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What's the most powerful handgun caliber?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by cache05, Oct 9, 2005.

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  1. cache05

    cache05 Member

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    well?...what is it? :evil:
     
  2. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

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    The one the BG is staring down the barrel of...

    Seriously though, it will be a rifle cartridge chambered in one of the various bolt actioned hanguns.

    A "typical" wheelgun has various handcannon calibers to choose from whether it be 480 Ruger, 500 S&W...
     
  3. tc300mag1

    tc300mag1 Member

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    In a Std production Gun the 500 Smith

    In a Encore Barreled Action you can go pretty wild id say 30-06 might be pretty powerful to your wrists
     
  4. 444

    444 Member

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    In order to answer this question, you first have to define the word "powerful". This is a favorite topic of internet gun boards: big and slow vs. light and fast. Energy, Taylor's knockdown formula.........................

    Basically there are a number of answers to your question: for a standard production revolver, I believe the answer is .500 S&W. However, I think Linebaugh makes more powerful cartridges in custom revolvers. But there are also bolt action and single shot handguns chambered for medium bore rifle cartriges: I believe I saw the Savage Striker chambered for .300 WSM.
     
  5. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    Truly made for handguns? The .577 British (can't remember what revolver it was used in, though!)
     
  6. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    I've seen a .50 BMG that legally qualified as a pistol before the weight restrictions were added. It was a single shot.
     
  7. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    What's that one video where the thing flew out of his hands at the range?
     
  8. Double Maduro

    Double Maduro Member

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    chris in VA,

    That was a .600 Nitro Express.

    That one would probably get my vote.

    But in production guns, .500 S&W.

    DM
     
  9. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    For standard production repeating handguns firing handgun cartridges, the order is:

    #1: .500 S&W; 2600 FPE
    #2: .460 XVR; 2350 FPE
    #3: .454 Casull; 2050 FPE
    #4: .50 Action Express; 1600 FPE
    #5: .480 Ruger; 1340 FPE
    #6: .44 Rem Mag; ~1050 FPE

    .44 mag can exceed the .480 Ruger with certain loads. I believe Buffalo Bore loads a 260 grainer that develops over 1500 FPE from a 7.5" barrel. The .357 Remington Maximum would be on this list if it were still commercially loaded.

    *this list does not include semi-custom guns and proprietary catridges, such as Linebaugh.
     
  10. Pietro Beretta

    Pietro Beretta Member

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    I wanna see that one, anyone have a link?
     
  11. AlleninAlaska

    AlleninAlaska Member

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    Accurate Reloading


    Don't know if they still have the videos on there yet or not. Don't usually check the home page just the forums.
     
  12. kframe357

    kframe357 Member

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    taurus makes a .45-70 revolver. never shot one, but have a rifle in 45-70 that kicks pretty good.
     
  13. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    Since when does Taurus make a .45-70? :scrutiny:




    It's a rhetorical question since they don't/never have.
     
  14. Mr Jody Hudson

    Mr Jody Hudson Member

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    Here is the current Taurus Line;

    Taurus Revolvers

    The Big Ones are:

    Model: 454SS2M RAGING BULL, .454 CASULL
    Model: 500MSS10 RAGING BULL, .500 MAGNUM

    I have shot both of these and they are very nice, very accurate and not too bad to shoot either.

    Here is a nice little pocket gun in .500 Magnum:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Camp David

    Camp David member

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    These handguns were called "Howdah" pistols and they were carried on the Elephant Box while hunting tigers in India... there was a Howdah offered in .600 Nitro, double with exposed hammers... if not fired correctly it would break your wrist, but since it was used to stop a tiger in mid-charge a broken wrist was often preferable to being eaten!

    Modern biggie is probably .454 and since I have one, a new Ruger Alaskan, I can tell you that you don't want to shoot it a lot! But it does was it was designed for well...
     
  16. kframe357

    kframe357 Member

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  17. jbrown50

    jbrown50 Member

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    Let's not forget about "My Friend Wildey"

    http://www.wildeyguns.com/

    .475 Wildey Magnum
    .45 Wildey Magnum
    .45 Winchester Magnum
    .44 Auto Mag
     
  18. Working Man

    Working Man Member

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    .45-70 I have shot loads in 405 grn at 1900 fps. That puts it right under
    3,250 ft/lbs. :evil:
     
  19. Riktoven

    Riktoven Member

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    I've seen a .700 Nitro Express single shot. Can't believe the guy shot it after watching what happened to the guy with the .600 Nitro Express revolver.

    Both shooters looked down right scared, and I can't blame them. If either one had been firing the gun with thier head aligned with the sights, I think that would have been a bad day. Both guns flipped up and back, landing several feet behind the shooters. The noise was like a punch in the gut.

    I'd rather let the tiger eat me I think.
     
  20. f4t9r

    f4t9r Member

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    If you listen to Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood) its a 44 mag
    That was then, now he would have a 500 S&W

    Go ahead and make my day !!!!!
     
  21. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    There seems to be some confusion regarding the question.

    "What's the most powerful handgun caliber?"

    Not, What's the most powerful cartridge chambered in a handgun?

    .223, .45-70, 577 Nitro Express, .30-06, etc, etc. are all RIFLE cartridges that just happen to be available in some handguns. Rifle caliber pistols.

    The .357 Mqagnum is a handgun cartridge, The .44 Magnum is a handgun cartridge. The .45 Colt is a handgun cartridge. Same for 9mm and .45ACP. The fact that they are available in some carbines and rifles doesn't change that. In fact those guns are generally referred to as pistol caliber carbines.

    In fact .32-20, .38-40 and .44-40 are actually rifle cartridges since they were originally designed by Winchester to be used in their rifles. The fact thay were later chambered in revolvers doesn't change that. Look where they appear in the Winchester & Remington catalogues. (in the rifle section)


    The most powerful handgun caliber at he present time is the .500 S&W. Period.

    Are there more powerful cartridges chambered in handguns? Of course there are. A lot in fact. But they are still primarily rifle cartridges.
     
  22. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

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    OK so technically speaking the most powerful "handgun" CALIBER is .500 while the most powerful "handgun" CARTRIDGE is .500 SW :D
     
  23. XLMiguel

    XLMiguel Member

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    I'm with BluesBear, as a production handgun cartridge, the S&W 500 rules (for now). This is not to say that someone, some where won't do something silly.

    Ex: When I was working for a bank in Chicago, we had a young man in our dept who inherited a tidy sum from his grandma. He was driving a ratty Chevy Vega wagon and he was a drag racing fan. He managed to find a shop that would put a full-tilt supercharged L-88 427 with a B&M tranny into said Vega, with 'appropriate' running gear and a new paint job (blew alla granny's $$). He did OK on the street for the first weekend, but the first time he put it on the strip and pushed it hard, that motor twisted it up like a beer can, and he was back to riding the bus.

    Just 'cause you can, doesn't mean you should - same goes for some 'wildcats' on a handgun frame (but it's your wrist/elbow/forehead).
     
  24. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

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    How true, how true. Why anyone would need a handcannon bigger than the 500 SW is beyond me. I guess there is always bragging rights of the manufacturer...
     
  25. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    The same thing was probably said in 1935, 1955, 1959, 1988, etc. It would seem the cartridge gods aren't listening.
     
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