.50 BMG
Overview
 
The .50 Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG) or 12.7×99mm NATO is a cartridge developed for the Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the late 1910s. Entering service officially in 1921, the round is based on a greatly scaled-up .30-06 cartridge. The cartridge itself has been made in many variants: multiple generations of regular ball
Full metal jacket bullet
A full metal jacket is a bullet consisting of a soft core encased in a shell of harder metal, such as gilding metal, cupronickel or less commonly a steel alloy. This shell can extend around all of the bullet, or often just the front and sides with the rear left as exposed lead...

, tracer
Tracer ammunition
Tracer ammunition are bullets that are built with a small pyrotechnic charge in their base. Ignited by the burning powder, the phosphorus tail burns very brightly, making the projectile visible to the naked eye...

, armor piercing
Armor-piercing shot and shell
An armor-piercing shell is a type of ammunition designed to penetrate armor. From the 1860s to 1950s, a major application of armor-piercing projectiles was to defeat the thick armor carried on many warships. From the 1920s onwards, armor-piercing weapons were required for anti-tank missions...

, incendiary
Incendiary ammunition
-World War I:One of the first uses of incendiary ammunition occurred in World War I. At the time, phosphorus—the primary ingredient in the incendiary charge—ignited upon firing, leaving a trail of blue smoke. They were also known as 'smoke tracer' for this reason. The effective range of...

, and sabot
Sabot
A sabot is a device used in a firearm or cannon to fire a projectile, such as a bullet, that is smaller than the bore diameter, or which must be held in a precise position. The term is also applied to a battery stub case, a device used similarly to make a small electrical battery usable in a...

ed sub-caliber round
Sub-caliber round
A Sub-caliber round is a round the diameter of which is inferior to the barrel diameter. An expendable sabot is used to expand the diameter to the full barrel width of the firing gun....

s. The rounds intended for machine guns are linked using metallic links.

The .50 BMG cartridge is also used in long-range target and sniper rifle
Sniper rifle
In military and law enforcement terminology, a sniper rifle is a precision-rifle used to ensure more accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than other small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for optimal levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military...

s, as well as other .50 caliber machine guns.
Encyclopedia
The .50 Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG) or 12.7×99mm NATO is a cartridge developed for the Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the late 1910s. Entering service officially in 1921, the round is based on a greatly scaled-up .30-06 cartridge. The cartridge itself has been made in many variants: multiple generations of regular ball
Full metal jacket bullet
A full metal jacket is a bullet consisting of a soft core encased in a shell of harder metal, such as gilding metal, cupronickel or less commonly a steel alloy. This shell can extend around all of the bullet, or often just the front and sides with the rear left as exposed lead...

, tracer
Tracer ammunition
Tracer ammunition are bullets that are built with a small pyrotechnic charge in their base. Ignited by the burning powder, the phosphorus tail burns very brightly, making the projectile visible to the naked eye...

, armor piercing
Armor-piercing shot and shell
An armor-piercing shell is a type of ammunition designed to penetrate armor. From the 1860s to 1950s, a major application of armor-piercing projectiles was to defeat the thick armor carried on many warships. From the 1920s onwards, armor-piercing weapons were required for anti-tank missions...

, incendiary
Incendiary ammunition
-World War I:One of the first uses of incendiary ammunition occurred in World War I. At the time, phosphorus—the primary ingredient in the incendiary charge—ignited upon firing, leaving a trail of blue smoke. They were also known as 'smoke tracer' for this reason. The effective range of...

, and sabot
Sabot
A sabot is a device used in a firearm or cannon to fire a projectile, such as a bullet, that is smaller than the bore diameter, or which must be held in a precise position. The term is also applied to a battery stub case, a device used similarly to make a small electrical battery usable in a...

ed sub-caliber round
Sub-caliber round
A Sub-caliber round is a round the diameter of which is inferior to the barrel diameter. An expendable sabot is used to expand the diameter to the full barrel width of the firing gun....

s. The rounds intended for machine guns are linked using metallic links.

The .50 BMG cartridge is also used in long-range target and sniper rifle
Sniper rifle
In military and law enforcement terminology, a sniper rifle is a precision-rifle used to ensure more accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than other small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for optimal levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military...

s, as well as other .50 caliber machine guns. The use in single-shot and semi-automatic rifles has resulted in many specialized match-grade rounds not used in .50 caliber machine guns. A McMillan Tac-50
McMillan Tac-50
The McMillan Tac-50 sniper rifle is produced in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States by the McMillan Brothers Rifle Company. This long-range anti-materiel/anti-personnel weapon is based on previous designs from the same company, which first appeared during the late 1980s...

