Top 10 Ridiculously Huge Handguns


The world of firearms is much like the world of male bodybuilding. Iron is pumped, stretched to its limit, and filled with all sorts of volatile chemicals designed to generate explosive power and an impressive aesthetic presence. Following the trends of the overbuilt, steroid-injected weight lifters of recent decades, the human obsession with disproportionately large firearms has only increased as the demand for “more stopping power and a bigger hole” has become the popular and widely accepted trend for judging a weapon’s legitimacy. This trend has literally driven certain weapons engineers stark raving mad, and has raised the issue among seasoned firearms experts: Size matters. But how big is too big?

10. Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum Revolver (Dirty Harry’s gun)

Magnum Dirty Harry

True or False: The “giant handgun” craze began with the Dirty Harry movie series. The answer: False. Harry’s use of the outrageously chambered .44 Magnum revolver was widely popularized, leading to the sales of countless Smith & Wesson and other spin-off model .44s. Action sequences in the movie depict bad guys flying backward through windows or spinning in circles before landing flat on the ground after being struck by Harry’s “badass .44.” The simple fact of the matter is that no projectile, short of a 20mm cannon or .50 cal BMG, will cause the human body to fly backwards through the air or even change direction to a noticeable degree. Despite its famed impracticality, the .44 Magnum was not the first oversized revolver and it would certainly not be the last.

9. Desert Eagle .45 Long Colt / .410 Shotgun Load Pistol


Somewhere along the line weapons engineers realized that if a shotgun and a pistol got married, they would produce a baby that looked like it was on steroids and who could hold a .410 shotgun shell or a .45 long Colt pistol round. The results were variants on the classic Long Colt revolver like Taurus’ “The Judge” and Desert Eagle’s “.410/.45 Long Colt” revolvers. While the .410 shotgun shell theory has tested well in close quarters scenarios, it is not highly recommended for anyone attempting to engage a target at over, say, fifteen feet. The shotgun blast, since it is spun by the rifling of the pistol barrel, will fly in a circular pattern and spread to the size of a small car after 15 or more yards. Not only will you risk missing your target, you will risk hitting other targets that may not have been targets in the first place.

8. Desert Eagle .50 Caliber Handgun

This baby is quite unique. The Desert Eagle .50 cal. is one of the largest (if not the largest) magazine-fed handguns in the world. Developed for use in the Israel’s military, the .50 caliber projectile packs a massive punch that will tear apart any human target. The gun looks incredibly modern and “sexy” (as some would describe it), thus increasing its popularity amongst gangsters, young people, and crime bosses. The Desert Eagle brand, although they create a multitude of other pistols, has become synonymous to meaning “fifty caliber handgun,” and when a person refers to a “Dezzy” you can bet they mean the .50 cal.

7. Smith & Wesson Model 460XVR Compensated Hunter

Leave it to the hunters to begin making a series of firearms to dwarf anything else on the U.S. production schedule. These moose killing, beer drinking, moonshine stilling, happy-go-lucky animal hunters needed a revolver that would penetrate dense brush, foliage, even small trees, and still bring down a grizzly bear. A 5-shot-wonder, the 460XVR, as its name suggests, will compensate for the hunter’s package size and allow a brief moment of glory in the field comparable only to dropping an atomic bomb.

6. Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum

Read the piece about the 460XVR and imagine adding .04 calibers to the diameter of the round and pinching more powder into the larger cartridge. I once witnessed this projectile strike a deck of Bicycle poker cards at 25 yards. The deck of cards literally, and I mean literally, disintegrated into the air.

5. .50 Caliber Black Powder Wheel Lock Pistol

The .50 caliber flintlock or hammerlock pistols date back hundreds and hundreds of years. The need for the .50 caliber chambering was due to the production standards of the day. A .50 caliber round is exactly one half inch in diameter, making it easy to measure and reproduce accurately by any weapon or ammunition manufacturer. Back in those fabled times, little clamps were produced in the shapes of this common load, meaning that any regular metallurgist could melt down a block of lead or steel and create a projectile for his weapon. It was as easy as using a modern day hole punch. Couple this easy-to-replicate ball projectile (this is not a pointed bullet, rather a ball which is not rifled) with the fact that you can put a whole heck of a lot of black powder behind it, and you have created a weapon which can take down a horse—much less a man—with relative ease. But remember, you only get one shot, and that one shot is not going to be accurate beyond 15 yards and will severely decelerate beyond this distance. Why would you want one for self defense? You wouldn’t. Regardless, they are highly prized collector’s items.

4. Colt 45-70 Peacemaker


At some point during the 1970s some genius was under the impression that the .45 caliber Colt Peacemaker (John Wayne’s gun of choice) did not “have enough stopping power.” How anyone could arrive at this conclusion is beyond sane reasoning, given that discharging the standard .45 caliber load feels akin to slapping a brick wall. American engineering, however, devised a way to make this gun even larger and more powerful. Thus, the 45-70 load, originally developed for use in an infantry and/or “buffalo” rifle, was introduced into the sphere of modern day handguns.

3. Magnum Research 45-70 Government Hand Cannon

Despite what some people will tell you, there are variants on the standard 45-70 government load. Some feel like a jackhammer, while others feel like you’ve pulled the pin on a grenade and forgot to let go. The “Hand Cannon” delivers that good old “grenade-in your-hand” feeling. It is a weapon that should not be fired by the unsuspecting individual, or anyone for that matter. It is utterly beyond practicality in every sense of the word. Certain models measure over two feet in length and are impossible to wield (safely or effectively) with one arm

2. WTS .50 BMG (Browning Machine gun Cartridge) Pistol

Beyond all reasonable doubt, this is the largest and most formidable handgun you could ever actually wield in a gunfight. Following in the footsteps of Hitler’s obsession with giant railroad cannons, the Germans are still producing the biggest, most outlandish crap on the market today. The .50 Browning Machinegun cartridge was designed for use against tanks, airplanes, armored personnel carriers, and in some cases it may be used by high-powered sniper rifles. It is more than twice as powerful as the fabled 45-70 government round, and one can only imagine that shooting it in a pistol format would be painful, unwieldy, and quite hazardous for everyone involved. If a soft target is hit with a .50 caliber BMG bullet, it will be shredded/exploded into pieces. The gargantuan .50 caliber death-monster projectile can fly at a breakneck speed for miles, even after penetrating one or two targets. Discharging it at your common household thief is ill advised… unless you don’t mind the possibility of inadvertently pegging one of your neighbors. Would someone be scared of it? Yes. Would they run away? Yes. Would you be able to use your right hand to jot down the grocery list post-firing? Doubtful.

