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Old February 19, 2002, 05:12 PM   #1
nsf003
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What is the most powerful rifle cartridge?

What is the most powerful rifle cartridge?

I've heard 460 Weatherby and 50 BMG


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Old February 19, 2002, 05:30 PM   #2
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How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
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Old February 19, 2002, 05:38 PM   #3
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I suppose that technically that would be whatever is the largest navel gun to use a cartridge instead of a shell and powder bags.
If it were just the most powerful rifle I would say the 16" guns on battleships...sure the Japanese had 18" guns, but they aren't even around in a museum now.
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Old February 19, 2002, 05:39 PM   #4
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How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

I answered that here a couple of weeks ago...

Quote:
"This reminds me of the middle ages when there was a great debate about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin."

2,273

That number was determined by a secret meeting of the heads of all the world's great Christian faiths, held 2 years ago at the Ponderosa Steak House in York, Pennsylvania.

I stopped by for dinner. Imagine my shock and surprise when I turned around at the salad bar and nearly ran over the Metropolitan of Moscow in the salad bar line.

Even worse was that the Pope got ahead of me in the desert bar line and grabbed the last two pieces of peach cobbler. When I mentioned that sharing would be the Christian thing to do, he looked at me like I was nuts, and then one of his Swiss guard bonked me from behind with his poleax.
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Old February 19, 2002, 05:40 PM   #5
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Rifle can be a kind of open-ended definition.

Some of the WW II era antitank rifles developled some SERIOUS energy levels.
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Old February 19, 2002, 06:14 PM   #6
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Agree with Mike Irwin about open-ended question - - -

- - -but the question is an ineresting one.

nsf003- - - Would it be within the spirit of your original query to limit this to either over-the-counter-in-a-sporting-goods-store, or perhaps, available-without-special-licenses/tax-stamps?

If this were the case, contenders would include .50 BMG (Yes, there are commercial loads available)
or .700 Nitro Express - - -Was this ever an over-the-counter item? Is it currently available, other than as a collectors' item? At a hundred bucks a pop, when introduced, I bet they didn't sell many!
Or something like the .378 Lapua? I don't have tables at hand.

Johnny

PS--MIKE--Are those the standard size angels, or the compact version?
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Old February 19, 2002, 06:43 PM   #7
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Seems to me if you consider practical shoulder-fired rifles, the .50BMG is out. Further, IMO, the various one-offs are interesting but not really in the game.

Most anybody can pick up a phone and get a .460 Weatherby; it's as near as your VISA card.

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Old February 19, 2002, 06:54 PM   #8
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HAH!

HAH! I call BS! There is no Ponderosa in York! HAH!
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Old February 19, 2002, 07:23 PM   #9
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How many pins in the hair of an angel ?

Powerful.......
Velocity ?
Muzzel energy ?
Energy remaining at 1,000 yds ?
Bullet weight ?
Bullet diameter ?
etc ?

Sam
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Old February 19, 2002, 07:38 PM   #10
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shoulder fired rifle? I do believe there is a .700 Nitro Express double Rifle out there in the world...

I have SHOT a .500 Nitro, and seen a .600 Nitro...

Maybe Sam or someone has the specs on the Nitro guns...
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Old February 19, 2002, 07:40 PM   #11
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The .50 BMG is a baby. There are several shoulder fired 20mm & 25mm bores. The 25mm versions are 15 times more powerfull than the little .50 BMG. They also penetrate 4 times more steel.

Although I can't find the weight of the 25mm OCSW, the smaller 25mm Solothurn weighs in at 120lbs.

These look like GIAN bolt actions. There is a full article in the 2001 Special Weapons for Miltary & Law Enforcement.

I'll try and get the article read and supply more information.
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Old February 19, 2002, 07:41 PM   #12
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Without a doubt, it has to be the .22 short.
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Old February 19, 2002, 07:53 PM   #13
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The most powerful rifle known to me is the Type 94 18.1"/45-caliber naval gun fitted to the battleships Yamato and Musashi.

Muzzle velocity is 2,559 fps, with a 1,460 kg APC Type 91 factory load. I do not believe +P or +P+ loads are available in this caliber.
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Old February 19, 2002, 07:55 PM   #14
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.40 S&W!

{edited:{ oops wrong thread. ]
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Old February 19, 2002, 08:51 PM   #15
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What do you mean when you say "shoulder fired"? To me that means that you can fire it offhand.

The Soviet 14.5 is well beyond the 50bmg and IIRC was used in anti tank rifles.

The 50 bmg was/is available in the Rhino was slightly shorter in OAL than the the Steyr Scout and went about 16lbs which is in the same wt range as many sniper rifles or old matchlocks used in combat.
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Old February 19, 2002, 09:01 PM   #16
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.500 Nitro Express....ME 5850
.600 Nitro Express.....ME 6850
.460 Weatherby Mag..ME 8245

Nuttin on .700

Sam
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Old February 19, 2002, 09:23 PM   #17
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Where the hell was the angel/pin thing going?
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Old February 19, 2002, 10:14 PM   #18
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Well, if by rifle you mean a fairly conventional looking shoulder-fired weapon weighing under 15 lbs, I believe that the .577 Tyrannosaur takes the cake.

Over 11,000fpe at the muzzle.

Absolutely vicious recoil seems to virtually eliminate the chance at a follow up shot--aim carefully.
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Old February 19, 2002, 11:21 PM   #19
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the only problem with 11,000 fpe is that it'll be brontosaurus for breakfast, brontosaurus for lunch, brontosaurus for dinner, brontosaurus for breakfast, bronto.... oh you get the idea.
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Old February 19, 2002, 11:43 PM   #20
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JohnKSa, there's a reason I said practical! Well, I guess a .460 Weatherby is practical. Glamdring, I don' wanna shoot a .460 any other way than offhand. The very idea of benchresting sumpn like that is, er, "off-putting". And just flat-out forget prone position.

What's all this about pin-headed angels? Fatelvis, I'd say it was headed down. Far enough down that the angels would become little demons!

, Art
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Old February 20, 2002, 10:06 AM   #21
Steve Smith
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Fatelvis, what I meant to do was show that it was an open ended question. The answer is infinite...unless the Pope is getting two helpings of peach cobbler.
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Old February 20, 2002, 10:13 AM   #22
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Shoulder fired rifle, would that include rpg's like Carl Gustaf 84mm?
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Old February 20, 2002, 10:49 AM   #23
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goosegunner - - -

Never examined one, but I don't believe the Carl Gustaf 84mm RPG has a rifled tube. "Course, I could be wrong. Left my copy of Jane's Cherished Destructive Devices home this morning.

Best,
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Old February 20, 2002, 11:04 AM   #24
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R.B. Rodda 4 bore
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Old February 20, 2002, 11:17 AM   #25
Chad Young
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The most powerful rifle cartridge in the world is the one in the gun that is pointed at you at the time the question is asked.
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