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Magnum Force: 9 High-Powered Pistols & Revolvers

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The term “hand cannon” dates back to some of the oldest small arms, literally when cannons were reduced in size so that a single user could hold and aim one. However, these were far from accurate and not exactly the safest of things to try to shoot when you consider someone was actually holding a cannon.

 

 

Today, the concept of a hand cannon is quite different and often refers to handguns that fire a magnum cartridge, one that is larger than, or derived from, a similar cartridge. The first magnum handgun was introduced in 1934 as the .357 Magnum. Designed by Smith & Wesson and Winchester’s ammunition division as both a law enforcement and sporting cartridge, it remained the most powerful handgun cartridge in the world until the introduction of the .44 Magnum in 1955. Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” character gave popularity to the .44 Magnum, noting that it was “the most powerful handgun in the world.”

 

 

While movies may suggest these handguns are ideal for law enforcement, these are more often carried by big game hunters as a backup weapon, one that will offer protection from even the biggest game. Today, there are now a variety of modern hand cannons for those who desire to really call out the big guns.

 

Chiappa Rhino

 

This unique firearm is actually quite compact, yet it still allows the shooter to have the power of a charging rhino. As a self-defense revolver, it offers great concealability via its unique profile, while its flat cylinder provides comfort for the shooter with reduced recoil and muzzle flip. The position of the barrel lowers the center of gravity, keeps the centerline of the bore in line with the shooter’s arm and thus provides a natural “pointability” when aiming at a target. The double-action version has no external hammer, further making it a sleek but powerful revolver. (chiappafirearms.com)

 

Specifications

 

  • Caliber: .357 Magnum
  • Barrel: 2 inches
  • OA Length: 6.5 inches
  • Weight: 24 ounces (empty)
  • Grips: Rubber
  • Sights: Front blade
  • Action: DA/SA
  • Finish: Matte black
  • Capacity: 6
  • MSRP: $939

 

Magnum Research Big Frame Revolver

 

The profile of the Magnum Research Big Frame Revolver in .45-70 evokes the look of a revolver out of the Old West, but this five-shooter offers modern magnum firepower! Designed as a magnum from the ground up, this Big Frame Revolver is truly one of the biggest revolvers on the market today, and this fully stainless firearm offers a cut-rifled barrel for use with lead or jacketed bullets, yet it weighs in at 76.8 ounces. (magnumresearch.com; 508-635-4273)

 

Specifications

 

  • Caliber: .45-70
  • Barrel: 10 inches
  • OA Length: 15 inches
  • Grips: Rubber
  • Weight: 76.8 ounces (empty)
  • Sights: Fixed front, adjustable rear
  • Action: DA/SA
  • Finish: Stainless
  • Capacity: 5
  • MSRP: $1,184

 

Magnum Research Desert Eagle

 

Who says that to own a magnum handgun means having to opt for a revolver? For those who like the modern look of a semi-automatic pistol but want the power of a magnum, there is the iconic Desert Eagle. The .50 Action Express, which is currently one of the most powerful pistol cartridges in production, is actually a step up from the .44 Magnum. The pistol holds seven rounds, and as a gas-operated handgun with a rotating bolt and muzzle brake, it can offer a very fast rate of fire. (magnumresearch.com; 508-635-4273)

 

Specifications

 

  • Caliber: .50 AE
  • Barrel: 6 inches
  • OA Length: 10.75 inches
  • Weight: 68.8 ounces (empty)
  • Grips: Polymer
  • Sights: Fixed
  • Action: DA/SA
  • Finish: Matte black
  • Capacity: 7
  • MSRP: $1,742

 

Ruger Super Redhawk

 

With its 7.5-inch barrel and satin stainless finish, the Ruger Super Redhawk will make quite a first impression. Available in .480 Ruger, as well as .44 Magnum and .454 Casull, it features a triple-locking cylinder, easy sighting, dual chambering and a transfer bar, as well as an integral scope system. The Hogue Tamer Monogrip provides a sure grip, while the stainless steel finish, which is corrosion resistant, will help ensure this firearm stands up to the elements. (ruger.com)

 

Specifications

 

  • Caliber: .480 Ruger
  • Barrel: 7.5 inches
  • OA Length: 13 inches
  • Action: DA/SA
  • Weight: 52 ounces (empty)
  • Capacity: 6
  • Grips: Hogue Tamer Monogrip
  • Sights: Front ramp, adjustable rear
  • Finish: Matte stainless
  • MSRP: $1,189

 

Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan

 

The Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan revolver offers many of the features of its big brother, but it has a snub-nosed 2.5-inch barrel and is just 7.6 inches in total length, yet still packs quite a punch with its .480 Ruger model. Hard-hitting .44 Rem Mag and .454 Casull versions are also available. It weights a beefy 44 ounces so shooters won’t mistake this for a lightweight handgun, yet it is compact enough to make it an easy-to-carry sidearm for those great outdoors adventures. (ruger.com)

