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Factory .50bmg loads

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Unread 02-22-2010, 10:40 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 51
Factory .50bmg loads

New to the .50 world. I know that it is a bit of an oximoron but is there a "better" factory load out there? I recovered one of the slugs from my "summit 690gr" rounds and was astonished to find out it was a steel core instead of lead. Are most .50 rounds steel?
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Unread 02-22-2010, 11:46 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 244
Re: Factory .50bmg loads

I'd venture to say that most all mil-surp rounds will have some steel in them. Thus any ammunition made with surplus bullets would have steel. With that being said all Ball, Tracer, AP, API, APIT ammunition will most likely be at the very least copper clad steel jackets, with the possible acception going to ball ammo, which could possibly be plain copper jackets if manufactured commercially. All AP, API, APIT rounds will have a hardened steel core, thus the AP (armor piercing).

The only one I'm not familiar with is the Match bullets. If they are mil-surp then I'd say maybe-probably steel jackets, but if Commercially made they will have no steel content whatsoever. With the exception going to commercially made match bullets turned out of leaded steel, but these would be easy to spot.

The common theme here is that if the bullets were made for military use then you can pretty much expect steel jackets or steel core.

As far as 'true' factory loads go there are several companies that manufacture, not remanufacture' 50BMG ammo using commercial bullets, usually either match or fmj bullets.

Last edited by steve smith; 02-22-2010 at 11:55 AM.
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Unread 02-22-2010, 12:17 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 51
Re: Factory .50bmg loads

Thank you for that info! The summit rounds were Copper jacketed with a steel core. I guess I just like to see huge holes left in objects and am under the assumption that if I buy a round with a lead bullet, it will expand and give me a whopper of a hole. I hope! I found a guy that I will be trying out very soon who has a frangible round as well as all of the AP type bullets.
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