms were ready to absorb that kickback.  With all that going on in my head my aim took a hit and ended up left – still on the cardboard, but left outside ring.  Contrast that with Pakage who has less experience and probably wasn’t aware of the full impact of that size of shell was able to inner ring his shot (quite impressive).  After the practice shots on the cardboard, we moved on to trying to hit an orange juice jug way down range.  I admit it, I missed my turn and it almost survived our ill intentions until Skids came up and nailed it (by definition, nail in this sense is equivalent to obliterated it).  Needless to say, this was a true privilege and I extend my thanks for letting us blow through some expensive shells – I had asked Brad how much the shells cost and his response – if you are worried about the cost you shouldn’t own the 500.

He let us keep our casings as a souvenir!

now, without any reference it could be a .22 for all you can tell, so let’s put it in context.  Here is a perfect example of how the various ammunition stacks up to the 500 starting at the .22.


In fact, this shell is half the size of some revolvers out there – take for instance this .22 short revolver Brad bought for his wife.  Guess which weapon will result in a closed casket.

I ended up putting the casing on my dresser.  Having an opportunity to see it every morning and night started me wondering if there wasn’t other uses for such a large piece of metal.  Here is a few ideas that came to mind.

Single stem flower vase:

Hope Linda doesn’t mind me killing one of her flowers in the name of art.

Pen holder:

A full 5 minutes getting that balance right.

Guitar slide:

Sorry for not being tack sharp -this shot was difficult to take, holding the guitar, getting the camera pointed in the general direction and then doing a commander flash all at once was taxing at best.  Looks like I just had the camera about 10 degrees off of where I wanted it focused.

Bottle rocket launcher:

Note, thought this shot turned out pretty nice, the commander flash gave a nice composition with the shadow showing the light didn’t come from the on camera flash.  Oh, for the record, I have no idea where that firework came from (hehehe).

Trophy ball holder:

Trying different lighting angles and finally decided I liked this shadowing the best with the highlight area drawing attention to the lettering.  There was some creative licensing going on in this scene, but I did play Open level racquetball back in the day.

Golf ball tee:

Talk about spending a LOT of time trying to get everything rounded up and in place…wish I would have brought the flash angle to the left about 5 degrees to hide the shaft shadow, but I did like the ball shadow on the club head.

Shot glass:

I lost the top of the bottle and the shell didn’t pop as much as I wanted, but I did get the glare down through the remote flash.  Don’t believe Linda, that bottle was NOT full when I started the photo session.

or a really awesome tank!:

Thanks to Pakage for picking this cool tank up for me.  Those are likely AR shells and as you can tell the 500 trumps them.  It would be a significant cost to actually create one of those tanks out of the 500 shell.

Any other ideas out there?

So in summary, a big thanks to Brad for his hospitality and our Constitutional right to bear arms.  As far as the zombies go, we country folk are ready to go – they will just have to feast on you city folks.  Oh, and if you find yourself with criminal intentions and coveting your neighbor’s goods … I have an orange juice jug you need to see.

by the way..

… if you didn’t guess already, this was my first time experimenting with the flash commander (remote) mode for doing product photography.  I need a lot of work to get this figured out in my head, but thought some of the pictures came out pretty darn good.  I need to get a real backdrop – dug out some black foam pieces I used for some craft and put them under and behind the scenes – in some of the shots you can see the seam where the pieces came together.  This was improved upon by actually taking a single piece and curving it under and behind (as in the bottle rocket, ball and tank).  All this extra work put some delay in getting this post out, but it is always good to learn something new!

2 thoughts on “The 500 for Number 300”

    1. Yeah, you got the shot glass reference, but you got me on the cartridge pen – I should have found one of those and put it in there instead of the “blood red” pen when wasn’t nearly as clever. For the record, I think this is twice in a row, you commented before the ink was even dry – very nice! note.. the portrait pictures were “shot” with a D90… next up Comedy Central

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