You should own a 50 Caliber pistol at least once in your life. You know that, too.
It’s just an itch that needs to be scratched and it may as well be now. Right?
Do it soon anyway gun owners. The Democrats promise to curb our enthusiasm for life in general…
You really think the not so humble 50 Caliber handgun is going to survive the Leftist purge?
50 BMG rifles for that matter as well. So if you want to get your 50 cal on, well now is the time.
1. Smith & Wesson 500 Performance Center
- Price: $1,840.99
- Caliber: 500 S&W
- Barrel: 7.5 inch
- Total: 15 inch
- Weight: 4.35lb
- Capacity: 5 rounds
When you’re looking to control this power, then simple is normally best. And it doesn’t get simpler than the world’s most powerful handgun: the Smith & Wesson 500.
Now there’s a 10.5 inch barrel version for the serious hunters with an integral muzzle brake, and for those that absolutely want to say they have the biggest and best.
More Than Enough For Most
For the rest of us, this stainless steel 7.5 inch barrel version with the PC mods, integral muzzle brake and simple Hogue rubber grip looks like the sweet spot. That gives you insane power, a dramatic look and a little help with the recoil.
You will still get 1700fps and muzzle energy around 2300lb/ft from the Smith & Wesson. That seems like enough from this high spec, high power handgun.
Massive New Frame
In 2003, Smith and Wesson introduced the X-Frame revolver to satisfy a new desire. That was big bore hunting handguns that could harvest North American big game humanely.
The S&W500 was born, and it was an instant legend. That was the basic version. This frame was hand-picked from the production line, lovingly balanced and fettled and then fitted with upgraded parts.
A barrel shroud and compensator have been tuned to help keep the stainless steel gun level when you fire. I mean not entirely level, but closer than it would have been.
Terminal Ballistics of Smith & Wesson Model 500, Just Look…
It’s hard to describe the impact of the SW500 round on flesh. But luckily we don’t have to. You can see it here, on yet another random Youtube video.
Short Barrel Version is Seriously Powerful Carry Gun
This is the smaller, 3.5 inch barrel version that Dirty Harry 2023 would carry.
It’s a new favorite for bear defense and protection against North American dangerous game. Wolves and mountain lions are both averse to 500S&W, as it turns out.
The adjustable sights seem optimistic at first glance. But the fiber optic front and basic blade at the rear are massively useful for close up target acquisition in ‘stressful situations’. They are not pointless gun accessories.
It could also work for home defense and, well, maybe concealed carry. If you like a cannon and can deal with the muzzle rise.
See what happens when the Smith & Wesson Magnum revolver hollow point meets a pork shoulder. Its hollow point bullets already blasted straight through a gel block and out the other side into a field.
It’s gratuitous, but it’s interesting.
Where to Buy Smith & Wesson Magnum Revolver Ammo
This Smith & Wesson 500 ammo isn’t cheap, but you knew that. It was always going to be expensive. You can still save money when you buy ammo online, though.
Check these quick links to find the best prices for your Smith & Wesson S&W500. Just be aware it’s like gold dust. Stock up, and maybe look into reloading kits.
- Brownells – Broad range of 50 caliber ammo, including Hornady and Magtech.
- Sportsman’s Guide – Great deals and hard to find ammo.
- Palmetto State Armory – Fast turning into the big ammunition best seller.
2. Magnum Research Desert Eagle Mark XIX
- Price: $1,800+
- Cal: 50 AE
- Barrel: 6 inch
- Total: 10.75 inch
- Weight: 4.5lb
- Capacity: 7+1
The Magnum Research Desert Eagle Mark XIX is the ultimate semi-auto big bore pistol. With 1600fps and muzzle energy of 1,800lb/ft.
It’s the class leader, the undisputed King of the streets. And the Magnum Research Desert Eagle Mark XIX has been forever…
A Movie Star
The single-action Desert Eagle pistol is also a star of the silver screen.
Seriously, the semi-automatic Desert Eagle has more screentime in Hollywood and games than most A-list stars. You’ve seen it in: Deadpool, The Matrix, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and classics like Don’t Mess With the Zohan and Police Academy. With lights AND lasers on the accessory rail.
Real law enforcement probably won’t ever pull one of these on you though.
Now it’s Super Serious, Not Just a Movie Star
The movie roles and video games love were one reason why the Desert Eagle pistol was dismissed as a gimmick by some in the firearms community.
But the thing is this gas operated semi-automatic pistol has been with us since the mid-1980s. And in that time, a lot of the kinks in the Desert Eagle have been worked out.
Over that time, this large pistol has got exponentially better. Especially when production of the Desert Eagle shifted from the Middle East to Saco, Maine, in 1995. We have liked them for a long time.
