Really BIG Guns!


June 2, 2011, 10:13 AM
Who has shot any really BIG guns. Not just talking about small arms. Vehicle or ship mounted guns AND crew served guns count too!

Describe the experience or just mention what you fired.

The most powerful gun I have ever fired is my .44mag Redhawk with some really hot 280gr rounds in it. Also, I got to fire a full auto Thompson SMG ons time when I was a kid. Ridiculous. (Ridiculously FUN!)

I never operated any crew served or vehicle weapons.

What about you guys?

If you enjoyed reading about "Really BIG Guns!" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
June 2, 2011, 11:03 AM
.378 Weatherby, only three times and I did not get the scope in the eye. Thompson, fun, Grease gun and kept the dust cover open. Sawed off 10 guage single barrel.

June 2, 2011, 11:09 AM
I've shot the biggest cannon one can shoulder, the Mosin Nagant :D

I've also shot a sawed off 12 gauge and that was a hoot

June 2, 2011, 11:19 AM
I've shot an M2 machine gun and two anti-tank guns - a 20mm Lahti, and a .55 Boys. I grew up during the 80s in a family that owned many title II guns and some of my fondest memories as a kid was getting to shoot a wide variety of machine guns a couple of times a year when we got together and made a weekend of it. Back in the glory days when the surplus ammo was cheap and the guns were too - all relatively speaking, of course.

Unfortunately, most of those guns were sold off as the prices skyrocketed, and I can hardly afford to feed the ones we still have. Still, I'm extremely grateful to have shot most types of machine guns available for private ownership under the NFA acts.

Currently, the biggest guns I own is a .50 and a .458 Winchester Magnum.

June 2, 2011, 12:48 PM
Biggest handgun, .50 AE Desert Eagle. Didn't enjoy it.

Biggest rifle, .300 WinMag. Kinda like my Mosin Nagant, so I liked it. Also, full auto AK captured in Iraq, Loved it!

Crew served, .50 M-2 'Ma deuce' Loved it!

Biggest cannon, 105mm Howitzer on the AC-130. Well, didn't actually fire it, just nearby when it went off. Freakin life-changing!

June 2, 2011, 03:02 PM
Notable big boy toys:
120mm main gun in an Abrams tank
25mm autocannon in the Bradley
M203 (just the chalk rounds though, sadface)
I'm still waiting on my opportunity to get behind a Mk19 with live rounds.

The tank main gun is awesome. The concussive noise is outside the tank. Inside you mostly hear the breech moving and shell base bouncing around the turret. From the sights, you won't usually see the round moving downrange because of dust obscuration, but if you're observing from outside the tank you get to watch the rounds fly and sabot petals striking the ground. It's pretty cool. Here's a vid I put together last year, I recommend starting out with the volume low and turning it up to your liking.

The Brad is pretty much like a video game. Very quiet inside the turret, most of the noise you hear is from the feed drive for the cannon, and a muted muzzle blast. Unlike the tank, the breech doesn't move so there's nothing to keep out of the way of. You just put your reticle on target and send rounds downrange. As long as you have lased the target correctly, it's pretty hard to miss a stationary target.

Ma Duece is what she is. A big, loud machinegun.

The 203 will put a smile on your face the first time, guaranteed. Nothing else feels like that "thump".

June 2, 2011, 05:08 PM
My big bore guns:)
Doesn't get any bigger for the average Joe.
S&W M500 - 700 gr bullet
Ruger Alaskan 454 Causal
Beowulf 50

June 2, 2011, 05:34 PM
I see no "guns" in the pictures so far :)

June 2, 2011, 05:57 PM
THIS is a gun:

11 bore blunderbuss, using 110 grains 2F as the main charge under a huge roundball. Look at the sidewall thickness on that beast!

June 2, 2011, 06:06 PM

June 2, 2011, 07:04 PM
A younger me (circa 1981)

Also, the M203, but nothing says WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeEEEEEEE!!!! like a belt fed weapon.

June 2, 2011, 07:21 PM
Biggest caliber I've ever shot? .45ACP ;)

(Though I've shot a .44, which was more of a kick, but I'm thinking diameter.)

I slapped myself successfully the other day after spending too long looking at one of those S&W Alaska-suitable revolvers in a ridiculous caliber. Don't want to pay to feed it, even if I was reloading, mining my own copper, and owned a gunpowder mill. Must ... resist ...


Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 2, 2011, 07:26 PM
50 Caliber in several different flavors.:rolleyes:

Larry Ashcraft
June 2, 2011, 07:46 PM
In a handgun, .480 Ruger.

In a rifle, .470 Nitro Express double rifle (thanks to H&Hhunter). That was fun, but not something you'd want to plink with. :eek:

June 2, 2011, 08:16 PM
.50 cal s&w 500gr----and it hits your hand with a smack back motion

June 2, 2011, 08:29 PM
I've shot .50 cal machine guns, 106 recoiless rifle, and hung 4.2 mortar rounds.

June 2, 2011, 08:31 PM
Handgun: .45-70
Rifle: .375 H&H mag

Nothing really big. I'd like to meet somebody that pulled the triggers on the 16" guns aboard an Iowa.

My dad was an AA gunner in the service in WWII, but he never talked about it.

June 2, 2011, 08:46 PM
Back in the day... M163 165mm demolition gun in our M728 Combat Engineer Vehicles. It is sort of like lobbing a plastic explosive watermelon.

June 2, 2011, 10:22 PM
Ma Deuce, M240G, M249, MK19, AT4, and...........................a TOW. The TOW is an interesting story. I was a motorcycle courier while in the Marines. One day my partner and I, you have to ride in pairs, were delivering map overlays to a TOW company while at CAX in Twenty-Nine Stumps. Their Captain said he would let us fire off a couple of TOW's if we let him and his Gunny take our bikes for a spin. A no brainer.

To be honest it was a little anti-climatic. While I think they are an incredible weapon and can do substantial damage, you don't feel as connected like you would with something belt-fed.

Now the Ma Deuce or the MK19 is another story. Almost worth my five years just being able to fire those.

As far as a shoulder fired gun it was nothing special. I believe a Savage 30.06 was the biggest I have fired.


M1030 ( was the bikes we had. This is the new diesel model, but when I was in they were still gasoline engines. We had Kawasaki KLR 250's and 650's, CARC painted with blackout lights. There were pretty kick ass.

June 2, 2011, 10:32 PM
As a former artillery office I had the opportunity to fire lots of big guns.

8 inch

Other guns
M2 (my favorite!)
M60, also very fun to shoot although its reputation is less than stellar

I was also a Lance Missile platoon leader in Germany and got to fire the Lance on two different occasions from the island of Crete. This probably doesn't qualify as a gun though. :)

June 2, 2011, 10:34 PM
Standing on the fantail of a Coast Guard cutter during a night shoot of the main deck gun, a 5" 38. Bright flash and BOOM!!!, feel the body slap concussion, then the boat does a shimmy under your feet. Again, and again, and again. Couldn't stop grinning!

June 2, 2011, 11:00 PM
4.2 mortar if that counts; though I spent most of my time in with the 81 or 60mm versions. I never got to shoot an M2. The biggest belt fed for me was an M60. That was fun though.

338winmag was my least favorite of the bigger calibers that Iíve shot. I ended up hating that gun. 45-70 out of my Pedersoli sharps was my favorite. I regret letting that one go.

For pistols Iíve never shot anything noteworthy; a 357 and some 45ís out of a Judge. Iíd call that pathetic except I feel no need to punish myself with anything bigger.

June 2, 2011, 11:36 PM
7.62 x 51 from an M-60

50 cal from an M2 mounted to a large gray floatey thing. (Uss Iwo Jima)

Tim the student
June 2, 2011, 11:42 PM
60, 81, and 120mm mortars.
Loaded a tank for fun, but never shot the main gun. Shot the coax though, and that was fun. Like a video game.
25mm out of a Brad
M203, and a thumpgun
SAW (ok, not big, but still a MG).
50 cal muzzleloader
12g slugs

June 3, 2011, 01:12 AM
3"50 naval rifle, last one that had a fixed round like a rifle shell. Almost managed to make it home with 4 brass cases, but the Navy decided we could do that...AND THREW THEM OVERBOARD!
Nice toy, roughly 76mm in size.