 

Specifications

 

  • Caliber: .480 Ruger
  • Barrel: 2.5 inches
  • OA Length: 7.62 inches
  • Weight: 44 ounces (empty)
  • Grips: Hogue Tamer Monogrip
  • Action: DA/SA
  • Sights: Front ramp, adjustable rear
  • Finish: Satin stainless
  • Capacity: 6
  • MSRP: $1,189

 

Smith & Wesson Model S&W500

 

The X-Frame S&W500 marks the spot, as in the spot for the most powerful production revolver in the world today. Designed to handle the .500 S&W Magnum cartridge, which offers 2,600 foot-pounds of muzzle energy, this handgun is designed to be the ultimate for defensive carry or as a backup weapon against dangerous game. It features an internal lock for added safety, while the recoil is tamed by the addition of a muzzle compensator. This compensator is easily removable so that shooters can switch between one designed for lead bullets and another for jacketed bullets. (smith-wesson.com; 800-331-0852)

 

Specifications

 

  • Caliber: .500 S&W Magnum
  • Barrel: 4 inches
  • Capacity: 5
  • OA Length: 10.25 inches
  • Weight: 56 ounces (empty)
  • Grips: Synthetic
  • Sights: Red ramp front, adjustable rear
  • Action:: DA/SA
  • Finish: Satin stainless
  • MSRP: $1,369

 

Smith & Wesson Model 460XVR

 

This magnum handgun comes from S&W’s Performance Center, and it blends old-world craftsmanship and modern technology. With its 14-inch barrel, you certainly won’t have any questions about whether size matters, especially as it helps give the Smith & Wesson Model 460XVR the highest muzzle velocity of any production revolver in the world. To achieve this feat, the handgun is based entirely on a new designation—the XVR, or X-treme Velocity Revolver. This revolver comes with a highly effective muzzle brake, a chrome hammer, a chrome trigger with a trigger stop, as well as a Performance Center-tuned action and even a bipod to help you get just the right shot. (smith-wesson.com; 800-331-0852)

 

Specifications

 

  • Caliber: .460 S&W Magnum
  • Barrel: 14 inches
  • OA Length: 21.5 inches
  • Action: DA/SA
  • Weight: 88 ounces (empty)
  • Grips: Synthetic
  • Sights: Front ramp, adjustable rear
  • Finish: Stainless
  • Capacity: 5
  • MSRP: $1,559

 

Taurus 454 Raging Bull

 

Big things do come in small packages, even a magnum handgun. The Taurus Raging Bull is available in .454 Casull, and it features a snub nose with a 2.25-inch barrel that makes for easy carrying as a backup gun in the wilds. The Raging Bull is built like a bull, or perhaps even a tank, and has dual cylinder locking devices that help provide added strength and stability, while the soft rubber insert grip will help reduce recoil for the shooter. (taurususa.com; 800-327-3776)

 

Specifications

 

  • Caliber: .454 Casull
  • Barrel: 2.25 inches
  • OA Length: 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 48 ounces (empty)
  • Grips: Rubber
  • Action: DA/SA
  • Sights: Fiber-optic front, fixed rear
  • Finish: Matte stainless
  • Capacity: 5
  • MSRP: $1,055

 

Taurus 513 Raging Judge

 

The ruling is in, and the Taurus 513 Raging Judge revolver in .454 Casull from Taurus is ready to take center court. It features a dual lockup cylinder that provides stability under even extreme chamber pressures, while the cushioned-insert grip absorbs recoil with each shot. A fiber-optic front sight utilizes light-gathering tubes to offer shooters a highly visible dot. The extended ejector rod allows for positive extraction of fired cases, and the M513 also offers the Taurus Security System for instant defense with a built-in ability to secure the weapon and make it inoperable with the turn of the key. (taurususa.com; 800-327-3776)

 

Specifications

 

  • Caliber: .45LC, .410, .454 Casull
  • Barrel: 6.5 inches
  • OA Length: 14.1 inches
  • Weight: 73 ounces (empty)
  • Grips: Rubber
  • Action: DA/SA
  • Capacity: 6
  • Sights: Fiber-optic front, fixed rear
  • Finish: Stainless
  • MSRP: $1,038

 

This article was published in the 2016 Gun Buyer’s Guide. To purchase a copy of this magazine or subscribe to any other Harris Tactical magazine, please visit HarrisTacticalStore.com.

 

The post Magnum Force: 9 High-Powered Pistols & Revolvers appeared first on Tactical Life Gun Magazine: Gun News and Gun Reviews.

 

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