1. Pfeifer Zeliska 28mm Revolver

Large Hand Gun

The biggest, most worthless manifestation of an inferiority complex ever created by one man. Originally manufactured under the name “Remington Model 1859,” this copy of the formerly U.S.-made revolver was built by Ryszard Tobys and measures 4-foot-(1.26 m) long. To give some basis for comparison, the 28mm projectile is 8mm wider than the U.S. military’s fabled “20mm Cannon,” a weapon used primarily for destroying tanks, sinking boats, or shooting down heavily armored airplanes. While entirely impractical and, one would guess, impossible to use as an even mildly effective tool for any purpose other than felling trees, the 28mm revolver has made its mark as truly being the world’s largest pistol. And simultaneously the world’s most comical waste of lead.

by Jesse Stretch

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  1. Most of your info is wrong. It is obvious you are not well versed in firearms knowledge. I suggest you remove this page until you have corrected your information. I leave it to you to educate yourself to the level needed to produce an accurate article of this type, without the ludicrous errors.

    • kinna sad day when none of you mentioned really the ballistics involved ill stick with my Tokarev 7.62 x25 m57 at 1805 fps your going be highly challenged to find a magnum and that btw was the first magnum, or any other of your .45s and 9mms to beat it. just sayin. US Army 19 kilo we know a thing or two about big guns lol.

  2. Excellent post, Pfeifer Zeliska 28mm Revolver is the best hand gun I have ever seen in this list.

  3. Enjoyed reading the comments. Next week I get my 15 inch 50 Alaskan MGM Barrel for my Thompson Encore. I know I can shoot it once, what I’m hoping is that I can shoot it several times a week. Anyone shot something similar??

  4. Aguywhoactuallyknowsguns on

    There’s a lot of bad information, incorrect information in this article. Shooting a .45 does not feel “like smacking a brick wall” unless you suffer from some kind of brittle bone disease. A Judge is not an oversized gun (pretty sure you’re also wrong about the spread and effective range), and that’s not a 28mm pistol as number 1. That’s a .60 caliber Nitro. A 28mm round is MUCH bigger than that.

  5. Um, I’m an average-sized guy and I don’t have any problems shooting my Ruger .45 LC with one hand. I have a derringer that shoots .45 LC and 410 shotshell, again, one handed. The Ruger has just about the same kick and muzzle flip as my wife’s Charter Arms .38 Special, and both are revolvers. I also have a barrel insert for common flare guns that also enables shooting .45 LC and 410 shotshells. accuracy is garbage because the barrel is effectively the same as my derringer. kick is the same, though.Desert Eagle .44 mag? One handed, and I practice with either hand. A bit of a kick and some muzzle flip, but not as much as a Dirty Harry revolver. That’s because DE semi-auto pistols are designed so well, with a big counterweight at the end of the barrel. A .45 ACP through a Colt 1911? the kick is minimal and muzzle flip is as well.

    Sir, I understood your humor, but your fact checking needs more practice.

  6. Way to go, Jesse Stretch. You have successfully managed to make yourself sound like an anti- gun lobbying asshat. If an armed intruder broke into your home in the middle of the night, how long would it take you to fetch that pocket knife out of your purse, sir?? This article would have been written much better without the commentary….. my ten- year old could have done a much better job. MUCH, much better.

  7. The last picture is NOT a 28mm. It is a .600 nitro. The picture and name Pfeifer Zeliska are correct and match but it’s not 28mm. The four foot revolver the article talks about is double or more the size of the one you see.

  8. I am not sure what anti-gun jackass wrote this article, but the information and editorial comments are terrible!

  9. Would have been nice to include the .357 Maximum also. The following is from Wikipedia (I have a terrible memory and had to resort to this):
    ” The .357 Maximum, formally known as the .357 Remington Maximum or the .357 Max, is a super magnum handgun cartridge originally developed by Elgin Gates as the wildcat .357 SuperMag. The .357 Maximum was introduced into commercial production as a joint-venture by Remington Arms Company and Ruger in 1983 as a new chambering for the Ruger Blackhawk. Shortly thereafter, Dan Wesson Firearms and Thompson/Center Arms introduced firearms in this cartridge. United Sporting Arms chambered it in their Silhouette series single-action revolvers. It is a .357 Magnum case lengthened 0.300 inches (7.6 mm). Based on the .357 Magnum cartridge, a revolver or single-shot pistol designed for the .357 Max can fire .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .38 Long Colt, and .38 Short Colt rounds. Intended primarily as a silhouette cartridge, such high velocity and energy levels have hunting applications.[2] SAAMI pressure level for this cartridge is set at 48,000 pounds per square inch (330 MPa) CUP.

    Despite stellar performance, the high pressure and velocity of the cartridge caused flame cutting of revolver top straps (due to the use of light 110 and 125 grains (7.1 and 8.1 g) bullets), and the cartridge has since been dropped by all manufacturers who so chambered their revolvers. Single shot pistols and rifles (e.g., Thompson/Center Contender) are still available in this caliber, and remain popular among hand loaders.”

    This weapon came with either an 11″ or 14″ barrel.

    While it may not classify as a”huge personal firearm” it isn’t exactly a small one either.

    Given my choice of sidearms I’ll stick with the .357 magnum.

  10. Finger of God on

    Oh and by the way Bigger is better, I use and trust my 629 classic 44 mag S&W in brushed stainless with Pac, grips. 300 grain silver tip hollow point. Just in the event I come across a werwolf. I haven’t yet but it’s nice to know if I do I’m not shooting a toy rimfire 22. End Ps. The round of choice for most law enforcement officers is the 40 S&W because it’s bigger than a 9 mm and it works like a 44. stick that in your 22 pipe and smoke it.

