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The Largest Handgun Ever Can Kill Elephants

Posted Mar 5th, 2020

The Largest Handgun Ever Can Kill Elephants

At the height of the Big Game hunting era in the early 1910s, an Austrian weapon company was approached with an odd request by a wealthy Swiss hunter named Zeliska. He wanted them to design a handgun that was capable of firing .600 Nitro Express round – at the time the biggest and most powerful commercially available hunting cartridge in the world. The round was potent enough to down a fully-grown bull elephant, and created so much recoil that most hunters only preferred to use the round for emergency cases. 

Needless to say, the Austrian company, Pfeifer Waffen, agreed to comply with this outlandish custom order and manufactured a massive 22-inchrevolver capable of housing five of these rounds. It was not simply an upscaled version of an existing revolver, but an authentic fully functional weapon that was just as lethal as it was intimidating. Since then, the company has continued to manufacture more of these monstrous handguns, now named the Pfeifer Zeliska .600 Revolver, as numerous more clients expressed an interest in the gun. 

Weighing an incredible 13.2 pounds, the gun’s weight makes the recoil from firing manageable and allows controlled shooting to be possible; the gun cylinder alone is 4.5 lb. The material used to make the gun is a hi-grade tungsten-steel alloy, the same stuff used to make micro-drill bits and rocket engine nozzles. This ensures that the gun doesn’t burst open from firing its gargantuan rounds.

Quite a few of its parts are also gold-plated, such as the trigger, hammer, and pins. However, this gelding isn’t just for show but serves a very practical purpose of protecting the most vulnerable pieces of the handgun from corrosion. The company’s brand logo and info are also engraved and inlaid in gold on the gun.

As one would expect from a gun of this size, the Pfeifer Zeliska packs quite a heavy punch. It’s loading and firing mechanism is based on the Colt Single Action Army Revolver. The gun is capable of producing muzzle energy of a jaw-dropping 7,591 foot-pounds. For comparison, a standard .44 magnum generates just 1,015 foot-pounds of energy while an AR-15 has only a mere 400 foot-pounds of energy. 

If you want to buy one of these guns, be prepared to dish out more than $17,000 for one. The .600 Express bullets don’t come cheap either at a cost of $40 apiece. Of course, not everyone may be a fan of power so the company also offers these guns in other calibers as well such as the .458 Winchester Magnum. 

What would you do if you had one of these handguns? Tell us in the comments below!