You Have to Maintain Them
Rebuilds and proper gun maintenance still go with the territory, due to the forces this 4.5lb mass of moving parts and stainless steel has to endure. The gas piston operated system is really modified rifle technology, but it works.
How Does a Desert Eagle Mark XIX Work?
When you spell out the whole mechanism, from the piston actuated operation through to the constant pressure on the spring-loaded ejector, it’s mind-boggling. That’s before you get into how the compensator fights muzzle rise.
Thankfully, somebody made an explainer video, which shows how the Magnum Research Desert Eagle Mark XIX works. Essentially it’s gas operated AR-15 tech. It’s high spec, high price, high quality, and 50 AE is fun to shoot.
How Much Does a Magnum Research Desert Eagle Mark XIX Cost?
Now this is a more complex question, as the big Desert Eagle Mark XIX has evolved into a model line of semi-automatic pistols. Some come with an integral muzzle brake, some are easier to conceal. You can get a brushed chrome pistol, a burnt bronze pistol, chrome pistol and just about everything else.
Check out a full buyers guide on the Magnum Research Desert Eagle XIX for more info…
Magnum Research Desert Eagle pistol prices range from around the $1500 mark for a blued firearm and go well beyond $2500 for some of the custom pistol options. They include a longer barrel, which hunters appreciate. Criminals don’t as they like to carry concealed.
They might like theburnt bronze finish, or the titanium gold tiger stripe and black tiger stripe hand cannons for gangsters. And Joe Exotic likes a bit of titanium gold too..
Best Spec Magnum Research Desert Eagle Mark XIX
Ignore those, but go for the Magnum Research Desert Eagle Mark XIX with the integral compensator and the 6 inch barrel. It doesn’t just look awesome. This generates huge recoil, and fireballs. So it’s pretty clear there is some gas out there.
It’s better to have at least some control over that and use the gas to beat felt recoil, a bit.
This weapon will sprain your wrist, cost a fortune to feed with 50 Action Express and you’ll really have to be in the mood to take this out your gun safe.
But when you are, you’ll have an absolute blast. And if you need the capacity for dangerous game like bears, that can handle at least one or two rounds of .50, the additional rounds can really mean something.
Buy .50 Action Express Ammunition
It helps to shop around as .50 AE ammo can get expensive. It can also get scarce, so keep some in your gun safes for a rainy day. So if you need to feed your Desert Eagle addiction, then start here.
- Palmetto State Armory – 50AE ammo at the best prices.
- Natchez Shooters Supplies – Quality .50 Cal ammo, including 50 AE.
3. Magnum Research BFR
- Price: $1,631.99
- Cal: 45-70 Government/S&W 500
- Barrel length: 7.5 inch
- Total: 15 inch
- Weight: 4.5lb
- Capacity: 5 rounds
The Magnum Research BFR 45-70 Government stole the headlines as the world’s most powerful handgun.
You can buy a Magnum Research BFR for almost every big cartridge these days.
There are long cylinder versions and short cylinder, depending on the ammo. Both 50 cal pistols are the Magnum Research BFR long cylinder.
Following in Colt’s Footsteps
This modern day gun follows in the footsteps of the Colt Single Action Army that features on our list of the best 357 Magnum revolvers.
It delivers 1472fps muzzle velocity and 2,587ft/lb of pressure. So the usual shooting supplies include bi-pods and scopes.
This is arguably the most powerful production pistol in the world and you absolutely should own one t some point. So why not now?
4. Guncrafter Industries Glock 50 GI
- Price: $649.99
- Cal: .50GI
- Barrel length: 4.6 inch
- Weight: 2lb
This is the famous Glock conversion and it comes from one of the finest custom gunsmiths out there.
Guncrafter Industries makes some of the best custom 1911 pistols on the site. Should you have the near 4k it will take to buy it on your credit card, the high price, high spec Guncrafter Hellcat is waiting for you here.
It has made big bore Glocks for fun for more than 15 years now, and so it has refined this from a rough hand cannon into a real hunter. The thing is, Glock already has a real hunter. The Glock G40 10mm is a beast that can take medium game. But these gun parts make us happy. Maybe you too.
Guncrafter claims a muzzle velocity of 1200fps and 591ft/lb of energy. That’s pretty impressive information for the best option here for a concealed carry 50 Cal handgun. Although we would recommend other Glock pistols, revolvers, a lot of stuff, first…
Get a Parts Kit and Build Your Own DIY 50 Cal Glock
Seriously, this is a drop in conversion kit for a Glock 20/21/40/41. How’s that for shooting supplies?
So if you have any of those lying round, Gen 4 only, then this is the cheapest way to realize your 50 cal handgun dream. It’s relatively subtle too.
Ammo is a sore subject, as it’s an expensive luxury when you buy direct. The round was introduced at the 2004 Shot Show and is basically a wider and longer 45 ACP.
