Last Updated September 16th 2023
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Winners at a Glance
The Barrett M1017 is the most powerful rifle you can and should buy. But there are plenty of other heavyweight choices here.
Christensen Arms Modern Precision
Browning X-Bolt Hell’s Canyon
Browning BLR Lightweight
12 of the World’s Most Powerful Rifles For Sale
There’s just something about the biggest, most powerful rifles in the world that turn us into giggling kids again. Big guns are exciting, visceral, dramatic and spectacular.
Firing powerful guns, though, takes commitment. And space, but mostly commitment. Recoil goes with the territory, the ammo costs so much your family might go hungry and your neighbors might stop talking to you.
But you won’t care. You’ll be there with no hearing, grinning from ear to ear as you fire off another round from the biggest, most powerful gun in the world. And if you can’t go that far, we’ve got a big bore rifle you can get started with for less than $450.
So what are the world’s most powerful rifles you can buy in 2023?
We know there are other mythical guns that people have seen, or heard about, and custom build rifles. But we wanted a simple rule, we want you to be able to buy guns online, not just look at them. So all these guns are for sale, right now, kind of…
Some of them are seriously cheap, too. You can get started in big bore hunting and shooting for just $450, although powerful rifles are an addiction and some of them cost a lot more..
Here are our picks for the most powerful rifles in the world.
1. Barrett M107A1
- Price: $12.867.99
- Caliber: .50 BMG
- Barrel: 29 inch
- Total length: 57
- Weight: 28.5lb
- Cost per round: $3.30
- Velocity: 4000fps
The legend. Simply put, the Barrett 50 BMG has become an icon in the US military and for collectors who just like cool shit.
That’s why the armed forces often say this is the best sniper weapon system. And military and Law Enforcement love that legendary 50 Caliber rifles’ ability to crack an engine block.
This is an ‘anti-material’ gun, which basically means vehicles, walls, doors and armor-plated, well, anything.
If you really want a 50 BMG Barrett Model, this is the one. Should you want to leave comedy dark spots in the ground where deer used to be, if you want to take pot shots at old cars in the middle of the desert, if you want to blow holes in your own house, well you can do that. But nice things cost money.
So where can you buy a Barrett 50 Cal rifle? Step right this way for the most powerful rifles on the market…
2. Christensen Arms Modern Precision 338 Lapua
- Price: $2,499.99
- Caliber: 338 Lapua Magnum
- Barrel: 27″
- Length: 39-47 inch, folding stock
- Weight: 8.1lb
- Velocity: 3,000fps
- Muzzle Energy: 4,768 foot pounds
Do you want a portable sniper? Do you want to go deer hunting, big game hunting from a distance maybe?
Then you might want to forget the heavy 50 Cal rifles and go for a lightweight rifle in a smaller caliber…
Now you get super accurate rifles for long range hunting or to get tighter shot groups on paper targets.
This complete bolt action rifle tips the scales at around 7-8lb, depending on your choice of caliber and barrel. It also costs less than $3,000, which is a bargain in this company. You have to think the US Marine Corps would love it too…
A carbon fiber barrel sleeve saves weight and steel. A carbon-fiber handguard is precision engineered and there is more CF on there too.
The company is a big fan of carbon fiber, basically.
CNC machined from billet aluminum, this chassis rifle is available in 308 Winchester Magnum, 6.5 Creedmoor and pretty much every major caliber.
So if you’re deer hunting, or big game hunting, you can find the right carbon-fiber dressed rifle for the occasion. The full line is here:
A Powerful Rifle You Can Carry
The folding hybrid precision chassis means it’s no harder to carry than your average AR-15 rifle and yet you get an effective range of 1500 yards.
It’s a guaranteed sub-MOA rifle, comes with a carbon-fiber wrapped stainless steel barrel that is much thinner. That’s how the company started out, before moving into custom guns that have taken us and a lot of the world by storm.
3. Ruger AR-556 MPR 450
- Price: $934.99
- Caliber: 450 Bushmaster
- Barrel: 18 inch
- Total: 35.6-38.9 inch
- Weight: 7.4lb
Best AR Style Rifle
A simple AR-15 chambered in a round designed to drop the biggest African game at 250 yards? That tips the scales at 7.4lb? With high capacity box magazines? Shut up and take my money…
The big bore Ruger AR-556 isn’t even that expensive with the 18 inch heavy barrel for the monster of a round that is 450 Bushmaster. We know this isn’t an assault rifle, it lacks the full auto, but really this could be an assault rifle…
It turns this semi-auto rifle into a serious consideration in bear country where the 5+1 rapid fire rounds of something every serious indeed should give you a fighting chance. Maybe even the upper hand.