    • The 40 S&W only exists because after the FBI commissioned development of the 10mm they found that the affirmative action hires they’re forced to live with couldn’t handle the full power charge.
      How’s it feel to know that your “Massive Manstopper Cartridge” was born out of the reality that women can’t handle high caliber loads?

  11. finger of god on

    All this talk about the 22. Come on it’s a varmint round yes you can kill just about anything with a well placed shot go ahead take one on a lion hunt and you will be coming out of the lions ass in the late afternoon. If you want the best round for all of north America and big game go to the one and only the master of all, the finger of GOD ! 416 Remington magnum 400 swift A frame soft point partition. Bring home the rest of the meat and fill your freezer with pre tenderized chunks. I hit a ten point buck in the chest at over 100 yards through a three inch young tree about 32 inches up, the round held together took his heart OUT and I found the round stuck in his left rump roast. I dressed him in his tracks. When I pull the trigger, I bring home meat. One shot Done !

  12. Jacob Avery Foote on

    That’s an uneducated statement. A bullet wound is a bullet wound. No matter the caliber you WILL be on your ass. You’re not Rambo kid..

  13. Jacob Avery Foote on

    Desert eagle is not a brand name, they are made by magnum research. And the judge is certainly not an “oversized handgun”. Just saying..

  14. Governments are bankrupt non-sovereign fictional private corporations for profit.
    They do not exist in reality but only in the minds of people.
    Corporate fictions cannot be harmed, cannot suffer loss, cannot lawfully sue or be sued, cannot be cross examined or testify.
    Living men and women cannot observe, lawfully understand, agree, or contract with a fiction.
    The fictional corporate judicial system of codes… for profit is a fake. and does not apply to living people unless they agree to it (giving it form and function by recognizing it and accepting it).
    There is no money of substance except the value of man’s labour (true sweat equity). All other “money” is nothing more than fictional fraudulent non-backed script debt money of account.
    Man can lawfully chose to accept and live within\be governed by a society or not, including in\under the fictional private corporate Law Society (etc.) (for profit) and their private codes\rules which only apply to the members of that society.

  15. just shaking my head at the nimrods on

    i will never understand why people will rattle off all kinds of specs of utter jibberish and actually not knowing what they are talking about …doesnt anybody get this is an article of plain entertainment?

  16. silhouetteshooter on

    Stumbled upon this post…..some funny posts; and some very good serious anecdotes.
    Just got done reading about the fellow jogging up in Alaska carrying a 38 Spl., they found the empty gun but hard to distinguish the human remains from the scat. Seems they found the bear with six slugs in it and oh yes, it was still alive…and well.
    Moral of the story: When in Alaska, carry a BIG,BIG caliber gun, whether rifle or pistol. Hmmm. Maybe a 45-70? A bit heavy, but the gun you choose to carry may save your life!

  17. If the puny .44 Magnum, actually .429 but that dont sound as good, makes the list, then the auther needs to do his research properly. just one name, John Linebaugh. Only possible reason his guns are not on the list, is that they are practical, not silly. good ballance of power, weight, and size. I do mean the ammo, there are other good people building guns for his cartridges.

  18. I was hoping to see the phelps heritage 1 45-70 revolver. Not a whole lot made, but really neat.

  19. Dave Trainmore on

    I finally got my hands on a S&W Governor.

    I finally got to look over and handle a Governor. Now, first, it really is a second gen. Taurus Judge. Second, S&W is full of it. This monster shouldn’t be carried on horseback, or on a four wheeler, in a holster, with any round, shotgun or pistol, under it’s hammer. That old sliding shoe was never equal to a transfer bar, when exposed to the rigors of using it in the field. It’s the old bugaboo of something creeping into your hip holster, and jamming between the exposed firing pin and the hammer.

    I always felt that since the sliding shoe was designed decades ago for a hammer mounted firing pin, it should never have been used with the later frame mounted pins. If something brittle got between the frame and the hammer mounted firing pin, then it always wedged the pin away from any primer.

    S & W is also playing coy by not including their skate key wrench with these new shrouded barreled revolvers. But I can beat them on this. There are some long barreled Judges out now, but I haven’t read any reviews on increased thump from them, shooting either bird shot or buck.

    But what I have read are gripes about an importer, “fine regulating”, Sabatti Double rifles by grinding away the riflings on one side of the muzzle of one barrel. This results in the piece going back to the factory, pronto, as the D.G. bullets won’t penetrate as deep as they should, due to skewing. So, putting my idea of a longer barrel, slower twist, and maybe this “fine regulation”, to deliberately skew a .45 caliber bullet, would put the Governor way out in front of it’s competition, IMO. Don’t ask me how I know this works, but a skewing bullet makes a lot bigger hole, and it cannot go to sleep.

  20. Cultured Heathern on

    “Discharging the standard .45 caliber load feels akin to slapping a brick wall.”

    Are you serious? Have you ever even fired a .45 Long Colt? Have you ever seen one fired? (not on youtube, but for real). Very mild recoil. Obviously you have just cut and pasted all this stuff. You have absolutely no knowledge of firearms what so ever.

    • Please don’t tell me how bad a .45 long colt recoils. I have a 7 1/2 in. Ruger that I enjoy shooting and I am not aware of all that terrible recoil. I have loaded all my shells since 1958 and also cast 95 % of my bullets. My load for the .45 LC is Lyman mould throwing a 250 hard ( wheel weights mix with alimony) and 20 grains of 2400 powder. Does it really recoil that bad? Maybe I should quit shooting it. Just kidding folks. Norman Hall

      • “… mix with alimony”. lolz. Norm, didn’t anybody ever tell you, di-vorce and firearms don’t mix. You slay me.

        Well, it is true, very few weapons in this world equal the hard-hitting stopping power of alimony.

  21. the -50 BMG ‘pistol’ is a spoof, and was never actually built. Imagine trying to fire that cartridge from a pistol! It’s like trying to hold half a stick of dynamite!
    Furthermore, the no.1 gun on the list is just stupid. 28mm calibre? The gun in the picture fires a .600 Nitro round, and you can find film of some poor sap firing it on Youtube. The poor bugger ended up flat on his back from the recoil, and the 4 foot sheet of flame coming from the muzzle almost cooked him.

