8 Largest Caliber Handguns in the World

Firearm enthusiasts all around the world love to collect guns, and handguns are especially popular due to their portability and effectiveness. However, despite being smaller than rifles and other types of firearms in most cases, some handguns can still pack an incredible punch.

In this article, we’ll be ranking the power of these impressive handguns based off caliber. 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. Read on to learn about the massive calibers that some of the world’s most powerful handguns can handle!

  1. Ruger Super Redhawk

Cartridge: .454 Casull
Bullet Diameter: .452 in (11.5 mm)
Year Created: 1987
Handgun Price: $900 – $1,100

Ruger Super Redhawk
Source: wikimedia.org

A variation of the classic Ruger Redhawk line, the Ruger Super Redhawk boasts improvements such as an extended frame and a monogrip with an internal recoil cushion. This double-action revolver is a force to be reckoned with, and comes ready for scope mounting, making it a great choice for hunters.

Did You Know?

The Ruger Super Redhawk owes its ability to fire the hefty .454 Casull rounds to its heat-treated, alloy-based cylinder. This strategically-built cylinder offers the precision and durability that Ruger prides itself on.

  1. Smith & Wesson XVR 460 Magnum

Cartridge: .460 S&W Magnum
Bullet Diameter: .452 in (11.5 mm)
Year Created: 2005
Handgun Price: $1,000 – $1,400

Smith & Wesson XVR 460 Magnum
Source: wikimedia.org

Smith & Wesson states that their XVR 460 Magnum is the highest velocity production revolver available today. This handgun features Smith & Wesson’s extra large frame, and is capable of delivering a stunning velocity of over 2,300 feet per second. The XVR 460 Magnum uses gain-twist rifling in order to maximize its velocity and range, and features an optional bipod for added support when shooting.

Did You Know?

The Smith & Wesson XVR 460 Magnum is available with barrels up to 14 inches in length.

  1. Magnum Research BFR Revolver

Cartridge: .450 Marlin
Bullet Diameter: .458 in (11.6 mm)
Year Created: Unknown
Handgun Price: $1,000 – $1,200

Magnum Research BFR Revolver
Source: wikimedia.org

The Magnum Research BFR Revolver is specifically designed to accommodate larger rounds with its characteristically long barrel. The length of the barrel varies according to caliber, and custom barrels can be commissioned from Magnum Research. This handgun is also capable of handling Smith & Wesson’s largest rounds.

Did You Know?

This revolver weighs a whopping 5 pounds, which is nearly as heavy as a rifle. When a handgun fires with this much force, a heavier weight is considered an asset since it reduces the effects of recoil.

  1. Thompson Center Contender Pistol

Cartridge: .45-70 Government
Bullet Diameter: .458 in (11.6 mm)
Year Created: 1967
Handgun Price: $500 – $700

Thompson Center Contender Pistol
Source: wikimedia.org

This break-action, single-shot handgun is quite popular due to its accuracy and staying power. Because of its weight, the Thompson Center Contender Pistol is best suited to handgun hunting and accuracy practice on the shooting range. This handgun also stands out because of its sleek and elegant appearance, which features an ergonomic grip.

Did You Know?

This popular pistol was among the first of the firearms produced at Thompson Center Arms. It quickly became popular, largely as a result of its versatility.

  1. Ruger Super Blackhawk

Cartridge: .480 Ruger
Bullet Diameter: .475 in (12.1 mm)
Year Created: 1955
Handgun Price: $500 – $700

Ruger Super Blackhawk
Source: wikimedia.org

This impressive six-shot, single-action revolver is a variation of the Ruger Blackhawk that was welcomed by gun enthusiasts as a more powerful option for handgun hunting. Many people prefer the more compact Ruger Super Blackhawk to the heavier, double-action Ruger Super Redhawk, and were thrilled to finally have the option for a lighter gun with higher firing power.

Did You Know?

Avid range shooters who have spent some time firing off a lot of rounds from this handgun report that the recoil can be wearisome after a while.

  1. Desert Eagle 50

Cartridge: .50 Action Express
Bullet Diameter: .500 in (12.7 mm)
Year Created: 1985
Handgun Price: $1,500 – $2,000

Desert Eagle 50
Source: wikimedia.org

This well-known handgun has made frequent appearances in movies, games, and other media. Among gun enthusiasts, it stands out for its use of a gas-operated reloading mechanism, which is usually found in rifles. This gas-operated action assists in efficient reloading of larger rounds, enabling this handgun to deliver enormous firing power.

Did You Know?

Since this firearm is chambered for the .50 Action Express and boasts such firing power, it’s more suited to range shooting than to self-defense.

  1. Smith & Wesson Model 500

Cartridge: .500 S&W Magnum
Bullet Diameter: .500 in (12.7 mm)
Year Created: 2003
Handgun Price: $1,000 – $1,300

Smith & Wesson Model 500
Source: wikimedia.org

This double/single action revolver is renowned for its intense firing power, which is tempered by a muzzle brake to lessen recoil impact. The revolver measures 15 inches in length and weighs in at 4.5 pounds, making it far more suited to hunting than to carrying on one’s hip.

Did You Know?

The Smith & Wesson Model 500 has been referred to as the most powerful production revolver on the market, and can vary in barrel length so that shorter variations can be carried.

  1. Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express Revolver

Cartridge: .600 Nitro Express
Bullet Diameter: .620 in (15.7 mm)
Year Created: 1903
Handgun Price: $15,000 – $17,000

Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express Revolver
Source: wikimedia.org

The Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express Revolver is the largest caliber handgun in the world, and the most powerful. To provide some context, this handgun is so huge that its .600 Nitro Express rounds are actually British-made rifle bullets. On top of being such a formidable weapon, it’s also one of the pricier options on the market. The price of its rounds is similarly high, with each .600 Nitro Express round costing $40!

Did You Know?

This massive handgun was developed by a Swiss gun nut named Zeliska, who wanted a handgun that could chamber big game hunting rounds.

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