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January 05, 2009

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Petzal: And Now, A Really Manly Handgun

My thanks to Tom McIntyre for this one.

In the beginning was the .357 Magnum, and it was good, and then the .44 Magnum, which was much better, and made Clint Eastwood famous and Elmer Keith happy. Eventually, though, rumblings of discontent were heard throughout the land, and there followed the .454 Casull, and the .475 Linebaugh, and the .480 Ruger, and the .460 and .500 S&W, and hand surgeons everywhere rejoiced. But in Switzerland, a gentleman named Zeliska felt the need for something bigger, and so he went, money in hand (lots of money) to the firm of K. Pfeifer Waffen in Feldkirch, Austria and Herr Pfeifer did him proud.
The Pfeifer single-action revolver is chambered for the .600 Nitro Express cartridge. This round, which dates from the early 20th century, is an elephant whomper so extreme that very few rifles have been made for it. The .600 fires a 900-grain bullet at 1,950 fps, produces 3 1/2 tons of muzzle energy, and is three times more powerful than a .500 S&W magnum.

The Pfeifer revolver weighs 13.3 pounds, is just under 22 inches long, has a ported 13-inch barrel, walnut grips, and gold-plated hammer, ejector, screws, and cylinder pin. The rear sight is adjustable, and the price is $16, 501. If you’re not man enough to hack the .600, you can get the gun in .458 Winchester, but you should be wary of also developing an interest in Judy Garland recordings and Broadway musicals.
Personally, I will wait until Herr Pfeifer comes out with a .50 BMG version. Watch the video to see the .600 in action.


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O Garcia

if it weighs 13 pounds anyway, and obviously doesn't handle like a Model 19 Smith, why not simply have a double rifle made for the same cartridge? If it's a Krieghoff, it can probably be had for the same 16 thousand dollars.

O Garcia

I don't know where the 3 times more powerful than a .500 S&W came from. I'm guessing Ross would say something like "how about 3 times more powerful than a 30-06?"

jersey pig

when will 1 be available for CCW purposes?

Clay Cooper

45 Cal 45ACP(.451) is 11.46mm


60 Cal is 15.24mm

Clay Cooper

Bella check this out

SAE to/from Metric conversion



I agree with you about the AK 454 Casull shooters. On the other hand, I bought one - a 4" 5/8 bbl field gun with conventional sights, finally, from Wayne at Casull Co.after a lot of conversations with him at Conventions. I do not like to shoot it, but I CAN shoot it. I worked my way up with a .44magS&W a lot of years ago and the same techniques apply only more so. I carry it in a shoulder rig when I am flying in big bear country or otherwise as may be needed. I have never had to use it in anger. But, with the 300 gr max round it is impressive. Sights do not mean much when you need that gun - instinctive shooting takes over (like the old western gunslingers).


I dont recall reading where mr petzal says the gun in the video and the new fancy revolver are one and the same. he does say to watch the video to see the .600 in action. If i recall correctly it is a contender that someone built for themselves or something like that. I got it in a fwd fwd fwd email once awhile back. I recall a much larger guy shooting it though.


I don't think a revolver in this caliber would be a good idea, at least not with more than one chamber loaded. It's not safe to have loaded guns flying around!

John C.

I am not sure that he could even legally fire this handgun in Switzerland.

I lived in Switzerland while on a temporary assingnment for work, and while shooting ranges are quite common, everyone of them that I saw had restrictions on what types of guns could be fired.

Of course, I could be mistaken, as the signs at all the ranges were in German (Swiss German), and/or French.

Even if he could legally fire it. I imagine the people who live in the area surrounding his local shooting range would object to the excessive noise.


How many stitches did he need? His face should be all messed up by watching the video. Can we all agree that he obviously 'ate' that scope? LOL And I agree, looks like a Contender in the vid, not a revolver!!


Really? Do we really need this hand cannon? This is just what Congress needs to ban all large bore handguns. It has no practical purpose and does NOT look fun to shoot.


Ahhhhh, this is just about as asinine as that dickweed who hunts with .50 BMG bullpup.

Take enuff gun, but purposeful pain just blows!

WA Mtnhunter

What a dipstick. Maybe that knot on his forehead will teach him a lesson, but probably not....

Mike Diehl

Well, Dave, I think that handgun vies with the Gyroject for "worst handgun ever made." It's a marriage of the world's least useful cartridge with the worst qualities of a handgun (inaccuracy) and the worst qualities of a squad support weapon (weight).

Definitely not my cup o' coffee, but if someone has the money and the desire, good on 'em for keeping firearms craftsmen employed and innovating.

Tom McIntyre

Since Herr Petzal has seen fit to out me as the source of this outrageous scandal, let me offer a few unsolicited thoughts about the Pfeifer Zeliska Revolver. At over 13 pounds it is within a pound or two in weight of the average .600 rifle, mitigating recoil--somewhat. If you click on the Pfeifer link above, you can see a still photo of the pistol being fired at a bench with, apparently, only moderate effect, except for the pronounced blink of the shooter. Look for the Zeliska in some upcoming action/adventure movie--"Indiana Jones and the Fortress of Deafness," perhaps, or "The Bells of St. Mary's Won't Quit Ringing." The Pfeifer site also has another extreme firearm, the magically named "Liliput" .22 Hornet, which at 1.3 kilograms and 91 cm in length is, it goes without saying, "die absolut leichteste Schonzeitbüchse überhaupt."


This looks like something to own so you can say you own it - "Mine is bigger than yours."


This is getting stupid the same way sandwich joints get stupid trying to make the biggest burger.


This is getting stupid the same way sandwich joints get stupid trying to make the biggest burger.

Tom McIntyre

PS Note to Dr. Ralph at 4:34 pm Jan. 5--"Looks like a Contender to me... stainless steel and black composite too with the extended trigger guard like T/C's and #1's. Definitely not the revolver McIntyre is holding." Well, that's definitely not me in the photo; I've never had the, shall we say, pleasure of handling one of those hand-ICBMs and am, of course, far better looking. I suspect that might be Zeliska or somebody from the Pfeifer factory. Never wrong, Doc?


looks just like a magnum research bfr to me, if it is a 600 better him than me good luck.


Anyone ever look at the the high number of .44 mag., .454, .480's available on the gun auction sites?
There's plenty available....why one might ask??? Recoil baby (directly associated with----PAINFUL to shoot), and cost of ownership of course.

WA Mtnhunter

Yep, just like some of my favorite rifle purveyor's racks are full of the super ultra magnums after hunting season with tags that read "Consignment", or "Only detached 1 retina", or "Hardly used, only one broken clavicle"! LOL

All of a sudden, the .30-06 is an adequate cartridge again....

Walt Smith

You could tell the fella shooting it was a little antsie about the recoil! I wonder if it broke his wrist?

Dr. Ralph

Sorry, but the only photo of you I could find was the big Saskatchewan buck picture and you bear a striking resemblance... besides they say it's a famous gunwriter holding the weapon on my other link about the revolver. And my motto is "often wrong, never in doubt", Dave's the one who's never wrong.


I kinda wonder, if my best friend showed me that pistol, and said "look what I just bought". Would I still think of him as highly as I did? You would have to wonder if there isn't some kind of psychological problem. I also wonder, with the weight and bulk of the monster, wouldn't someone be just as safe, carrying a rifle of lesser caliber, but much easier to shoot?
BTW, when buying my rifle, the input I received from you folks was relied on 100 per cent. I would use that same logic if buying a pistol.
Thanks Again!

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