June 3, 2011, 01:28 AM
Handgun: 45/70 out of a Thompson Center pistol (I love this one)

Rifle: 12 gauge magnum rounds (the novelty wears off after a few)

June 3, 2011, 01:54 AM
45/70 Thompson Center Pistol, 450 marlin, 458 weatherby, 375 H&H, 60 cal machinge gun, 50 cal, machine gun, grenade launchers, 105 howitzer, 155 m109A1 howitzer, and and 8" howitzer that spits out a 200 lb. projectile.

June 3, 2011, 02:02 AM
As a lucky civilian in a few different incarnations ....

Bradley 25mm

Almost: the M61A1 20mm gatling gun on the F-16B; I once flew back-seat on an F-16B and was the squadron's first civilian guest - they were going to start the flight with a trip to the Avon Park gunnery range in Central FL and shoot the gun, but then the commanding officer walked into the briefing, did a double-take on the mission plan, and nuked that idea. Oh well .... I figured the mission cost exceeded my federal income tax that year, so it was a "plus" year.

June 3, 2011, 02:10 AM
As a TC in the Central Highlands of RVN, 1969, I was issued an M48A3 tank with a 90MM main gun. I shot it a lot. I don't actually remember the gunner ever firing the main gun. I also shot a lot of .50 cal, 7.62 and .45acp along with a fair number of LAWS rockets. I also used quite a few pounds of C4. Not much 5.56 as I was not issued an M-16. I was also trained on the M60 tank, with 105MM gun and the M551/Sheridan tank with the 152MM gun. The recoil of that stubby 152MM gun was really impressive. You'd better be holding on to something when you fired the 152MM and that relatively light tank recoiled around you. I have since wondered how much it cost the American taxpayers to have me in RVN for a year...

Tim the student
June 3, 2011, 02:59 AM
60 cal machinge gun

A 60 cal machine gun? Can you tell us more about that?

June 3, 2011, 08:21 AM
I totally love big guns, In fact at any of the Machine Gun Shoots we go to I always gravitate towards the Destructive Devices and generally ignore the MG's.
So far the biggest thing Ive got to fire was a 37mm anti tank cannon at the Dragon Mans machine gun shoot in Colorado (Not sure what make/model it was but it had seats on the legs that supported it, It looked like a m3 but Im not quite sure).
Other than that plenty of 37mm Flares, 40mm practice grenades, and a couple 20mm rifles.


June 3, 2011, 10:17 AM
I got to sit inside the turret of a 16" gun and a 5" gun on the U.S.S. Massachusetts when I was in the boy scouts, but they wouldn't let us fire either one:mad:

I've also sat in the gunners chair of a WW2 Sherman, a Vietnam era M-48 and a modern M1A1 tank and wasn't allowed to fire them either:mad:

Biggest production handgun was a Taurus .500... Kicks like a rabid mule!
Non-production was the "Mad Max" 12 gauge pistol a buddy of mine made. He ended up cutting his hand open with that stupid thing.

Biggest long arm was an antique #2 bore punt gun. I still have a scar and hearing damage from that un-Godly beast and that was over 20 years ago!
When the smoke cleared and I saw what it did to the jugs of water, I finally understood the full meaning of the word: "Obliterated"

June 3, 2011, 10:19 AM
I distinctly remember firing a .505 Gibbs from under a firing range roof and seeing flecks of rust getting rattled off and flaking down. I also distinctly recall the RO telling me to stick the muzzle further out so the blast wouldn't bother the other people on the line.

June 3, 2011, 10:28 AM
I would love to fire a vehicle or ship based BIG gun, but I'll have to make due with a little Bond Arms derringer chambered in .357 magnum firing Buffalo Bore ammo. Firing the little rascal is a hoot!!

June 3, 2011, 12:18 PM
I have shot both a McMillan and Barrett .50 cal rifles. That's been the upper limit for me.

June 3, 2011, 03:42 PM
M198 - 155mm
Mk19 - 40mm - my favorite - "ping pong shooter"
M2 - .50
All the lesser others in service - USMC 91-98

300 Winchester Magnum out of Savage big box special - my least favorite. Why would anyone subject their shoulder to this abuse for use on deer? Makes all the others seem like rimfire.

June 3, 2011, 06:43 PM
I have personally fired a truck drawn 105mm howitzer and a tractor drawn 155mm howitzer. These were fun times in the Army National Guard a long time ago.

If you enjoyed reading about "Really BIG Guns!" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!