 .50 BMG sniper rifle
Sniper rifle
In military and law enforcement terminology, a sniper rifle is a precision-rifle used to ensure more accurate placement of bullets at longer ranges than other small arms. A typical sniper rifle is built for optimal levels of accuracy, fitted with a telescopic sight and chambered for a military...

 was used by Canadian Army Corporal Rob Furlong
Rob Furlong
Rob Furlong , is a former corporal of the Canadian Forces, who held the record for the longest confirmed sniper kill in combat, at 2,430 metres...

 of the PPCLI to achieve what was then the longest-range confirmed sniper kill
Longest recorded sniper kills
Reports regarding the longest recorded sniper kill that contain information regarding the shooting distance and the identity of the sniper have been presented to the general public since 1967. Snipers in modern warfare have had a long history since the development of long distance weaponry...

 in history, when he shot a Taliban combatant at 2,430 meters (2,657 yards) during the 2002 campaign in the Afghanistan War. This record was surpassed in 2009 in Afghanistan by a British sniper
Craig Harrison (sniper)
Craig Harrison is a Corporal of Horse of the Household Cavalry of the British armed forces, and holds the record for the longest confirmed sniper kill in combat, at a range of...

, though using a .338 Lapua Magnum (8.58×70 mm) rifle.

A former record for a confirmed long-distance kill was set by US Marine sniper Carlos Hathcock
Carlos Hathcock
Carlos Hathcock was a United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant sniper with a service record of 93 confirmed kills. Hathcock's record and the extraordinary details of the missions he undertook made him a legend in the Marine Corps...

 in 1967, the distance was 2,286 meters (2,500 yards, 7,500 feet) or 1.42 miles (2.3 km). Hathcock used the .50 BMG in an M2 Browning Machine Gun equipped with a telescopic sight. This weapon was used by other snipers, and eventually purpose-built sniper rifles were developed especially for this round. DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has developed the EXACTO
EXACTO
EXACTO, an acronym of EXtreme ACcuracy Tasked Ordinance, is a sniper rifle being developed for DARPA by Lockheed Martin and Teledyne Scientific & Imaging in November 2008....

 program, .50 caliber bullets complete with microprocessors and steering vanes that allow the bullet to adjust its trajectory mid-flight to stay on target when the flight path has been altered by uncontrollable variables.

A wide variety of ammunition
Ammunition
Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

 is available, and the availability of match grade
Match grade
Match grade frequently refers to firearm parts and ammunition that are suitable for a competitive match. Sometimes, it also refers to other devices and parts that are made with high precision in mind....

 ammunition has increased the usefulness of .50 caliber rifles by allowing more accurate fire than lower quality rounds.

History

John Browning
John Browning
John Moses Browning , born in Ogden, Utah, was an American firearms designer who developed many varieties of military and civilian firearms, cartridges, and gun mechanisms, many of which are still in use around the world...

 had the idea for this round during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in response to a need for an anti-aircraft weapon, based on a scaled-up .30-06 Springfield
.30-06 Springfield
The .30-06 Springfield cartridge or 7.62×63mm in metric notation, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and standardized, and was in use until the 1960s and early 1970s. It replaced the .30-03, 6 mm Lee Navy, and .30 US Army...

 design, used in a machine gun based on a scaled-up M1919
M1919 Browning machine gun
The M1919 Browning is a .30 caliber medium machine gun that was widely used during the 20th century. It was used as a light infantry, coaxial, mounted, aircraft, and anti-aircraft machine gun by the U.S. and many other countries, especially during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War...

/M1917 design that Browning had initially developed around 1900 (but which was not adopted by the U.S. military until 1917, hence the model designation). Armor-piercing incendiary tracer (APIT) rounds were especially effective against aircraft, and the AP rounds and API rounds were excellent for destroying concrete bunkers, structures, and lighter AFVs. The API and APIT rounds left a flash, report, and smoke on contact, useful in detecting strikes on enemy targets.

The development of the .50 BMG round is sometimes confused with the German 13.2 mm TuF
13.2 mm TuF
The Mauser 13.2mm TuF , was a major step in the development of anti-tank cartridges, being the first cartridge designed for the sole purpose of destroying armored targets.- History :The cartridge was used in Mauser 1918 T-Gewehr rifle...

