Arms Locker Gun Forum
Go Back   Arms Locker > Gun Forums > Big Bore Rifles


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-17-2008, 06:45 PM   #1
Registered User
 
Joined: May 2008
From: Georgia

Posts: 113
Budget .50 BMGs

A couple of weeks ago I saw an issue of Shotgun News on the newsstand. The August 4, 2008 issue boasted an article entitled Battle of the Budget 50s by Zak Smith. Man, what a rip! Zak wasted my time and SGN's money. So, there is a NEED for the information I'm about to leave you with.

Ever since I first saw a fifty cal shot at 1,000 yards with a two inch grouping with 5 shots, the itch to own one has never ceased to be on my mind at some level. Having researched it to death, I came to the conclusion that most of us generally can't afford a .50.... but, then again, my research proved me wrong. Compared to a lot of the thirty cal stuff, the .50 was within reach of most of us. So, here's my take on the .50 cal stuff that poor boys can consider:

My first choice is the Barrett .50 cal, single shot bolt action rifle, Model 99A1 BMG which retails for $3389 from www.cdnnsports.com Okay, I admit, this one is quite pricey for a poor guy, but Ronnie Barrett is my kind of guy. Check out this link and you will begin to see why I genuinely like and would support Barrett:

http://www.barrettrifles.com/news_articles.aspx?id=50

Next up in this category is the Armalite AR50, which is also a single shot .50 cal. It goes for just over $3100. Here are the specs on that one:

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/prod...ducts_id=85535

There are other medium priced .50s like the Cobb which start in the $4000 range, but this thread is not about those of you with more money than good sense. This is about those rifles we might actually be able to afford.

At the low end of the .50 cal market is the Watson's "The Boss" which starts in at about $1300 for the upper. Let me explain a little about the next few bolt action .50s we're going to discuss.

If you own an AR15 or clone thereof OR you go out and buy a receiver for one, there are a number of .50 uppers you can buy to bolt onto your AR 15 type lower receiver and start plinking away. Watsons Weapons were about the first on the scene as best as I can remember.

The Watson upper bolts onto the AR lower; however, with the way the Watson deal is set up, you've got to take the pins out that separate the lower and upper receivers in order to eject each round. This would be a real PITA in my opinion. It's the same rigamrole you go through when you field strip and clean an AR 15 / M16 rifle. Only, you do this each time you take a shot with the Watson's el cheapo .50. Watson makes a regular bolt action .50 cal which starts at about $2200. You can check out this stuff at:

http://www.watsonsweapons.com/809/818.html

Next up in this .50 category is the Ultralite .50 by Ligamec. Again, this is one of those uppers that bolts onto an AR 15 lower receiver. According to Zak Smith's SGN article, he found the Ultralite to be the only .50 he tested which could be fired offhand, but in tests, it was getting 4 moa groupings at a hundred yards. According to the article, the owner of Ligamec Corp., Marcos Ruiz said the demo rifle he provided had already had a lot rounds through it.

Quite frankly, if Marcos Ruiz would give Smith a piece of junk for evaluation in SGN - and knowing the circulation SGN gets, he's got to pretty stupid or petty in his business dealings (presupposing that Zak is being accurate in what he says.) Before reading the SGN article, the Ultralite was my top choice. Now, it's ranking along the Watson "The Boss" deal.

Well, I've never shot one and going on the word of a writer who I have some doubts about in the first place (I'll tell you why in a moment.) You'll want to see what Ruiz offers in the $1550 dollar price range and up at:

www.UltraLite50.com

Next up is the offerings of Safety Harbor Firearms, Inc. Here is where I began having doubts about Zak Smith's research and knowledge. Safety Harbor Firearms makes a MAGAZINE FED BOLT ACTION in 50 BMG. It is called the SHF / R50. That rifle takes a three round magazine with the option of the buyer buying a ten round magazine as well.

Smith, in his SGN article writes: "...it should be noted that they (speaking of Safety Harbor Firearms) produce a true AR 15 upper named the Ultra Mag 50 which is a single shot very similar to the Ligamec Ultralite50."

Smith is entirely wrong. The Ultra Mag 50 AR upper conversion is a MAGAZINE FED BOLT ACTION which comes with a three round magazine and the purchaser can buy optional FIVE round magazines. The standard SHF / R50 rifle starts at $2450 while the Ultra Mag 50 AR 15 upper conversion starts at $1850. If you got an AR or are willing to buy a lower, the Ultra Mag 50 AR upper conversion sounds like a really good deal.