  22. I believe the ,30 Mauser (7.63X25) was rated as the most powerful handgun from its inception in 1896 until the advent of the .357 magnum in the 1930’s. It is certainly awkward, but both accurate and reliable. Many people shoot it today, and it is generally aknowledged as the first PDW 9MILITARY PERSONAL DEFENCE WEAPON

  23. Personally, I like my Kimber .45 compact. I have a 1911 A1 but it’s too large for CCW, the Kimber is a nice piece for personal ( up close ) protection and makes the same sized holes as my 1911 A1 with out the bulk.

  24. Dave Trainmore on

    These supposedly over sized Goliaths are all just 1st. Gen. production weapons, hatched directly from prototypes. The first 2nd Gen. revolver looks to be the new S&W Governor. It’s flexible enough as is, and can be further refined into the smokeless version of the BPM conversion to the Uberti Walker Colts. I believe a fluted barrel, 8 to 9 inches long can be screwed in, with a shoulder to catch the Smith’s existing barrel shroud, and slow twist rifled, for that same 460 cased BPM.. It would look like the Dan Wesson Alaskan of a few years back . It would be a modern Dragoon revolving pistol, that would double down on the power of the 410 shot loads in the original Governor’s 3 inch bbl.. That 600 Nitro, German rig is a modern update of their Bollers. These are only Beer Festival target pistol/carbines, today. Every number using a fixed brass cartridge has some use on board a fishing boat, against a large hooked or netted shark. But they are developing mechanical, limb, prosthetics that might replicate the Knight in Armour, in the next decade or so. That’s what those Bollers were originally designed to stop. in WWI, German snipers behind steel shields required the Brits to resort to elephant guns to eliminate them. As soon as some crooks or drug cartelistas, figure they can armor plate someone to be both invulnerable, and really quick, on foot, one of these bigger hammers would start to make sense. But the developments need to be done before you run into some kind of hydraulically powered Steel Suited marathon runner, packing 300 lbs. of coke. Also, if you need a music wire, “cheese cutter”, shotgun shell to clip someone’s wire guided anti tank weapon, before it makes hash out of you. The biggest elephant express rifle won’t get it done, but something like the new Taurus 28 gauge revolver in the hands of a picket line troop, might save the transportation. The U.S. Army allegedly used a couple of illegally purchased 50 Barrett’s, seized from a Montana religious compound in their assault on a strong point in Grenada, back in the Reagan years, IIRC. I can visualize USBP agents grabbing up handfuls of these giant Taurus’s, if their patrol rigs come under “Arab Spring” wire guided missile attacks, down along the Rio Grande. Those bad boys will just wait, if they see someone with a pump shotgun. But a holstered 28 gauge sidearm isn’t all that obvious, from across the river. A suitcase launched Sager, is nowhere near the person aiming it. So machinguning the heat source at the launch point won’t get you anywhere. You have to clip it’s spidery copper control wire. That’s the downfall of the early Sagers, they have one rear mounted rocket engine, and if it’s too powerful, it just melts it’s own control wire. That’s why our Dragons had computer controlled engines firing out of the flanks of the missile body. And that’s where it’s “hop, skip, and jump”, trajectories came from. I know this is pretty far fetched, but it’s going to be better than nothing for the Border Patrol, when the SHTF, in another year or two. Either Obama wins and we have waves of contraband coming across openly, or the Repubs win and the drug Cartels start panicking as they lose all their smuggling routes, after the elections. That armored Cyborg smuggler running across the Arizona desert under power, is going to dwarf the problems encountered back in that infamous Hollywood shootout of those two bullet proof thugs. Add night vision, and camouflage, and that mechanical Mexican jumping bean, will be as trying, as running down a wild mustang stallion, on horseback, in moonlight. Cheers!

    • You miss the point. No one is going to spend this kind of cash unless they ENJOY loud toys that make holes in paper, blow up plastic milk jugs full of water, and generally are FUN.

      Me, I think people who sit in little houses on the ice with a fishing line through a little hole in the ice are as nuts as the people who people who jump out of perfectly good airplanes. Everybody has a different view on entertainment. Why some people can actually watch Opera from more that thirty seconds without vomiting!

      Different strokes for different folks

    • Verne Babcock on

      Never shot a sw 500 but own a 454 raging bull I love this gun it shoots very accurate although heavy, to me it seems the 454 is one of the most or is the largest hand gun , now tiger is coming out with a 454 casull snub nose 6 shot I never seen such a large gun shoot so accurate

  25. I just picked up a .700 Nitro round for my collecdtion. It sits besides a .600 Nitro and a .50 BMG. Its really amazing that the .700 Nitro is now the bigest rifle round in the world thats currently available in either bolt or double rifles.

  26. Thank You Jesse Stretch for helping me decide which firearm to get! I was just sitting here lamenting over how small my penis was, when I happened upon your diatribe, and now I know WITHOUT A DOUBT which enormously huge and powerful firearm I’m going to get! This is so cool that I found this! Thank you so much! You have no idea how this benefits my ego! If it weren’t for you and your very informative information, I wouldnt buy a massive firearm at all! — thanks, drive

  27. #1 is a 600 nitro express revolver not 28mm, and if your judging by fire power the 600 nitro express has 900 gr (58 g) SP/FMJ bullet, fires at 2,050 ft/s (620 m/s) and hits with 8,400 ft·lbf (11,400 J) while the .50 BMG with 647 gr (41.9 g) bullet fires at 3,044 ft/s (928 m/s) and hits with 13,144 ft·lbf (17,821 J) which is quite a bit more force, but if you are judging by size and weight the Pfeifer Zeliska 600 nitro express is 13.23 lbs while the WTS .50 BMG Pistol is 15. 87 pounds so once again # 1 and #2 are mixed up and #1 is just WRONG


  28. Most of these posters seemed to miss the point that this article was about ridiculously huge handguns, not sensible handguns or self-defense handguns or hunting handguns. That is why it was titled "Top 10 Ridiculously Huge Handguns".