, which was developed by Germany for an anti-tank rifle
Anti-tank rifle
An anti-tank rifle is a rifle designed to penetrate the armour of vehicles, particularly tanks. The usefulness of rifles for this purpose ran from the introduction of tanks in World War I and until the Korean War...

 to combat British tanks during WWI. However, the development of the U.S. .50 caliber round was started before this later German project was completed or even known to the Allied countries. When word of the German anti-tank round spread, there was some debate as to whether it should be copied and used as a base for the new machine gun cartridge. However, after some analysis the German ammunition was ruled out, both because performance was inferior to the modified Springfield .30-06 round and because it was a semi-rimmed cartridge, making it sub-optimal for an automatic weapon. The round's dimensions and ballistic traits are totally different. Instead, the M2HB Browning with its .50 caliber armor-piercing cartridges went on to function as an anti-aircraft and anti-vehicular machine gun, with a capability of completely perforating 0.875" (22.2 mm) of face-hardened armor steel plate at 100 yards (91 m), and 0.75" (19 mm) at 547 yards (500 m).

Decades later, the .50 BMG was chambered in high-powered rifles as well. The concept of a .50 caliber machine gun was not an invention of this era; this caliber (.50) had been used in Maxim machine guns and in a number of manual rapid fire guns such as the original Gatling
Gatling gun
The Gatling gun is one of the best known early rapid-fire weapons and a forerunner of the modern machine gun. It is well known for its use by the Union forces during the American Civil War in the 1860s, which was the first time it was employed in combat...

.
During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 the .50 BMG was primarily used in the M2 Browning machine gun for anti-aircraft purposes. An upgraded variant of the M2 Browning machine gun used during World War II is still in use today. Since the mid-1950s, some armored personnel carriers and utility vehicles have been made to withstand 12.7 mm machine gun fire, thus making it a much less flexible weapon. It still has more penetrating power than lighter weapons such as general-purpose machine guns, though it is significantly heavier and more cumbersome to transport. Its range and accuracy, however, are superior to light machine gun
Light machine gun
A light machine gun is a machine gun designed to be employed by an individual soldier, with or without an assistant, as an infantry support weapon. Light machine guns are often used as squad automatic weapons.-Characteristics:...

s when fixed on tripods, and it has not been replaced as the standard caliber for western vehicle mounted machine guns (Soviet and CIS armoured vehicles mount 12.7 mm DShK
DShK
The DShK 1938 is a Soviet heavy machine gun firing the 12.7x108mm cartridge. The weapon was also used as a heavy infantry machine gun, in which case it was frequently deployed with a two-wheeled mounting and a single-sheet armour-plate shield...

, NSV, which are ballistically very similar to the .50 BMG, but 14.5 mm KPV
KPV heavy machine gun
The KPV-14.5 heavy machine gun is a Soviet designed 14.5x114mm-caliber heavy machine gun, which first entered service as an infantry weapon in 1949. In the 1960s the infantry version was taken out of production because it was too big and heavy...

 machine guns have significantly superior armor penetration compared to any 12.7 mm round).

The Barrett M82 .50 caliber rifle and later variants were born during the 1980s and have upgraded the anti-materiel
Materiel
Materiel is a term used in English to refer to the equipment and supplies in military and commercial supply chain management....

 power of the military sniper. A skilled sniper can effectively neutralize an infantry unit by eliminating several targets (soldiers or equipment) without revealing his precise location. The long range (1 mile+) between firing position and target allows time for the sniper to avoid enemy retribution by either changing positions repeatedly, or by safely retreating.

Power

A common method for understanding the actual power of a cartridge is by comparing muzzle energies. The Springfield .30-06, the standard caliber for American soldiers in both World Wars and a popular caliber amongst American hunters, can produce muzzle energies between 2000 and 3000 foot pounds of energy (between 3 and 4 kilojoules). A .50 BMG round can produce between 10,000 and 15,000 foot pounds (between 14 and 18 kilojoules) or more, depending on its powder and bullet type, as well as the rifle it was fired from. Due to the high ballistic coefficient
Ballistic coefficient
In ballistics, the ballistic coefficient of a body is a measure of its ability to overcome air resistance in flight. It is inversely proportional to the negative acceleration—a high number indicates a low negative acceleration. BC is a function of mass, diameter, and drag coefficient...

 of the bullet, the .50 BMG's trajectory also suffers less "drift" from cross-winds than smaller and lighter calibers, making the .50 BMG a good choice for high-powered sniper rifles.

Cartridge dimensions

The 50 BMG 12.7 × 99 NATO cartridge has a capacity of 290 grains H2O (19 ml). The round is a scaled up version of the .30-06 Springfield
.30-06 Springfield
The .30-06 Springfield cartridge or 7.62×63mm in metric notation, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and standardized, and was in use until the 1960s and early 1970s. It replaced the .30-03, 6 mm Lee Navy, and .30 US Army...

 but uses a case wall with a long taper to facilitate feeding and extraction in various weapons.

