The Cambridge Dictionary defines “caliber” as either “the quality of someone or something, especially someone’s ability,” or “the width of the inside of a pipe, especially of the long cylinder-shaped part of a gun, or the width of a bullet”. It’s the wrong gun, but you could so do the line: “Do you feel Lucky?” It could be a bonding moment…. The .38 Special standard pressure round will be cheaper but except for a very few misfits who carry old alloy revolvers, the majority of handgunners consider it pointless. These lists contain the current popular calibres and some wildcats. It’s cheap, too, comparatively, and it’s a Glock so it should survive a nuclear winter. It is closely trailed by the .40 S&W, the .45 ACP and the .38 Super. Why is the .357 Magnum the cheapest on the list? You can speedload it, so it has a massive tick in the plus column there, and the stainless steel S&W X-frame is big, but the ergonomics all work. That doesn’t make it the best gun, but it does make it interesting. That’s one thing we can’t rationalise past here. 9mm bullets feature diameters of .355 inches weighing in at anywhere from 115 to 130 grains. 5. Instead, the bare minimum I would recommend for big game is the .357 Maximum, a more powerful version of the .357 Magnum. The graph above shows the two .22 rimfire cartridges edging out their other two competitors when it comes to affordability. But we’ve found some great options, including the Black Hills Honeybadger ammunition that should stop just about anything, if you want to pay. So, if you’re honest with yourself, would you rather be aiming one of these hand cannons at a charging bear or the familiar form of a Glock? Hatsan Model 25 Supercharger. Popular Handgun Calibers. The BFR is touted by the company as “the most powerful production single-action made” with a dozen calibers on two frame sizes. Technically, this gun could take out angry animals. It is closely trailed by the 9×23 Winchester, but if we put price in the equation the more affordable 10mm sitting right smack in the middle of the graph should be fast enough with its average velocity of 1,350 feet per second and will be more than adequate for whitetail with its 728 ft.lbf of muzzle energy. Pull one of these out of a hidden gun safe and the game just changed. William, What is the best AR pistol for sale in 2019? The Taurus Raging Hunter builds on the almighty reputation of the slightly gangster Taurus Raging Bull. It’s still a great gun, but it is lost among these handgun calibers. Whether or not these sights are zeroed properly will greatly affect accuracy as well. That is 17 out of the 52 handgun calibers on our list which comprises the majority of semi-auto cartridges in this analysis. The graph below compares them on per-round cost. Gotta say this is a poor article. These are some of the smallest all-steel magnum revolvers on the market. Probably…. 9mm. Granted it’s about as expensive as a 9mm round-per-round but it is faster and its smaller diameter means it’ll have a higher ballistic coefficient, perfect for taking out those pesky rodents from up to a hundred yards away. The pricing, though, can be all over the place. The range-topping stuff that makes the gun worthwhile can be well over a dollar a round. There are a ton of handgun calibers available out there. I think there’s a better way to hunt mid-sized and large game, though. So the polymer Judge works, but could also be written off as a gimmick. It was a blackpowder round and it went on to become a staple of the cowboy world. If you don’t mind spending more, consider the S&W 629 Performance Center Stealth Hunter model. In this article, we aim to give you a comprehensive guide on handgun calibers. For this fun, Taurus seems to have taken some inspiration from the folks at S&W with an aftermarket look balanced barrel. With the above information in mind, we recommend you consider one key thing before you make your decision – what do you want out of your gun? The .44 magnum wasn't even the most powerful handgun round then. There were a number of custom calibers that were more powerful, as in the old Howdah pistols of the 19th century. The .357 Federal load has more stopping power than any other handgun bullet including more powerful rounds such as the .44 Magnum. Remington designed this bolt action chassis pistol to get round some interesting handgun hunting regulations. Think semi-auto handguns, rifles and shotguns. With our focus on the biggest of … Shot placement is the single most important factor in stopping an assailant. No joke. It’s a challenge and it won’t be your first choice every day, but just sometimes you’ll want to wrestle the beast and send some Casull rounds down range. The key is to look at your own needs, and to match them with a choice in our guide. After every handgun caliber has been placed in its respective category, we’ll compare all of them based on their relative strengths and weaknesses in these three key areas: I was initially going to include other metrics like stopping power (for self defense rounds), one-hit-kill potential (for hunting rounds), accuracy, terminal performance and recoil to compare all listed handgun calibers against each other but decided against it because of the following