Winchester overstates muzzle energy by 30%

In May (2008) I blogged that Winchester were going to offer reduced recoil .460 S&W.

features a 250-grain jacketed hollow point bullet, a muzzle velocity of 1,450 feet per second (fps) and an impressive 1,517 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

Muzzle energy is a function of bullet weight and velocity. I did not notice it at the time but those figures are impossible. I am sure it was a typo, but I am surprised that it has taken Winchester over 6 months to issue a correct press release!

From the “new” press release:

features a 250-grain jacketed hollow point bullet, a muzzle velocity of 1,450 feet per second (fps) and an impressive 1,167 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.

So it generates 50% less recoil and has 50% less power. I don’t see the point, might as well use a .44 magnum, but the game being shot probably won’t notice the difference.

460Sw Sm





Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Felt recoil is not only dependent on muzzle energy, but also on muzzle brake function, weapon weight, and a bit the action. Furthermore, muzzle energy is actually an even worse indicator for felt recoil than the impulse.

  • Sven, you are right but in this case Winchester claim 50% less recoil which happens to correspond to approx. 50% less energy compared to the full power load.