50 BMG basic cartridge dimensions. All sizes in inches (in). The common rifling
Rifling
Rifling is the process of making helical grooves in the barrel of a gun or firearm, which imparts a spin to a projectile around its long axis...

 twist rate for this cartridge is 1 in 15 in (381 mm), with 8 lands and grooves. The primer type
Percussion cap
The percussion cap, introduced around 1830, was the crucial invention that enabled muzzleloading firearms to fire reliably in any weather.Before this development, firearms used flintlock ignition systems which produced flint-on-steel sparks to ignite a pan of priming powder and thereby fire the...

 specified for this ammunition is Boxer primer that has a single centralized ignition point (US and NATO countries). However, some other countries produce the ammunition with Berdan primers that have two flash holes.

Average chamber pressure in for this round as listed in TM43-0001-27 the U.S. Army Ammunition Data Sheets —Small Caliber Ammunition, not including plastic practice, short cased spotter, or proof/test loads, is 54,923 PSI (378 MPa or 3,787 bar). The proof/test pressure is listed as 65,000 psi (448 MPa or 4,482 bar). As a note these are the military machine gun standards and not ideal for use as guidelines in reloading or personal use.

Military cartridge types

.50 BMG cartridges are also produced commercially with a plethora of different bullets and to a number of different specifications.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Tracer, M1
Tracer for observing fire, signaling, target designation, and incendiary purposes. This bullet has a red tip.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Incendiary, M1
This cartridge is used against unarmored, flammable targets. The incendiary bullet has a light blue tip.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, M2
This cartridge is used against personnel and unarmored targets. This bullet has an unpainted tip.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Armor-Piercing, M2
This cartridge is used against lightly armored vehicles, protective shelters, and personnel, and can be identified by its black tip.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Armor-Piercing-Incendiary, M8
This cartridge is used, in place of the armor-piercing round, against armored, flammable targets. The bullet has a silver tip.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Tracer, M10
Tracer for observing fire, signaling, target designation, and incendiary purposes. Designed to be less intense than the M1 tracer, the M10 has an orange tip.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Tracer, M17
Tracer for observing fire, signaling, target designation, and incendiary purposes. Can be fired from the M82/M107 series of rifles.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Armor-Piercing-Incendiary-Tracer, M20
This cartridge is used, in place of the armor-piercing round, against armored, flammable targets, with a tracer element for observation purposes. This cartridge is effectively a variant of the M8 Armor-Piercing Incendiary with the added tracer element. Can be fired from the M82/M107 series of rifles. This bullet has a red tip with a ring of aluminum paint.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Tracer, Headlight, M21
Tracer for use in observing fire during air-to-air combat. Designed to be more visible, the M21 is 3 times more brilliant than the M1 tracer.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Incendiary, M23
This cartridge is used against unarmored, flammable targets. The tip of the bullet is painted blue with a light blue ring.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, M33
This cartridge is used against personnel and unarmored targets. Can be fired from the M82/M107 series of rifles.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Saboted Light Armor Penetrator, M903
This cartridge has a 355 - 360 gr (23.00 - 23.33 g) heavy metal (tungsten) penetrator that is sabot-launched at a muzzle velocity of 4,000 ft/s (1,219 m/s). The 0.30 in (7.7 mm) diameter sabot, which is designed to break up at the muzzle to release the penetrator, must also survive the gun environment until launch. It is injection molded of special high strength plastic and is reinforced with an aluminum insert in the base section. The cartridge is identified by an amber sabot (Ultem 1000). For use only in the M2 series of machine guns.

  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Saboted Light Armor Penetrator-Tracer, M962
Like the M903, this is a Saboted Light Armor Penetrator (SLAP) round, with the only difference being that the M962 also has a tracer element for observing fire, target designation, and incendiary purposes. It uses red colored plastic sabot for identification. For use only in the M2 series of machine guns.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Ball, XM1022
A long-range match cartridge specifically designed for long range work using the M107 rifle.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, M1022 Long Range Sniper
The .50 Caliber M1022 has an olive green bullet coating with no tip ID coloration. The projectile is of standard ball design. It is designed for long-range sniper training and tactical use against targets that do not require armor-piercing or incendiary effect. It exhibits superior long range accuracy and is trajectory matched to MK211 grade A. The M1022 is ideal for use in all .50 Caliber bolt action and semi-automatic sniper platforms.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Armor-Piercing-Incendiary, Mk 211 Mod 0
    Raufoss Mk 211
    The Raufoss Mk 211 is a .50 caliber multipurpose anti-matériel projectile produced by Nammo , under the model name NM140 MP. It is commonly referred to as simply multipurpose or Raufoss. The "Mk 211" name comes from the nomenclature "Mk 211 Mod 0" used by the U.S...

