A cutting-edge breed of the world’s most powerful rifles has reached muzzle energy levels and distance figures once thought impossible for small arms. Need to hit a target greater than 1,000 yards away? You won’t even break a sweat shouldering one of these modern rifles to get the job done. The improved science behind the cartridges these guns chamber is only part of the story, the other half includes improvements in engineering, materials and market availability.
The performance isn’t exclusive to military and law enforcement firearms or bolt actions, either. There are plenty of high-performance options available in the civilian marketplace. However, participation may require you to have deep pockets or a wealthy uncle who’s involved in private military contracting. Either way, here are a dozen of the most powerful rifles available to civilian shooters ready to explore the sport’s upper limits.
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