What is the most powerful handgun YOU can handle?

Discussion in 'General Handgun' started by d_p_holland, Sep 8, 2020.

  1. Ranger4

    Ranger4 G&G Evangelist

    Small world, I shoot that same 21 grain H110.W296 load behind a 300 grain bullet in my 5.5 inch Stainless Bisley. Mine shoots inside 2 inches at 25 yards which is about as good as I can ever do. I also load the 250 Hornady at that 21.5 grains and get 1,201 fps, my favorite load for the Bisley.
  2. Junction15

    Junction15 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I think the size of the grip frame is the most limiting factor for me. When the trigger pounds into my middle finger, it is too uncomfortable to fire many rounds. That is the biggest reason I sold my 44 Magum Redhawk 5-1/2 barrel years ago. Later I bought a 6" Model 629 and there was a larger choice of aftemarket grips that nicely kept my middle finger from getting bashed. That was a seriously accurate revolver. I traded it for a stupid reason - I was bored with it. I didn't shoot a steady diet of full power loads in it. About 20 rounds of those and my elbows began to feel the battering (like tennis elbow) 44 Special power levels were no problem.

    And my 44 Super Blackhawk. As you might have thought - if the Redhawk grips kill my middle finger, the SBH factory grips certainly do. However, I put a set of Hogue laminated wood grips on it and tamed it into a kitten. I had to "whittle" those down here and there for a better fit but that shoots very nicely now - even with full house loads in it. (It's a lot of fun to knock the 6" paddles back and forth at 100 yards)

    In many cases, the muzzle blast is what makes the gun feel worse. And how the grips fit. I have not fired anything bigger to date. (Saw a nice S&W 500 revolver the other day that I'd love to shoot. But I won't be buying one.)

    As for my size and stature, I am 6'0", 230 pounds, 38 X 32 pants. I take between a large and extra large glove (depending on the brand). I am now 65 YO and I have osteoarthritis in my wrists, and the thumb joints for both hands. I broke my left wrist 2 summers ago and am finally at the point that it causes me no grief - although the arthritis is now worse in that wrist. However, that does not prevent me from gripping my handguns securely.
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  3. noelekal

    noelekal G&G Evangelist

    I can't handle nuthin'! Not right now. Was diagnosed with a full thickness rotator cuff tear a few weeks back and surgery is suppose to be scheduled for this coming Friday, only we've hit a snag. The forth grandchild is coming (at 30 weeks) as I type this. Had to take Nana to DFW this afternoon so she could get on to Nashville Tennessee and tend to the older sisters and I'm to follow up with the car tomorrow or Monday.

    Anyway, I can't lift my right arm into an off hand shooting position without a handgun, either one-handed or two-handed. I'd be in a world of hurt to even lift a Colt Model 1908 .25.

    The most powerful gun I have around here is an 8 3/8-inch Smith & Wesson Model 29 and I've happily shot it for four decades now. I've shot others Thompson Center .30 Herrett, .35 Herrett, .35 Remington, and a .50 AE chambered Desert Eagle. I'd be happy to test fire a .460 or .500 S&W. Don't want one though.

    For me, I'm still stuck on that .44 Magnum as "the most powerful" and if it won't "cut the mustard" then I'm reaching for a suitable rifle.
  4. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly G&G Evangelist

    I've always had a love affair with the 44 Magnum,and have owned many over the years - S&W,Colt,Dan Wesson,Ruger,Desert Eagle,Taurus. The Taurus Raging Bull 8 3/8" is the only one I still have,and it was always the best shooting 44 of all of them. I do want another Desert Eagle,they are just fun to shoot.
    I also have several 1911's in 45 ACP,and wheel guns in 45 Colt.