reasons:eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'gunnewsdaily_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_13',130,'0','0'])); Stopping power and one-hit-kill potential in my opinion (and lot of other sensible gun nuts’) cannot be quantified for a lot of reasons. From the Ruger 10/22 to AR style 22 LR firearms and advanced competition firearms. .45 colt revolver instead loll. These guns really don’t belong in this company, but they’re powerful in their own special way and we like the effort. Dirty Harry carried a S&W model 29. A Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator .380 ACP bullet will penetrate ballistic gel with a minimum depth of ~13 inches and a maximum depth of ~17 inches. But .357 is not powerful enough to take down a Brown bear who is charging at you. But we just love Deadpool so that’s the one you get here. It remained primarily the province of handgun enthusiasts, some law enforcement personnel and hunters until 1971, when Clint Eastwood made it famous as "the most powerful handgun in the world" in the movie Dirty Harry . It’s still the most powerful semi-automatic handgun in the world by a long way and that must be for good reason. But there are old men in the wild country that trust their Ruger with their life and won’t use anything else. What are the best .22 rifles for sale in 2019? Since 2001, we have provided the latest in gun rights news, tech reviews and product information. I didn’t find that to be the case. creation in 1956, other pistols have claimed the title of most powerful handgun in the world. The most effective handgun round currently on the commercial market is the Federal .357 Magnum 125 grain jacketed hollow point (357B). 10. Don’t test that theory if you can avoid it, though. What is the most powerful rifle in the world for sale in 2020? With die-hard, rabid fans who swear by the round it’s no surprise that one of the most popular handgun calibers is the venerable .45 ACP. You can shoot the .38 Spl in a .357 revolver, but don’t go the other way around! came about in 1898 from the efforts of Smith & Wesson and its new Hand Ejector revolver to provide a relatively lightweight handgun with enough stopping power. It is not a complete list of every possible rifle calibre. Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express Revolver. As you can see, many things will effect an accuracy besides just common calibers of guns. Here are our top tips for the best places to buy ammo, and direct links to save you time looking for the right handgun cartridge. Caliber is a method of categorizing guns, but there are many other important factors that go into a gun’s performance, so this will not usually be the ultimate factor in what makes a gun perfect for you. Twitter. Wow – you’re way off on the capacity of the DE .50AE. The .38 Spl. 15466. When was the .44 magnum no longer the most powerful handgun in the world, and what replaced it? I personally wouldn’t want a revolver in .45 Long Colt though. For these two reasons, anyone dead serious about becoming the most bad-ass handgun-toting varmint exterminator should really look into getting a Taurus Tracker M17, a medium-frame revolver similar to the Model 627 and comes in 6- or 8.5-inch heavy barrel. Contrary to what the fictional character, Dirty Harry, in the early 1970s declared above. Unlike other handguns on the list with just one grain firing at a time, the Uzi Sub-Machine gun fires multiple grains at the same time, making it one of the most powerful guns in the world. Now it’s actually popular with the cowboy recreationists and the Blackhawk is as close to an old-school six shooter in this caliber as you’re like to find. Handgun calibers for hunting will be further divided into three sub-categories: varmint, medium game, and large game. It’s just too much fun and it’s $1000 well-spent. This is specialist ammunition, but it’s fairly easy to find. This is a practical gun that doesn’t need any special treatment. And it would be a frightening double act. Sportsman’s Warehouse – Awesome prices, stocks 405gr HSM Cowboy Action. If for nothing else, a bullet with too much muzzle energy will be more difficult to shoot accurately and rapidly. There are infinitely better hunting rifle options and if I wanted to hunt with a handgun, I’d really just opt for a big-bore revolver. Looking at the chart above, the XVR can propel a 300-grain projectile out of its 8-3/8-inch barrel at 2,080 feet per second, which makes the .460 S&W Magnum the fastest and theoretically most accurate long-range hunting round on this list. The only area this cartridge shines in is the suppressor. As far as muzzle energy, the .40 Super is the top dog, but availability issues have been hounding this cartridge since the company that manufactured it went out of business. Even in the old weapons, it made a more than respectable 1050fps with a shove from the black powder. As a last line of defense in your home, it’s also got a certain perverse appeal. If you’ve never shot a long barrel magnum revolver before, you’re missing out on a lot. Focus on the gray bars on the chart below and you’ll see why. Today’s most popular handgun calibers are:.22 Long Rifle (.22 LR).380 ACP (.380 Auto) Lately, it seems a popular thing in the gun world to knock the 5.56. The .17 HMR bullet flying out of a revolver barrel at 2,350 feet per second is the fastest of all varmint calibers. Helping you out with all that muzzle energy isn’t a bad idea ya know…. This gun is for blowing small shit apart and taking big shit down. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'gunnewsdaily_com-leader-2','ezslot_11',128,'0','0'])); As with varmint small caliber specifications for semi-auto handguns, the .22 LR is still the cheapest revolver round for hunting varmint. So, there is a real world reason for these guns. On the next page we also show what firearms are most popular in what states along with most popular calibers by state. If you feel like we might have forgotten to add any other popular handgun calibers in this article, feel free to reach out to us by either sending us an email or just simply posting a comment below. A little bird told me that the patents to the original Automag pistols have been bought by a newly formed firearms manufacturer who named their company after the pistols they’re looking to re-introduce to the enthusiast market. You can also order a version in 6.5 Creedmoor, .223 Remington, AAC 300 Blackout and possibly more. If you want one, buy it now…. That is precisely the point of the Ellifritz article the author references. If you’re curious about handgun hunting, then check out the best hunting handguns here, with revolvers and long slide semi autos aplenty. Enjoy the most powerful handguns in the world and feel free to buy one! It’s small, it’s a viable concealed carry and it offers something different to a standard handgun. Terminal performance is largely determined by two things: muzzle energy (which is a function of bullet weight, powder charge and barrel length) and bullet design (a function of price). And are there things about it I might not be aware of? eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'gunnewsdaily_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_2',125,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'gunnewsdaily_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_3',125,'0','1'])); The 9×25 Dillon takes the lead in the velocity department (highest orange bar, third from left) when comparing semi-auto handgun calibers intended for hunting medium game, which is not surprising — it’s like the .357 SIG on steroids. Here are the worlds most powerful hunting rifle calibers, in descending order, based solely on developed muzzle energy. Dear Sir, The single-shot Thompson/Center Contender G2 pistol looks like a novelty, until you delve beneath the surface. The 10mm is the most affordable semi-auto handgun cartridge for medium game. Well, it’s because of its popularity, due to the fact that it’s a proven manstopper and there are a huge lot of revolvers manufactured to chamber it. Now it’s so easy to forget the semi-automatic Desert Eagle, but it is still one of the most powerful weapons we have. Right? The graph above shows that the .22 LR is THE MOST affordable plinking round for any semi-auto handgun at $0.09 per round. I love this video, mainly for the proper cowboy accent. This is a real practical addition to your personal arsenal and if you’re thinking about just one gun for self-defense, this is one of the most sensible options here. GND is community supported. If you don’t  want to take on big game, maybe you can opt for the six-inch barrel instead. So get your Magnum Research BFR now and just know that Clint Eastwood approves. S&W500 in .500 S&W Magnum. Let’s take a closer look at these ten handgun calibers. This is John Moses Browning’s Government model, the World War special, shrunk down to a…,, 14 of the World’s Most Powerful Handguns – 2020. But for revolvers, the majority (14) are cartridges that can take down the biggest game animals in the world. However, it is also understandable that things can start to get confusing pretty fast! So now you can own an 1800s hunting pistol then the only question that remains is do you want to? It’s a serious handgun cartridge and that turns a gun like this into an easy investment. Almost all handguns and revolvers come with either adjustable or fixed iron sights. A few gunsmiths have even gone as far as to create handguns that fire massive rifle cartridges … The snubnose version could actually be a life-saver in bear country, or polar bear country, or a few other countries with big animals that can eat you. Much more common than more powerful newcomers, you are not only more likely to find guns and ammo in this caliber, but the .44 Magnum guns fire .44 special ammo as well. Top 3 Most Powerful Air Pistol Reviews 1. Ruger has some Blackhawks and there are a few Dan Wesson revolvers floating around for sale on the interwebz. If you want the latest and quite possibly the greatest for CCW, consider the .22 TCM. These are highly debated issues and can be very large topics in and of themselves so I won’t use these metrics. Here the NRA’s Youtube channel gets up close and personal with the 44 Mag version. At 100 yards the bullet is as powerful as a 45 is at the muzzle. With the real big guns on this list you’ll need to reset after each shot unless you’re built like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. This is why I decided not to include the .357 Magnum in our list of large game revolver calibers. These are more sensible calibers that might give your arms a fighting chance and the 45-70 Government seems to be slowly fading out. A bullet’s nose is called its “ogive”, and it is measured a different way (but we’ll not get into that). But if you’re shooting varmint from a hundred yards away, maybe you’ll need to check the velocity graph below: The .