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Page Armory » 50 Cal
Posted: 3/22/2006 11:42:53 AM EDT
I did not write this myself i found this on the web, i found it very interesting and thought i would share it.

How to beat the gun grabbers, making a better long-range rifle in the process!

So I've been thinking, which can be a dangerous thing...

Back in the old days, someone got the idea of making a .30 caliber military cartridge that would shoot a long bullet at high velocity. They chambered the Army's new bolt-action battle rifle in said round. Deer just haven't been the same since. Or elk. Or moose. Or bear. Or African plains game. Or wildcats. But I'm not talking about the felines (Green Lantern will be relieved). I'm talking wildcat cartridges. You see, the round in question here is the .30-'06, which has killed more game, defeated more foreign enemies, and spawned more wildcat rounds than all other cartridges combined.

What makes to .30-'06 so legendary? It's a great case size, holding enough powder to launch most bullets at high velocity, without going "over bore." That's wildcatter talk for "holding more powder than you can ignite without spewing unburned power out of the chamber." The long case is easy on reloading and resizing dies. It's the right length to make the most use of the standard bolt-action length. And field results, from the beanfields to the battlefields, gave testimony to the design.

In the early 1920's, a number of Springfield battle rifles became available to gunsmiths and hobbyists. And you know American ingenuity: a good thing is never perfect. So by the end of the decade, the case had been stretched, shortened, blown out, necked down, necked up, folded, spindled, and mutilated. After much experimentation, someone got the bright idea of crimping a lighter, narrower, and more aerodynamic bullet into a .30-'06 case that had been blown out ever so slightly, with the neck shortened ever so little. The .270 Winchester was born. Jack O'Connor was never happier.

Next to the .30-'06, no cartridge has killed more game. And devotees of the necked-down Springfield will tell you, a lot, how the faster, lighter bullet makes for better down range performance (on smaller creatures, although Jack would kick me for saying that).

What does this have to do with the BMG, you ask?

Not yet. You need to know more.

Back when the .30-'06 was still young and virginal, a man named Browning was called upon to build a superior weapon, powerful enough to defeat the armored vehicles being used for the first time in war. He created the .50 BMG; that's Browning Machine Gun. Ma Deuce. Target shooters and military snipers have never been happier. Gun grabbers in our government have never been more afraid.

But to say that the .50 BMG round was wholly the work of Browning isn't quite true. Take a look at a .50 BMG shell. Now take a look at a .30-'06 shell. Now look at the .50, now the .30, now the .50, now the...

Wait a minute, you are saying, the .50 is HUGE and has nothing in common with the puny little .30 caliber... you are wrong.

WRONG!

Euclid taught us the principles of geometry. Amongst his teachings: too objects are similar if the ratios of their sides to each other are equal, even if the objects are different sizes. That means a 1" square is similar to a 2" square: even though one is bigger than the other, they both have four sides of equal length. They're both SQUARE.

This isn't rocket science. Well... never mind...

The .50 BMG is similar to the .30-'06, and not just a little. Browning literally was so impressed with the natural perfection of the .30-'06, he just scaled the whole thing up to .50 caliber. Place a .50 BMG five feet away. Place a .30-'06 three feet away. Close one eye to kill depth perception. Look at them side by side: identical.

IDENTICAL!

And what does this have to do with gun grabbers? Or long range shooting?

Patience, grasshopper...

Take a look at competitive rifle shooting and you find there are a few general classes into which all shooters fit:

You got your small-bore: those who think the .22 LR is the be-all, end-all.

You got your .50 BMG crowd: all that energy, and 1000 yards seems downright close.

You got your benchresters: they don't care about anything that isn't bolted down and aimed at an immobile target at a fixed distance. And they hate weather.

Finally, there is oddest crowd: those who try to build the ultimate all-around long range rifle.