    The biggest handgun's that I've shot are the 50 AE,500 Mag.,and the 454 Casull. While they are fun to shoot,I would never buy one for myself.
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  5. cooker300

    cooker300 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    45 ACP- 1911
    357 mag - Ruger black hawk 61/2 barrel
    44mag -Smith & Wesson 629 6"
    45 colt - Ruger balck hawk 4 5/8 barrel

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
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  6. graybeard

    graybeard G&G Evangelist

    Very good thread!
    I shoot the BFR .45 - 70, Desert Eagle .50 AE, S&W 29 .44 Mag, Ruger Super Redhawk .44 Mag, Taurus .454 Casull, Ruger GP - 100 10 MM is a dream to shoot, and a couple .357s and .45s.
    My favorite to shoot is the .50 AE. The one I hate is the .454 Causll - that one does hurt my hand. Easy with .45 Colts, but that .454 is a bear of a load.

    For defense carry - the Sig 320 - .40 SW. Its 14+1. Its big, but I don't care - I'm in a wheelchair, and if I need to put an end to a threat, this is the one I shoot best.
    5'11" - 225 lbs, and 60.
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  7. I have shot some hard kicking handguns, the .454Casull was funs to shoot but I would never buy one. My nephew has a DE in .50AE, not my cup of tea...The most I can handle today is a Ruger Redhawk 7.5" bbl.44 Mag..I can shoot it well and can still tolerate the recoil.. I handload it with 300gr. HPs and it is a handful but not unweildly. I still enjoy the 10mm, .44Mag/Spl., .357Mag/Spl...following the OP I am 5'8" 200# physically active but due to work related injuries I have permanent nerve damage on my ULE that I have to deal with...fine motor skills with the left arm/hand are not what they used to be...thank God I am right handed..I used to consider myself ambidexterous, I could shoot, either hand and did qualify at work with weak hand...I could run a weld bead with either hand and even do a verticle or OH weld as well...not so much today. Two cervical fusions later...my surgeon is awesome he did what he said he would....pain is gone but nerve damage takes a long time to heal
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
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  8. redcaddy51

    redcaddy51 G&G Evangelist

    In my prime, a long time ago, in a land far away, I replaced my issue 45 ACP carry by following Harry Callahan to a S&W 29. Carried the 6 inch for a few years, then found a BFR in 45-70, that was to become the "go-to" truck gun.

    When I changed agencies, the new one didn't like the .44 so I opted for a 10mm, brand spankin' new at the time. never did get to like that one, but I shot it a bunch. (free ammo)

    Another job change and I was back to a S&W mod 28 in .357 mag. After my second retirement, my daily carry morphed into a Rossi mod 720 2 inch 44 spec. in a cross draw rig. 285 gr. hard cast lead HP @ 950 FPS is enough to shoot the wiggle out when necessary. I had that little stubby barrel mag-na-ported to take the bounce out, now its easy to keep a fast follow up in the box.

    Now that I've gone tropical, (fully retarded) I tote a little 9mm Kel-tec PF-9. (As big a gun as I want to wear enough clothes to cover up) I still enjoy shooting my big boys but the "itis" brothers, authur and burs are taking most of the fun out of it lately.

    I just hit the biblical 3 score and 10 and not too enamored of my "golden years" I still tote the 45-70 BFR in the truck...

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  9. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    In terms of the original poster's question, 6'0", 225 pounds, flabbier than I'd like to be due to covid incarceration and depression. There's your baseline for the physical part of the question.

    I can hit the target with a .44 Magnum; I have fired a 6 1/2 inch barrel S&W Model 29 with full up factory loads. But a full cylinder of that will leave my wrist aching for hours. The heaviest round I fire comfortably on a regular basis is the basic US GI 230 grain .45 ACP, usually out of my S&W Model 25, though I also periodically shoot my Llama Model IX-A (M1911 clone, first centerfire pistol I bought).

