PDA

View Full Version : Make a .50 out of a Colt AR (RAW)?


FullMetalJacket
07-05-2009, 2:24 PM
I've been entertaining the notion of getting into ultra big-bore, super long range shooting, but it seems like the availability of .510 DTC ammo is problematic. None of the big ammo makers load it and, when you can find it, it's very expensive. The alternative, buying reloading equipment and rolling my own from .50 Browning brass, is not particularly enticing, either.

However, it occurs to me: I have a Colt AR-15A2 HBAR that I regged way back when. I never shoot it; I have a newer AR carbine w/bullet button for 5.56mm fun.

So...could I get, say, a Bohica upper in .50 BMG and put it on the gun?

Legally, this would seem to be no problem...it starts as an assault weapon and stays one.

How about physically? I know the pins on my Colt and Rock River guns are different diameters...are adapters of some kind available? Would I have to get some custom pins lathed?

This would be the best of both worlds...I could have a .50 boomer and be able to turn the gun back into an AR-15 at any time.

Thoughts? Comments?

ar15barrels
07-05-2009, 3:18 PM
While the "path to registration" was different, the net result is that both 50's and AW's are on the same registration list.

This shows that if a 50 was already registered that it was not necesary to register it again:
http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/50bmgfaqs.php#8

Therefore, since your lower is already registered and you now convert it to a 50, there's no need to register it any differently because it's already registered.

bombadillo
07-05-2009, 3:42 PM
Wow, nice find and post lots of pics. Wish I could say the same.

Omega13device
07-05-2009, 6:55 PM
It's legal. A .50BMG rifle that's already an assault weapon doesn't need to be registered separately as a .50BMG rifle. Here's my Registered AW FAQ for future reference: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=197295

FullMetalJacket
07-05-2009, 7:17 PM
It's legal. A .50BMG rifle that's already an assault weapon doesn't need to be registered separately as a .50BMG rifle. Here's my Registered AW FAQ for future reference: http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=197295
Awesome. Thanks.

Now does anyone know if Bohica will sell a .50 BMG upper to Kalifornia?

grahlaika
07-05-2009, 7:25 PM
I've been entertaining the notion of getting into ultra big-bore, super long range shooting...

Thoughts? Comments?

The question on the .50 was already answered, but as an aside there are better options for super-long range shooting (i.e. ELR). .408CT, and .375CT all have better range than the .50 (higher velocity, similar BC). They're also somewhat lower reloading costs compared to the .50. I'm not sure why you need the ultra big-bore portion of it, so I won't address that.

ar15barrels
07-05-2009, 7:30 PM
I'm not sure why you need the ultra big-bore portion of it, so I won't address that.

Because the un-informed automatically think that bigger is better... ;)
As with all topics, the more you REALLY dig into something, the more you find out that you did not even know what you did not know.

slappomatt
07-05-2009, 8:02 PM
I didnt think they other ultra long range stuff was cheaper to reload. when I last looked into it a few months back you could reload 50BMG for around $1.50 a round. what does 408/416 cost to reload?

ar15barrels
07-05-2009, 8:19 PM
I didnt think they other ultra long range stuff was cheaper to reload. when I last looked into it a few months back you could reload 50BMG for around $1.50 a round. what does 408/416 cost to reload?

What components are you using to calculate that $1.50 per round?
If you are using BALL bullets, well, those are just NOT long range bullets.
You need to be comparing apples to apples.

BigBamBoo
07-05-2009, 8:25 PM
................

grahlaika
07-05-2009, 9:37 PM
I didnt think they other ultra long range stuff was cheaper to reload. when I last looked into it a few months back you could reload 50BMG for around $1.50 a round. what does 408/416 cost to reload?

Considering the fact that a .50BMG bullet alone (AMAX for example) runs at least $3.00, I'll have to call B.S. on your $1.50 estimate for reloading a round of .50BMG for long range shooting. Maybe you're thinking of .50 pistol rounds or something, in which case I'll buy that estimate.