For hunting? All North American hunting, big game hunting etc is on the menu.
Obviously the effective range isn’t that big. But as a short range hunting rifle, or even a defensive rifle against bears, or dinosaurs, it’s incredible.
We’re pretty glad Joe Biden doesn’t know about these firearms.
4. Accuracy International AX50 ELR
- Price: $13,776.99
- Caliber: 50 BMG
- Barrel length: 27″
- Length: 54 inches
- Weight: 26.1lb
- Velocity: 5,988fps
Best Military Grade Sniper
The Accuracy International AX50 bolt action rifle is pure military hardware that you just happen to be able to buy.
It’s not a gun you need to justify, then, it’s just the best 50 Caliber sniper rifle in the world. This is widely considered the most accurate 50 Cal. rifle of all time, although the McMillan might have a word or two to say about that.
It’s a beautiful looking thing and you can buy one, but the price might make you cry. If it does, you need to take a closer look. This is craftsmanship, durability, explosive force and a near force of nature in rifle form. Here it is working on a train track rail in a massively popular video.
Your Best Rifle, By a Mile, or Two
Put simply, it’s the most powerful sniper rifle you will ever own and 50 caliber bullets are a luxury you should enjoy while you still can.
Maybe this is not the best overall, but certainly the most spectacular. It’s a long-range demolition crew on a bi-pod…
The AX50 has a detachable five-round magazine, too, which slots home in a conventional AR-style. The company pitches it as an anti-material rifle, with a monster of a cartridge that can go straight through walls.
Now the company claims a muzzle velocity of 5,988fps, and a 2,700-yard effective range. Just think about those energy levels for a moment…
5. Mossberg Patriot
- Price: $820.99
- Caliber: 338 Win Mag
- Barrel: 24″
- Weight: 6.5lb
- Velocity: 2,950fps
- Muzzle Energy: 3,866lb/ft
There’s no getting round the fact that 338 Winchester Magnum is the red headed stepchild next to the more popular 338 Lapua. But the truth is it’s one of the most powerful rifles here in a dirt cheap package.
You’ll learn all about recoil with this Mossberg bolt action rifle. But the velocity and power are stunning and that makes it a useful addition for the outdoor life.
Traditional hunting rifles with a kick like this have a place in this world.
Lapua rifles tend to be more precise and the real world range here is really 500 yards with any degree of clarity. But this is a 24 inch barrel and a butt ton of power in a hunting rifle. It’s simple, reliable, durable and hella explosive.
Sometimes that’s enough.
And you can save money to spend on hunting gear.
6. Browning X-Bolt Hells Canyon
- Price: $2,421.99
- Caliber: 7mm Rem Mag
- Barrel: 26″
- Weight: 7.5lb
- Capacity: 3+1
- Cost per round: $2.25
Best Mountain Rifle
You can hunt well beyond 1000 yard with 7mm Remington Magnum, like proper game with one of the most powerful rifles for the field.
This is a better round than 6.5mm Creedmoor in many ways, and yet ammunition prices keep it a niche option. At more than $2 a pop, you’ll pay for these hunting rifles twice with 600 rounds.
That’s a sobering thought if you’re trigger happy…
Make every shot count, though, and this could be the long range sniper you’ve been looking for. I mean just look at the cerakote finished barrel and muzzle brake on this hunting rifle.
7. Noreen Firearms BN36X3
- Price: $2,700.99
- Caliber: .30-06 Springfield
- Barrel: 22″
- Weight: 9lb
- Cost per round: $1.80
Best AR-Style Monster
Noreen Firearms offers a standard carbine rifle, chambered in 30-06 Springfield, which was THE big sniper round and heavy machine gun round for the US Marine Corps before 50 BMG came along and blew it out the water.
So this is basically an AR-10 with up to a 20-round magazine firing one of the most devastating rounds in history up to 1800 yards with a good sight on the accessory rail. What’s not to love…
It is easy to load, you get a pistol grip, collapsible stock, triple port muzzle brake and it handles like an AR-10. Until you pull the trigger.
You can even get a shorter barrel tactical rifle punching out that kind of superior penetration and stopping power. That’s an awesome defensive rifle that will beat most hunting rifles in the real world. Tempting, right?