The ONLY issue I have is wondering how a magazine fed 50 cal can be accurate when the magazine is fed from the SIDE of the rifle, putting a lot of weight on one side of the weapon. But, on that point, I'm thinking out loud.

Check 'em out at:

www.safetyharborfirearms.com

Next up is the Serbu BFG (must be an acronym for Big Frigging Gun) 50. These single shot .50s start at about $2200 and certainly deserve a look - see. Link is:

http://www.serbu.com/top/bfg50.php


There are some other .50s out there, but this is generally a good sampling of what is out there. You might also want to check out the following site for a lot more info:


http://www.50bmgstore.com/50bmgcurrentprices.htm
 
Remove Ads
Old 08-17-2008, 07:47 PM   #2
Registered User
 DaRkWoLf's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2004
From: Miami, FL

Posts: 2,785
The Barrett rifles are the bottom end of a suitable and practical field .50. They are capable enough to be worthy and start the small list. For a bolt action .50, you're looking at a McMillan for performance.

Budget 50s typically do not meet the criteria for successful and efficient field performance. A .50 BMG is also an extremely inefficient weapon by comparison to other choices for lightly armored non-vehicular targets under 1200 yards. A very high quality piece is required as to be consistently accurate and reliable at the distances the .50 BMG actually has a real field advantage. It's one thing to want a big fun boom and another to want the right tool for the applicable job.

The AR-15's lower receiver was meant for nothing over 5.56x45. Just using Mk262 instead of M855 or M193 starts stressing them.

Also, with all respect to Mr. Chaney and Mr. Finnie (they are extremely nice people in person and they shoot at the same range I frequent, and I hate saying this considering how simply awesome of people they are), they really aren't the best shooters or 'smiths.

Unfortunately I'm very ill at the moment so I'm sorry I couldn't write a full response and I don't know when I'll be able to reply back.
 
Old 08-17-2008, 10:29 PM   #3
Site Founder
 Rich Z's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2002
From: Probably washing the vette....

Posts: 4,814
Personally, I don't think you can go wrong with a Barrett 99. Darn fine weapon. They also make a 5 round bolt action model 95 that is lighter than the model 99, pricier and spoken highly of. Still haven't shot the one I have, but I suspect it will make a respectable showing for itself in capable hands.

As for the Serbu, frankly the guy just rubs me the wrong way, so I would avoid buying from him on that fact alone.
 
Old 08-18-2008, 02:55 PM   #4
Registered User
 
Joined: Mar 2006
From: Northern NJ

Posts: 940
I would NOT Shoot a .50BMG upper off of an AR lower that you plan to use for an ything else. AR lowers, even forged ones are primarily made of Aluminum, and with the HUGE amount of recoil and torque, even with a good Muzzle Brake, you're overstressing a lower that really was NOT Designes to do what you're doing with it. If you look at the Dedicated AR/50 lowers you notice that the mag well is cut off, and a brace is welded/forged in (depending on the manufacturer) to stiffen up the whole thing. If you want a rifle that is going to shoot a 5" group at 1000 meters, then a "Bargain" .50 probably is going to dissapoint you. As long as you're happy with "Minute of Bad Guy" then you'll be fine.... Just dont expect 1/4 MOA out of a "Cheap" rifle.
 
Old 08-18-2008, 06:25 PM   #5
Registered User
 
Joined: May 2008
From: Georgia

Posts: 113
Here is a direct quote from the als site:

"Convert your small pin AR-15 into the ultimate 50 bmg bolt action rifle, providing you the most exciting shooting experience available. This conversion adds hundreds and even thousands of yards to your shooting ability. It is ideal for competitive shooters, big game hunters, police departments and the person that just wants the biggest gun. We guarantee all of our conversions will hold 1 M.O.A. or under. This conversion has shot 5 shot groups as small as 3.5 inches at a 1000 yards, and to date has set three world records. The ALS 50bmg is commonly seen in the winners circle at sanctioned 1000 yard FCSA matches. Here is your chance to own the finest 50 BMG conversion available! US Patented with additional patents pending."