A so-called "combined effects" cartridge, the Mk 211 Mod 0 High-Explosive-Incendiary-Armor-Piercing (HEIAP) cartridge contains a .30 caliber tungsten penetrator, zirconium powder, and Composition A explosive. It can be used in any .50 caliber weapon in US inventory with the exception of the M85 machine gun
M85 machine gun
The M85 is a heavy machine gun that was used primarily weapon for turreted applications in armored fighting vehicles. Designed for anti-aircraft and anti-personnel use, the weapon was found to be extremely complicated...

. Cartridge is identified by a green tip with a grey ring.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, MK257 Armor Piercing Incendiary Dim Tracer
The .50 Caliber MK257 API-DT has a purple bullet tip. The bullet has a hardened steel core and incendiary tip. The .50 Caliber MK257 is used in machine guns M2, M3, and M85. Dim trace reduces the possibility of the weapon being located during night fire and is visible with night vision devices only.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Armor-Piercing-Incendiary-Tracer, Mk 300 Mod 0
As with the Mk 211 Mod 0, but with a tracer component. This cartridge likely can be used in any .50 caliber weapon in US inventory with the exception of the M85 machine gun
M85 machine gun
The M85 is a heavy machine gun that was used primarily weapon for turreted applications in armored fighting vehicles. Designed for anti-aircraft and anti-personnel use, the weapon was found to be extremely complicated...

, as with the Mk 211 Mod 0.
  • Cartridge, Caliber .50, Armor-Piercing-Explosive-Incendiary, APEI-169, M02
This cartridge is used against hardened targets such as bunkers, for suppressive fire against lightly armored vehicles, and ground and aerial threat suppression. It is generally fired either from pilot-aimed aircraft-mounted guns or anti-aircraft platforms both produced by FN Herstal. It is identified by a gray over yellow tip. A tracer variant of it also exists.

Links used for feeding machine guns

Two distinct and non-compatible metallic links have been used for the .50 BMG cartridge, depending upon the machine gun which will be firing the cartridges. The M2 and M9 links, "pull-out" designs, are used in the Browning M2 and M3 machine guns. Pull-out cloth belts were also used at one time, but have been obsolete since 1945. The M15-series "push-through" links were used in the M85 machine gun. When the M85 was taken out of service, large stocks of ammunition linked with the M15 link remained in US military storage because of the ease with which linked ammunition can be de-linked and re-linked with different (i.e. in service) links.

Legal issues

The specified maximum diameter of an unfired .50 BMG bullet is 0.51 inches (13 mm); while this appears to be over the .50 inch (12.7 mm) maximum allowed for non-sporting Title In small arms under the U.S. National Firearms Act
National Firearms Act
The National Firearms Act , 73rd Congress, Sess. 2, ch. 757, , enacted on June 26, 1934, currently codified as amended as , is an Act of Congress that, in general, imposes a statutory excise tax on the manufacture and transfer of certain firearms and mandates the registration of those firearms. The...

, the barrel of a .50 BMG rifle is only .50 inch (12.7 mm) across the rifling
Rifling
Rifling is the process of making helical grooves in the barrel of a gun or firearm, which imparts a spin to a projectile around its long axis...

 lands and slightly larger in the grooves. The oversized bullet is formed to the bore size upon firing, forming a tight seal and engaging the rifling, a mechanism which in firearms terms is known as engraving. Subject to political controversy due to the great power of the cartridge (it is the most powerful commonly available cartridge not considered a destructive device
Destructive device
In the United States, a destructive device is a firearm or explosive device regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934.Examples of destructive devices include grenades, and firearms with a bore over one half of an inch, including some semi-automatic shotguns. While current federal laws allow...

 under the National Firearms Act), it remains popular among long-range shooters for its accuracy and external ballistics
External ballistics
External ballistics is the part of the science of ballistics that deals with the behaviour of a non-powered projectile in flight. External ballistics is frequently associated with firearms, and deals with the behaviour of the bullet after it exits the barrel and before it hits the target.-Forces...

. While the .50 BMG round is able to deliver accurate shot placement (if match grade
Match grade
Match grade frequently refers to firearm parts and ammunition that are suitable for a competitive match. Sometimes, it also refers to other devices and parts that are made with high precision in mind....

 ammunition is used) at ranges over 1000 yards (914.4 m), smaller caliber rifles produce better scores and tighter groups in 1000 yards (914.4 m) competitions.

