Janz 500 S&W Magnum Revolver | SHOT 2017

JANZ-Präzisionstechnik GmbH builds high end revolvers and exports them to the United States through Texas-based Janz Revolver USA. I had a chance to spend some time with Till Hezel of Janz Revolver and learn more about one of the company’s guns: the .500 S&W Magnum.

Janz revolvers are built on one of three different frame sizes: the Type EM, Type E and Type MA. The EM frames handle fixed calibers from .22 LR to .44 Magnum. The E is a larger frame with an interchangeable caliber system that covers cartridges up to .454 Casull. The MA, jokingly referred to by Hezel as the Massive Frame, is used for the .460 S&W Magnum and .500 S&W Magnum. It is a large and heavy frame that can withstand the repeated abuse of these big bore cartridges.

The .500 S&W Magnum is a five shot revolver that has unfluted cylinders. The cylinder gap seemed very close, though I did not have any feeler gauges to measure how narrow the gap was. Barrel lengths start at 4″ and go up to 12″. Hezel said he has had requests for a 2″ barrel on the .500 Magnum, but import restrictions prohibit him from offering it.

The front sight drops into a machined cut and is held in place with a set screw. The front sight is under spring pressure and can be adjusted for elevation by a turn of a second screw. The rear notch sight is also adjustable.

The trigger on the guns I held were superb. The double action pull was relatively short and light – much smoother than a typical Smith & Wesson. The single action pull was crazy good. As you might expect, the .500 S&W Magnum is not light, but when you need the caliber, the extra weight makes it a little easier to tame.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


  • Giolli Joker

    Sexy revolver…

  • Beardedrambler

    What’s that little good tab next to the hammer?

  • Beardedrambler

    What’s the little gold tab next to the hammer?

    • One of two cylinder releases. The other is a small ball that is located forward of the cylinder. To release the cylinder the tab is pushed forward and the ball is pushed in. Two were used for added strength.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    I like how unfluted cylinders are associated with higher end and custom when it’s basically just a cylinder that had less machining done to it.

    • Anonymoose

      And it does absolutely nothing to add to the strength of the gun. 😀

    • Giolli Joker

      Yep, they’re prettier, though.
      This one at least is counterbored, an additional operation once seen on high end revolvers and now frequently skipped.
      Although I like more the individual counterboring of the chambers rather than of the whole rear face as on this Janz.

  • PersonCommenting

    Wish Korth would have used this company over STI, probs would of made better US Korth models than the ugly things they are importing now because of STI’s market.

    • Anonymoose

      They partnered with Nighthawk, not STI, and their products are not even on the Nighthawk site anymore, which means their importation might be up for grabs.

      • As of Wednesday, Korth and Nighthawk are still solidly in bed together. I was at the Nighthawk booth talking to them about the revolvers.


      • PersonCommenting

        Nighthawk. My mistake. Well I hope so. Just didnt like the look at all. Some of it was insulting too.

    • Interesting story with Korth. According to the Janz literature, Korth lost all of its tooling and machinery after an insolvency (I presume a liquidation of assets in a bankruptcy.) Janz then provided all parts for Korth to make revolvers.

      Again according to the Janz literature, Korth went through another period of insolvency. This time, Janz said it was stuck with a bunch of Korth parts and unpaid bills.

      So, Janz decided that it would design a new revolver and begin selling them for themselves. In 1997 Janz launched its revolver business with Rene Ganz, the last personal apprentice of Willi Korth, leading the design team. By 2000, it was making its new guns and continues today “…in the spirit of Willi Korth.”

      • PersonCommenting

        Well lets get this story out over Nighthawk . I hate the look of the new Korth Products. They just assume everyone wants a matte black tactical thing. Also they didnt think we could handle their cylinder release and made a smith sliding release.

    • raz-0

      Don’t be so sure. I means go to the janz home page and scroll ot the bottom. That thing is probably at least 5 grand and makes a high point look squared away aesthetically speaking.

      • PersonCommenting

        Yeah I checked him out. Cant really get behind someone who doesnt have a decent website this day and age. He could have the coolest guns in the world and I wouldnt go any further because I cant learn anything without calling the guy.

  • A 4″ .500S&W is definitely a bear gun.

    By which I mean, the only time I would ever want to fire one is if the only alternative was being eaten by a bear.

    • Just say’n

      ^^What he said^^

  • ostiariusalpha

    Ermahgerd, matte satin finish?! Looks just like a Charter Arms! Herpa derp!!

    • Giolli Joker

      Looks glass beaded to me.

      • ostiariusalpha

        That’s typically how you get the matte effect.

        • Giolli Joker

          Yep, I usually associate satin finish with the way it is frequently obtained in knifemaking, with sandpaper. It would be a hell of an effort on a revolver.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Brush satin is what we usually call that. I don’t know what they call it in Italian, but matte satin is grenage in Froggy, and brush satin is satinage. So if it’s anything similar in Italian, then I can see why that might throw you off.

          • Giolli Joker

            As far as I know, we just call “satinatura” the brush satin finish.

  • Jim

    What a hand cannon! Wonder what the weight is on an 8-inch barrel model? I think a ported barrel would help tame the recoil. That thing should come with a bipod.

  • Nashvone

    Sure it looks good but I bet those wooden grips are about as much fun to hold as a hornet’s nest.