Did we need that? Probably not, but it’s another way to get a 50 Cal pistol and the Glock is so different that we still like it. Luckily, Guncrafter Industries will still sell it to you. Unluckily, it’s $1.78 a round.
A lightweight handgun with that much kick is a brutal, raw experience that you might just want to try. And at this price, it’s not a ridiculous luxury. But the bullets are.
5. Ruger Super Redhawk
- Price: $1,241.99
- Cal: Ruger .480
- Barrel length: 7.5 inch
- Total: 13 inch
- Weight: 3.31lb
- Capacity: 6
OK, full disclosure, the DA Super Redhawk isn’t quite a true .50. But unless you and your friends are in some twisted competition, it is really close enough.
The 480 Ruger was born out of the work of John Linebaugh. The .475 Linebaugh was already an icon with hunters, as was Ruger.
But the company wanted to go that step further with a sledgehammer of a bullet for big, dangerous game. It wanted full cradle to grave control, literally, for one of the most powerful handguns in the world.
A New Round For Star Revolver
Ruger already had this revolver chambered in 454 Casull, which is another serious cartridge. So it went to work and produced a new bullet that will fire out of a revolver chambered for 475 Linebaugh. It’s that close and actually has slightly less power.
So why is it here? Because this whole revolver is just over 3lb in weight. That makes it a packaging marvel in this company. We also like the Hogue rubber grip that helps in the real world with felt recoil.
Ornate Bisley grips are nice, but only with gloves. That’s a hunting handgun, not a defensive pistol
A Realistic Carry Revolver?
You get six rounds of almost 50 in a gun that could work as a concealed carry, if you’re Dirty Harry maybe.
If you work in the Alaskan wasteland, this could also be a revolver that could work as bear defense without destroying your wrists. Repeatability is a real thing and emptying a 500 S&W pistol is a feat in itself. Not so much with this gun.
Compared to the full fat 50 cal pistols, the Ruger is a relatively soft shooter. That means the adjustable sights actually matter and you can aim your shot. And your follow up shots.
This big Ruger round is more than capable of taking big game. It’s a solid option for bear defense and it just about works as a monster of a home defense handgun too.
6. Thompson Center Contender Pistol
- Price: $669.99
- Cal: 45-70 Government/50 Cal Black Powder
- Barrel length: 12 inch
- Total: 15 inch
- Weight: 3.5lb
- Capacity: 1
The Thompson Center Contender G2 is a break action pistol that’s available from 22LR right through to 45 Long Colt, 45-70 Government and, yes, 50 Cal. Kind of.
Best of all? You can buy conversion kits and change them out in seconds.
A simple lug arrangement means you can swap out the barrel in under a minute. Go from a 22LR range toy to a 45-70 Government monster in moments.
Pistol Becomes a Rifle in Seconds
Switch out for a longer barrel and a stock and your Contender turns into a rifle. It’s pretty clever. There’s even an integral safety, and there’s just some nice mechanical engineering here that gun guys tend to love.
They also love the way the long barrel, weight, and the shooting stance that goes with this gun seems to kill felt recoil. It’s there, but way less than you’d think and seems to transmit well back through that handle and along the arm.
It’s a hokey design, but the bore axis seems about right and the adjustable sights are great. I mean it sucks as a carry pistol, but hopefully that was never really an ambition for you. For target shooting, it’s cool.
Beyond 50 Cal?
And the 45-70 is a genuine match for most. Well, in terms of bang for the buck it certainly is anyway. It was never even really meant to be a handgun cartridge. This is rifle ammo.
We’re pretty sure you will be able to fire a 50AE or S&W 500 from this long barrel single-shot pistol too. It seems like a when, not if, you get a .50 bullet kinda thing.
Choose Your Weapon, And Your Look
For now you could always opt for the 357 Magnum, or the range topper we included here because it’s a viable real world option. It’s genuinely clever engineering, too.
Also take a look at the T/C Encore. It’s basically a G2, but modern, with polymer and stainless steel. Check the buyers guide and you’ll see why preppers, hunters and plain old recreational shooters love them.
Why Choose a Single Shot Pistol?
Now a single shot might not make massive sense at first glance. But it’s cheap and can easily switch from a pistol to a rifle with a few minor adjustments.
That’s pretty cool and one of the reasons it has become a legend in the hunting community.
It’s also a cheap and simple way to start shooting.
7. Traditions Mini Old Ironsides Cannon
- Price: $259.99
- Cal: 50 Cal Black Powder Pistol
- Barrel: 10 inch
- Length: 14 inch
- Capacity: 1
While the T/C Encore and Contender are the next generation, this Traditions Kentucky 50 Cal is a wilfully nostalgic tribute. And if you thought the flintlock pistol they also sell was wild, we think you’ll love this fully functional cannon.