In response to legal action against the .50 BMG in the United States and Europe, an alternative chambering was developed. The .510 DTC Europ
.510 DTC Europ
The .510 DTC EUROP is a French rifle cartridge developed by Eric Danis in order to comply with firearms legislation in Europe which regulates .50 BMG rifles...

 uses the same bullet, but has slightly different case dimensions. .510 DTC cases can be made by fire-forming .50 BMG cases in a .510 DTC chambered rifle. The new round has almost identical ballistics
Ballistics
Ballistics is the science of mechanics that deals with the flight, behavior, and effects of projectiles, especially bullets, gravity bombs, rockets, or the like; the science or art of designing and accelerating projectiles so as to achieve a desired performance.A ballistic body is a body which is...

, but because of the different dimensions, rifles chambered for .50 BMG cannot fire the .510 DTC, and therefore rifles chambered for .510 DTC do not fall under many of the same legal prohibitions. Barrett offers a similar alternative, the .416 Barrett
.416 Barrett
The .416 Barrett or 10.6x83mm centerfire rifle cartridge is a proprietary bottlenecked centrefire rifle cartridge designed in 2005. It is an alternative to the .50 BMG in long-range high-caliber rifles. It was designed in response to a request for a medium/heavy rifle/cartridge combination that was...

, which is based on a shortened .50 BMG case necked down
Wildcat cartridge
A wildcat cartridge, or wildcat, is a custom cartridge for which ammunition and firearms are not mass produced. These cartridges are often created in order to optimize a certain performance characteristic of an existing commercial cartridge.Developing and using wildcat cartridges does not...

 to .416 caliber (10.3 mm).

Despite the otherwise strict firearms laws within the United Kingdom it is possible to own a .50 BMG rifle as a section 1 firearm.

Typical uses

The primary military use of this round is in the Browning M2HB heavy machine gun
Heavy machine gun
The heavy machine gun or HMG is a larger class of machine gun generally recognized to refer to two separate stages of machine gun development. The term was originally used to refer to the early generation of machine guns which came into widespread use in World War I...

.

The primary civilian users of .50 caliber rifles, which range in price from around USD$1,600 for single shot AR-15 upper conversions to well over USD$8,000 for the semi-automatic, magazine-fed Barrett M82A1, are long-range target shooters; the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association, for instance, holds .50 BMG shooting matches nationwide in the U.S.

The U.S. Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

 uses .50 BMG rifles to disable outboard engines from armed helicopters
Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron
The Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron is an armed U.S. Coast Guard helicopter squadron specializing in Airborne Use of Force and drug-interdiction missions. It is based at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida....

 during interdictions. Similarly, .50 BMG weapons have attracted attention from law enforcement agencies; they have been adopted by the New York City Police Department
New York City Police Department
The New York City Police Department , established in 1845, is currently the largest municipal police force in the United States, with primary responsibilities in law enforcement and investigation within the five boroughs of New York City...

 as well as the Pittsburgh Police. If it becomes necessary to immobilize a vehicle, a .50 BMG round in the engine block will shut it down quickly. If it is necessary to breach barriers, a .50 BMG round will penetrate most commercial brick walls and concrete cinder block
Cinder block
In the United States, a concrete masonry unit – also called concrete block, cement block, and foundation block – is a large rectangular brick used in construction. Concrete blocks are made from cast concrete, i.e. Portland cement and aggregate, usually sand and fine gravel for high-density blocks...

s.

In addition to long-range and anti-materiel
Anti-materiel rifle
An anti-materiel rifle is a rifle that is designed for use against military equipment rather than against other combatants ....

 sniping, the U.S. military uses .50 BMG weapons to detonate unexploded ordnance
Unexploded ordnance
Unexploded ordnance are explosive weapons that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were used or discarded.While "UXO" is widely and informally used, munitions and explosives of...

 from a safe distance. The Raufoss
Raufoss Mk 211
The Raufoss Mk 211 is a .50 caliber multipurpose anti-matériel projectile produced by Nammo , under the model name NM140 MP. It is commonly referred to as simply multipurpose or Raufoss. The "Mk 211" name comes from the nomenclature "Mk 211 Mod 0" used by the U.S...

 Multipurpose round has sufficient terminal performance to disable most unarmored and lightly armored vehicles, making .50 BMG caliber weapons helpful in anti-insurgency operations.

The cartridge is also used by some hunters for taking game at extreme ranges; while the energy of the .50 BMG at close range is excessive for most game, at long ranges the velocity has dropped to levels that allow the taking of game animals without excessive damage to the animal.

