Precision machined from stainless-steel hammer forgings, the 460’s frame is pretty much standard the X-frame design with a brushed satin finish. The unfluted cylinder holds five rounds. The 5-inch long barrel shroud wears integrally machined Picatinny rails top and bottom. The 9-slot top rail is for mounting long–eye-relief optics, while the 3-slot bottom rail is for attaching the included bi-pod. The barrel is fluted forward of the shroud to reduce weight and increase stiffness. A massive, 1-3/32” diameter, 3-port brake is threaded onto the muzzle, and does an excellent job of attenuating both muzzle rise and perceived recoil.
The matte-black blade front sight is machined as a band that wraps around the barrel and is secured by a machine screw at the bottom. The rear sight is an X-Frame sized version of Smith & Wesson’s standard windage and elevation adjustable rear sight. The sight radius is a whopping 15.5 inches! Other features include S&W logoed Hogue rubber grips, wide-spur serrated hammer, serrated cylinder latch and the Smith & Wesson key locking system.
While the Performance Center’s most visible magic involves the barrel, barrel shroud, front sight and muzzle brake, they’ve been busy inside the .460XVR as well. The hammer and .312” wide trigger blade are hard-chrome plated, a trigger stop is added and the action is hand fitted and tuned. In single-action mode, the hammer fell after an average trigger pull weight of only 3 lbs. 10 oz., with zero creep, stacking or over travel. In double-action mode, the trigger stroke was smooth, but long (7/8”) and heavy.
For testing we had only one .460 S&W Magnum load available, but it was the one we’d choose for long-range hunting—Hornady’s 200-gr. FTX. The FTX bullet exits the muzzle of Hornady’s 8.375” test barrel at a velocity of 2,200 f.p.s., developing 2,149 ft. lbs. of kinetic energy. The 460XVR’s 14-inch barrel increased the muzzle velocity by an average of 170 f.p.s.—about 30 f.p.s. per additional inch of barrel length—bringing average muzzle velocity up to 2,370 f.p.s. and increasing kinetic energy to 2,495 ft. lbs. Sighted in at 100 yards, the trajectory is so flat that the bullet strikes only 2.5” low at 150 yards and 7.7” low at 200 yards.
For accuracy testing we mounted a Burris ___ 2-7x__mm handgun scope ($___) on the top rail and went to work from the bench at 50 yards. Reliability was flawless, with no malfunctions of any kind.
The 460XVR comes with the aforementioned accessories, packed in a padded carry case. See it at your gun shop, or contact Smith & Wesson, Dept. OT;
Tel.: (800) 331-0852; Web: www.smith-wesson.com
Thompson/Center Encore Katahdin Pro Hunter
The Encore Katahdin Pro Hunter from Thompson/Center ($852) was originally developed for hunting black bear and moose in the thick cedar swamps of northern Maine. This break-action, single-shot rifle is available chambered in .500 S&W Magnum, .460 S&W Magnum and .45-70 Govt., all fitted with 20-inch, fluted, stainless steel barrels and recoil taming synthetic Flex-Tech stocks and super cushy Sims LimbSaver recoil pads.