Thanks to cinema and computer games, most people will answer the question of the most “powerful” pistol: of course, “Desert Eagle”. This answer is incorrect. But it is difficult to deny that this gun is quite interesting both in design and in the spectrum of used ammunition. But "interesting" does not mean "unique." There is a mass of analogues of this weapons, and some were released long before the famous “Desert Eagle”. These guns, though little known, but this does not become less interesting. I propose to start with pistols for the .50AE cartridges, since it is for this ammunition that the Desert Eagle pistols are the most popular, despite the cost of the cartridge.
Grizzly mark v
If you start from the .50AE ammunition, then the pistols for this cartridge are not so much, but they are. One of the brightest representatives of this rather rare type of weapon is the Grizzly Mark V pistol. Just like the Desert Eagle, the Grizzly pistol exists in several versions. The most "weak" version of the weapon is designated as the Grizzly Win Mag Mark I. This is the first version of the gun, which was designed to use .45 Winchester Magnum cartridges, for the first time on the market this gun appeared in the 1983 year.
Together with the weapon, it was proposed to purchase several sets, with the help of which the pistol could be easily adapted to the use of other ammunition. Initially, the list was quite extensive and included cartridges such as: .357 Magnum, .38 Super, 10 mm Auto and .45ACP.
A little later, a new version of the gun Grizzly Mark IV. This weapon was originally designed for a more powerful cartridge .44 Remington Magnum, however, back with the help of sets, purchased separately, the gun could be adapted to the above list of ammunition.
The latest model of the pistol was the Grizzly Mark V. This version of the weapon was originally designed to use Israeli ammunition .50 Action Express and, like the previous versions, can be adapted to weaker cartridges in comparison with the original one.
Separately, it should be mentioned that the Grizzly pistols were also produced in 4 variants depending on the barrel length. So the shortest option was a gun with a barrel length of 137 millimeters. The most popular weapon variant was a pistol with a barrel 165 millimeters long. There were also options for weapons with long 203 and 254 mm trunks.
Obviously, this gun was originally designed for the civilian market, and not to become a military weapon. The main niche of the use of such a gun can be called hunting and entertaining shooting. The reason for this lies not so much in the ammunition, as in the size and weight of the weapon, which is comparable to a submachine gun. In addition, in view of the size of the cartridges, the weapons shop not only had a small capacity, but also required a large enough handle to accommodate it, which was far from convenient for everyone.
Once talked about the weight and size, it would be nice to give a few numbers. Weapon version for .45 WinMag ammunition with barrel length in 165 millimeters, had a weight in 1380 grams, while the total gun length was 267 millimeters. Food was carried out from a single-row magazine with a capacity of 7 cartridges. It should be noted that the same mass differed slightly in the transition between ammunition. At the same time, the lengthening of the barrel of the weapon led already to a serious weighting, as the length of the casing-shutter of the weapon increased along with the barrel. So, the pistol version, under the same .45WinMag cartridge with a barrel length of 254 millimeter, weighed more than 2,1 kilograms, which combined with a length of more than 35 centimeters made such a gun not the most convenient not only when worn, but even when aiming.
Despite the fact that in their dimensions and mass Grizzly pistols in some of their variants are surprising, or at least unhealthy, in terms of design, these devices are not the most interesting, or rather, their design is familiar to anyone who is even slightly interested in firearms . Even outwardly, you can see that the Grizzly pistols are very similar to the well-known M1911 and this similarity is not only external.
The basis for this gun was the automation system with a short barrel stroke, with the barrel bore locked by the entry of tides on the barrel into the grooves on the inner surface of the housing-bolt. The movement of the breech vertically to lock and unlock the barrel is exactly the same as the М1911 - with the help of a swinging earring. It only remains to be surprised at what loads the automation system offered by Browning can withstand, albeit in an increased size.
Like the original M1911, the Grizzly pistols have a single-action trigger mechanism. The safety of handling weapons is ensured by a massive fuse switch located on either side of the weapon frame, as well as a key on the back of the handle. On the left side of the gun there is a button for extracting the magazine and a slide delay lever, which, when removed, disassembles the weapon.