Rifles

  • Accuracy International AW50
    Accuracy International AW50
    The AW50 is a .50 BMG anti-materiel rifle designed by Accuracy International. It is a re-engineered version of the Accuracy International Arctic Warfare L96 sniper rifle .-Users:-See also:...

  • Accuracy International AS50
    Accuracy International AS50
    The AS50 is a .50 BMG sniper/anti-materiel rifle manufactured by British firearms producer Accuracy International. The AS50 enables operators to engage targets at very long range with high accuracy using explosive or incendiary ammunition...

  • OM 50 Nemesis
    OM 50 Nemesis
    The OM 50 Nemesis is a bolt action sniper rifle made by Swiss manufacturer AMSD. It was created in early 21st century. It fires the .50 BMG bullet.-External links:**...

  • Anzio Iron Works Anzio-50
  • Armalite AR-50
    Armalite AR-50
    -Design:The AR-50 rifle utilizes weight and a large fluted muzzle brake to provide very mild recoil. The AR-50 weighs approximately 34 pounds and is a single shot bolt action rifle. The barrel is extremely thick and rigid to minimize the "whip" effect of rifle barrels which flex when fired.The...

  • Pindad SPR-2 and Pindad SPR-3
  • Barrett M82/M107
  • Barrett M95
    Barrett M95
    The Barrett M95 is a bolt-action sniper rifle chambered in .50 BMG , and manufactured by Barrett Firearms Company.-Overview:The M95 is an improved version of the earlier Barrett M90. It is a bolt-action sniper rifle in a bullpup design...

  • Barrett M99
    Barrett M99
    The Barrett Model 99 "Big Shot" is a single-shot sniper rifle first introduced in 1999 by the Barrett Firearms Company . The company is better known worldwide for its earlier .50 caliber rifles, the semi-automatic M82A1 and bolt-action M95. Like the M95, the rifle uses a bullpup configuration...

  • Bluegrass Armory Viper
  • ČZW-127
    ČZW-127
    The ČZW-127 is an anti-materiel sniper rifle of Czech origin. Due to the patented lever-delayed blowback action, CZW claims it to possess recoil smooth enough to be usable even without a muzzle brake....

  • DSR-50
    DSR-50
    The DSR-50 is a bolt-action anti-materiel rifle developed and marketed by DSR-precision GmbH, and is essentially an upscaled DSR-1 chambered in .50 BMG .-DSR-50:...

  • East Ridge / State Arms Gun Co. Inc.
  • Bohica MK III AR-15 Upper
  • Bushmaster BA50 Rifle
    Bushmaster BA50 Rifle
    The Bushmaster BA50 is a bolt action, magazine fed rifle designed to shoot the .50 BMG cartridge. It has a 30 inch, free-floating barrel with a 1 in 15 inch twist rate . The rifle weighs 30 pounds and has a muzzle brake to help tame the recoil...

  • L.A.R. Manufacturing, Inc. Grizzly Big Boar
    Grizzly Big Boar
    The Grizzly Big Boar is a .50 BMG sniper rifle developed by L.A.R. Manufacturing Inc., a gunsmithing firm headquartered in West Jordan, Utah. It comes in a variety of finishes, from Standard Blue to Stainless Steel. Aside from these finish options, the rifle is a Bullpup single-shot gun, also...

  • McMillan Tac-50
    McMillan Tac-50
    The McMillan Tac-50 sniper rifle is produced in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States by the McMillan Brothers Rifle Company. This long-range anti-materiel/anti-personnel weapon is based on previous designs from the same company, which first appeared during the late 1980s...

  • POLY-Technologies M99-II and M99B-II
  • Ramo M600 and M650
  • Robar RC-50
    Robar RC-50
    The Robar RC-50 counter-sniper rifle is developed by the United States Robar Companies, Inc in Phoenix, Arizona. It is chambered in .50 BMG. The RC-50 is found in two variants—the original RC-50 and the side-folding buttstock RC-50F....

  • Safety Harbor Firearms SHF/R50
  • Serbu Firearms
    Serbu Firearms
    Serbu Firearms is a manufacturer of firearms based in Tampa, Florida. Founded by mechanical engineer Mark Serbu, the company is best-known for producing the BFG-50, a .50 BMG caliber, single-shot rifle...

     BFG-50
  • Steyr HS .50
    Steyr HS .50
    The Steyr HS .50 is a .50 BMG single-shot anti-materiel sniper rifle manufactured by Steyr Mannlicher.- Design and features :The Steyr HS .50 is a single-shot bolt action rifle. It does not have a magazine so each round has to be loaded directly into the ejection port and is pushed into the chamber...

