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50 bmg

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Unread 02-15-2009, 09:37 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 33
50 bmg

hello, i have been a member of this site for about 2 months and i finally had something to post. my uncle and i are in the market for a .50 bmg. i am wondering what yall think the most accurate and econominal is. i was looking at the armalite 50 was wondering what yall thought. any help is appreciatd. thanks in advance

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Unread 02-17-2009, 05:28 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 83
Re: 50 bmg

I have an AR50 and its a great gun. I've shot mine out ot 2200 yards. It's about 3/4 minute gun at 1000 with amaxes. It's big,heavy,loud. way to much fun. You would like it............
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Unread 02-17-2009, 05:56 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 1,219
Re: 50 bmg

I have always thought the 50bmg was an awsome round but I have recently come to terms with the fact the military considers it an anti-equipment (the proper term isn't comming to mind right now) rifle. Rarely used on personel. Are you sure that a 338 cal wouldn't be more "economical"?
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
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Unread 02-17-2009, 06:12 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 83
Re: 50 bmg

If your shooting match ammo both the 338 and 50 are expensive. The great thing about 50cal is surplus ammo and powder that you can get that significantly cut the cost if your reloading. It all depends on what your final goal is. (how far, what your hitting, weight restrictions, etc.)
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Unread 02-17-2009, 06:16 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: ne pa
Posts: 55
Re: 50 bmg

I'm thinking on selling my ar50 if you are interested.
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Unread 02-17-2009, 06:43 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Fort Shaw, Montana
Posts: 6,848
Re: 50 bmg

The 50 BMGs are big bo doubt, thats a nessesity because of the size of the round and the recoil they generate. The more accurate 50s are rarely much more expensive then a top end full custom rifle of conventional chambering. Several can be had for less then $4000.

I have owned several of them starting out with the LAR Grizzly and it was an extremely accurate rifle, just did not care for the shellholder bolt design.

Ended up with the Armalite AR-50. I really like the AR-50. Reasonably priced, with taylored loads tends to be very accurate but you need match grade handloads. Surplus ammo is fine for plinking but will not get you fine accuracy, its not made to.

One great aspect about the AR-50 is that its easily rebarreled, just like any conventional bolt action rifle, to get a new barrel put on or accurize the receiver, its no different then any other rifle. In fact my last AR-50, I rebarreled to my 510 AM with a Heavy Lilja fluted barrel. It was easily a 1/2 moa rifle at 1000 yards in good conditions when I was on top of my game.

I sold that rifle but just purchased another AR-50 and will rebarrel that one with a lighter, fluted sporter weight Lilja for a rifle in the 35 lb range, instead of 45 lbs that my last one scaled out at.

As far as cost in loading, lets be honest here. If you shoot a 338-378 Wby, your going to pay $50 for 20 brass and if you shoot a premium bullet, you will often pay $1 to $2 per bullet. Powder will be around 120 grains of powder depending on what powder you use.

You can get virgin brass for the 50 for around $1.5 to $2 each so its even cheaper then the Wby brass or Lapua for that matter. Another point, you will never wear out a 50 BMG case if you load it properly and anneal the necks every 5-6 firings.

The bullets do cost more for the 50 BMG. The 750 gr A-Max will run you from just under to just over $2 a piece depending where you get them.

Powder is alot more in volume but often about 1/2 the price if you use surplus powder.

Per round, yes they are more then most high intensity conventional chamberings but realize your producing at least 2 to 3 times more energy them most conventional chamberings, even the largest ones.

I once figured out my cost per round for my 50 BMG and for practice ammo, it came out to around $2 each using surplus(new) brass, surplus powder and surplus AP projos. This is not overly accurate ammo but it sure makes gravel at 600-800 yards!!!

My match ammo was around $5 each. Now this is including brass cost. Once that is paid for its much less then that.

You need dies and a press that will work with the big 50, that is easy, RCBS has packages for the 50 BMG loading as does Hornady. Both work fine for starting out.

Ballistically, the 50 BMG is not overly impressive as far as drop goes, in fact, a 190 gr SMK out of a 300 Win Mag will match the 50 BMGs trajectory nearly to the nuts. It does have alot less windage and a ton more energy, well, several tons more!!! LOL

Owning a 50 BMG is not all about ballistics, its mainly about owning a 1/2" gun and as mentioned, its just alot of fun. I have never had anyone come off one of my 50 cal rifles without having a big smile on their face after throwing 12-14,000 ft/lbs of energy down range!!!

For the money, the AR-50 is hard to beat.
Kirby Allen(50)

Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.

Farther, Faster and Flatter then ever before.

Web Page: www.apsrifles.com

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Unread 02-17-2009, 07:49 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Jose, Ca
Posts: 268
Re: 50 bmg

I have been considering reloading for my 50BMG since accuracy sucks with the military stuff. Since we are on the discussion of presses can anyone tell me why the Lee press kit is so much cheaper than the Hornady and the RCBS kits?

Is the cost represenative of the quality of the press and dies?

Also, does anyone have a good starting load?

Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. - George Washington

Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.' -Unknown
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