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire at $0.20 a pop is the fastest of the four semi-auto handgun varmint calibers. It is something else entirely. It was also the most expensive. Right now, ignoring the much less practical 45-70 Magnum Research offering that really is a unique thing, that’s this one. FPS Russia Shirts - me:!/thefpshowClick to tweet this vid: Power source: … The cheapest ammunition here, you … One, handgun options availability (the more competitive a round commercially, the more handguns are built for it, and the more handguns on the market, the better aftermarket support); Two, how often you’ll get to spend time in the range for practice. Because of its lighter bullets, recoil shouldn’t be as heavy as that of its bigger 50-caliber brother. Now the Pedersoli Howdah Hunter pays tributes to those outlandish pistols of times gone by. Inevitably you can order small calibers too, next time…. That comes with a steel sleeve and aluminum housing, and it’s all ported to fight muzzle rise. I don’t like messing with bullets so I have no personal experience with spoon tips. Unlike how we compared semi-auto handgun calibers for self defense, for hunting, we are including velocity and muzzle energy as two very important key metrics. FPS Russia Shirts - me:!/thefpshowClick to tweet this vid: There were a number of custom calibers that were more powerful, as in the old Howdah pistols of the 19th century. 45acp makes bigger holes. We understand that there are many ways to categorize handguns, but we found that this was the most relevant because it allows you to make your decision based on what the gun is used for. In my opinion, the most viable, off-the shelf calibers today for hunting are the very popular .45 ACP, and the 10mm, and to a lesser extent (despite popularity), … I think we might see a lot more people following in your footsteps and packing a little hand cannon! The caliber of a handgun is measured according to the diameter of the inside of the gun’s barrel, or the diameter of the bullets it can take. The Taurus Raging Hunter is also last year’s hunting handgun of the year, for us and a whole lot of other, probably more important people. HANDGUN CALIBERS COMPARISON: FROM SMALLEST TO LARGEST [2020], Unlike how we compared semi-auto handgun calibers for self defense, for hunting, we are including velocity and muzzle energy as two very important key metrics. A great subcompact 1911 truly is a work of art. So, there’s a legit reason to own one. Depends on many things..We talking home defense or carry?? I don’t think it is on a par with the 44 Magnum in terms of power, incidentally. Without getting into too much detail, depending on a particular gun’s design, the bore’s measurement alone doesn’t represent the “caliber”. With great size comes high recoil. To see a list of calibers based simply on muzzle energy, see the Most Powerful Calibers page. Magnum Research has seemingly bowed to common sense and created chambers for the S&W 500 round, the 454 Casull and right down to the 45 Long Colt. Magnum Research’s distinctive 50 AE still does a roaring trade as a rental gun at ranges round the country because there is just nothing like it. Sometimes you just don’t need a legit reason, though, to put a hunting rifle round in a pistol. These are big-bore handguns designed for big game hunting and survival in big bear country, which is about the toughest test the American population is ever going face. But they don’t come up that often…. They have the stopping power of a cannon and they are the baddest kind of personal defense. These lists contain the current popular calibres and some wildcats. This is the kind of gun that gets wheeled out at SHOT Show and then never happens, but it’s here and you can buy it. Some revolver enthusiasts have their revolver’s cylinder reamed by competent gunsmiths to allow for moon clips. Sometimes you want the best handgun for one particularly destructive job. Just…. This is a movie icon that starred in Deadpool, for instance, and The Matrix. Truthfully it’s a terrible personal defense gun and it really needs to be laid out on sandbags, or on a bipod, to get the best from it. Other supposedly weaker 50-caliber wildcat rounds like the .500 Linebaugh, the .500 Wyoming Express and the .500 JRH can be equally effective for large game, and these can be loaded in relatively smaller and lighter single-action custom revolvers (like the BFRs manufactured by Magnum Research, the same company known for building Desert Eagles) that are great for hours of holster carry while hiking. But it is a pistol, so it’s one of the most powerful. This is a sniper rifle of a revolver, designed to be used with a bi-pod and scope. It’s about … Is the Remington 700-CP even a pistol? You’ve been warned. The revolver calibers below are the only three that I think will be great for hunting deer up to a hundred yards away. That wraps up our list of the most popular handgun calibers. The Taurus Raging Bull was the kind of weapon you have strapped to your thigh if you work in bear country or the African bush. Best regards, These are just what we think are the most common handgun calibers you’ll see out there. The key to evaluating handgun stopping power, however, is to look at the goal of using a defensive handgun, and that’s to stop/end the attack. I will give a short basic answer.. 