8. Ruger American 7mm-08 Remington
- Price: $401.99
- Caliber: 7mm-08 Rem
- Barrel: 22 inches
- Total Length: 42 inches
- Cost per Round: $1.40
Best Low Budget Rifle
Just a minute ago we were talking $11,000 and up and here we are with an absolute cannon of a classic hunting rifle that costs less than $500. This is a cheap rifle, perhaps as cheap a rifle as you’d want to trust with dangerous game.
The Ruger is a basic 3+1 round hunting rifle, but it has everything you need for brutal close-range hunting and you’ll be able to take anything with this relatively budget rifle. If you’re close enough.
But it’s there if you want it and it offers almost 3000fps from the barrel, so you might want this top notch bolt gun and hunting rifle for all kinds of reasons.
9. Barrett M82 50 Caliber
- Price: $10,148.99
- Caliber: 50 BMG
- Barrel Length: 29″
- Total length: 57″
- Weight: 32.72lb
- Cost per Round: $1.40
The Battlefield Icon
The Barrett M82 is the face of the 50 BMG rifle movement and a Gulf War hero. It’s a semi-automatic, shoulder fired 50 cal rifle, and that is just about as awesome as you’re likely to get.
If the big kid inside of you wants a 50 Cal rifle, the Barrett M82 is the one they want. So don’t disappoint the little kid inside yourself with inferior firepower this Christmas, or something…
Longer Barrel Will Take More Strength
Now we went with pure power and velocity here, so that means the 29″ barrel version of the Barrett M82 50 Caliber. That would take some kind of Hulk style super soldier to casually shoot from the hip. In fact he might struggle with the trigger guard…
There is an unironically named 20″ barrel Close Quarters Combat version that weighs in at a more svelte 29.7lb. Still, the weight issue remains, but what a comedy battle rifle huh?
The US Special Forces agrees and has used this gun since it launched in 1982, hence the name, and evolved through the early 1990s.
Your Gated Compound Needs This Gun
This is the kind of gun I would expect to find at the front gatehouse of a Mexican drug lord’s country retreat. Remember the bad guy in Bad Boys 2? He was Cuban, but that kind of guy. He’d have a long distance rifle like this.
Armor piercing rounds and explosive ordnance might not be available in what has become a standard NATO round, but you’ll honestly be fine with the consumer grade ammunition here.
You might not need a 30lb weapon that can launch lethal projectiles over a mile in normal life. But who gives a damn about need? If I had ridiculous amounts of free money and a massive ranch, or a junkyard, yeah I’d have one for fun.
I might even fire it from the shoulder, when nobody is looking, and pretend to be the special forces.
10. Browning BLR Lightweight 81
- Price: $1,009.01
- Caliber: 450 Marlin
- Barrel: 20″
- Total length: 40″
- Weight: 7lb
- Cost per round: $1.80
The Lever Action Rated for a T-Rex
Well this is a refreshing change. It’s a traditional hunting rifle, chambered in 450 Marlin, with a lever action and a 3-round magazine.
You might recognize it from Jurassic World in the hands of Chris Pratt and it’s the only hunting rifle on Browning’s site rated for a Tyrannosaurus Rex…
The high-powered 450 Marlin cartridge is a development of the Wildcat 458×2. It has similar ballistic properties to the much-loved 45-70 Government and it’s a joint venture between Hornady and Marlin.
So you know this cartridge is a peach in this lever action rifle and more.
11. Browning M2
- RRP: $20,000
- Barrel: 45 inch barrel
- Weight: 83.78lb and 127.87lb with tripod
- Capacity: Belt-fed.
- Rate of fire: 450-600 Rounds Per Minute
The Military Legend
Now this isn’t for everybody, and it may not be California Legal. But if you want the world’s most powerful rifles that you can sort of buy, well you can make a case for the Browning M2.
You can buy a semi auto version of this, which is pretty damned cool. Look out for the Ohio Ordnance M2 SLR.
This is the what the 50 Browning Machine Gun cartridge was originally designed for. John M Browning answered the United States military’s call for a larger caliber by redesigning his .30-06 M1917, and the ammunition it needed to fire. Since then it has become a standard NATO round.
Unleashed on an unsuspecting world in 1933, this gun took inspiration from German tank barrels. Ma deuce still serves as the American military’s attack dog to this day.