You get a hardwood stock and simple percussion ignition for the black powder pistols. And don’t even think this 50 Cal pistol is anywhere near a match for the monsters further up this list.
I mean it’s not really a hunter either. White Tail might laugh at your black powder pistols, and put up their dukes. Seriously, forget dangerous game. There isn’t even a mounting rail for a red dot on the Traditions Kentucky mini cannon.
It’s simply something different, a chance for firearms enthusiasts to experience a muzzle loader. And maybe pay tribute to a little piece of history in the process.
Obviously if you want a black powder concealed carry that looks like a cannon then you haven’t really grasped the concept of concealed carry, or black powder. One of the two…
8. Auto Ordnance Case Hardened 1911
- Price: $700
- Barrel: 5 inch
- Cal 50GI
There are mentions on the web of an elusive 50 Cal Auto Ordnance Case Hardened 1911 on the web, and it seems simple enough to get it done.
Just take the 45 ACP version of the Auto Ordnance Case Hardened 1911 with its ornate black finish. It’s basically the same Glock barrel to take the same ammo.
The end result is a nice looking gun, with a serious punch.
9. Safety Harbor Firearms SHTF50
- Price: NA
- Cal: 50 BMG
- Barrel: 12 inch
- Weight: 6lb
- Capacity: 5
Remember the mag-fed, 50 BMG pistol from Safety Harbor Firearms? Crazy times man…
BATFE regulations put paid to some of Safety Harbor’s shenanigans, but not all of them.
You can still buy a 50 BMG conversion kit for an AR-15. And we don’t entirely rule out the pistol coming back. That’s why it’s here.
Check out how the rifle is made and see what you think about converting your AR-15 into a DIY 50 BMG rifle. Or you could just buy one of these better sorted 50 BMG rifles off the peg. We’d do that.
That’s what Clint Eastwood would do. But you might feel lucky, etc…
Where to Buy 50 BMG Ammo Online and other 50 Cal options
The interest in 50 BMG shooting means that the prices are coming down for .50 rounds that were originall designed for machine guns as the mass market starts to figure out these massive rounds. It used to be $3.50 a round for this long-range ammo. Now it’s less, although some specialist ammo is more.
But where are the best places to buy 50 BMG ammo online? Try here for ammo in stock:
- Palmetto State Armory – Great source of cheap 50 Cal ammo online.
- Brownells – Several options for 50 Browning Machine Guns rounds.
People who shoot 50 Cal a lot often get into reloading supplies and preparing their own ammo. It does save money, but you of course have to invest in the reloading supplies. If you want to buy reloading gear and need a good customer service team, start with Brownells or Primary Arms, or Natchez.
10. Umarex HDR50
- Price: $109.99
- Cal: 50 Cal Air Gun
- Barrel: 5 inch
- Weight: 6lb
- Capacity: 6
It’s fair to say that although this is a 50 Cal revolver, it shouldn’t really breathe the same air as these other guns. That’s because this is a 50 Cal air gun.
This is a relative toy compared to the other .50 pistols. Although the polymer case does come with a picatinny rail up top for scopes, sights or maybe even a red dot.
So let’s not start with fps and muzzle energy. But if you just want a super cheap pistol to bingo rats or backyard targets, even tin cans if you’re that way inclined, well air guns work.
If you haven’t checked out the latest generation of air pistols and rifles, then be prepared to be surprised by these guns, ammunition and, well, arrows.
You can have a tactical rifle snake gun, or possibly a replacement for a 22LR rifle, for a lot less money when it comes to the ammo. Gun parts are much cheaper too. Felt recoil? Yep, that’s less. Imagine…
Does Non-Lethal Defense Work? Kinda
These are fun. So get one. But it’s here just for the juxtaposition, more than anything else. If you’re into non-lethal self defense, though, or if you want animal defense that doesn’t kill, go for it.
There’s a whole sub-culture for the BB gun and air rifle community. They do it better than we can and the guns come with a whole new breed of scopes, sights, ammunition and all the jazz.
There are air rifles that shoot arrows now. Did you know that? We think it’s cool, although we prefer to see a cleaner kill than you see in this video.
Where to Buy 50 Caliber Pistols, Parts and Gun Accessories
This whole sector of the guns & firearms industry is a little specialist national interest stuff. So if you want pistol parts, rifle parts, gun cleaning supplies, gun tools, shooting supplies, gun stuff, guns, ammunition etc for a 50 Cal pistol, you need a contact, to know where to go or have a buyers guide.
Get just about everything posted to your door. Well, in some cases you’ll need to find an FFL dealer near you to receive firearms and do the background checks.
Aside from that, we won’t do anything with your personal information. Please don’t do anything with our personal information. And we’re all good here.
OK I GET TWO OK