The Smith & Wesson Model 500 has earned fame as one of the most powerful production revolvers you can buy. Its cartridge, the .500 S&W, spits bullets that weigh 350 grains and generate a muzzle energy of over 3,000 foot-pounds. Basically, this revolver makes some very big holes—and some people consider it ideal for defending yourself against wildlife.

We’re thinking that self-defense is probably not at issue in the video below. Shooting a large-caliber handgun at a rotten tree—with very little in the way of a backstop—is not such a good idea. Being in the path of tree’s fall trajectory is even worse. But at least the shooter has a chance to experience the revolver’s legendary recoil for himself.

“Dave’s first time firing this weapon and he nearly brains himself,” wrote the video’s uploader. If you’re wearing headphones, turn down the volume.

Updated 10-31-2014 for accuracy. 

File image from Lzlasco on the Wikimedia Commons

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  • Justin Cherington

    What loads produce over 4,000 ft pounds of energy? Did you mean 3,000 ?

    • Daniel Xu

      Opps, typo. But yes I meant 3,000.