People identify big bore air guns differently. For the point of this article, we will categorize .30 and higher as a big bore. The first question that often comes to mind is why someone would even want a big bore when firearms are so easily available, albeit that dynamic is certainly changing.
It’s simple really; big bore airgunning offer shooters something different; something different for long-range shooting, hunting, and just plain old fun. It’s the nature of any sport. Folks will always want to push things to the limit. There’s possibly no greater example in the airgun world than what we’ve seen recently with large-caliber development.
Big bore rifles & pistols come in all shapes and sizes. They create muzzle energy ranging from well over 100 foot-pounds to over 800+ foot-pounds. They can be very loud as well. Some manufacturers handle this with integrated moderators. They represent a segment of the market that truly pushes the envelope and catches the eye of many folks looking to add airguns to their arsenal of traditional firearms.
6 – Hatsan Mod 135 .30
You may not think any break barrel airgun would fall into the big-bore category, but you’d be wrong. The Hatsan Mod 135 .30 cal is a great example of what manufacturers can do to push the envelope. The .30 cal Hatsan Mod 135 “Carnivore” is not only beautiful to look at, but it delivers more power than any break barrel currently on the market. And it does it with consistent accuracy; delivering over 30 foot-pounds at the muzzle, the Mod 135 .30 cal is a great choice for shooters that want to go big bore without having to go PCP.
5 – Benjamin Bulldog
When the .35 caliber Benjamin Bulldog first came on the scene, shooters either loved it or hated it. It certainly brought some unique features to the table. It features a five-shot magazine that can accommodate longer slugs, allowing airgunners the opportunity to move away from .35 cal pellets and experiment with cast projectiles. This greatly increased the lethality of the Bulldog. It was also one of the first big bore air guns based on the bullpup design. It was compact yet delivered full-sized rifle power, performance, and accuracy.
4 – Seneca Dragon Claw
The gun that inspired so many airgunners takes its place 4th on our list. The Seneca Dragon Claw is a classic .50 cal airgun that has been around for at least 15 years, possibly a lot longer. The traditional look and simple operation make it a favorite for many. Its two-position hammer allows shooters to shoot lighter projectiles at smaller game on low power and big game (where legal) on high power. It’s one of the few airguns that still come with open sights for those that want to skip the optic and go old school.
3 – Winchester .45 Multi-shot
If the Benjamin Bulldog brought a modern approach to big bore airguns, the Winchester .45 goes in the other direction. The Winchester .45 utilizes a five-shot magazine and can deliver well over 200 foot-pounds at the muzzle. The traditional wood stock combined with the smooth cocking side lever action delivers power and accuracy easy to use. Hunters can run a round ball for taking predators and medium game and then switch to heavier cast bullets and take big game such as hogs and whitetail deer. It’s a very versatile big bore air gun.
2 – AirForce Texan
The .45 caliber AirForce Texan arrived on the scene sometime around 2015. It changed the nature of big-bore airgunning with its tremendous jump in power over what had been previously available. Today the AirForce Texan is available in various calibers from .308 up to .510. Shooters can select the standard, traditional Texan profile or opt for carbine models and even fully suppressed models. The .50 cal version of the Texan is said to be able to deliver up to 800 foot-pounds at the muzzle making it one of the most powerful airguns on the market.
1 – Umarex Hammer
In the world of big-bore airguns, shooters often have to choose between full power or a lot less power, based on single-shot or multi-shot designs. Single-shot airguns have typically produced a lot more power, whereas multi-shot airguns generally deliver significantly less. That all changed with the Umarex Hammer. The Hammer is a .510 airgun that not only delivers over 600 foot-pounds at the muzzle but does so with a multi-shot magazine and regulated power delivery system. Not only does the Umarex Hammer deliver on power and shot count, but it also does so in a far more compact design than other platforms.
Want to know more?
We’ve barely scratched the surface of all the big-bore airguns currently available. If you take a look at our site, you’ll find an entire section dedicated to big-bore airgunning. If you have any questions, just reach out and we’ll be happy to help you find the right big-bore for your hunting needs.