On the issue of the AR receiver, they write this:

"The 50 BMG AR15 CONVERSION upper receiver is designed for a ZERO clearance fitting to your lower receiver. All recoil not compensated for by the muzzle brake is transferred directly to the shoulder stock by coaxial kinetic impulse through the lower receiver extension boss. The 50 BMG AR15 CONVERSION has been fired thousands of times on the same AR lower receiver with NO DAMAGE being done. We do not recommend using pre-ban lower receivers based purely on their higher market value."

I'm not a professional on knowing about the .50 cal. But, I do have a friend who has fired 780 rounds or so from his AR conversion. The receiver is still intact. I can get better groupings out of an M1A at a 150 yards, but he has so much more power. Squirrels and aggravating rodents are impressed.

These cheap .50s are probably the equivalent to the SKS versus an M1A or FN / FAL in a Main Battle Rifle contest. But, when you don't have the big bucks, they may be worthy of consideration. I'm just trying to provide a little info that we can't find anywhere else on the subject. Sorry that some of you felt so offended. BTW, the source for my quotes is www.50bmg.net
 
Old 08-20-2008, 02:28 PM   #6
Registered User
 
Joined: Mar 2006
From: Northern NJ

Posts: 940
I didn't see anyone getting offended, just not agreeing completely.

As far as "Asolutely No damage" to an AR lower.. if that was the case then they wouldnt have put in the caveat ""The 50 BMG AR15 CONVERSION upper receiver is designed for a ZERO clearance fitting to your lower receiver. All recoil not compensated for by the muzzle brake is transferred directly to the shoulder stock by coaxial kinetic impulse through the lower receiver extension boss. The 50 BMG AR15 CONVERSION has been fired thousands of times on the same AR lower receiver with NO DAMAGE being done. We do not recommend using pre-ban lower receivers based purely on their higher market value."


If you're going to spend the money for a .50 BMG to begin with, spend the extra $100 (or even $200) or so it will cost you and get a Steel AR lower for it, and use a Standard AR, or Magpul (or equivalent) stock, thet takes the recoil on the Shoulder of the stock itself, and NOT onto the recoil tube threads. IMO, since AR lowers ARE relatively inexpensive, if it were ME putting together one of these, I'd spend the extra bucks, if the Steel lower isnt available/Too costly and get the Single-shot lower from DPMS that has a diagonal brace instead of a magwell.

A buddy of mine bought a Bohica ( www.bohicaarms.com ) Upper, but he's machining a solid Lower himself from a single block of Chrome/Moly he got..admittedly this is a tad more than Most folks are capable of, being he's a machinist by trade.

Now If Bohica made one of those side-magazine repeater version of their uppers in .338 Lapua..i might be interested.
 
Old 01-20-2009, 06:29 PM   #7
Registered User
 
Joined: Jan 2009
From: Alaska

Posts: 1
50bmg on ar lowers

I have a ferret 50 base on and ar lower, mine is a bushmaster lower. I have not shot it a lot, but it is still pretty fun to make little rocks out of big rocks. The guys at ferret have been using them for years and shooting some pretty impressive scores at the 50bmg matches. For the money, I would but another one. The only issue I have had with mine is light hammer strike and misfires that I cured by installing a Brownell's heavy hammer spring!. Big Dan
 
Old 05-27-2009, 07:00 PM   #8
Registered User
 
Joined: May 2009
From: Dillon, CO

Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnforcerII View Post
Next up in this .50 category is the Ultralite .50 by Ligamec. Again, this is one of those uppers that bolts onto an AR 15 lower receiver. According to Zak Smith's SGN article, he found the Ultralite to be the only .50 he tested which could be fired offhand, but in tests, it was getting 4 moa groupings at a hundred yards. According to the article, the owner of Ligamec Corp., Marcos Ruiz said the demo rifle he provided had already had a lot rounds through it.

Quite frankly, if Marcos Ruiz would give Smith a piece of junk for evaluation in SGN - and knowing the circulation SGN gets, he's got to pretty stupid or petty in his business dealings (presupposing that Zak is being accurate in what he says.) Before reading the SGN article, the Ultralite was my top choice. Now, it's ranking along the Watson "The Boss" deal.

Well, I've never shot one and going on the word of a writer who I have some doubts about in the first place (I'll tell you why in a moment.) You'll want to see what Ruiz offers in the $1550 dollar price range and up at:

www.UltraLite50.com
The Ultralite .50 is a good value upper. Marcos Ruiz is a good guy who puts a lot of care into building his uppers.

