|.500 S&W Special|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Parent case||500 S&W Magnum|
|Case type||Semi-rimmed, straight|
|Case length||1.274 in (32.4 mm)|
|Overall length||1.733 in (44.0 mm)|
|Test barrel length: 8.375 in|
It is a shorter version of the .500 S&W Magnum with a drastically reduced load, much as the .38 Special is to the .357 Magnum. However, unlike the .38 Special and .357 Magnum, the .500 Special came after the .500 Magnum.
The purpose of the .500 Special is to be able to shoot less punishing loads, with a muzzle energy closer to that of the .44 Magnum cartridge, in firearms chambered for the .500 S&W Magnum. It is possible that firearms chambered for only the .500 S&W Special will be developed. Smith & Wesson has been urged by author and gun rights activist John Ross to produce their largest "X-Frame" in a shorter version to handle this cartridge. Ballistics are slightly superior to the .480 Ruger.