I didn't mention the .416 specifically because the load is proprietary Barrett, and some components are hard to find. The .408/.375 are easier to find, and cheaper than .50BMG, not to mention better for long range shooting.

EBR Works
07-06-2009, 7:33 AM
To reload .50 DTC, which uses identical components, here's the breakdown for an inexpensive (it's all relative!), Cali range safe load that will get you to 1000 yards:

Bullet - Lehigh 645gr brass solid ball- $1.15 each (take note that match grade Lehigh bullets are about 2x as much). Hornady A-Max 750s are $2.05 each at Midway with FFL03 discount.

http://lehighbullets.com/products.asp?cat=8

Powder - H50BMG 250gr - $.67

Primer - CCI 35 - $.30 each

As for brass, I just purchased new WCC DTC brass at $2 each from CalGunner mrkubota. Reprocessed, unprimed surplus brass reformed to DTC from him are $1 each. I'm sure that BMG brass are somewhat less.

Keep in mind that if you currently reload smaller rifle cartridges, virtually none of your equipment can be used to load .50BMG/DTC. You'll need a new press, dies, trimmer, bullet puller, powder funnel, chamfer/debur, primer pocket uniformer, loading trays, ammo boxes, etc. If you want to load match grade ammo, plan to spend a more. I managed to put everything together to add to my existing reloading gear for about $1k.


Because the un-informed automatically think that bigger is better... ;)


Not necessarily better but way more fun!

gn3hz3ku1*
07-06-2009, 7:37 AM
Man....more words of wisdom....I have been trying to convince my wife of this forever!! :rofl2:

Take care,Stan

ohhh boy... poor wife

FullMetalJacket
07-06-2009, 10:15 AM
I realize there are alternatives to .50 BMG out there, some of which may be superior for longer range matches. I also realize that people can--and do--put together .510 DTC ammo relatively economically. But I made it clear in my initial post that I was not interested in reloading. Period. I just want to shoot, not form a new lifestyle.

Some of the snobbery in this thread (e.g., the "uninformed" crack which was totally uncalled for) is counterproductive for a sport that--if more people had been involved with--would not now require circumventions of the law in order to practice. If I need that kind of worthless condescension, I'll seek out a gunstore with a "SEAL/Ranger/Delta Force/G.I. Joe/Mall Ninja/poser" behind the counter.

I want to shoot .50s. I don't want to shoot a .402-600 Nitro Ultrawildcatter Grande Especial. But thanks for the "advice."

Omega13device
07-06-2009, 11:02 AM
Some of the snobbery in this thread (e.g., the "uninformed" crack which was totally uncalled for) is counterproductive for a sport that--if more people had been involved with--would not now require circumventions of the law in order to practice.
Please elaborate on what circumventions of the law are required.

I agree with your comment about snobbery being counterproductive, but I suspect you're misinformed about the law if you think you have to circumvent it to legally do anything that's been discussed in this thread.

nplant
07-06-2009, 11:08 AM
I took it to mean that we've got restrictions on so-called "assault weapons" including the .50 BMG. It appears that FMJ wants to shoot the .50 BMG specifically (maybe as a matter of civic nose-thumbing, maybe because he's a huge fan of John Browning). So the man wants his .50 BMG.

However, it ALSO sounds like the original question has been answered, and subsequent posts are intended to help make sure that there is a well-rounded discussion into the issue, since no explanation was offered up front as to why specifically .50 BMG.

So, since the question was posted on a public web forum, and others may benefit from reading the thread, maybe we could forgive the perceived slight to anyone's ego, and go on about the topic as it has evolved?

No one forces you to read the thread beyond the answer you asked for.

