“A Polk County Sheriff’s deputy suffered injuries from breaking glass when a man fired at a helicopter the deputy was riding in,” grandforksherald.com reports. “Charges are pending against Carstie Lee Clausen of Clearbrook [above], who reportedly shot twice at the helicopter with a high-powered rifle.”

desantis blue logo no back 4 small“High-powered rifles” are a regular feature in the mainstream media (e.g., Washington and Oregon groups push to ban high-powered rifles, to create a ‘West Coast Wall’ and Experts explain appeal of high-powered rifles). I’m no Nick Leghorn, but I reckon a rifle firing a .223 caliber bullet is to a .50 cal what a hammer is to a wrecking ball. What is a “high-powered rifle”?

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71 Responses to DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: What’s A “High Powered” Rifle?

      • the ultimate anti-war artillery piece: a weapon invented that was guaranteed to kill not only the enemy but anyone who fired it.

        • The instructions for firing the Crockett were to dig a foxhole nearby before shooting it.

          (Light fuse, get away? 🙂 )

          And it was fired, (at least once), and I do not believe anyone died.

          (Dead 60 years on doesn’t count.)

          And face it, it really was a pipsqueak firecracker for a nuke, yield like 20 tons of TNT, not MT or KT, just 2 tens of tons…

        • I heard the Davy Crockett warheads were recycled into the SADM (Special Atomic Demolition Munition). A backpack (term used very lightly) nuke about the size of a beer keg used by SpecOps for high value targets than needed special attention.

        • “And face it, it really was a pipsqueak firecracker for a nuke, yield like 20 tons of TNT, not MT or KT, just 2 tens of tons…”

          But that is roughly the yield of the bombs we dropped on Japan. Pipsqueaks compared to an H-bomb, but NOT, in absolute terms, small by any means.

        • SteveInCO, Little Boy had 15 000 tons and Fat Man 21 000 tons TNT yield. Just about thousand times more.

  1. Anything that takes 30rd one use clipazines and shoots 600 rounds in a second. Oh, and a shoulder thing that goes up .

  2. To the media, it does not matter. What composition of words can be used to get the most clicks or pages view or whatever metric they use. It is a business, and they are in the business of invoking emotions to get views which gets them higher priced advertisement which pays the bills. Really, they do not care. They care so little that many outlets barely bother to edit the stories.

  3. I had a liberal on a blog explain to me any thing that is used in NRA “high power rifle matches” is a high powered rifle.

  4. What is a “high-powered rifle”? Click Here to Find Out!

    In other words…. “High-Powered Rifles” are to the media what “This One Crazy Trick” is to clickbait.

  5. anything a humane hunter would use on a Texas white tail at a reasonable distance. I have decided anything equal to or greater than the power factor of the .243 winchester.

    So it is written……

  6. In the real world? Anything designed for anti-materiel rather than anti-personnel applications.

    In lefty gun-grabber world? Any rifle.

  7. Well, i would usually consider 338s or 50bmg to be higher power than my hand-me-down .22 from my grandfather, but according to ammo shortages for .22lr that’s probably a destructive device built 50 years ago by Sears roebuck

  8. Anything the left wants to ban they will attach a table such as high powered or assault or what ever they come up with next

  9. I don’t know. I’ve heard of the Browning Hi-Power, but that’s a pistol. Maybe it’s one of those with a tax stamp and a stock?

  10. “high powered rifle” is relative to so many things, including the shooter. A granny might consider 556 to be high powered while I don’t consider anything to be high powered until around .50BMGs and 20MMs, everything else is just a rifle.

  11. Ultimately it’s the round, not the rifle right? I guess a .223 or .22 WMR is a high-powered .22? A 9mm +P is a high-powered 9mm?

    As far as the MSM and those unfamiliar with guns go, I guess a high powered rifle is any rifle with the capability of penetrating human skin. So all of them?

  12. According to NRA High Power Rifle competition, 5.56x45mm, 7.62x51mm, and .30-06 all count as “high power”.
    So basically it means “more than a .22LR”, or “not low power”.

  13. Without looking at any other comments, my opinion of a “high-powered rifle” is .270 Winchester and above with similar case volume / muzzle velocity. (That would include .308 Winchester.)

    • no sir, .308 win would not be included in your definition. 270 Win. is based on 30.06 case. 308 has considerably less case capacity.

  14. A buzzword used to manipulate opinion and push political/social agendas. Similar to the buzzword assault weapon.

  15. I had a .243 and it was a low powered rifle. Lost it in the river, so I am now totally PC.
    Soooo…. people who use AR-15s are utilizing low powered rifles?