Unfortunately, the production of this gun was discontinued in the 1999 year, although some parts, as well as accessories in the form of muzzle brakes, sighting devices, overlays on the handle and so on, are still produced, albeit in small quantities.
It is very strange that the Grizzly pistol was not widely used in the same cinema and computer games, because outwardly it looks much more impressive than the same Desert Eagle, and the range of used ammunition is wider. Anyway, it’s not a new goal in life, but rather a burning desire, to test this pistol in a dash with a maximum barrel length and chambered for .50AE, at least for comparison in terms of recoil perception.
ATM Automag V Pistol
This weapon is interesting at once on several points. Firstly, the name of this weapon is consonant with another pistol, which we will talk about separately, and secondly, if you take the whole line of pistols, then the younger one is powered by a .22WMR cartridge, when the older .50АЕ ammunition. I think it would be more correct to go through all the options for weapons, especially since their total 4.
Like all Automag pistols, the Automag II is not a military weapon, as evidenced by not only the cartridge, but also the weight and size characteristics. First of all, this is a pistol for entertaining shooting and hunting for small game.
The question of the beginning of the numbering of weapons, as it begins with a two, will be quite natural. As already mentioned, the designation of pistols is very consonant with such weapons as Auto Mag, the designer of which is Harry Sanford, he also developed these pistols. So, despite the fact that the manufacturers of weapons are different, they have one “dad”, which makes this numbering quite reasonable, although it is even outwardly obvious that the pistols are very different.
The small-bore version of the weapon was produced at different times with three different barrel lengths: 86, 112 and 152 of a millimeter, while the weight of the very long-barreled version was 910 grams without cartridges. All versions of pistols from detachable stores with a capacity of 9 cartridges were fed, since the frame they used was the same, regardless of the barrel length, which made it possible not to reduce the store capacity. By the way, Automag II is the only one produced in several versions with different barrel lengths, all other pistols were made only in one version.
Since the weapon used relatively weak ammunition, its automatics are built around a free gate. However, here we can single out one remarkable moment in the design, the chamber does not have a smooth surface, transverse grooves were applied along its walls, which made it difficult to extract the spent cartridge case. Obviously, the mass of the housing-bolt was minimized to reduce the total weight of the weapon, which required such a solution. Trigger trigger pistol trigger, single action.
The Automag III pistol variant is a more serious weapon, with which you can also hunt medium game, as the pistol is powered by the .30 Carbine cartridge.
This gun had a mass of 1280 grams and was fed from a single row 8 magazine. Equipped with a barrel length of 165 millimeters, which raises some questions. In particular, the behavior of a bullet with such a short barrel, in which the powder charge of a given ammunition was clearly not used at least rationally, is not entirely clear. However, this version of the weapon was the most popular of all, which perhaps can be explained by the good prevalence of ammunition. There are references to the version of the weapon chambered for 9x29 Winchester Magnum.
The automatic system of this gun is not just similar, but completely repeats the same M1911 Browning, of course, with changes in dimensions. The same automation system is used in the remaining 2 versions of weapons. USM kurkovy single action.
Separately, it should be mentioned that this pistol had a very inconvenient handle because of the length of the used cartridge, however, that in this case it is not as critical as in the subsequent versions, in which more powerful cartridges are used. It is obvious that the pistol frames are used the same for models III, IV and V, the difference is noticeable only in the casing of the bolts, the weight and strength of which were customized for a particular ammunition.
The fourth version of the pistol was fed, even though it was a “pistol” cartridge, but it was far from being the weakest; with such a weapon one could if not hunt, then at least confidently defend oneself from a large beast. The fourth version of the .45WinMag cartridge was used, which led to a reduction in the magazine's capacity to 7 cartridges and an increase in weight to 1,3 kilograms. The length of the barrel remains the same - 165 millimeters. Automation and trigger are similar to the previous version of the gun.
And finally, the last fifth version of the weapon was fed by the patron. 50AE, which, in turn, led to an increase in the weight of the pistol, but only slightly, on 10 grams. The capacity of the store, like everything else in arms, remains the same.
Obviously, it was quite possible to arrange the transition between the last three models of pistols by replacing individual parts in the weapon, but as far as is known, this was not done, and there is no obvious need for this either.
