Do I really need a 50bmg?

Discussion in 'Extreme Long Range Hunting & Shooting (ELR)' started by TH, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. TH

    TH Well-Known Member

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    I've considering buying a 50 bmg for 5 years now. I have several extreme long range rifles such as a 338 Allen mag. 300 Thunderhulk which are more than capable of shooting out to 3000yds with pin point accuracy. I have always wanted a 50 but fear I will be disappointed with the Accuracy I do not know what I would gain besides energy over my existing rifles. At one time I had a 408 cheyenne tac and was extremely disappointed in the accuracy so I tore it apart and built the Allen mag? Thoughts
     
  2. TH

    TH Well-Known Member

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    I was looking at buying the Accuracy International AX50. Probably top it off with a night force beast or a premier.
     

  3. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    You'll gain 2 things. An expensive conversation piece and an expensive to reload platform. Wow factor, yes. Practical... not really.

    It all distills down to how much money you have and what you percieve is a good return on investment.

    Me, I'd get more enjoyment out of an expensive call girl than a 50 cal.:)
     
  4. Greywolf18

    Greywolf18 Well-Known Member

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    Do you need one? Probably not.....but whenever my wife asks me, "don't you have enough guns? do you really need another one?" My answer is always "YES!" You sound like you already have a nice collection going, so you probably don't NEED one....BUUUUUTTTTTTTT......if you have the money, and you want one, I say DO IT! You can never have enough guns!:Dgun):Dgun):Dgun)
     
  5. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Brian... You can only shoot one at a time......:)

    My issue with another caliber is then I have to buy all the ancillary stuff to reload it and that usually is as much as the rifle is...

    It's a long slippery slope......:)
     
  6. TH

    TH Well-Known Member

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    I have never shot a 50 are they accurate? Am I better off building a custom or buying a high end factory rifle. I have a press would just need to buy dies and a suppressor
     
  7. ELR Researcher

    ELR Researcher Well-Known Member

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    TH:

    1. Please provide more detail on the level of accuracy you consider acceptable and at what distances.

    2. Target rifle or for hunting?

    3. There are high end "factory" 50's (established configurations, not assembled to order):

    a. AI's AS50, AW50, and AX50
    b. Armalite's AR-50A1B and AR-50A1BNM (the second their "Match" version)
    c. Ashbury's ASW50
    d. Barrett's 82A1, 95, 99, and 107A1
    e. DTA's HTI
    f. McMillan's TAC-50 (-A1, -A1-R2), and 50 LBR (the last a benchrest version)
    g. SIG Sauer's SIG50
    h. Steyr's HS 50 and HS 50 M1 (the former a match winner)

    4. Plus a LOT of custom builders - build to the accuracy level you deem acceptable

    So there are a lot of available alternatives. See line note #6 (pink) on my rifles page.

    I agree with Greywolf18, if you have the money, go for it. That noted, doing your homework before putting your money down is prudent. CLEARLY communicate your accuracy requirements and see what the suppliers are willing to commit to - "commit" (to me) meaning provide you a target with 5 shot group of the size and at the distance in your accuracy "spec" PLUS provide the associated load data.

    Enjoy and God Bless!
     
  8. TH

    TH Well-Known Member

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    ELR Thanks for the questions. First off money is not an issue. Yet even though I have it I don't want to waste it on something I will not be happy with. I will use the rifle mainly for long range steel competitions and shoot as far as possible. I also want something portable that I can hunt with. Plan on going on some late season cow elk hunts and considered taking this rifle to Alaska Kodak brown bear hunting and Maybe Africa. I Also want to purchase a suppressor to make the rifle more pleasant to shoot. Accuracy wise if I miss my target I want to be able to put my correction in and hit my Target. My dream would be a 1/4 moa gun but I could live with a 1/2 moa gun. I have a lot of experience shooting 1000yd benchrest. My longest hunting kill to date is 1750 yards. That being said in perfect conditions at 1000yds I would like a 5inch 5 shot group. But I could live with a 7inch group
     
  9. ELR Researcher

    ELR Researcher Well-Known Member

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    TH;

    As of course you are aware, .25 MOA would be 2.5" at 1000 yards. Accepting .5 MOA (5 ") at 1000 is "more" realistic...but, if you look at the groups shot at most 1000 yard matches (regardless of allowed cartridges), very few shooters group five shots that close with any consistency. Five inches will take a good rifle and a good shooter and good conditions - at 1000 yards.

