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Page Armory » 50 Cal
Posted: 12/4/2013 11:15:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2013 11:21:22 AM EDT by ALPHAGHOST]
yes I've tried google...does anyone have any experience w/ the ZC Spartan, esp vs. the T1 or the Safety Harbor single shot?

looking at these which may fit a near future budget...

http://safetyharborfirearms.com/index.php/products/shtf-uppers/shtf-50-single-shot-upper-conversion-detail

http://www.tactilite.com/Spartan-50-BMG-Upper-Receiver-p/s1.htm

now, the Zel Custom Tactilite T1 seems to get pretty good reviews, but I haven't seen any solid reviews or thoughts on the Spartan budget one...any thoughts or ideas/experiences?  

The biggest difference seems to be that its welded receiver, lugs and extension the Spartan and T1 is all solid machined...is that a significant difference in quality/durability/use?

Also, any experiences on the quality of the mosseberg barrels they use? anyone know what barrel manf. SHF uses?

Any other brands I should look at? Trying to keep it ~$1500 for the upper; single shots only; reasonable amount of accuracy wanted...ie: reach 1000y and still MOman

thanks guys
Link Posted: 12/4/2013 12:08:07 PM EDT
als and ferrett are the top 2 ar/bmg uppers available
Link Posted: 12/4/2013 12:35:28 PM EDT
Safety Harbor uses Mossberg barrels.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 1:07:46 AM EDT
Same Mossberg barrels on both. The Spartan has a nicer machined body, CeraKote finish and I think the barrel is fluted. $1598 vs Safety Harbor at $1450. My experience with the Safety Harbor and the Mossberg barrels is the accuracy isn't bad considering. People claim you can shoot MOA with the right ammo. I have only shot at 400+ yards but can hit a 16" steel target all day at that range so maybe their right. So yes, the accuracy for both is reasonable, especially when you consider the price point and what these guns are designed for.
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 11:43:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2013 12:03:51 PM EDT by ALPHAGHOST]
roger that. yea, the ALS is outta my price range. I figured IF I could get almost 2.5-3k, I may as well save a little more, get a used M99....

hmmm...well, I guess if they are both mossy bbls, would it be worth the extra $500+ dollars for a higher end option, like the T1 w/ the LW bbl? or can the mossy bbl get out to 1000y w/ decent ammo?

so I guess the Spartan and the SHF are pretty close in construction/build materials...any idea on performace of the Spartan?

Does anyone know if the SHF upper is one piece or also welded together?

Also, velocity wise, seems that the drop difference of about ~150-200FPS comparing a 24"-29" bbl, but on the SHF upper site, they only had a 150FPS differ from 22-29"...which would be better overall for portability/manuverbility vs bbl length performance (thinking it'll break down anywyas...another 7-5" shouldn't be too much...)...thoughts?
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 2:40:26 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ALPHAGHOST:
roger that. yea, the ALS is outta my price range. I figured IF I could get almost 2.5-3k, I may as well save a little more, get a used M99....

hmmm...well, I guess if they are both mossy bbls, would it be worth the extra $500+ dollars for a higher end option, like the T1 w/ the LW bbl? or can the mossy bbl get out to 1000y w/ decent ammo?

so I guess the Spartan and the SHF are pretty close in construction/build materials...any idea on performace of the Spartan?

Does anyone know if the SHF upper is one piece or also welded together?

Also, velocity wise, seems that the drop difference of about ~150-200FPS comparing a 24"-29" bbl, but on the SHF upper site, they only had a 150FPS differ from 22-29"...which would be better overall for portability/manuverbility vs bbl length performance (thinking it'll break down anywyas...another 7-5" shouldn't be too much...)...thoughts?
View Quote


The SHTF uppers are welded from about 5-6 pieces just like the Zel. The only difference is Zel starts out with a beefy machined housing and SH uses thick wall tubing. Strength-wise I would assume that the Zel is stronger/stiffer because of the extra material and using 4140 vs 4130 on the SH. I read that the performance for both is very similar and that makes sense because they use the same Mossberg barrels. I'm shooting about 2MOA with my 18" SHTF but I've yet to optimize my ammo and really sit down at a bench and shoot for max accuracy. I'm hoping I can get to 1MOA but I would be happy with 1.5. There are more experienced 50 operators (and better shots) on this forum that maintain they have no problem shooting MOA at 100 yds and hitting steel at 1000 yds with the same gun I have. So it must be the clown behind the scope

The main thing with the Safety Harbors SHTF or the Zel Spartan is they are cheap to buy and much more portable than many full-size 50s. The 29" will give you another 150FPS but starts to make the gun very front heavy and less portable. I have the 18" but have fired my friends 22". When hoisting that gun up offhand shooting I can definitely feel that extra 10 ounces cantilevered out on the muzzle. For most people the 29" would probably be at the upper limit for shoulder firing. I keep mine in a standard 36" soft gun case designed for a M4. My friends 22" will fit a full size 40" AR case. Storing and transporting the Safety Harbors around is a breeze, unlike his Barrett 99. I saw an AR-50 at the local gun show. It took up the length of one of those folding six foot display tables and weighed 40lbs+ decked out with bipod and optic. The AR-50s is a great gun but I think some people underestimate the logistics of transporting and storing a full size 50.