    Lately I've been shooting 7.62 Tokarev and .38 Special, and being that I am just before acquiring a CZ-27, I suspect I'll be taking some of my .32s to the range. Not terribly powerful, but great fun to shoot. Easy to get on target.
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  10. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter G&G Evangelist

    Power is not my problem. I can hang on to any hand gun (I haven't dropped one yet)
    Size is my problem.
    They make large caliber hand guns for large hands ONLY. I have yet to see a large caliber in a frame for small hands.
    I can't shoot many normal 1911 .45 ACP because I can't hold down the beaver tail safety & pull the trigger. I own one that has been modified to fit my hand.
    I have shot some where my right hand had to hold the gun & my left had to pull the trigger. It's not my fault I got small hands why don't pistol manufacture realize that not all large caliber shooters have hands like a Sasquatch. LOL
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  11. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    AK, I have seen ads for a part which replaces the grip safety of a 1911. Wish I could remember what it is called. You detail strip the pistol, remove the grip safety you have to press down, and replace it with this part, which seems to permanently depress the safety bar to the Fire position, leaving the slide lock safety as the only safety on the 1911 pistol.

    Or you could take a look at the later Star Model P and BM pistols, which at bottom are M1911s without the grip safety. That might solve your problem with the grip safety. You can probably get thinner grip panels as well if you want or need them. Try contacting Marschalgrips; they make all sorts of custom grips and making thinner grip panels would not be difficult for them.
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  12. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor

    information: boom :)

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  13. Junction15

    Junction15 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Here you go. A 50 BMG pistol

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  14. FortyXDM

    FortyXDM G&G Evangelist Staff Member

    The Hecklinsteinergrauten Boomenenclausenzedenbooomer.
    Comes with four level ear protection Deep ear buggers, shallow ear buggers, 100 db muffendullers and ze shhhh soundproofed spacen helmut, and a 6'x6' foammesiter landitz pad. If ze shootenfool can use der timenduffer and timing is perfect when da shootenfool just hops of the earthenspace, de shooterfooolen will experience a 294 degree rotation of sphicter achten over appetiten.

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  15. bobvonb

    bobvonb G&G Evangelist

    5'9" 180 lb, 74 years. I've shot the SP100 357 rapid fire without problem. Also shot the 45 ACP without problem although at rapid fire I can only get 4 of 5 in the 8 ring or better. The 357 was fun to shoot, but too loud. I'm in the market for a pistol and was thinking of a Ruger 1911 in 9mm (if I can even find one) but the SP100 deserves consideration too.

    I know with my smaller frame I cannot handle a 44 Mag, nor would I have a need for one.

    Good topic.
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  16. gsbuickman

    gsbuickman G&G Evangelist

    I pretty much echo Grey Wolf. I'm 6' 1" 210ish average big wrists and I tend to be a glutton for punishment and I'll squeeze the trigger on anything just because I can but I really like the 44 from a single action Virginian, the blackhawk hunter & the Taurus M44. It was the first cartridge I started reloading when I got my bench together two years ago and I also prefer the 240 swc. It's still the only handgun cartridge I reload unless I break down and start loading 9mm.
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  17. Palladin8

    Palladin8 G&G Evangelist

    The most painful handgun I have fired to date was a S&W Model 340PD.
    My friend bought it and the 329PD 44mag when they first came out. I fired a full cylinder of the 240gr 44 Mag first and I will admit it was a handful in such a light weight gun but it was nowhere near as painful as that little 340PD was with 125gr full power loads.
    After shooting 5 rounds through the 340 I could not feel my ring finger or my pinky on my shooting hand. It took weeks before any feeling returned to my hand.
    He sold the 340PD shortly after I shot it because it did almost the same thing to him. He kept the 329PD and used it for guiding drift boat fishing up in Alaska.
  18. ethanjordan

    ethanjordan G&G Newbie

    the most powerful pistol have ever handle is the 500 smith & wesson magnum. i could carry for self defense and always feel save with it
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  19. don5544

    don5544 G&G Evangelist

    6'0" 275lb
    I have a 44 mag that hurt to shoot when I first got it. New grips and the addition of a scope have tamed it down. I have shot 1 deer with it. I'll stick with a rifle.
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  20. quavodus

    quavodus G&G Evangelist

    The most powerful I've ever fired at least in a revolver was a .44 Magnum. I fired a .357 Herrett in a Contender that seemed way worse than any of the .44 Magnums I've fired.
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