    There are many reasons for making things the way that they are made. Practicality, economy, and asthetics are only a few.

    If everything that we made (and bought) had to be practical and make sense, we wouldn't have Corvettes, Hummers, iPads, gas-powered leaf blowers, jet-skis, million-dollar houses, thousand-dollar wines, etc.

    So, yeah, a .45-70 chambered pistol seems silly, but someone enjoys theirs. And for no other reason than that it entertains them.

    Personally, I have fun shooting my .22. It's cheap, quiet and doesn't make my hand hurt after 2 rounds. But to each his own.

  29. the .50 desert eagle was never for military use, that is a total myth. it was developed by "Magnum research institute" of the US, when it was about 80% complete they commissioned the "Israel military institute" a weapons manufacturing company in Israel, to finish and finalize the design then start manufacturing them. the gun was manufactured for marketing purposes and as a sport/range gun. the Desert eagle never has and never will see military use, the gun is to expensive, heavy, unwieldy, unreliable and over all to crappy to make an effective combat weapon. the only thing it has going for it is the fact that it looks cool and intimidating which has made it a popular choice for movies and video games. its nothing more then a big expensive "fun" gun.

  30. Actually, though they say Dirty Harry used a .44 Magnum Smith and Wesson, he actually was carrying a .41 Magnum. Something to do with what blanks were available. Also, you totally skipped the .44 AutoMag

  31. Sorry Dave, I can't let your comment go without saying something.

    It sure does take real skill to hunt with a hand gun. But what are you hunting? Elephants?

    What range are you shooting over? What kind of laser sight do you use? Fair chance?

    If you really want to give your prey a fair chance try hunting with a bow and arrows.

    You need to get very close and accuracy is paramount for a quick kill. The other way

    is to run your prey down with a spear. To hunt wild pigs all you need is a big knife.

    Cut down a small sapling and sharpen one end to a keen point. When you find some pigs,

    just run at them and stab them with your spear. Sometimes you have to run a long way because

    they don't hang about for long. That's hunting and very satisfying. A bit quieter too.

    • I intend to go brown bear hunting with my bow but I would like to have a s&w 460 on my hip just in case

  32. As is typical of articles like this, it starts off with insults and continues throughout. Nobody ever thinks to ask people who have these sorts of weapons what they use them for, Take the .500 S&W Magnum and its little brother, the .460. Penis jokes aside, they are nothing more or less than weapons for hunting that give animals a fair chance to get away given the difficult nature of hunting with a handgun. People often say that hunting requires no skill… well, with those it does. It also kills the animal in a more humane manner due to the impact mass and velocity.

    But hey, don't let logic or thought impede your ability to look like an a55 on the Internet. Better to write a polemic like this and have the barking-head brigade support your insults with more insults. Because as we all know, the best thing to do at all times is to denigrate people as much and as frequently as possible.

  33. Contrarian View on

    Jesse, I invite you to take an NRA beginner course (you can find a link at and learn how to use the manly tools of free, peaceable citizens. I guarantee you will learn much that you don't know now.

  34. Roger Kennedy on

    Interesting site. I even own a couple of these handguns.

    You might want to review the website below because the Pfeifer-Zeliska revolver is a one-off chambered in .600 Nitro Express Magnum, not 28mm. It has an overall length of 21.65 inches and weighs 13.23 pounds.

  35. Edward John Radford on

    In Australia we don't get many people invading our homes.

    Hand gun ownership is restricted to club members only.

    We have practical pistol, target and metallic silhouette shooting clubs.

    The pistols shown above would be okay for metallic silhouette as one shoots from a stable position.

    For practical pistol, my favorite, a semi automatic pistol of 9-11 mm is best. I used to shoot a Colt .45 officer model, with heavy duty main spring and lowered ejection port. It was a bit short for anything over 50 metres but was quick to draw and easy to conceal. Very practical. If I was to buy a new gun it would be a Glock 10mm, with a compensator.

    The guns shown above would be good for hurting your friend's hands as a joke. They would also look great fired at night. The flames look great in photo's. That's about all they're good for.

  36. I'm a retired police officer and am legally allowed to carry a fire arm. My personal choice is a .40 cal. Glock Model 27. Small enough to carry discretely. I drop mine in my back pocket and leave my shirt tail out to cover it. But the caliber is sufficient for anything I'll encounter. Carries a nine round magazine. If I get into something that calls for more than nine shots carrying any more wouldn't help, because I'd already be too dead to reload.

  37. the only thing that is scarry

    (at least for anybody who really cares about his or his

    loved ones safety)

    is having some lowlife thug break into your house or

    use his status as a criminal to be free and clear of any of

    the endless absurd criminall kissing anti gun laws that

    are made by our esteemed politicians that think that they are the only

    ones that quallify for our second amendment rights….)

    and have that thug be the only one that has a "scary"

    big,small,or any other size gun…

    • Caring for your loved ones means not keeping dangerous weapons in your house. "Firearms injuries are the second leading cause of non-natural death in childhood and adolescence. (CDC, 2004) Accidental shooting deaths are most commonly associated with one or more children playing with a gun they found in the home. (Choi, et al, 1994) The person pulling the trigger is a friend, family member, or the victim. (Harruff, 1992)"

      • The study you mentioned is a flawed study, plain and simple. The sample data was overly large, and contained everything from hunting accidents, suicides, accidental death due to a poorly educated minor locating a gun (let's not tell little billy, we'll just hide it and hope that he doesn't find it and confuse it with his toys), gang members, drug dealers, and murders. Gang related injury due to firearms alone is enough to skew the numbers well into the realm of idiocy. The fact that it includes suicides (The person pulling the trigger is a friend, family member, or the victim. (Harruff, 1992)) skews the numbers further. Anyone who is set on killing themselves will do so no matter what means are available to them. If they own a gun, they will use it because it is quick and can be painless. If they don't, they will hang themselves, use poison, slash their wrists, et cetera. I could probably write a study saying that owning a car makes you far more likely to commit vehicular homicide, simply by running the number of car related deaths against the number of car owners. If I include drunk driving, accidents involving another vehicle, accidents involving a pedestrian, suicide by car exhaust, accidents not involving another party, and any other deaths involving a vehicle, then compare it to the number of vehicle owners, I'm pretty sure I can make it look like owning a car is a death sentence and public transit is the way to go. A better study would be “Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun,” Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, in The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Northwestern University School of Law, Volume 86, Number 1, Fall, 1995


        “Guns in the Medical Literature – A Failure of Peer Review.” Dr. Suter, Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. March 1994.

