Here in Montana you have to use an expanding bullet for big game hunting with any firearm so that really cuts the options down.
I have tested the Barnes X, I believe it is the 600 gr Version I ordered from Arizona Ammo Comp. They are great looking bullets but my rifle did not care for them all that much.
Plenty accurate for hunting out to 600 yards or so but I would not feel confident at any range past that with the accuracy level I was getting.
I use the 750 gr Hornady A-Max exclusively. It holds well under moa out to 1000 yards in my rifle and is technically an expanding bullet to satisfy the legal folks.
On antelope and deer size game there really is not much expansion but there is not need for it.
For larger game such as elk, the 750 gr A-Max may open up more and with a load packing 6000 to 10,000 ft/lbs of erergy depending on impact range combined with a .510" bullet of 750 gr weight, if the bullet did open up on solid bone, you may loose the back half of whatever you shoot.
The X bullet would be a better choice for heavier game simply because of its limited expansion characteristics.
I would also agree, my 50 weights 35 lbs and while that is not overly heavy for a 50 BMG, it is to heavy for this kid to pack around in the field to much.
I am surprised that there isn't more discussion about using the 50 for hunting in this forum. From the type of discriminating sportsmen on this forum, it seems that this would be THE place to get knowledgable input on the gun and loads. Other sites usually contain arm chair warriors. My opinion anyways.
I use HSM ammo 750 grain Hornady A-max @ 2800 fps and 14,000 ft lbs of muzzle energy, still i limit my shoots to 800yards, I also use a LRB 1500 newcon to get exact yardage. I do handload the 50bmg too, but have not had enough time to develope my best load yet
what has been the results of the impacts?
The only hunting that my BMGs have done only involved prairie dogs and Amaxes.The 750Amax has a great BC and makes a big splash when it hits so its east to spot.It however does not open up a prairie dog at all in fact it puts a 1/2" hole in them and nothing more....unless the mound they are standing on is full of gravel and then a round put into that will realy tear them up(gives a whole new meaning to flying dogs ;-).Range has alot less impact with the Amax it seams to do the same damage at 400 yards as it does at 2000.You can alays find the jacket and a few pieces of lead by digging up the hit in the ground...it aint very deep as it will not penetrate earth very far.
Would like to try it on deer but the area I hunt is shotgun,ML,pistol only and they are a little heavy to be carried very far.
The real benifet of the BMG would be if a guy had to make the shot past 1500yards or a grizzly charge,if that happens I better hope the first shot does it cause the grizz is a lot faster than reloading a shellholder bolt