    The variety of uses you describe suggests (to me) that you look at multiple rifles.

    1. Long range competitions on steel - I suggest you contact the ranges that allow 50 BMG (see my Ranges page - pink info re 50 BMG). Many that do allow 50 BMG will not let 50 BMG shooters shoot their steel. Alliance and Thunder Valley are the only 1000 yard ranges I know of in OH that allow 50 BMG. However, Alliance appears to limit 50 BMG to 600 yards and makes no mention of shooting on steel (at all). Thunder Valley shoots steel out to 1 mile. Call Tom Sarver if you can shoot his steel with a 50 BMG.

    2. Shoot as far as possible - you would be better served with a 375 CT, 375 VM2, 375 Allen Mag, etc. It would be hard to find anyone that can show you evidence that a 50 BMG will out shoot those cartridges at ELR. That noted, the 50 BMG was designed to reach out there. Just not the "best" solution.

    3. Portability - while that is "relative", most 50s are substantially heavier than 375 CT class rifles.

    4. Hunting - with the correct projectile, "fit" ranges from very doable to overkill. 50 BMG in Africa? I suspect it has been done, but it is clearly not a preferred cartridge.

    5. Suppressors - availability good, see that section on my Rifle Components page. Issues are cost and bulk for such a large cartridge. Very doable.

    6. Pleasant to shoot - beyond the noise level (dealt with by the suppressor - where they are allowed for hunting), the weight of the rifle has a major bearing. As the weight goes down (for portability) the impact on recoil suppression becomes more of an issue.

    In my mind I don't see what you are looking for in any "factory" rifle (too heavy). While a custom is possible, it seems more likely (IMHO, most optimal) at three rifles:

    a. An African hunter in an African cartridge.
    b. A 375 CT/AM/VM2 class for ELR
    c. A high end 50 BMG "factory" rifle for none of your stated purposes, simply "fun" (which was not mentioned)...and ego satisfaction.

    Enjoy and God Bless!
     
  10. TXAoudadKlr

    TXAoudadKlr Well-Known Member

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    Typically 50bmg rifles are well...not light nor very portable. If you have to have a 50cal rifle you could give the 50 Allen tactical a look. It would be much lighter, portable easier to load ect, while still offering roughly the same performance of a 50bmg.
     
  11. 4xforfun

    4xforfun Well-Known Member

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    For tagets and steel I would build a 50 on a BAT action. BUT..you went and used the H word (hunting, which makes sence...we are on LRH...). I can't imagin ever using a 35+ pound gun to hunt with..unless you are hunting out of a stationary blind/building.

    LIKE ME!!!:D:D
     
  12. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    There really isn't much of a need for a 50 BMG but they are fun to shoot and ammo believe it or not,
    is cheaper than most of the big custom cartridges.

    I have one and love it. I do not load for it because of the cost. Normal cost per round to re load is
    $3.70 a round and you can buy new loaded ammo for as little as $3.40 a round up to $6.00 a round.

    Most rifle ammo larger than a 338/378 run $6.50+ per round to $10.00 a round or more.

    So it is fun, and it is fairly cheep to shoot.

    If you want one, Buy it. you can always sell it if you get tired of it.

    Just my opinion

    J E CUSTOM
     
  13. Archery1973

    Archery1973 Well-Known Member

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  14. TH

    TH Well-Known Member

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    Archery is it threaded for a suppressor?