Well those and assault rifles. Real ones…
Seriously, this is the longest serving firearm in the military. It’s the high-powered gun fixed to helicopters strafing the swamps in the Vietnam war and lighting up the desert sky. But snipers have also used these for precision shots from more than a mile away. Ma Deuce has simply been the best sniper weapon available regularly.
This gun can fire 600 rounds per minute, of 50BMG. I mean… That’s $3600 a minute on ammo alone, just if you’re trying to figure it out. War is expensive…
12. McMillan Tac-50
- Price: $11,570+
- Barrel Length: 29 inch
- Weight: 29lb
Military Sniper Record Holder
You can still order a McMillan Tac-50 direct from the company, but it isn’t the same rifle that you remember.
Now you get a rifle based on a Cadex chassis. But for nostalgia’s sake we decided to include the McMillan Tac-50 that first appeared in the late 80s and became a star in the early 1990s. That’s because it’s a legend in the United States Marine Corps, and a standard issue rifle for armed forces round the world.
This long-range anti material rifle first appeared in the late 80s. It was a time of Miami Vice, Pablo Escobar and MASH. It was also the start of the 50 BMG sport shooting scene.
McMillan Tac-50 Holds Record For Longest Sniper Kill
This is a 0.5 MOA rifle that holds the record for the longest kill shot by military snipers in active service. A Canadian sniper used this rifle to kill an ISIS fighter from 3,540 meters away. That’s 2.2 miles, so it’s a highly accurate sniper weapon. I mean Damn…
The Canadian sniper may have walked over to apologize afterward…
Now the standard issue gun for the armed forces has evolved into a precision rifle with a chassis supplied by Cadex. It’s a different beast, if we’re honest and doesn’t hold quite the same charm as the old anti-material rifle. Especially when the Cadex 50 BMG on which the new McMillan Tac-50 is based is $3000 cheaper…
Military and law enforcement remain loyal, though, together with special forces around the world. And that means that one of the most respected rifles in the world also gets that same military endorsement as Barrett. But it’s unofficial, so it’s maybe even better.
Where to Buy Ammo
Not all of these are standard NATO rounds, or even freely available on the open market. But if you’re looking for specialist ammo for your hunting rifles, then you might want to take a look here.
- Firearms Depot – Awesome ammo supplier, from standard NATO through to unique cartridges.
- Lucky Gunner – A Great ammo store.
What About an Assault Rifle?
You might want to consider a full on belt fed AR-15 in full auto mode. If you like in a gun friendly State, and if you can get the Class 3 license then you can buy a full military rifle.
Biden has gone to war with AR-15s and the ATF is closing down basic ass gun stores for basic ass paperwork violations. So it’s just not as easy to buy an assault rifle these days. Legally anyway…
Assault rifles is a subject for another day, but don’t listen to all the doom and gloom. A proper full auto rifle using standard NATO round like 5.56 NATO or 7.62x51mm is still kinda legal if you know what to do with the paperwork.
That definitely might change, though, so you should buy one now if you want one at all.
What About the New Breed of Air Rifle?
Now to be clear from the off, we shouldn’t really be comparing a 50 cal air rifle and a 50 BMG or Beowulf.
They are not the same.
With that said, 50 Cal air rifles are all kinds of fun. So yeah, here we go, talking about the best air rifles…
What is the Most Powerful Air Rifle?
The most powerful production air rifle we can find on the mainstream sites is a single shot monster that draws heavy inspiration from vintage shotguns. But your quest to find the most powerful production air rifle will eventually lead to another partner of ours: Airgun Depot.
There you can pick your poison between pellet weight and velocity. Inevitably there’s a trade off, but here are our picks.
Consider these big bore airguns and the best air guns in the world a freebie…
1. Airforce Texan Carbine
- Price: $1,150.99
- Caliber: .510 .357
- Muzzle velocity: 1130fps
- Weight: 7.5lb
Airforce Airguns make some of the biggest hitters in the airgun industry. The Airforce Airguns Airforce Texan air rifle is a beast that officially comes as a 50 cal.
The .357 and smaller .257 will go a lot faster. But still, whatever spec you opt for, this is a monster of an air gun and one of the most powerful air rifles in the world.
People really take these hunting hogs. Especially in countries like South Africa, with more restrictive gun laws.
2. Seneca Dragon Claw PCP
- Price: $699.99
- Caliber: .50 Cal, Arrows, Whatever
- Weight: 7lb
The Seneca Dragon Claw PCP air rifle looks like a shotgun, but will fire everything from 50 cal pellets through to arrows. Not. Even. Kidding.