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Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

4 Hot Picks For The “Go Big Or Go Home” .50 BMG Crowd 

In the firearms world, there are rifles and then there are RIFLES. The separating factor is ammo. While hard-kicking rounds like the .300 Win. Mag are serious, little compares to the mighty .50 BMG. During WWII the master Jedi of guns, John Moses Browning, began developing an anti-aircraft round based on the .30-06 Springfield. The round born from those experiments was the .50 Browning Machine Gun cartridge or .50 BMG. This round was the fuel for the famous Browning M2 (a.k.a. “Ma Deuce”) machine gun in WWII which helped make it a mainstay of the military. 

fred mastison shooting a gm6 lynx .50 bmg

Today, the .50 BMG is still used by the military as a heavy machine gun and anti-material round. For those of us, however, who don’t have an M2 belt-fed machine gun at our disposal, we need to look elsewhere to find a rifle for this cartridge. Fear not my ballistic friends, Hook & Barrel has a few “Best In Class” rifles and ammunition options for you to consider. 

Barrett Mfg. M82A1 

Barrett Mfg. M82A1 

First up we have the Barrett M82A1. When you say “.50 BMG” this is the gun that comes to most people’s minds. The M82A1 is the manufacturer designation for what the US military calls the M107A1. It is available in either a 20- or 29-inch fluted barrel, and this semi-auto M82A1 weighs in around 29-32 pounds with a 10-round mag. Engineered as the first shoulder-fired semi-automatic .50 BMG rifle, the Model 82A1 has been proven in combat in every environment from the snow-covered mountains, to the deserts, and everything in between. Its low felt recoil and reliable power delivers on target with every trigger pull. More than just a rifle, the Model 82 is an American icon. 

ArmaLite AR-50A1 

ArmaLite AR-50A1 

Next up is the ArmaLite AR-50A1. The AR-50A1 is a single-shot bolt-action rifle chambered for the powerful .50 BMG cartridge. The rifle features a unique octagonal receiver and utilizes ArmaLite’s proprietary V-Channel chassis. Designed for the challenges of long-range shooting, the AR-50A1 is exceptionally accurate with a highly effective muzzle brake. Featuring a 30-inch barrel, the AR-50 measures 49.8 inches collapsed (58.5 inches expanded) and weighs 34.1 pounds. This rifle, with the right ammo, is very accurate and can make for some enjoyable long-range shooting. 

Accuracy International AX50 

Accuracy International AX50 

Our next big bore blaster is the Accuracy International AX50. This modern take on the .50 BMG bolt action has the same precision shooting capability as AI’s other sniper rifles. It offers a 27-inch barrel with a 26.5-pound weight. Features include a tactical muzzle break, quick-adjust stock, and cheekpiece. Designed to withstand constant military deployment, the AX ELR anti-materiel rifle has a long pedigree stretching back to Accuracy International’s battle-hardened AW50. Supplied pre-configured to .50 BMG, the rifle inherits the toughness, reliability, and ease of maintenance of its powerful predecessors and exhibits all the features necessary to ensure superb accuracy and consistent cold shot performance in the harshest conditions. 

GM6 Lynx 

GM6 Lynx 

Our last .50 BMG rifle is more unique. The GM6 Lynx is a unique, multi-purpose rifle that combines the strengths of sniper rifles, combat rifles, and anti-material weapons. The manufacturer states “Its task is to destroy the enemies’ key pinpoint targets, armored rifle troops in vehicles, light shelters, and buildings, radio-electronic construction, missile launchers up to 2000+ meters distance and hovering helicopters within a 600- to 800-meter shooting range.”

Its most unique feature is its reciprocating and locking barrel. While not a walk in the park, it can be fired from the shoulder if need be. 

Ammo For Feeding Your .50-Cal. Beast 

Hornady .50 BMG 750-grain A-MAX Match

Hornady 50 BMG 750-grain A-MAX Match

Now that we have some rifles to consider, we need to feed them. We will look at two flavors that cover match ammo and plinking. First up we will look at precision match grade ammo. My choice here is Hornady .50 BMG 750-grain A-MAX Match. This is Hornady’s only ammunition for .50 BMG, but the Match line is one of the company’s best. Hornady carefully selects every component to ensure uniformity, then loads it to exacting specifications to provide pinpoint accuracy.

Each cartridge is loaded with either Hornady A-MAX bullets, its high-performance boattail hollow points, or the new, radically superior ELD Match bullets. Stringent quality control ensures proper bullet seating, consistent charges, and pressures, optimal velocity, consistent overall length, and repeatable accuracy. 

PMC Ammunition Bronze .50 BMG 660-grain FMJ-BT

PMC Ammunition Bronze .50 BMG 660-grain FMJ-BT

On a more budget-friendly side, we have PMC Ammunition Bronze .50 BMG 660-grain FMJ-BT. This round is only about half the price of the X-TAC match, but it still delivers accurate and reliable enough performance that will make for an enjoyable range session. 

Disclaimer: We may earn a modest commission from the sales generated by our affiliate links. Thanks for supporting us!

Long Range Shooting with Phil Velayo
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