First Look: Smith & Wesson Bone Collector

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posted on June 24, 2015
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Smith & Wesson captured the title of “World’s Fastest Handgun” when it introduced the 460 S&W, built on the company’s X-frame revolver. With 200-grain bullets the gun generates muzzle velocities greater than 2,200 feet per second, depending on barrel length. With hard cast bullets of almost 400 grains, the big revolver gives 1600 fps and, with Corbon’s 395-grain slugs, has successfully demonstrated its capabilities on Australian buffalo weighing 2,000 pounds. At this year’s SHOT Show, the S&W Performance Center showcased their newest 460, appropriately called the Bone Collector. This limited edition (only 1,500 units will be built) was developed in connection with the Outdoor Channel’s hunting show of the same name, and it’s everything a hunting handgun should be.

1. It's just plain fun to shoot.
With its 7.5-inch barrel, Performance Center tuned action and glass-smooth trigger pull, this handgun is a joy to shoot. Between the gun’s mass (just under 5 pounds) and the factory muzzle brake, you won’t believe you’re shooting one of the world’s most powerful handguns unless you forget to wear hearing protection. The Performance Center’s iron sight system (adjustable S&W rear sight combined with a fiber optic front) presents a crisp, visible sight picture from slightly before dawn to sometime after dusk. If you prefer optics or would like to extend your shooting time, the Bone Collector has a rail for mounting optics on top of the barrel. The gun is even equipped to mount a sling swivel up front in the event a holster doesn’t work for you.

2. There's ammunition variety.
The variety of ammo available is excellent and fulfills many different needs. The lightweight bullets—traveling at over 2000 feet per second—are devastating on thin-skinned game and extends your effective range by dramatically flattening your trajectory. Heavy weight penetrators rival the power of the big 500 S&W without administering “big brother’s” level of punishment.

3. It feels like a classic.
Except for the 5-shot cylinder capacity and extra long cylinder, the Bone Collector feels much like the classic “N” frame S&W you probably used earlier in your hunting career. Single action firing allows for precise shot placement while the double action capability facilitates any last minute actions where it’s unclear who is the hunter and who is the hunted. The two-tone finish is extremely corrosion resistant, and while dual colors are perhaps unnecessary for the serious handgun hunter, with a price tag of over $1,600, one is entitled to a little extra pizzazz from the Performance Center.

The downside of the Bone Collector is that it’s a limited production run with attendant limited availability. Casual shopping and aggressive price negotiations are not recommended, because this looks like one of those “if you snooze you lose” guns that won’t be around long. Nor does waiting for a good buy in the used gun market make much sense. Yes, you may find other S&W 460s, but they won’t be “Bone Collectors.”

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