        • A nice rebuttal, just not terribly accurate. To assume that the victim is committing suicide ignores the very many accidental deaths of children who find guns.

          Yes, parents should educate their kids about gun safety. But no, education is not a means to prevent a curious kid from playing with a gun and killing themselves or a sibling.

          I am not a proponent of most gun control laws, but I refute the "slippery slope" stance of the NRA and other groups who say that removing armor piercing rounds from the market, or fully automatic weapons, will lead to the eventual removal of all gun rights. No one needs an automatic weapon to protect themselves or to hunt any game on this Earth. And yes, it is the role of our government to set rational limits, however poorly they may go about it in some cases.

        • First and foremost, that Zeliska revolver on #1 is .600 nitro express, not even close to 28mm.

          Now, your doctor is something on the order of 1,500 times more likely to accidentally kill you than your gun is, and no one’s outlawing doctors. Teach your children about guns and let them fire them with supervision. Replace curiosity with experience. That is how you make your house safe.

          Does it work absolutely every time? No, but power outlets kill kids too. Considering the Amish life? Anyone? What kills kids the most? Drowning. How about a home without water, for your child’s safety?

          If you take the proper precautions, you can reduce the chances of a gun accident to well below those of a hostile intruder. Now, Ken, what if that intruder has an automatic weapon? Don’t tell me he can’t have one because they’re illegal. He could have obtained it illegally, modified it, or received it from Eric Holder…

          The fact of the matter is that you may be attacked by a person with an automatic weapon. If you are, then you will likely need an automatic weapon to defend yourself. That alone should be enough of a reason to allow ownership of automatics. But it’s not the whole case. There’s the fact that the Framers of the Constitution have already placed a rational limit—on government. The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. This is because it’s not about hunting. It’s not even exclusively about self-defense. It’s about the fact that free men go armed as they choose.

        • Finger of GOD on

          The word you’re looking for Is responsibility the proper steward ship is the responsibility of the gun owner, You can’t fix stupid by talking about what a child can do with a gun. Teach you’re children the dangers of a gun, and be sure to keep the firearm in a place your little video player can’t get his hands on. But go on keep getting Johnny his Zombie video games to play with for days on end . And then tell him to do better in school .

          The fact is people are at fault not the gun.
          Pass this into law, Make a person who is purchasing a gun read this. If this gun finds it’s way into the hands of a child or any unauthorized person and causes harm with it in any way, YOU the gun owner will be charged with the crime that has happened and serve the time in jail, This just may make a little to much sense for the people that make laws. but It’ a start DON’T LET YOUR CHILD GET YOUR GUN !!!!!!!
          OWNER .

  38. Guns Unnecessary N&# on

    Wow, look at all the boys bragging about their big guns… it would be funny if it wasn't so scary!

    • finger of GOD on

      Take a moment out of your day, find a copy of our second amendment and read it over and over and over , GUNS ARE THE REASON criminals plot and skeem to take advantage of people like yourself, for if they new that law abiding people have no protection ( I E. GUN’s ) They could just walk right in to your home with a gun make you do what ever they want and go to the next house and do it again and again . But if you have a gun, and we all should have a gun – that creep that likes your ass, or your daughters ass, will think, If I brake in to this house I just may come out in a black bag. Better move on to the people who think guns are unnecessary. Live by the sword and die by the sword is better than, just die by the sword. Get your head out of your ass, and get a GUN to protect yourself with.

  39. I just sold off one of my big bore pistols, I had a Thompson Encore in the 30-06 cal. Recoil was rediculous as was the trigger pull. Way to light from the factory. It also suffered many misfire's that I found out later is one of TC arms problems with the big bore weapons. I also sport a Casull and found it very accurate and the recoil very comfortable for a large bore. I have more reaction from the K frame Smith /Wesson 357 6" barrel than I do with the Casull.

  40. I believe the weapon Charlie Bronson used was the 450 Wilde Pronounced Will-deee and is a large game round produced for elephant and lion hunting back in the early 1930's

    • I believe you will find the .475 Wildey was developed in 1979 and the cases were originally formed from.284 Winchester brass. Although there was a .475 big game cartridge in the thirties, it bears no relationship to the Wildey. It was used in one of the Vigilante movies, staring Bronson. The company is still around, and your FFL dealer can order one from Wildey Guns if you have the cash. The Wildey is unique in that it has an operator-adjustable gas valve that allows the weapon to function well with both high and medium power cartridges, a big plus for hand loaders.

  41. Seriously, this is hilarious man !! Great writing, great fun. What's even more hilarious is some of these comments. Some people don't really get it that we're kind of like having fun around here and act like they're totally constipated. Guys like this David should lighten up.

  42. I can not stand it when someone writes about firearms and knows nothing about them. While i am no expert i do have some knowledge about them as a hunter,a shooter and a reloader for a lot of years.The 44 mag is a very useful pistol cartage and has been for a long time. The recoil is strong but most people can shoot it well and as a personal defense and hunting pistol it is very popular. My son killed a doe with his last hunting season. The next you have listed is 45 long colt/410 pistol which has become very popular with the judge selling very well. The 410 round is a pure defensive one and 15 feet is a good defensive distance ( they use buckshot or duplex shot in it).. I do not have much experience with this one although i shoot a Taurus 454 raging bull that shoots the 45 long colt/454 casual cartage (basically the 454 is a mag 45 long colt cartage). Which has killed about every animal on this planet when shooting the 454 casual in it. Recoil is heavy but manageable in the strong Taurus. Just a little more than a 44 mag. I have shot the Desert Eagle in 44 mag and 50 cal both shot well and recoil was not bad at all due to size and weight plus simi automatic design. It is to big a pistol for me but my hands are not large and i know people that love theirs. I know nothing about the Smith & Wesson Model 460XVR Compensated Hunter but i sure it's large and powerful with extreme recoil but notice the swivels on the pistol, you carry it like a rifle.. I have shot the Smith & Wesson 500 Magnum and it shoots well and because it's so large the recoil is not bad but it to is extremely large more like a rifle than a pistol.. The rest i sure were designed as play things as they would just be to big and recoil would be hurtful to your person to shoot much or at all except for the 50 cal black powder one which has been used for 100's of years..

