B4Ctom1 thirdgen camaro and 50 cal bmg rifle page
Ok if you have read the 50 BMG Ammo page, we can begin to talk about
rifles. I will offer short descriptions of rifles and then discuss
opinions of them. These opinions are based on mix of problems I have
read about, small/limited personal exposures to these rifles, tests I
have read about, and manufacturer information I have read.
will hear me mention the FCSA. The FCSA is the sanctioning body for
1000 yard competition shooting of 50 BMG rifles. The Fifty Caliber
Shooters Association also has a legislative arm known as the FCI or
“Fifty Caliber Institute” which is basically what the NRA
is for regular gun owners. They lobby and educate to help stop
restrictive “feel good” legislation having to do with 50
BMG ownership and shooting.
Let us begin with a little conversation of
the history of the 50 BMG rifle. It is commonly believed by non 50
BMG aficionados that the first 50 BMG rifle was built by Ronnie
Barrett, this is incorrect. The first rifles were made years earlier
by Gale McMillan. Gale did this while he was shooting for the US Army
long range competition team. On a whim and out of curiosity, he built
a scaled up bolt action rifle to fire 50 BMG cartridges. Ronnie
Barrett didn't start making his rifles until the late 80's.
basically did this just for fun as it wasn't really something he
could use in competition at that time. So this was mainly done for
fun. Later he eventually made this rifle for a few other recreational
shooters, and helped some others make similar rifles. So here you
have it, the history of 50 BMG rifles wasn't for military or police
use, but for plain old “I got the biggest rifle” rock
busting fun and curiosity. Remember that next time you hear people
like VPC piping off about military rifles in public hands.
Generally you will see large scaled up
versions of the standard bolt action rifles you may already be
familiar with. Most 50 BMG rifles are single shot. There are fewer
repeater 50 BMG rifles than single shots. There are even fewer
Of the bolt action types there are
either captive bolt rifles, and non-captive bolt rifles. Having a
non-captive or “removable” bolt rifle means that you
basically load the round of ammo onto the bolt and then chamber it.
These were popular because there is no extractor or ejector on the
bolt which can “blow out” in the event of a case or
pressure related failure. I don't think it is unreasonable for people
to have a fear of having their face that close to a piece of ordnance
this size when firing it off. Even Gale must have had some
reservations about firing his rifle that first time.
bolt rifles having large extractors and ejectors which can handle a
case failure are becoming more common as the knowledge base of 50 BMG
ammo and the nature of failures has become larger.
of rifles you will see are anywhere from dedicated “heavy”
bench guns to bipod equipped lighter “tactical” rifles.
This can be a bit misleading because a typical “tactical”
50 BMG rifle weighs anywhere from 30 pounds (13.6 Kg) to 39 pounds
(17.7 Kg). The heavy rifles go 50 pounds up! The lightest of all 50
BMG rifles are generally those which are a 50 BMG bolt action upper
placed onto a AR15 lower. My personal “bench” removable
bolt gun is 30 pounds with scope. My other rifle, an AR upper 50 BMG
non removable bolt on my A2 lower is 20 pounds.
The AR15 upper
rifle is becoming more and more popular. Not only because they are
light and portable, but since the law looks at the AR lower you
already own as the actual “gun”, you just can mail order
yourself a 50 BMG upper. This is also one of the lowest cost options
for getting into a 50 BMG. Options for these uppers are the same as
most custom 50 BMG complete rifles. You can get match chambers on
custom match barrels to have a rifle you could compete with.
BMG's have generally 3 chambers, the “match” chamber, the
“standard” chamber, and a hybrid of the two. This has to
do with the internal dimension of the chamber not its strength. The
match chamber is made for hand loaded match ammunition and some will
not even chamber some of the surplus 50 BMG rounds you can find. It
is a compromise of chamber size for maximum accuracy. A standard
chamber will swallow about any 50 BMG ammo from match to surplus. It
is a compromise of accuracy for the sake of not having problems
feeding any ammo you can get your hands on.
found on 50 BMG rifles vary as much as the rifle configurations
themselves. There are round “shark gill” types where a
piece of round metal is broached directionally. Another kind is a 4
vent. These are flatter squarer brakes either welded or bolted
together. There are a few other lesser variants, but all
manufacturers aim for a 60% reduction in kick. From one end of the
spectrum to the other they likely only vary by a few percentage
points. Silencers for 50 BMG's exist also. I have read and through a
scientific explanation, that by virtue of design not only do they
reduce sound, they also reduce kick by operating as a sort of
Optics quality for the 50 BMG are a must, but
not for the reasons you might think. My first impressions of scope
shopping for a 50 BMG was “holy shit its huge, it will destroy
scopes!” Size is not really the reason why 50 BMG kills scopes.
