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5 of the Most Powerful Guns We've Come Across

These are some of the most powerful guns we've run across. 

In the world of guns, everyone seems to be looking for the most powerful firearm, whether that be a large caliber handgun or a semi-automatic rifle. Of course, we often write about hunting rifles and shotguns.

But we also bring up the occasional World War II relic or the favorites of law enforcement officials.

Simply put, we write about guns a lot.

After all that firearm coverage, we've created a compilation of some of the most powerful we've run across. This isn't meant to be a super-comprehensive list of powerful guns based on a ton of ballistics data. This is simply a list of firearms that keep coming up as some of the most powerful in the world.

"Powerful" can mean popular, influential, large in size, and more. Either way you look at it, these guns have it.

The Desert Eagle

We figured we should start off this list with what may be the most ridiculous semi-automatic handgun of all time. The Desert Eagle is manufactured by Minnesota-based Magnum Research and has long been a Hollywood movie favorite, especially as a sidearm in Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. Maybe because this giant handgun looks like a subcompact in his big hands!

The Desert Eagle is available in .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum and several other large calibers. But it's the .50 Action Express that garners the most attention. This gas-operated gun doesn't really have a practical purpose. It's big, noisy, heavy (4.5 pounds!) and expensive. Mostly made for a fun day at the range. Who wouldn't want to shoot a .50-caliber handgun at least once to see what it is like?

Barrett M82

Also known as the M107 in the military variant, the Barrett .50 cal is an anti-material rifle. This gun has become a popular sniper rifle of the U.S. Army and other armed forces in conflicts around the world. This is a super long-range gun. In the hands of a trained sniper, hitting a target over a mile out isn't out of the realm of possibility.

Just as an example, an Australian sniper used one of these rifles to get a confirmed kill at 3,079 yards in 2012! Snipers keep pushing that distance number with this gun even though the effective range is only supposed to be 2,000 yards. This nearly 30-pound rifle features a 10-round magazine and delivers a muzzle velocity of nearly 2,800 feet per second depending on the type of rounds you're using.

And yes, you can buy a civilian version of this gun, the M107A1, but prepare for the damage to your wallet. You're looking at anywhere from $8,000-10,000 on a good day! They're also expensive to reload; you're looking at a cost of $4-5 a round!

Holland and Holland Double Rifle

We can't have a list of powerful handguns without talking about the stopping power of custom-made elephant guns. More specifically, Holland and Holland double rifles.

If you've never heard of the company, they're a London, England-based gunmaker, and you probably can't afford their guns.

I did a quick visit to their website which nearly gave me a heart attack. One "pair of shotguns" had a price of £70,000. That's over $90,000 U.S.!

For this entry, we'll talk more specifically about the custom double rifles they have made chambered in .600 Nitro Express and .700 Nitro Express. Yes, you read that correctly. The 600 is a 900-grain bullet with a velocity of nearly 2,000 feet per second and over 7,000 pounds of energy.

But the craziest one is the .700 Nitro Express, which you can see in the video above. This gun is firing a 1,000-grain bullet going nearly 2,000 feet per second with almost 9,000-foot pounds of energy. The video says the rounds cost $125 each. Yikes!

The guy in the video is by no means small. Just watch how far it knocks him back. That's one powerful gun!

The M2 Browning

As far as machine guns go, they don't get much bigger or more powerful. The main design ideas for the rapid-fire M2 came from the legendary John Browning, although the design wasn't perfected in its current state until several years after his death in 1926.

This 83-pound beast has been used since World War II and has proven itself as a powerful and effective weapon in most major conflicts.

It's an imposing belt-fed weapon firing .50 BMG rounds at a rate of hundreds of rounds a minute. You'll find M2s mounted on ships, tanks and various other military vehicles.

It's not just a close range weapon either. Like the Barrett .50 cal, it has a maximum effective range of 2,000 yards. It's crazy to think about an automatic weapon having a range like that. During the Vietnam War in 1967, legendary Marine Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock used an M2 to get a confirmed kill at the unbelievable distance of 2,500 yards!

Smith & Wesson 500

There were plenty of revolvers we could have put on this list, like the Taurus Raging Bull, the Ruger Super Blackhawk or even the Smith & Wesson Model 29 of "Dirty Harry" fame. But the one revolver that comes up again and again on the list of most powerful handguns is the S&W 500 in .50 caliber.

This huge, revolver weighs in at a hefty 3.5 pounds and has a muzzle velocity over 2,000 feet per second. It's a monstrous handgun used for both hunting and bear defense.

The power in this thing packs a punch. It has a bad reputation for hurting people's hands, but you can't deny that knock-down power!

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis Youtube channels