    • No offense, but with all your knowledge and experience, you really haven't added anything to the comments (except for making it clear that you don't know what "cartage" is).

      • Sorry, I have always been a bad speller and rely to much on spell check but i missed that one as it should be cartridge .. That would be bullet,case powder and the primer or used just ammunition ..

        • Funny, when a idiot has nothing worthy to say, they always fall back on being a grammer NAZI. I understood every thing you wrote, and was even smart enough to interpret the missplelled word. PS pun intended. Uisgea, what exactly did you add to the comments? Except that you are an ass.

  43. Oh, where to start. Let's see, Ok, you have a list of 10 items but only 8 of them are actually "handguns". The last two are not. That poster of a 50 BMG handgun, is just that, a poster. This was never produced at all. It was actually done as a spoof on the ever increasing size of handguns.

    The last item, the 28mm? Well, that would fire a bullet with a diameter of about 1 1/8 inches. The caption states the gun has a 4 foot barrel. That alone disqualifies it from being a "handgun". (barrel length of 18 inches or less) Not to mention the pictured gun doesn't have a barrel 4 feet long. Then you must consider the pressures involved with a 28mm shell are so high, you would need 2" of metal around each bullet. This would create a cylinder roughly 8 inches in diameter for just a 4-shot revolver. 11 inches if you want 5-shots. A cylinder that large would weigh around 20lbs. The barrel would have to be correspondingly massive, and at the maximum 18 inches, would weigh another 15lbs, add 5 more pounds for the grip and you have a 40lb handgun. Not very practical at all. Then there is the recoil of a 28mm shell, on the order of 150,000 ft lbs. This would, literally, kill you. Firing the gun would send the gun (and the snapped off portion of your arm holding it) through your chest cavity without even stopping.

    Handguns have effectively reached their upper limit with the 50 calibers that are out there. (The British do have a .577 Lancer, but it has less powder than an S&W 500 magnum). These guns produce recoil forces that exceed 12,000 ft lbs, more than enough to break bone. It takes an experienced shooter, not to mention a large frame person, to fire one of these weapons. I have fired two different 50 caliber handguns made by Freedom Arms, and I can personally tell you, it hurts. And while not 'king size', I'm a fairly stout individual, 6 foot 2 inches, 225 lbs, and I'm in great physical shape. I would not even consider attempting to fire a 50 BMG handgun. It would likely break my arm. (Yes, it is a 50 caliber, but the shell casing is massive and holds considerably more powder than the 500 magnum).

    Now to the 8 actual handguns you have listed. You are presuming these are "hunting" weapons. While all of them could certainly be used for that purpose, their main function is competition and sport target shooting. All of these would be worthless as "concealed carry" or "self defense" weapons, just because of their large frames. The largest practical self defense weapon is a 40 caliber (which is what I carry). The 44 magnum carried by Dirty Harry, has long since given way to the 45 ACP, it has a slightly larger projectile, but far less recoil than the 44 Mag.

    • For the most part I agree with what you say. The 45acp has been around since 1911 is probably the best defensive cartridge ever developed. The US military used it through 4 major wars and special ops units still use it. I’m a Viet Nam vet and I shot combat pistol competion for 30 years so I speak from experiance.

      • Verne Babcock on

        I agree I’ve had 3 1911 hand guns 1spring field a colt and a rock island which I only have left but their all the same just different companies they have to be the most dependable auto ever made I don’t leave town with out it

      • Actually the .45 ACP has been around since April 20th 1897, when the Colt Automatic Pistol was patented. 1911 is the year that the design was brought into military use as the M1911. That being said i carried a .45acp as my duty sidearm for years and still carry one today. Mostly because the recoil is not as snappy as a .40S&W and since it is a slow heavy round there is less chance of over penetration with expanding ammunition.

    • thank you for setting the under educated yet loudly opinionated strait. some should learn before they speak

    • The gun in that picture is a P.Z. .600 Nitro express. It is not 4 ft long. It was never made by Remmington. It is made in europe but it is incredibly cost prohibitive at over $10000 dollars (U.S) and $60-120 dollars per round.

    • .45 ACP all the way. Slower velocity, reduced collateral damage. All that energy is going one place, and one place only.

    • Just info:
      We have .50BMG pistol in Finland. I know the owner and has seen how he shooting with it. Absolutely crazy thing.
      Some photos of him and his pistol has been in Finnish gun magazines.

    • Jacob Avery Foote on

      The 44 magnum is much stouter than a 45 acp, the size of the bullet itself means little if the powder charges aren’t similar. Also 45 acp are used in semi autos and 44s are mostly revolvers because of the rimed case, and personal I’ll take the reliability of a revolver over the capacity of an auto any day. 44 magnums can also be great defense guns, there are even some that are small enough for larger framed person to use for a concealed carry. 44 mag to 45 acp is apple’s to Oranges.

    • Oh,where to start to reply…………
      I guess with the part that’s nonsense.
      Your claim as to how big and bad someone has to be to handle the S&W .500.
      Hard to imagine that at 5’9 and 175 that I’m considered particularly stout,but since I’ve been shooting my Smith for about 4 1/2 years,and going through on average 350-400 rounds/range trip,I guess I must be.
      There’s a lot to be said for porting,maybe you should look into it before you hurt your delicate little self.
      Fact is,the only part of it all that’s actually painful,is the cost.
      And I reload my own.