If you put similar muzzle braking systems on any other high power
rifles, you would see the same sort of scope destructive nature.
heavy recoil being suddenly stopped in its tracks has a sort of
“crack the whip” effect on scopes. Most scopes even the
cheap ones, have their innards braced to withstand heavy repeated
recoil in the one “regular” direction. The kind of scope
you need must be braced in both directions. This is found
generally only quality scopes.
As I mentioned in the ammo
article, many of these rifles are offered in the California legal and
50 BMG comparative 510 DTC Europ chambering.
A Few Rifles:
Anyhow building those rifles and
others in smaller calibers became a business for Gale. Today the
Mcmillan family carries on that tradition building the action found
on most of the champion's 50 BMG bench rifles under the “McBros”
and “McMillan Bros” name. They also build complete bad
ass rifles. The “McMillan” name is also used for the
separate company that builds kickass custom stocks.. There is also a
McMillan optics company related to them, but I know basically nothing
This bolt action rifle is built by a company that builds rifles that
you could probably take out of the box and compete with some of the
big boys at a FCSA event. Or you could haul it into the mountains of
Afghanistan to try to beat Rob Furlongs record 2,430 meter kill
record. This is the rifle, not the M82 as is commonly mistaken that
Rob Furlong used that day.
Well Gale may have been the first and
started it, but the man who made the 50 BMG market what it is today
Is Ronnie Barrett. The ubiquitous M82A1 is nearly synonymous with 50
BMG rifle. Just about any 50 BMG rifle you buy people will come up
and say “wow a Barrett”. To them any rifle that shoots 50
BMG is a Barrett. I bet Ronnie is pretty proud of this. Everyone from
kids who play video games to gun owners that have never had any
interest in them know exactly what a Barrett is.
of the line is the M82. 10 round magazine and semi-automatic fire
make this rifle compact portable long range firepower that has the
military buying them as fast as the company can make them.
models include the M90 and M95 5 round detachable bolt action models,
and the “magless” single shot M99 bolt
I have never met anyone who was dissatisfied with their ownership of
a Barrett. Generally the only people I have seen who outgrew, traded
off, or sold their Barrett was either because they needed the money,
or they wanted to buy/build something more competitive. People have
won or placed in FCSA competitions with Barretts, but they have a
standard chamber as offered. Lilja offers a “drop in”
match barrel for the M82 rifles that you can install in a minute
during the normal teardown. Watch this video to see more:
The next most popular 50 BMG rifle is the
Armalite AR-50. This is a massive and heavy aluminum stocked rifle.
There is not much to say that cannot be seen in the
Reasonably priced and known for decent accuracy, these single shot
rifles are becoming a common sight on ranges that allow 50 BMG's. If
I had been smart, this is likely the rifle I had bought as my first
rifle as it was available during the time I bought my crappy heavy
rifle. This is also as far as I know the only 50 BMG bolt action
offered in a lefty. I have read that the muzzle brake used on this
AR-50 is arguably the most recoil reducing design so far on any 50
BMG rifle. Armalite offers a shrunken version of this rifle, a small
copy right down to the muzzle brake in 300 Win Mag, 7.62mm and .338
Noreen ULR (Ultra-Long Range)
Simplicity is the key here. All the emphasis is on practicality and accuracy. If you want a rifle with asthetics, find something with wood on it.
Reasonably priced at $$2500, this rifle would make a nice first rifle for many shooters. It is of the removable bolt style where the round is loaded onto the bolt and then inserted. This removes the chance of broken or blown out extractors, ejectors. This bolt type also aids in case extraction when a hot round "locks" the bolt as is common with 50 BMGrifles. Available in 50 BMG and also 408 Cheytac, 416 BArrett, and .338
Bushmaster just came out with a rifle,
the BA-50. This rifle was formerly produced by Cobb manufacturing,
and still may be with a few changes.
The Cobb rifle is not that new on the scene, I don't know if
bushmaster is just making the rifle Cobb used to make or if Cobb is
still making it. It is my understanding that Cobb was bought by
Ceberus when they bought Bushmaster. Cobb sold this rifle under the
name “fast action rifle”. It had a novel lever pull
“sling shot” kind of action. It appears to me this rifle
might of originally been intended to be a semi-automatic. It seems
that Cobb decided to make it into a sort of “hand action”
for whatever reason. This rifle in the Bushmaster version uses a bolt
action on the left side and ejects on the right side. I have no
personal experience with this rifle.