Auto Mag Pistol
This is the winding way we came to that pistol, which can be safely called the pioneer in pocket artillery. As noted above, the author of this monster was Harry Sanford. The initial goal that the designer had set for himself was to create a self-loading pistol that could not only contend with revolvers for powerful large-caliber ammunition, but also oust them from both hunting grounds and shooting galleries. And after all, the 2 / 3 task was completed. The weapon was really brought to mass production, and it really surpassed the common revolvers in the totality of its characteristics, but with the spread of the pistol it somehow did not appear.
Despite the fact that the pistol became quite famous and gained quite good popularity, they didn’t hurry to line up for some reason. The main reason for this, in my opinion, is the very high popularity of the revolver in the United States, as the design of weapons. A significant role, of course, was also played by the price, as well as the appearance of an equally interesting competitor in the market, from another manufacturer, but with more common and affordable ammunition.
Speaking of ammunition, in this pistol cartridges are used, which were developed back by Sanford, which clearly did not add to the attractiveness of the weapon for the consumer. Of course, where this gun was sold, there were also cartridges for it, but their nomenclature and cost clearly did not satisfy the buyers, who still preferred revolvers under the same .44 Magnum, which by the 70 years of the last century had gained a very high popularity. In 1982, the production of the pistol was minimized. During this time, three different weapon companies were engaged in production, and weapons were sold in 11 years of the entire 9,5 thousand units. So we can say that the gun did not take off.
This weapon was produced in 4 versions with millimeter and 165 millimeter barrel lengths, for .215АМР and .357АМР cartridges. Since the .44АМР cartridge was still the same .357 AMP, but the sleeve was over-crimped under a nine-millimeter bullet, the transition between the weapon options was limited only to the replacement of the barrel, which was removable and screwed into the receiver. The mass of the gun with a barrel length of 44 millimeters was equal to 165 kilograms. Ate Auto Mag from the magazine with a capacity of 1,6 cartridges.
Automatic weapons built according to the scheme with a short stroke of the barrel, but the barrel moves parallel to its axis, without distortions. This is achieved due to the fact that the barrel is locked by turning the shutter. The movement of the shutter around its axis occurs due to the interaction of the figure cutout on the surface of the shutter and the pin fixedly mounted in the frame of the weapon. The trigger trigger, single action.
We end the enumeration of the relatives of the Desert Eagle by the closest relative, namely the Wildey pistol. What makes the Desert Eagle unique is not its ammunition, mass or dimensions, the main feature of this pistol is the weapon’s automatic system, which, although quite common, is not among short-barreled weapons. The first mass-produced pistol with an automation system with removal of powder gases from the barrel was developed at the beginning of 70's by Wild Moore. Moreover, the design of the weapon turned out to be so well designed that with minimal changes to the main components in the weapon, various versions of it were created, which worked equally smoothly.
You need to start, probably with ammunition. The most common ammo used was the .45WinMag, besides it was used the .44AutoMag and its own .45 Wildey Magnum and .475 Wildey Magnum ammunition. The length of the barrel ran in more than a wide range, from 127 millimeters to unimaginable 457 millimeters, while, in the latter case, the total length of the weapon was more than 58 centimeters. It is worth noting that in the latter case, the butt and forearm were fastened to the pistol, which made the pistol more likely a carbine.
The node for the removal of powder gases was an annular piston around the barrel of a weapon with a regulator for the removal of powder gases. It was thanks to this regulator that it was possible to use different ammunition and different barrel lengths after the barrel and bolt group had been replaced. Locking the barrel was carried out when turning three stops. Trigger trigger pistol trigger, single action.
As it is easy to see, the “Desert Eagle” is far from the only gun that stands out for its size, weight and ammunition. If you take all the ammunition that can be used in the US-Israeli apparatus, then the list only for ammunition can be expanded even more. The only strange thing is that the cinema has bypassed at least the "charismatic" weapon models: for some reason, they can shoot a movie hero from a six-barreled machine gun, but not from a half-meter pistol.
Sources of photos and information:
Distant and close relatives of the "Desert Eagle"
- Mark Poddubny