Wheelgun Wednesday: Slow Motion S&W 500 – Mind The Gap

Nicholas C
by Nicholas C

When it comes to documenting firearms, photos and videos help. I have been wanting a way to film firearms at high speed. However, most high-speed cameras are rather expensive. But there is an affordable option called the Chronos. I purchased one last October before they had their price increase. I used my Chronos 1.4 to film my friend Jerry’s 4″ S&W 500 revolver in slow motion. We shot 600 gr and 700 gr loads that he made.

Cylinder Gap Articles @TFB:

Mind The Gap: Slow Motion S&W 500

We all know to tuck our thumbs back when shooting magnum revolvers. But the high-speed footage I captured really shows what happens.

Watch carefully, there is a small explosion and smoke that emanates from the cylinder gap. This event happens insanely fast. I filmed the slow motion S&W 500 at 4,436 FPS (frames per second) and the cylinder gap explosion only happens at 1-2 frames! Immediately after that cylinder gap explosion, the entire slow motion S&W 500 generates a giant cloud of smoke and then a fireball is thrown downrange.

Considering that the cylinder gap explosion happens in such a short amount of time, 1-2 frames, it further proves that it is a fast and violent event. Compared to the cloud generated from the muzzle from all the burnt and unburnt powder.

These video clips call to mind the myth of the Ninja and their smoke bombs. After the cylinder gap explosion captured in the slow motion S&W 500 video, it looks like a Ninja deployed a smoke bomb. NINJA VANISH! Then the entire slow motion S&W 500 is obscured by this cloud. Due to the recoil and muzzle climb, the revolver proceeds to move away from the cloud like a Ninja escaping and evading under the cover of a smoke bomb.

The last video clip was the 700 gr projectile and I upped the frame rate to 8,816 FPS to try and capture the projectile flying out of the slow motion S&W 500. If you notice, the projectile is tilted down as it traverses across the screen.

This reminded me of another high speed video by Specialized Imaging. They make a flight tracker system that can follow a flying projectile as it crosses in front of it and is captured on a high-speed camera. Watch this video. It is a Sherman Tank but more importantly watch what happens to the projectile. It tilts down after it left the barrel and since the TrackerLite can follow it, using a revolving mirror, the camera was able to watch it tilt back up and down a couple times.

Check Prices on S&W 500 Revolvers

Look forward to some more high-speed captures to come on The Firearm Blog, only they probably will not be revolver-related. My friends and I were amazed at the footage I was able to capture of the slow motion S&W 500 and I hope you enjoyed this as well.

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Nicholas C
Nicholas C

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  • Harald Mustafah Harald Mustafah on Jan 06, 2022

    Looking forward to more high speed videos!

  • Diver6106 Diver6106 on Jan 08, 2022

    What some shooters may not know is this blast at the front of the cylinder in the gap is like a cutting torch. They should check the frame for wear as older guns, and especially hi powered ones, may be weakened to the point of failure. Some modern guns put a special high strength steel insert into the frame to mitigate the flame.

    • Jim Smith Jim Smith on Jan 09, 2022

      @Diver6106 A friend of mine has a nickel Ruger Super Redhawk with flame cutting from the cylinder gap.