A single shot rifle called the
Viper XL 50. A bullpup design uses an integrated full length rail and
AR15 grip that makes it look like a sort of a Barrett knock
This is an awesome rifle. They offer match grade versions. It was
tested to insane levels to assure safety and the tests were watched
and covered in the FCSA magazine. Tests included setting off a round
with a threaded plug installed in the barrel and firing it with an
overloaded round of ammo without failure. Video of that test is here:
The BFG-50 single shot. A
single shot bolt action gun of tubular steel
If I had know about this gun when I ordered my first 50 BMG I would
have bought it instead of my nightmare. I found out about it after I
had ordered. These guns are lightwieght and Mark Serbu is a really
cool guy in the firearms industry. There are also a few AR uppers
made by Mark floating around from group buys he has done. His rifles
are offered with awesome options you can add on, you may be familiar
with this one:
Safety Harbor Firearms
The SHF-50 which is a side magazine (3 or 5
shot) fed rifle. It is very similar to the serbu rifles in design and
Ultramag 50 which is a side mag fed AR upper (3 or 5
Safety harbor guns seem to be mildy popular but I have no experience
State Arms / East Ridge Guns
A variety of models and
rifles, more models and variations than any other 50 BMG company.
Here are just a couple:
Do not mistake this for the Hesse/Vulcan (shown at bottom of page) because it has a similar
appearance. The similarity ends where Hesse/Vulcan tried to copy the
aesthetics. These are totally different animals build by a 50 BMG
rifle company that has been around a long time using quality
Spider makes the single shot
Ferret-50, a AR upper style gun.
hot looking guns, other than that no experience
Advanced Long Range Systems
ALS-50 single shot 50
BMG AR single shot upper
these guys love the FCSA competitions. They build rifles and compete,
their customers compete. As well.
Iver Johnson AMAC-1500
This rifle is available a few
places. It is an older production 50 BMG rifle and I am not sure it
is even still available
This rifle has always been around, its expensive, and supposedly the
“baddest ass” rifle around if you believe the people
trying to sell them.
They make two rifles, one
which is very popularized in video games.
The AW-50 Bolt
two huge heavy very accurate and twice as expensive pieces of
hardware with limited availability.
Action Gun Works / Dierks Industry
The Dierks are a
family well known as record holders in the FCSA. They offer bench
guns for the light and heavy gun classes in the FCSA.
His records and shooters records of people using his guns speak for
themselves. He is part of a small group of shooters and champions in
the FCSA that also build rifles and parts for other competitors.
EDM Windrunner Arms
They make two models
Expensive and good, this is the only impression I am given about
these rifles by others. The bolt action has seen some action in the
FCSA competition. No personal experience.
FAR-50 AR upper. The newest version is
known as the Mk3, a Mk1 is pictured below.
I bought a Mk1, I haven't fired it yet. But I like the way it is
built so far. I will let you know how it goes.
M2HB/M3 semi auto "rifle"
Yes you can own this! It will swallow about any 50 BMG ammo. There
are crank style triggers for rapid firing too →
Grizzly Big Boar. This is a single
shot removable bolt bullpup design based on the original Maadi
Griffin design for removable bolt 50 BMG weapons.
This rifle, because it is still one of the smallest, and actually has
been around a long time, is popular with people who hunt with the 50
HS-50 is a bullpup design single
that muzzle brake looks very AR-50
Ultralight UL-50 upper
50 BMG rifles. A single shot removable bolt style rifle. May or may not have the ventilation holes in the stock.
(click to view)
Plenty, while maybe not wholly unsafe rifles, but in the sub $2000
range you are way getting what you paid for. I bough my rifle for
about $1300 originally from Joeken of all places around 1999-2001
range and then spent another $1500 in gunsmithing fees to get it
safely corrected and having it's components metallurgically
inspected. Avoid these at all costs. With the proliferation of decent
50 BMG AR uppers, it would be silly to buy one of these today. It is
easier for me to take any ridicule for being one of the first people
in the country to get one of these rifles than to let any of you make
the mistake I did. Avoid Vulcan at all costs. Avoid Hesse stuff at
all costs, avoid Joeken anything at all costs. Let my mistakes and
those of the many many others after me to serve you in your
decisions. Just do a search of "hesse", "Vulcan",
or "joeken" to see the many many others after me who made
the same mistake.
There are a few other companies, but I
figured this was huge enough already. I found this article from
ARFCOM listing EVEN MORE manufacturers, updated pricing, and
hope this has been helpful.
Need hosting? I shopped around and I have more storage and bandwidth than I could ever dream of using for $6.95 a MONTH! click below.
These cars built more affordably with parts won on Ebay by clicking the service below
This hourly updated user supported ticker of the lowest 50 BMG prices are brought to you free of charge
click inside box to go to these deals