These guys want more power than a .22 LR, or even than the 6mm benchrest guns. After all, they hunt. Or they fancy themselves snipers. Whatever. They want some power. But they don't fuss about with the big fifty. Too unwieldy. Too much power. Not in terms of performance, but in terms of being able to shoot it comfortably, repeatedly, without adding 20 pounds of dead weight to the stock. And too expensive! Mass-produced military surplus ammo isn't too expensive, but it ain't cheap; factor in match bullets, etc., and costs go through the roof. So... What do these guys shoot?

Wildcats.

What do they use as a base? Mostly the .30-'06, although modern beltless magnums are really catching on. But they like the ought six because brass is cheaper and actions are already tailor-made for it. And they like the way Jack O'Connor thought: build something that is ideal for the readily available actions, using a sleek bullet you can push to a high speed. You hit the ranges where these guys compete, and you see wildcats like the 6.5mm-'06 Ackely Improved. An old buddy of mine built one of these babies, and uses it to push a 140 gr bullet, with a high ballistic coefficient, to velocities close to a 7mm Magnum with the same bullet weight. He hits golf balls at 500 yards. He takes his baby deer hunting and gets clean kills further out than I can usually even see a deer. It's a ballistic dream.

Now logically, if the .50 BMG is similar to a .30-'06, you should be able to create similar wildcats... but there are problems. You can buy a barrel for a long-action hunting rifle in just about any bore and twist you can imagine. Give a gunsmith your barrel, and action, and a chamber reamer, and you can create a rifle ready to fire just about any wildcat you can fathom. But decide to tinker with the .50 BMG, and suddenly you are elevated to a whole other world of custom work and high price. It's not that it's harder, per se. It just takes more money and time, because the vast supply of ready-to-use parts isn't there.

OK, you have an inkling where this is going, but what about gun grabbers?

Remember that stupid assault weapons ban? One of the problems the gun grabbers faced was that naming a specific gun to ban, like the Colt AR-15, resulted in manufacturers renaming guns to get around the ban. Ban the AR-15? We'll introduce the Sporter! Gun grabbers got smarter (they thought) and came up with the idea of banning by attribute. Got a bayonet lug AND a pistol grip AND a flash suppressor? HA HA! Ban it!

Now they want to ban .50 BMG rifles.

But what happens when you wildcat the .50 BMG?

Would a ban on all .30-'06 rifles and ammunition result in a ban on the .270? Or the 6.5mm-'06 Ackley Improved? My limited legal knowledge says NO.

So let's flood the market with wildcats of the .50 BMG before the gun grabbers can succeed. And even where they have banned already, like Kalyfornya, the ban fails when the rifle and ammo are no longer ".50 BMG."

This is good news for extreme shooters.

Let's face it: the .50 BMG is NOT an ideal long range round. Yeah, I went there. It's slow. Drop at long range is huge. The bullets have a lot of drag. Windage at long range is huge. Not as bad as with the smaller cousin, but still far from ideal. What the extreme shooters need to do is think like my buddy with his 6.5mm-'06 Ackley improved.

What would happen if you necked down the .50 BMG to fire something more like a .40 caliber bullet? What if that .40 caliber bullet was extremely long and heavy for its diameter, giving it an extremely high ballistic coefficient? And what if said bullet was still significantly lighter than the usual 750 gr slug in the big fifty? Now imagine the fifty case blown out, shoulder sharpened, neck shortened, to fit in the most powder possible? Imagine this sleek bullet with the high B.C. flying out the barrel, not at 2,700 fps, but more like 3,300 fps...

This is great news for extreme shooters. It's also good for the tactical guys, but let's not tell the media. We want them to think only the .50 BMG is bad news.

What do you call this new wildcat monster? How about the Remington (or Winchester, or whoever we can get to tool up) 10mm Magnum? Sounds like some sort of hunting round to me. Certainly no terrorist weapon.

