Dennis Quackenbush‘s latest heavy hitter is a .458 caliber pneumatic gun with a massive 550 foot-pounds of energy. Now that may not seem like much to today’s gunners- after all, a .44 magnum can generate twice that energy. It is, however, comparable to the large bore black powder guns that were used to take some very large game in previous centuries. Native Hunters of the Northern Canadian and Alaskan wilderness are known to use .22s for game as large as Elk. Certainly this gun could, in skilled hands, take similar sized game.
If you’ve never fired a large bore airgun, you might be surprised to learn how loud they are- especially if you’ve read of the 18th Century Austrian snipers who used air rifles for concealment. It wasn’t quiet they valued; it was the lack of a cloud of smoke that would give away their position. When you dump the volume of air that these guns do on firing, you’re going to get a loud report. Personally, it reminds me of the sound of a medium-sized (5-8″) firework being launched.