He is, however, the worst marketer I have ever met. For some reason, he markets what are basically semi-custom, built-to-order rifles as mass-produced. Usually companies try to do the opposite; sell the common as "custom."

Next, because all his uppers are built to order, he doesn't have any completed inventory. So, according to Marcos, when Zak called, Marcos provided all that he had on hand- an old prototype of the Ultralite.

It was definitely a tragically stupid marketing gaffe by Marcos. But, the upper is quite good for the money.
 
Old 05-27-2009, 11:28 PM   #9
Site Founder
 Rich Z's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2002
From: Probably washing the vette....

Posts: 4,814
I guess I just never warmed up to .50BMG replacement uppers for the AR-15 style rifles. Although a lot of people swear by them, and insist they have had no problems, I just feel a whole lot better shooting an entire gun DESIGNED from the ground up to handle that powerful .50BMG cartridge.
 
Old 05-28-2009, 07:54 PM   #10
Registered User
 
Joined: May 2009
From: Dillon, CO

Posts: 3
I agree.

The nice thing about the .50 BMG uppers, however, is the relatively low cost of entry. The Ultralite .50, for example, at $1500 is more manageable for more people than those brands that are +/- $5000.

Also, a lot of people are never going to use their .50s past two or three hundred yards. With many of the pricier .50 BMG rifles, they'd pay for a level of precision that they will never benefit from.

But, again, I agree with your point. The .50 BMG rifles, like the McBros, are a whole different class.
 
Old 05-28-2009, 11:45 PM   #11
Site Founder
 Rich Z's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2002
From: Probably washing the vette....

Posts: 4,814
Yeah, looks like the prices on many of the .50BMG rifles has gone up. Used to be able to pick up a Barrett 99 for around $3K but it will take around $4k now to get one.

Of course, if someone wants to shoot a mini-50 caliber using an AR-15 upper, the .50 Beowulf is a pretty good choice.
 
Old 07-08-2009, 08:37 PM   #12
Registered User
 
Joined: May 2009
From: Dillon, CO

Posts: 3
Ultralite .50 BMG is now Tactilite T-1

Check this: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/

It features a free-floating barrel and is available in barrel lengths 18.5″, 22″, 29″ or custom lengths up to 30″. There are three main models. The Ultralite is the budget model that has a Mossberg barrel. The Duty is next step up and is the basic law enforcement / military model. It features a Lothar-Walther barrel. The Super Match is the competition-grade model featuring a Lothar-Walther Super Match barrel.
Attached Thumbnails
Budget .50 BMGs-picture-12-29-tm.jpg  
 
Old 07-08-2009, 11:24 PM   #13
Site Founder
 Rich Z's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2002
From: Probably washing the vette....

Posts: 4,814
Man, I dunno. My shoulder just cringes at the thought of shooting that thing. Most AR-15 buttstocks are designed with shooting the .223. No matter how effective that muzzle brake is, it is still going to give you a healthy thump on the shoulder. And if you don't have some sort of padding there, you ARE going to notice the difference.

Maybe I'm wrong about these .50BMG uppers, but I would certainly want to watch someone else shoot them for a while before I would be tempted to try it.
 
Old 07-09-2009, 12:55 PM   #14
Registered User
 neolithic hunter's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2005
From: on the back porch

Posts: 1,621
common now guys calling any 50 browning a budget rifle is a shade on the oxy-moronic side wouldn't you think? now i could go with lower cost 50 browning rifles. but budget give me a break, anything that costs 5 bucks to pop a cap is a little out of the budget minded range. that's like me saying that my cuban cigars are budget because i don't buy the most expensive cuban cigars you can get. i just think it's funny that anyone could consider it so. i had a friend bring a m-2 browning, a 20mm boys rifle and an m-60 out to shoot on my range 6 months ago. me and so of the guys got to pop some caps and watch most of the action. after he picked up his brass i asked him how much did he think all the fun cost, with a straight look on his face he said i just say aboout 10 grand worth of ammo go down rang. so budget naa, i don't think so.
 
Reply

  Arms Locker > Gun Forums > Big Bore Rifles


Thread Tools
Display Modes






Powered by vBulletin 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
Copyright © 2003 - 2011 Arms Locker. All rights reserved.