  • TGR Co. LLC $1599 Noreen 50 BMG
  • Gepard anti-materiel rifle
    Gepard anti-materiel rifle
    The Gepárd anti-materiel rifles are a family of Hungarian weapons designed to destroy unarmored and lightly armored targets. These long range, large caliber rifles have high accuracy as well as high muzzle velocity. The Gepárds originate from World War I anti-tank rifles developed by the Germans to...

  • Zastava M93 Black Arrow
    Zastava M93 Black Arrow
    The M93 Black Arrow is a 12.7mm or .50 caliber anti-materiel rifle developed and manufactured by Zastava Arms.The M93 Black Arrow is designed on the basis of the Mauser system, which was, during its one hundred years long combat history, proven to be one of the most accurate and reliable...

  • PGM Hecate II
    PGM Hecate II
    The Hecate II is the standard heavy sniper rifle of the French Army, sometimes known as the FR-12,7 .It is manufactured by PGM Précision of France...

  • Ultralite50/Ligamec Corp.
  • Vulcan Armament V50
  • EDM Arms Windrunner
    EDM Arms Windrunner
    The Windrunner M96 is a bolt-action, magazine-fed rifle designed by American firearms designer William Ritchie and manufactured by his company, EDM Arms. It is chambered for .50 BMG, and a variant designated the M98 is chambered for .338 Lapua Magnum. It was designed to be able to be broken down in...

  • WKW Wilk
    WKW Wilk
    The WKW Tor or Wilk is a modern anti-materiel and/or sniper rifle which is being produced in Poland by factory Zakłady Mechaniczne Tarnów. WKW Tor stands for Wielkokalibrowy Karabin Wyborowy or Large Caliber Sniper Rifle. Its military designation in Polish army is known as the Tor...

  • Zel Custom Manufacturing/Tactilite

Machine guns

  • CIS 50MG
    CIS 50MG
    The CIS 50MG is a gas-operated, air-cooled, belt-fed heavy machine gun developed and manufactured by Chartered Industries of Singapore in the late 1980s, in response to a request by the Singaporean Defence Ministry to replace the venerable 12.7mm Browning M2HB machine guns then in ubiquitous...

  • GAU-19
    GAU-19
    The GECAL 50, officially designated by the United States military as the GAU-19/A, is an electrically driven Gatling gun that fires the .50 BMG cartridge...

  • M2 Browning machine gun
  • M85 machine gun
    M85 machine gun
    The M85 is a heavy machine gun that was used primarily weapon for turreted applications in armored fighting vehicles. Designed for anti-aircraft and anti-personnel use, the weapon was found to be extremely complicated...

  • MAC-58
    MAC-58
    The MAC-58 was a version of the AA-52 chambered in .50 BMG. A few prototypes were tested and one retained for preserial production, but it never reached production due to the large quantity of US Browning machine guns in service with the French armed forces....

  • Rolls-Royce .50
  • WKM-B
  • XM312
    XM312
    The XM312 is a heavy machine gun derived from the XM307 25 mm autocannon and chambered for the .50 BMG cartridge. It was designed in response to a request by the U.S...


See also

  • .50 caliber handguns
    .50 caliber handguns
    A .50 caliber handgun is a handgun firing a bullet measuring approximately .5 inches in diameter. Historically, many black powder pistols fire rounds with diameters well above ½ inch...

  • 12 mm caliber
    12 mm caliber
    This article lists firearm cartridges which have a bullet in the to caliber range.*Length refers to the cartridge case length.*OAL refers to the overall length of the cartridge.*Bullet refers to the diameter of the bullet....

  • 12.7×108mm
  • 14.5×114mm
  • List of firearms
  • List of rifle cartridges
  • High Explosive Incendiary/Armor Piercing Ammunition
    High Explosive Incendiary/Armor Piercing Ammunition
    High Explosive Incendiary/Armor Piercing Ammunition is a form of shell which combines both an armor-piercing capability and a high-explosive effect. In this respect it is a modern version of armor piercing shell...

  • .510 DTC EUROP
    .510 DTC Europ
    The .510 DTC EUROP is a French rifle cartridge developed by Eric Danis in order to comply with firearms legislation in Europe which regulates .50 BMG rifles...

  • NATO EPVAT testing
    NATO EPVAT testing
    NATO EPVAT testing is one of the three recognized classes of procedures used in the world to control the safety and quality of firearms ammunition....

  • Gun laws in the United States (by state)
  • .50 Caliber BMG Regulation Act of 2004
    .50 Caliber BMG Regulation Act of 2004
    The .50 Caliber BMG Regulation Act of 2004 is a law in the state of California that effectively banned all .50 BMG-caliber rifles from being sold in the state...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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