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what is the most powerful handgun?

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posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 02:47 AM
alot of speculation going on. the most powerful is hands down the S&W.460 with the S&W .500 right behind it. while it is based on the S&W .500 the .460 generates 65,000 psi. a full 5000 more than the .500. to get an idea of what we are talking about this is in the range of a .300 weatherby magnum rifle cartridge! for those who arent familiar with rifle cartridges a .300 WBY MAG dwarfs a .223, .308 or 30-06 bullet in terms of the size of the casing, velocity and energy.

posted on Aug, 2 2005 @ 12:36 AM
"a lot of speculation going on. the most powerful is hands down the S&W.460 with the S&W .500 right behind it" ==Metalmessiah

On one of my favorite topics? No Metal, I am doing the math, no speculation. I let others do the informed speculation. Here are
Chuck Hawks choice comments on the S/W 460.
"The 460's COL is too long to permit the cartridge to be chambered in existing Colt, Freedom Arms, Ruger, and Taurus revolvers,
so its popularity is automatically limited to those consumers with memories so short that they are willing to do business with Smith & Wesson.
Forsaking all common sense, which would indicate the heaviest pistol bullets available in the caliber for such a large case, the basic factory
specifications call for a 200 grain bullet at a MV of 2330 fps and ME of 2400 ft. lbs. A 200 grain bullet in such a big case is just about the
poorest possible choice for what is, realistically, a moose and elk gun.
Fortunately, there are many heavier and more suitable hunting bullets from Hornady, Speer, Sierra, Nosler, and Barnes available to the reloader.
460 reloading information is basically impossible to come by at this writing, but Hodgdon data shows that the 454 Casull cartridge can launch a
300 grain bullet at about MV of over 1700 fps with a MAP of around 53,000 cup. I would estimate that the 460 Magnum could exceed that
velocity by about 100 fps. That would be the kind of load that makes sense when using the 460 Mag. for hunting the largest North American antlered game." Quote of Chuck Hawks

Now the math
460 Factory spec 200 grain with a MV of 2330 fps gives ME of 2400 ft lbs. Taylor KO Value is 30. Now in the above quote from Chuck,
454 Casull 300 grain with MV of 1700 fps gives 1926 ft lbs. The Taylor KO Value is 33
So if you load the S/W 460 with 454 Casull rounds, they perform better for hunting. (They will fit and fire safely, by the way since the
460 is really a 454 Casull in a very slight case lengthening, with a price streach that is way beyond reasonable.)

Before you rush out and buy a very slightly lengthened 454 casull, here is a word of caution from SoldierTech
"A local sporting good store reported to SoldierTech that Smith & Wesson recommend having the barrels replaced by the factory for a
$100 fee after only 1200 to 1400 rounds. This is due to the high-pressure gas cutting into the back end of the barrel. If the gun owner
would ignore this problem, eventually the cylinder would also start to erode, causing all kinds of functionality problems. " == SoldierTech

My old FreedomArms 454 also had this problem BUT the FreedomArms folk were wise enough to machine a replaceable (screw in)
forcing cone in the barrel rear. When it shows wear, unscrew it and replace for a couple of bucks. Replacing the barrel is stupid gun
design. That reminds me, now quite a few folk have bragged about the Dessert Eagle 50 AE and the S/W 40 auto. I think you need
some cautionary safety facts about your favorites.
Maybe in another post, this is too long.

posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 03:39 PM

Originally posted by WyrdeOne
My personal favorite as far as power and reliability would be the Commanche, single-shot breech-loading 20-Gauge shot-pistol.

Depending on the load, it should beat out just about every other single-handed weapon.

How is it on recoil?

posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 04:45 PM
the most powerful pistol is the .22 single six convertable it has 2 cals in 22 LR & 22 magnum without accuracy the pistol would be worthless so saying a desert eagle is the most powerful handgun would make since if you could hit someone withit in a gunfight the fast single action cowboy shooter would win if cal is not big enough the ruger offers lots of calibers from a convertable 9mm to.38special to .357 or .45 to .45-70

[edit on 18-8-2007 by Emperor_Zod]

posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 04:55 PM
ummm---maybe I am mistaken, but I would assume the Uzi is the most powerfull in pounds-of-lead-per-second. If you are looking for something to stop a truck in one shot, unless you are very wealthy, the 454 Casul is about the best @ $3 to $6 per round. The 44 automag is slightly smaller, easier to shoot, and vastly cheaper to arm.
In terms of availability of ammo, you can take your 7.62 NATO from any fallen adversaries, so the humble AK-47 would be the choice for any "Red Dawn" believers. (but not a handgun). The way things are going, I would prefer to have guns that take universal ammo, unless you have the powder,dies,and lead to load your own.

posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 04:56 PM
According to Clint Eastwood: "the 44 magnum"

[edit on 18-8-2007 by thehumbleone]

posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 05:26 PM
reply to post by gotrox
i beleive your mistaken about theak 47 being "7.62 nato" im usually not wrong about weaponry of the soviet and americans the ak is 7.62x39mm the 7.62 nato is 7.62x51mm commonly used with the h&k G3 rifle and the M14 but the uzi has been outclassed by a czech firearm known as the p90

posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 06:49 PM
Hey guys..I never really cared for this type of thread.

It is really overated. Almost pubescent to me.

Some like nightwing have made some good informed posts.

All this power stuff just smacks of pimples and styling and profiling.