FullMetalJacket
07-06-2009, 11:12 AM
Please elaborate on what circumventions of the law are required.
If I want to shoot a .50 (specifically, a .50 Browning), I can only do so because I happen to own a previously registered AW. If anyone else wants to, they have to shoot a cartridge (.510 DTC) that has far less support in the marketplace.
I agree with your comment about snobbery being counterproductive, but I suspect you're misinformed about the law if you think you have to circumvent it to legally do anything that's been discussed in this thread.
By "circumvent," I literally mean "operate around the law." The law is in the way in that it places significant hurdles to shooting a .50, but it does not totally foreclose the possibility.

FullMetalJacket
07-06-2009, 11:17 AM
I took it to mean that we've got restrictions on so-called "assault weapons" including the .50 BMG. It appears that FMJ wants to shoot the .50 BMG specifically (maybe as a matter of civic nose-thumbing, maybe because he's a huge fan of John Browning). So the man wants his .50 BMG.
There is a "nose-thumbing" aspect to it, I can't deny. But I've just always been intrigued by the big .50.
However, it ALSO sounds like the original question has been answered, and subsequent posts are intended to help make sure that there is a well-rounded discussion into the issue, since no explanation was offered up front as to why specifically .50 BMG.
The question was answered (and I am appreciative for the information), but the "uninformed" crack was unnecessary. I usually welcome the knowledge of others, but not if they feel compelled to demean me in order to provide it.
So, since the question was posted on a public web forum, and others may benefit from reading the thread, maybe we could forgive the perceived slight to anyone's ego, and go on about the topic as it has evolved?
Happy to go on with the topic. But I won't let an insult pass.
No one forces you to read the thread beyond the answer you asked for.
And no one says I can't respond to anything I choose to.

50 Shooter
07-06-2009, 1:08 PM
FMJ,
If you move down to SD and feel like doing a little driving, we shoot on the 3rd Sun. of each month at Angeles Range www.angelesranges.com as a group. Ben a.k.a. MrKubota is licensed to manufacture ammo and is always there, he usually brings ammo to sell if he has any in stock. 50 BMG and DTC components are getting harder to come by as the number of shooters is skyrocketing.

Omega13device
07-06-2009, 1:24 PM
Please elaborate on what circumventions of the law are required.

I agree with your comment about snobbery being counterproductive, but I suspect you're misinformed about the law if you think you have to circumvent it to legally do anything that's been discussed in this thread.

If I want to shoot a .50 (specifically, a .50 Browning), I can only do so because I happen to own a previously registered AW. If anyone else wants to, they have to shoot a cartridge (.510 DTC) that has far less support in the marketplace.

By "circumvent," I literally mean "operate around the law." The law is in the way in that it places significant hurdles to shooting a .50, but it does not totally foreclose the possibility.
Ok. I think you understand that it's legal but you're playing word games. Don't put the notion in peoples' heads that this is somehow going "around", "skirting" or "avoiding" the law. Putting a .50BMG upper on a RAW lower is 100% WITHIN the law. You're not going "around" anything. Same with a .510 DTC upper on an OLL. 100% legal. "Circumventing the law" and staying within the law are not synonomous.

ar15barrels
07-06-2009, 1:59 PM
I've been entertaining the notion of getting into ultra big-bore, super long range shooting

Thoughts? Comments?

I thought you wanted to get into super long range shooting.
What it really turns out to be is that you just want a 50 bmg, regardless of it's utility for super long range shooting.
You should have just said that without mentioning super long range shooting and we would not try to educate you on the best options for super long range shooting.

FullMetalJacket
07-06-2009, 2:02 PM
Ok. I think you understand that it's legal but you're playing word games.
I'm not playing word games. The law establishes an obstacle that one must go around. To "go around" is to "circumvent," literally. I understand that it's legal; that wasn't my point. My point was that if more people participated in the sport, perhaps this obstacle would not exist.
Don't put the notion in peoples' heads that this is somehow going "around", "skirting" or "avoiding" the law.
I can only say what I mean. How others take it is their concern.