$500 is a chunk of change for the barrel upgrade and I'm sure the wait time goes way up. I'm not sure if the extra little bit of accuracy is worth the downside but that is a personal choice. I'm happy with the Mossberg barrel on my SH but if money was no object I'd get the Zel Tactilite T2 mag fed with the Walther barrel upgrade
Link Posted: 12/5/2013 6:30:29 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
The SHTF uppers are welded from about 5-6 pieces just like the Zel. The only difference is Zel starts out with a beefy machined housing and SH uses thick wall tubing.
View Quote

Which would last longer? Since I don't know much about gun manufacturing, could you explain the thick wall tubing?
Link Posted: 12/6/2013 2:18:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/6/2013 9:30:13 AM EDT by ehallspqr]
ZEL's receiver starts out as a block of 4140 steel and is cut & shaped in a NC 5 axis milling tool. The Safety Harbor is much simpler/cheaper manufacturing process by starting out with an extruded pipe, much like a water pipe. The wall thickness on my Safety Harbor is pretty thick. I'd say .2-.25 in. of 4130 steel. Then the pipe is cut to length and the holes & slots milled out.

Technically the ZEL receiver with more material & angular cuts would probably be stronger and more importantly, the stiffer of the two. Its almost a moot point as to which is the stronger or will last longer. Their both plenty strong and up to the task. Both are designed to last the life of the weapon.

One of the forum posts I read here on AR15. The owner of a Safety Harbor had shot over 10,000 rounds threw his SHTF50 and shot out the barrel. He sent it back to the factory, they re-barreled/rebuilt it and sent back. He's still shooting that gun with the same receiver at over 10K rounds. Most of us here will never see anywhere near that high of round count on a 50. Assuming $2.50 a round the ammo costs alone are 25 grand.
Link Posted: 12/7/2013 5:57:37 PM EDT
hmm...thanks alot for the inside info!
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 9:59:22 AM EDT
k, now a poll question...according to reports, I'd loose/gain ~200FPS between a 24" and a 29" bbl...if you could only get one upper, which length bbl would you get? looking to make this gun a practical (ie: portable) .50 that can also give good performance to 1000y+ (no further than 1500yrds I'd say...)

do you think that the extra 5" will matter a whole lot in ballistic perfornace out to 1000+?
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 11:23:21 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ALPHAGHOST:
k, now a poll question...according to reports, I'd loose/gain ~200FPS between a 24" and a 29" bbl...if you could only get one upper, which length bbl would you get? looking to make this gun a practical (ie: portable) .50 that can also give good performance to 1000y+ (no further than 1500yrds I'd say...)

do you think that the extra 5" will matter a whole lot in ballistic perfornace out to 1000+?
View Quote

200fps loss will be about 5 foot more drop at 1000.
Link Posted: 12/11/2013 4:21:42 PM EDT
When I was looking Zel's barrel upgrade it seemed liked one or both upgrades was match. Keep that in mind when deciding what kind of ammo you'll be shooting.
Link Posted: 12/11/2013 7:58:18 PM EDT
The Safety Harbor 18 & 22" are light and compact enough to be very man portable. The 29" version starts to push the limits of portability. I've lugged the 18" over a mile in its bag with accessories and some ammo to a spot where we shoot the 50s. My friends Barrett 99, no-way. It's a two trips from the truck to the bench kind of gun. I think if portability is high on your list then I would stick with the shorter barrel lengths. Walking around, shooting off hand can be done with the 29" inch but it just won't be as practical. I prefer the 18" because I wanted maximum portability and mobility. Plus for plinking, shoulder firing and generally Boom Stick Tom-Foolery, the 18" reigns supreme! A 50 cal is a 50 cal and if I ever need it to do what its designed to do (destroy material, 1000 yard engagements and turning cover into concealment) I'm sure it will be more than up to the task.

There was a fairly recent post about the performance/accuracy of the shorter barrel lengths in the 18-24" range. The consensus. While you do lose velocity, the accuracy was not adversely affected to any great degree. People reported consistently hitting at 1000 yds and beyond with some serious elevation cranked in. The 24" would be a good compromise and work well for the goals you outlined. I think the 29" would start to adversely affect the "portability" side your requirements. The loss of 200FPS and extra 5ft drop is the trade off.
Link Posted: 12/12/2013 6:02:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/12/2013 6:07:31 PM EDT by Redtazdog]
The way I look at it is I have a 50 to shoot far so a longer barrel helps with ballistics, if I want to shoot close
then it still works just not as compact.
Beside if I want to shoot close I have several other calibers that work well and the guns are lighter and more compact
if I need to pack them.
Ask yourself do you plan to pack the gun over mountains so compact and light is needed or is this gun going to be a range toy
that you may have to pack it only 50 yards and don't really need the flatter flight ballistics the longer barrel will give.
edit to add that most that have a 50 start to get bored with short range targets and seem to find longer shots are more rewarding eventually
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