One of the key factors spoken about by knowlegable posters here affordability. Definitely a factor. Someone mentioned a certain caliber of ammo being some $6 or more per round. To me that doesnt make good nonsense. I will never pay for something like that and I am a reloader. This is one of the main reasons I steered away from owning a .44 Magnum. Different primers, different powder and different bullets from most of what I stock and currenly reload.

Also in the x ring those posting about prohibitive recoil....and a career supporting the medical profession.

I have been studying the idea of purchasing a 7mm TCU barrel for my Contender. This is a necked up .223 case..necked up to 7mm or .284 diameter bullets. I am sitting on a couple thousand once fired .223 cases. This case has tolerable recoil and is capable of more energy down range when necked up to 7mm for hunting verses the parent .223 cartridge from which it extends. Good accuracy too within its range.

Power per not everything to me. If I want power at pistol ranges... I use my shotgun. close up. Plenty powerful and affordable too.

I dont get all excited over pistol power..I just think much of it is overated.
It is about a pistol with sufficient power for its intended usage. Also what one can afford to feed..monitarily. Nightwing is in the x ring on this .

I dont get all excited over power.. I see this nonsense all the time at the gun shows to get unthinking people on the treadmill. It makes for nice show off type stuff..just not practical for most of us.

I have more appreciation and respect for design, practicality and qualty workmanship than raw power.


posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 08:03 PM
reply to post by Nachtmahr

Well, the Comanche is a very light, hand-held shotgun - draw your own conclusions. I think it's also chambered for .410, which would be even better in terms of recoil if that's the main concern. It's a nice coincidence that one of my other personal favorites is a .22/.410 over/under combo by Springfield Arms, a lightweight Scout rifle.

I think they make a nice pair for the out-of-doors, and one needn't worry too much about the single-shot nature of the guns - if you come across something in the woods that won't die after a .22LR in a vital organ, and two .410 shot shells in the face, you were foolish to have thought you could eat it in the first place, that's my opinion.

Back to the recoil, I'm sure you could mitigate it further with a folding stock. It wouldn't be my personal preference, but to each his own.

posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 05:09 AM
It's a bit daft asking what the most powerful handgun is. The real question is what is the most powerful cartridge you can fit in a handgun. Or do you want to know what the most powerful commercially available cartridge is fired from a handgun?

For example the Thompson-Centre Contender can fire all manner of rifle loads up to .45/70 and .410 shotgun loads but is still a handgun. Hell, the Encore will fire 12ga loads and rifle rounds up to .375H&H Mag! Even fairly moderate rifle rounds out perform the most powerful dedicated handgun rounds.

posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 11:48 AM

What I meant to ask is, it doesn't have to power to break someone's wrist does it?

[edit on 19-8-2007 by Nachtmahr]

posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 01:50 PM
I think that would depend entirely on the wrist. I'm no doctor, but I think it'd be pretty hard to break your wrist with the recoil from either a 20 gauge or a .410, even fired from a pistol.

If you found someone with very delicate wrist bones..who knows?

posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 06:49 AM
Thanks. I'm considering buying a 20 ga.

posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 02:17 AM
sorry to tell you all that dirty harry never shot the most powerful hand gun. I have an 1847 Walker 44 cal and at that time it was more pwerful than harrys pea shooter. Although it was black powder, dont let that fool you. With 60 grains of black powder and a lead ball (44cal) it put Harry to shame. As a production made pistol there are only a few that can out shoot my old gun. It may take a couple of minutes to load but still it way out shoots Dirty harrys.. the 500SW finally is more powerful.

posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 06:43 PM
The most powerful handgun in the world is double-action Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44-cal. Magnum revolver

posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 01:45 PM
how about a widley .475 magnum never seen one shot but supposed to be a hell of gun but it dont mean a lick if you dont hit the target

posted on Sep, 3 2008 @ 11:16 PM
reply to post by Xenopathic_Investigator

the worlds most powerful handgun is definitely the Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express Magnum. check it out.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 01:42 PM
The problem with the question is the question. It's like asking what is the world's fastest car, without dictating if they are race cars, production cars, internal combustion-powered or freakin' jet-powered. The truest answer can be found in beezwaxes and Army's posts...what KIND of handgun are we talking about? Any gun that can be fired without a shoulder stock? Repeating handguns, production guns, specialty guns? Or just plain anything which could remotely be classified as a handgun?
In that case, as Army said and I would concur, the Maddi-Griffin TNx which they call a carbine and weighs around twenty pounds, chambered in the machine gun cartridge of .50 BMG. It is a bolt-action one-shot, and has little if any practical purpose, though has apparently reasonable accuracy out to 2000 yards.
Otherwise, take your pick. The power of a gun is derived from the bullet, and often many manufacturers across the world will make entirely different guns using the same chamberings. A bullet's size is determined by it's caliber (i.e. - .45 ACP in english, or 9mm in metric) and then within the caliber, many companies make different bullets loaded for different purposes, from light loads for low penetration to hot loads for stopping power. So once you decide what field of guns you are interested in, pick the biggest, nastiest bullet and your favorite design, and there you go.
My thanks to those of you with a clue.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 01:57 PM
reply to post by GrOuNd_ZeRo

The .50 round will destroy an engine in a moving vehicle, and also go right thru a flak jacket. They are illegal to own in California, although I think that is only rifles, I don't know. If anyone is struck by a .50 they immediatley pass out, if they live.

posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 02:56 PM
What about the FN 5.6. The round is about the same as a 223, but in a smaller, magnum type shell. Armor piercing, Extremely accurate, high velocity.

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