50 bmg

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by J E Custom, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I am interested in finding out how many LR shooters use the 50 BMG for long
    range hunting , And which bullet is preferred.

    I subscribe to the philosophy that there is no such thing as "Over Kill" and the big
    50 is known for its wind bucking ability and down range energy. And with a Listed BC
    of 1.025, 1.050, 1.070 and 1.124 depending on which bullet you use it is very accurate
    at long distance.

    Any information and experience would be appreciated

    Thanks

    J E CUSTOM
     
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver Official LRH Sponsor

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    J E CUSTOM,

    I have and I know many others that have used the 50 BMG or wildcats based on it for big game hunting. In every case concerning the other hunters, they purchased the 50 BMG thinking it would be the ultimate in big game long range weapons, used it for a season or two and then realized it had the same trajectory as a 300 Win Mag and dicided it was not worth packing around 25 lbs of rifle in the field.

    In a quality rifle, the 50 BMG is a very consistant and accurate weapon, it has to be fed a diet of quality ammo however and that can take a great deal of testing. Most 50 BMG brass is made to mil spec so its great for strength but seldom great for precision. There is some out there that works pretty good out of the box but as a rule, you should short your brass by volume.

    Every hunter I know that has used the 50 BMG at long range has used H-50BMG powder and CCI-35 primers with the 750 gr A-Max bullet loaded to the 2500-2650 fps range.

    On lighter game such as pronghorn and smaller deer, you will get a 1/2" hole in and a 1/2" hole out. On heavy game, say an elk, if you landed a 750 gr A-Max on the onside shoulder, you would likely loose the entire offside shoulder. Its not really desired to have that big A-max open up, remember we are packing nearly 12,000 ft/lbs of energy at the muzzle and in most cases over 6000 ft/lbs at 1000 yards. A 1/2" hole through the vitals does pretty well to anchor game.

    I do have guys come in the shop all the time asking me about my wildcats and after talking about them many of them will make a comment about the BMG and how it would be great to be able to hunt with something like that. My comment is that a 338 Lapua with a 300 gr SMK loaded to 2850 fps will SMOKE a BMG as far as bullet drop and is not far off with windage. If your really hung up on performance, the 338 wildcats on the 408 CT case simply make the 50 BMG look silly as far as drop and drift numbers. Only area that the BMG has the edge in is kenetic energy but there are many standard calibers that have more then enough energy for hunting at any thinkable range.

    Certainly not trying to tell you not to hunt with the BMG, just realize what it is and what it does. It throws a HUGE chuck of lead at moderate(for todays standards) velocity. It is not a laser gun, in fact it drops like a rock at long range but it does hit hard. They are heavy, long, just big in every way, loud and funner then hell to shoot. As long as you know what your going to get out of a BMG you will be happuy, if you expect the ultimate in long range performance, if your hunting trucks, then yes, but for thinner skinned game, you like most will eventually fall back to the more conventional rifles.

    My accuracy load in several 50 BMG rifles I have owned was 215 gr H-50BMG under a 750 gr SMK with the CCI -35 primer. OAL varied with the specific rifles. Velocity was in the 2600-2650 fps range and groups in the sub moa range at 1000 yards was not all that difficult but you had to have consistant ammo to do this.

    Just what I have been around.
     
  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Kirby !

    I knew I was not the only one that hunted with the 59BMG I just wanted to know How
    every one liked it and the results that were getting.

    I agree with your assessment on it and it is funny that the best load for me is the same
    load as you listed but I use a little more powder for a velocity of 2930 ft/sec.

    I realize also that trajectory is not as good as some other cartriges but the wind bucking
    ability is second to none, And this is an area that I need all the help I can get. Also using
    the turrets It is just a few more clicks.

    I had not planed to try a high shoulder shot and you have convinced me that My instincts
    were right.

    Before I started on this journey I looked into the 408s and 416 Barrett's and found them to be
    more expensive and tougher on barrels also ammo was very expensive and hard to find , also
    the components are expensive (Bullets and cases) so I made the decision to go with the 50
    BMG in a M82 A1 10 round semi auto( After all what could be more fun than a 50 cal semi auto
    with 10 round Mags).

    I realize that some states have max weight limits on hunting rifles and this is why it is not
    used everywhere.

    Any way thanks again for your honest comments and maybe others that have had or still have
    one will add there comments.

    Thanks
    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010
  4. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to hijack your thread so feel free to pm me if you like but do you or anyone know the different weight limits per state? I believe Idaho is somewhere around 16lbs and I don't think Washington State has one but that's all I know. I would like to know others if anyone knows them.
     
  5. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver Official LRH Sponsor

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    What rifle are you getting 2930 fps with and what bullet? That is smoking velocity for the BMG if your using a 750 gr bullet unless its a bore rider design.

    What kind of accuracy did you get out of your 82? I have shot several of them, developed accuracy loads for a couple and was never REALLY impressed with their accuracy. It was not bad, certainly enough to chew up the front end of a vehicle at 1K but getting solid consistant 1 moa accuracy was difficult.

    Still, they are very fun and you can lay down alot of power quickly if needed!!!

    I had originally designed my 510 Allen Magnum wildcat to be based on the much longer 50 Russian case but I found that these cases were extremely hard to get and very expensive as you found with the smaller cases so I also came back to the BMG case for my 510 AM parent case.
     
  6. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver Official LRH Sponsor

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    B23,

    I believe Idaho is the only western state with a weight restriction for big game hunting rifles and yes its a 16 lb limit.
     
  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    This velocity is with 250grs of US 869 in a 29" barrel the load listed 2944 ft/sec but mine
    won't do that yet maybe because the barrel is not totally broke in.

    Accuracy is not as good as a bolt gun but I'm hopping to improve it with time and
    experimenting with different loads and seating depths. But as you said it is fun.

    I can get a lot more velocity with the 650 gr (3150ft/sec) but I will give up some of the ballistics.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2010