    • Well said, and everyone forgets that the 410/45lc combo revolver is meant for SLUGS, and is capable if killing alot further than 15 feet, Ive put hundreds of slugs on target from various distances out of the S&W governor no problem, and I wouldnt want to be hit at 150 feet with it, let alone 15. The writer would probably think shooting 000 buck with a pistol gripped polymer framed 18 inch shotgun is impossible feat, only for the incredible hulk or men with a smaller unmentionable. This article reeks of nonsense, and seems to take anti-gun gouges at anyone who dares to own a larger caliber than he has balls to fire,( btw, Ive shot 50 bmg on an AR style platform and in a pistol without issue), Im 5’11” and athletic yet slender at only 165lbs and Im not scared to shoot any of them,( except a fictional 28mm, thats just stupid), also, I wear a size 13 shoe and have never been short on making any woman happy, but Id love to own any of them, ( its usually guys with little packages, or the women married to them, that make comments about men who are “compensating” by having anything more powerful or bigger than anything they own or fear, ie trucks or guns). The guy or gal is not a very tough character, my mom is in her 60s and still fires most of the ones mentioned in the article and comments, and fears none of them,( what will they say she is compensating for? Lol). Thats what happens when its not a real gun guy who writes about guns, kind of like a 2nd grade teacher writing an article about operating tanks, theres alot of misinformation, and much info that was obviously lost in translation, and I smelled some liberal in the whole thing after he drew similarities between a grenade and firing a large caliber pistol. (Its simple physics, only so much recoil can happen, and a 1/2 inch lead projectile (or slightly larger) cannot break the arm bones of anything short of a punk sissy boy that falls on that arm after crapping his pants and slipping in it as he fires

  44. If the lady in #4 pulls that trigger, I hope somebody is using a cell phone to catch the video and puts it up on You Tube…ohhhhh she's a gonna hurt!

  45. I own a Smith and Wesson .357 magnum with an 8 inch barrel. It's chrome plated and a very sharp looking gun. If an intruder entered my home, all I would have to do is show it to him and he would crap in his pants.

  46. What about the British .577 Lancer pistol? The last of the muzzle loading pistols, percussion lock with a 10 inch rifled barrel. Closely related to the 1853 Pattern Enfield Rifle Musket, standard loading was 40 grains of blackpowder behind a Conical-Cylindrical Pritchett ball of about 400 grains, but supply chain issues during the Indian Mutiny meant it was often used with the 68grain powder charge and 530grain bullet issued in the more common rifle cartridges. Like the Walker Colt this is much closer to a cavalry carbine than a pistol in intended role, and a huge sign that the British cavalry had lost the plot by the 1850s.

    The Walker Colt, with a 60grain blackpowder charge behind a .454 round ball into a 9 inch .44 barrel, deserves an honourable mention for being the world's most powerful commercially manufactured repeating handgun between 1847 and 1935 when it was unseated by pistol chambering .357 magnum.

      • Doubt that… I have a .22 that I can plant 6-7 rounds in an apple at 25 yards in the same amount of time it takes to fire 3 inaccurate .45 rounds… granted if I hit it once with my .45 it will pretty much disintegrate the apple but 6-7 accurate rounds followed by 6-7 more, proves to provide much more fire power… but I would take my .357 or 1911 .45 over my .22 any day…

        • People knock small calibers, but a well aimed .22 is STILL going to cause a huge amount of pain, and if you take a round in a vital spot, you're still going to be incapacitated. People who have never been shot simply don't understand. It ain't like the movies. Getting shot HURTS. A hunk of hot lead punching a hole in your flesh, even a small one, is going to make 99% of people seriously and rapidly consider being somewhere else.

        • I have to agree with you comment BillV. Many people too often down-talk the smaller caliber handguns. I was accidently shot with a .22 Magnum when I was 22 years old. The bullet hit me in my left elbow and did considerable damage considering the caliber of the bullet. It actually did more damage because the bullet that struck my left elbow was a hollow-point and not some target bullet. It didn’t hit my elbow bone directly, but it did hit the left/outer side of the bone and shattered a piece about the size of a nickel. So yeah, it did considerable damage considering the caliber.

          I mean, people fail to realize that ANY caliber of gun is just as dangerous as the higher caliber guns. What it comes down to, is where you hit your target at.. as to how bad the impact/wound will end up being. I mean, a .22 Caliber L.R. bullet can kill a human just as easily as a 9mm/.40-cal/.50-cal and so on. If you hit someone in just the right spot with a pellet gun.. you can kill them. So again, its usually not the size of the bullet that determines rather or not you can kill your target.. but rather WHERE you hit your target at.

        • The .22 is actally very deadly as it will ricochet in the body once it penetrates.. causing horrible wound channels . I actually lost a good friend to a single shot from a .22 long rifle

        • Just shoot them in the privates with a .22 LR or Mag..with a pen knife cross on the end…will deffinately change his mind…

      • cmon bro really on

        dude, i been putting pigs down with a 22 lr for years 20 feet out through the dome and they drop and twitch. a 22 will pass trough a human skull with ease. accuracy is key. early homosapiens took down mamoths with pointy sticks. if you need a big ass pistol like these bust get the penile enlargement surgery bro……

  47. Great list. Very impressive and somewhat scary firepower, especially the last one! But you left out the .450 Casull, used by Charles Bronson in Death Wish 3.

      • Glad someone got it right almost . The .475 Wildey Magnum was used by Mr Bronson in the movie DW3 FYI it was his personal firearm..

        Also Dirty harry NEVER used the .41 mag he used the S&W 44 mag the automag was chambered in .44 AMp nto .44 mag. They also made a model in 22 mag.

        The title of this list is misleading. When one ( a shooter ) thinks of “HUGE” as caliber not the firearm itself both are different. Ie the 500 is bigger but the 460 is faster. Either way this list is flawed.

    • EVERYBODY!!!!!

      He forgot the .600 and .700 nitro express revolvers! They should be on this list! Right between 4 and 3!

    • Judging by your commentary, it seem that you are the one with “package size” and “inferiority complex” issues. Your ill informed and anti-gun narritive can only leave one with the impression that you are a limp wrist sissy boy that has no idea of actual ballistics or just plain fun. If real men shooting real guns scares you, maybe you should pick on some of the really wasteful hobbies, like NASCAR or Mud Bogging.
      A Dedicated Big Bore Fan