    • Legitimate terms are used all the time but they are still used more for emphasis rather than accuracy. This is the case every time they report a shooter used a “semi-automatic” handgun. He may very well have but what purpose is it to report that? Sounds more scary than pistol or handgun.

  16. If i was asked that question by an anti-gunner, i would say “Anything bigger than 30 cal.” This is a test, though. An intellectually honest anti-gunner (keep laffing, there’s a few!) might do his research, realize he doens’t know enough to change the law, and might eventually change his mind. Someone who just wants to grab the guns would just start screaming “words don’t have meaning!” which has actually happened to me before lol

  17. “A Polk County Sheriff’s deputy suffered injuries from breaking glass when a man fired at a helicopter the deputy was riding in,”

    Daily Pedantry: No, he was injured a short time after the man fired.

  18. For those who don’t know – this is typical Polk county. Their sheriff is the right guy for that place though.

    From a while back after shooting a double cop killer 68 times:
    “I suspect the only reason 110 rounds was all that was fired was that’s all the ammunition they had,” Judd said.

  19. Any gun powered by someone as clearly high as this shooter. High enough to be so crazy as to tilt at flying windmills.

  20. Well, physics defines power as energy divided by time. And energy is 1/2*mass*velocity squared. Now rounds have energy. Energy doesn’t become power unless we are changing that energy over time, such as when you fire the round or when it comes to a stop in the target. A M855 at 62 grains and 2932 fps has 1605 Joules of energy out of a 20 inch barrel. It will reach the end of the barrel in about 1.1 msec for an average firing power of 1.5 MegaWatts. A .308 Win, 150 grain, 2932 fps from a 24 inch barrel has 3876 Joules of energy, reaches the end of the barrel in 1.3 msec for a firing power of 3 MegaWatts. In contrast a .22 LR 40 grain Velocitor from an 18 inch barrel has 197 Joules of energy and roughly 79 Kilo-Watts of power. Stopping power would be the energy of the round at the target divided by the time it takes the round to come to a stop. The amount of time it takes the bullet to come to a stop depends on the target.

    So, high power? Anything bigger than a .22LR would likely qualify as high power. The question in high power is relative to what?

  21. It was marketing, like “magnum” that came up with “high power” as a way of differentiating those cartridges which were based on black powder loads vice smokeless powder. A 30-30, 45-70, and others are examples. As an example the 30-06 was designed for smokeless and is a “high power”. Pretty simple, except for the media which confuses “high power” with “high capacity” with (my favorite) “high caliber”.

  22. “I don’t know much about “high powered rifles” but I know I won’t like it when I get shot with one.” some idiot somewhere in 1970 something.

    Isn’t this one of those questions that has no good answer because the term “high powered rifle” in news reporting and propaganda is a fabrication, like “assault rifle”. Certainly, there is a hierarchy among rifle calibers that is useful to be aware of. You don’t hunt elephants or water buffalo with .22LR, nor squirrels and prairie dogs with .375 Holland and Holland. “Power” in a rifle bullet seems to me to be relative to the intended target. Even the vaunted .50 Cal BMG can bounce harmlessly off a Modern Armored Fighting Vehicle, but God help you if someone unloads a Ma Deuce on you in your Toyota Corolla.

    The term High Power Rifle has been used to name certain types of competitive rifle shooting in which the rifle caliber must be .30 Caliber. That term was invented decades ago for the specific purpose of setting a Class of rifle calibers for that specific competition.

    The cited news report does not even attempt to report a caliber, but merely uses the ambiguity “a high powered rifle”. It is just as valid to speculate the Suspect used a Ruger 10-22 loaded with .22LR Standard Velocity ammunition and happened to hit the copter in just the right place to shatter the canopy material. The Reporter could have just stated the Suspect shot at the helicopter with a “rifle” and remained factually accurate but boringly non-sensational, which is what news reporting is SUPPOSED to be and is apparently no longer taught in Schools of Journalism.

    I think the question is without possibility of a concise answer, but worth talking about even if just to prove the term “high powered rifle” is only useful for anti-gun propaganda and News Media sensationalism.

  23. The instructions on a jar of tannerite specifically say you need to shoot it with a high powered rifle. A 77 gn. projectile traveling at around 2600 fps seems to do the job, so…

    Personally I think any cartridge that’s illegal to use on whitetail because it’s not powerful enough is automatically disqualified.

  24. I’ve often told my friends that if I lose it and eradicate a bunch of people who really need it, I’m going to use a low powered rifle. They are instructed to make sure that the media gets it right; although their might or might not be some media figures on my list.

  25. The term “high-powered” comes from old hunting regulations and is usually defined as anything larger than a .22 rimfire.

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