FullMetalJacket
07-06-2009, 2:42 PM
FMJ,
If you move down to SD and feel like doing a little driving, we shoot on the 3rd Sun. of each month at Angeles Range www.angelesranges.com as a group. Ben a.k.a. MrKubota is licensed to manufacture ammo and is always there, he usually brings ammo to sell if he has any in stock. 50 BMG and DTC components are getting harder to come by as the number of shooters is skyrocketing.
Good to know. I'm seldom in the SD area, but I may drop mrkubota a PM and see about the ammo selection...

Omega13device
07-06-2009, 2:43 PM
I'm not playing word games. The law establishes an obstacle that one must go around. To "go around" is to "circumvent," literally. I understand that it's legal; that wasn't my point. My point was that if more people participated in the sport, perhaps this obstacle would not exist.
I don't think discussions about how we are "circumventing the law" are going to get people flocking to the sport either (unless you count DOJ agents).

Also don't forget this is a public forum and what you say reflects on Calguns as a whole. Like it or not, perception is reality.

Anyway, I'm glad we agree on the larger point that it's legal, and I'll leave it there.

FullMetalJacket
07-06-2009, 2:48 PM
I thought you wanted to get into super long range shooting.
I do.
What it really turns out to be is that you just want a 50 bmg, regardless of it's utility for super long range shooting.
And had someone said "You know, there are better options than a .50 BMG such as..." rather than simply dismissing me as some "uninformed" wretch who thinks "bigger must be better," I would've been fully open to any advice along those lines.
You should have just said that without mentioning super long range shooting and we would not try to educate you on the best options for super long range shooting.
I state what I'm after in my very first post. I guess that wasn't "informed" enough for you.

grahlaika
07-06-2009, 10:23 PM
And had someone said "You know, there are better options than a .50 BMG such as...

I believe I did just that. I'm still not sure what your definition of super long-range shooting means, which is certainly confusing me in trying to help answer your question. Are you looking for range, are you looking for accuracy, are you looking for accuracy at range, how far is super long-range to you, etc.?

If you simply want to shoot a .50 BMG, then you can get away with shooting surplus ammo, but don't expect to hit anything smaller than a barn door beyond 600 yards. If you're looking for accuracy at 1000 yards with a .50 BMG, you'll have to either reload, or purchase custom reloaded ammo. If you're looking at accuracy to 1500 yards, you can get there with match .338 Lapua or match 7WSM ammo which you can purchase. If you're looking for accuracy beyond 1500 yards, then you're looking for custom loaded .375CT or .408CT ammo, both of which are good to 2500 yards.

So it still comes down to what you're looking to accomplish. Simply saying that you want super long-range with a big caliber that you don't have to reload isn't specific enough, and those goals can be opposite each other.

Magnanimous
07-07-2009, 1:10 AM
OP, Having a RAW opens a lot of doors that non-RAW owners can't pass and be within the law. You can buy surplus and match BMG ammo pretty much anywhere online. If you don't like the results or find in the future you need a extreme precision rifle, sell the upper to someone else and don't look back. Buy what you want.

Spyder
07-07-2009, 4:35 AM
So it still comes down to what you're looking to accomplish. Simply saying that you want super long-range with a big caliber that you don't have to reload isn't specific enough, and those goals can be opposite each other.

I dunno. I thought it was pretty clear from his first post that what he wanted was a 50BMG upper. He didn't want to have to reload.

Pretty specific to me.

Yes, you can put a Bohica or any other 50BMG on your RAW lower and be perfectly legal. End of story, without speculation on what you really "mean" by asking that exact question. :cool:

mountaineer
07-07-2009, 5:18 AM
maybe ball ammo is not technically long range but new and once-fired work pretty darn good at 1000+ meters... i use ball new $4/each, ball once fired $2.50-3 each and also API once fired $2.50-3$ and they all seem to give about the same size pattern shot out of my Cobb .50BA. these rnds are an affordable option for 50 cal ammo, the really expensive stuff in small boxes, is that what you consider to be long range loads, the stuff that costs about $7-8-10 apiece ?