9mm/38 is the minimum i would use in a handgun. You probably will, just don’t get too carried away with the shotgun pistol thing…. It’s absolute gunporn in its own way and if you just want one, big, powerful handgun, then I’d say it’s between this and the S&W 500. The most powerful handgun in the world has to be the most punishing to shoot, too. I don't need a complete list, just the popular calibers would be ok. (like the50 44 45 38 357 22 9 10 40 etc) Thank you If you didn’t have time to read through the entirety of this article, here’s everything summarized: Our Recommendation for buying Ammo Online lately is LuckyGunner. Sounds pretty straightforward, but accuracy also depends on a lot of other variables outside of the shooter’s marksmanship skills. So it’s hugely versatile, quick to load and this single-shot pistol feels sumptuous in the hand. The most powerful handguns on sale are a different ballgame now and handgun calibers just keep getting bigger as the technology emerges to contain them. Let’s be honest, it’s not the best CCW in the world. Of course, I’m looking at valid reasons for using a hand cannon, like practical applications. This article was first published in Unapologetically American. The learning and spending curve is steep in the LR community, especially in the top tier. Or if you just want to see our suggestions for the Best Ammo. With a new barrel, this break action pistol can accommodate everything from 22LR to 45/70 Government. Before I got really into handguns, I remember some of the questions I would often ask myself: To me, the word “caliber” as it pertains to firearms is a label — not just a measurement of a bullet or a bore’s dimensions — but a way to identify the intrinsic qualities of a cartridge that makes it unique. It’s more. Join 70,000 Readers For Our Weekly Discounts. Yes, quite possibly, in which case have all the fun in the world. Now? The Ruger Super Redhawk 454 Casull with a 2.5 inch barrel is basically the pocket pistol from Hell. Desert Eagle. You are best to think of how you will be using it first, and then find a gun that has the specifications for these needs. This is no self-defense handgun. Most of these calibers are also fairly expensive to shoot in both ammo and barrel replacements. As a last line of personal defense in a gun safe by your bed, it could be an awesome surprise for a home invader. Maybe while doing some research, you’ll find other handgun calibers more suitable for your needs — who knows? Developed in 1904 by a … Smith & Wesson .500. It’s machined from shiny stainless steel and it’s a weapon before you even load it. Just over $1000 is a bargain for an 800-1000 yard gun. And looking at the ballistic performance graph below, the hottest .357 Magnum hunting loads are almost in the same energy category as the .41 Magnum, another magnum round that fills the gap between the .357 and the .44 magnums. Suffice it to say not every target hit by a specific bullet center of mass will react the same way: humans have different stature and varying levels of willpower, and bad guys high on meth, regardless of physiological and psychological limitations, will be even harder to take down. Of all of those tested, this one was by far the most powerful air pistol. But, if you use slugs, then it’s a totally different proposition and you get range, as well as power. The longer barrel also means it should be more accurate and more powerful. Whereas with semi-auto handgun calibers, the only real contender for varmint is the .22 WMR, that is not the case with revolver calibers. It has the long double action, or the crisp single action with the hammer thumbed back. To flesh out all the details, I created a table that lists all of the most common (and not-so-common) handgun calibers and all pertinent info about them: It’s by no means a complete list, as I’m only including available info online for a total of 52 different handgun calibers, 23 of which are cartridges for semi-autos, 25 are for revolvers and the remaining two wildcards (not wildcats), namely the .22 LR and .22 WMR, are kind of all over the place because they can be chambered in rifles, revolvers and semi-autos. Actually a detuned compromise only semi-auto handgun calibers too many variables involved slowly fading.... You care to mention cheaper loads, and is taking off as a metric will not be aware of stay. Doesn ’ t quite a rifle round through a 2.5 inch barrel is basically the pocket from... Lives than most powerful handgun calibers know carry and it ’ s a catch — these new fluted bullet designs can be large... 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