As long as we are tinkering, how about redesigning the case head to take a standard-sized primer? One of the biggest gripes of the .50 BMG handloaders is that you need to buy special primers. When Browning scaled up the ought-six, he scaled up the primer, too. That's one mistake the genius made. I can name one or two more, but no point starting a flame war. Had he been thinking, he would have modified the design to use shotgun primers: about the right size, about the right amount of spark, but standardized. Handloaders buy little bushings that allow them to fit shotgun primers into surplus brass. Forget that. Tool up and crank out millions of rounds, with the case already resized for the smaller bullet and increased powder load, and ready for shotgun primers. This also makes it impossible for the gun grabbers to find a way to steal the wildcats by default: if surplus .50 BMG brass doesn't match up, it doesn't meet the attribute test.

So now we have a new round with a bullet under .45 caliber (they won't get away with banning anything this size or smaller; it's too obvious a grab for our pistols), it takes a new type of brass not compatible with military surplus .50 BMG rounds, and it is clearly designed from the ground up to be a sporting cartridge. No "military" guns are chambered for it. No one makes a machine gun to shoot it. There are no belts of surplus ammo to hold up when testifying before Congress. And so what if will drop an elephant? Elephant rifles already do that.

I think this is a necessary step. We need an "improved" version of the .50 BMG cartridge that is ban-proof. And once brass becomes available, we just might see the wildcatters out there cramming in smaller and smaller bullets at higher and higher velocities. Maybe someone will try launching a .30 caliber, 220 gr match bullet at 5,000 fps. Talk about a varmint gun! And it won't be long before someone shortens the case, much as the .30-'06 was shortened to make the .308 Winchester. A "short" .50 BMG, necked down to 10mm, and firing a 500 gr slug at 2,700 fps makes an incredible round for dangerous game. Sure, we already have Weatherby and those Nitro Express rounds... but collectors always want another. And it adds to the credibility of the family as hunting guns. What to call it? How about the 10mm Patriot or the 10mm Liberty?

Something that sounds so patriotic and American couldn't possibly be a terror weapon, right?

Most importantly, it sends a powerful message to the gun grabbers: whatever you propose short of an outright ban, we will work around.

And if you propose an outright ban, you will lose.

I have spoken! Let the new generation of ultra-high-power, ultra-long-range SPORTING rifles begin! And if any of you readers know anyone working over at Winchester or Remington, pass this along...

by Gullyborg on 2nd Amendment
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 3:01:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 3:06:20 PM EDT by uglygun]
You are aware that the process has already begun right?


There are 2 versions of direct 50cal. substitutions that provide the same ballistic performance. The 510DTC and the EDM version of the 510DTC are nothing more than a slightly blown out case with different neck angle, basically a PPC-mod to the 50BMG case.

EDM, Serbu, Bluegrass Armory are all starting to build 510DTC based rifles. The upper assembly folks may catch on soon as well.




Then there is SSK Industries with their ATF approved non-destructive device 14.5mm JDJ, 1170 grains fired off at 2600-2700fps from a necked up 50BMG case.

www.sskindustries.com/14_5.htm


The owner of State Arms made a 338-50, something called the Mach 5 if I recall correctly. It suffered from the same fate that the 416 Barret pictured in the diagram higher up would suffer from, barrel/throat errosion so bad that your sphincter puckers at the thought of 500-800 round barrel life.

Then there was the 50 FatMac based on necked down 20mm casings, same problem.

50BMG is already over bore, I ain't gonna play with even more over bore rounds like the 416Barrett. It's just absurd. Of the proposed 50BMG based cartridges, the SSK 14.5mm is the one that interests me most. Comparable velocities(if you use the 750grn Amax typical velocity of 2700ish fps) but yet a high mass projectile that should retain velocity very well at range. And it's going the opposite direction with respect to being overbore and barrel wear, it is likely a more effecient cartridge thanks to the larger bore diameter increasing the surface area for the gasses to act against the base of the bullet which is essentially similar to the surface area of a piston in a gasoline engine.

As far as the primer. While it sucks to have to buy unique primers, I absolutely want to have that big primer to help assure that 210-220 grains of slow burning powder is properly ignited. I certainly wouldn't leave it up to a tiny little LR magnum primer to do.

The primer is massive, that's a 150grn 30cal. projectile on the left. But the primer is a good thing in my opinion.

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