50 Shooter
07-07-2009, 7:36 AM
If you're looking for accuracy to 2000+ yards, look at the .50 BMG!!! Here's a pic of our 2000 yard target that's been hit numerous time.

http://www.daplane.com/50bmg/2k_steel.jpg

Plenty of the guys shoot out to 1000 yards with surplus rounds and hit the targets that we have set up. Anyone who thinks the .50 BMG round isn't an accurate round is fooling themselves. I think that the 1.94" group speaks for itself, where does the .408 CT or .416 Barrett stand?

All those wannabe shows that compare match grade .408/.416 rounds against surplus BMG rounds are full of BS. Don't believe everything that you hear from the bald guy with the uber spooky low voice.

Spyder
07-07-2009, 8:22 AM
Hmmmm...I just shaved my head...You talkin' 'bout me?!

50 Shooter
07-07-2009, 8:44 AM
Not unless you host a show called future weapons.;)

ar15barrels
07-07-2009, 9:09 AM
Don't believe everything that you hear from the bald guy with the uber spooky low voice.

:rofl2:

<low voice>We are chasing rabbits with this uber long range baby killer because you really DO need 6500 ft-lbs of energy to dispatch a rabbit.</low voice>

FullMetalJacket
07-07-2009, 9:30 AM
I was kinda thinking I'd like to shoot at 1000 yards and see how that goes. That's several times the longest distance I've ever shot as a start. As for accuracy? I'd gladly settle for Minute-of-Pizza to begin with. My budget will likely be somewhat limited (I figure $1500 for the upper, at least $1000 for the optics, and some other supplies).

I do find it interesting that people are shooting farther than that with a 7mm WSM...

ar15barrels
07-07-2009, 9:45 AM
I was kinda thinking I'd like to shoot at 1000 yards and see how that goes. That's several times the longest distance I've ever shot as a start. As for accuracy? I'd gladly settle for Minute-of-Pizza to begin with. My budget will likely be somewhat limited (I figure $1500 for the upper, at least $1000 for the optics, and some other supplies).

I do find it interesting that people are shooting farther than that with a 7mm WSM...

I shoot 1000yds with my 308.

1600yds is where super long range shooting STARTS.
The biggest issue is finding a place to shoot with that distance available.
The next issue is actually ranging the target.
Then there's the wind.

FullMetalJacket
07-07-2009, 10:41 AM
I shoot 1000yds with my 308.
What kind of gun? Is this reasonably doable for an AR-308/AR-10-type rifle? (I've got a DPMS lower receiver I could build up...)
1600yds is where super long range shooting STARTS.
I suppose I erred in using the term "super long range." 1000 yards seems pretty damn far to me. I don't think I'd shoot farther than this initially.

Anyway, according to the bald ex-SEAL on the Discovery Channel, I'd need a .416 Barrett to hit the 2500 yard targets. ;)
The biggest issue is finding a place to shoot with that distance available.
I'm in the SF Bay Area, so that might be a problem. I thought there was a range on the order of 1000 yards in the Sacramento area.
The next issue is actually ranging the target.
Then there's the wind.
That's a big part of the challenge, right? Having to compensate for factors that are negligible at 100 or 200 yards...

ar15barrels
07-07-2009, 10:48 AM
What kind of gun?

Bolt action.
It's do-able with a semi-auto too, but the gun is not likely to be as accurate at those distances.

I thought there was a range on the order of 1000 yards in the Sacramento area.

There is a 1000yd range there but you have to be a member of the club to use it.
They don't allow 50's there.

That's a big part of the challenge, right? Having to compensate for factors that are negligible at 100 or 200 yards...

That's ALL of the challenge.

mountaineer
07-07-2009, 12:15 PM
Plenty of the guys shoot out to 1000 yards with surplus rounds and hit the targets that we have set up. Anyone who thinks the .50 BMG round isn't an accurate round is fooling themselves. I think that the 1.94" group speaks for itself, where does the .408 CT or .416 Barrett stand?

I dont have a picture but a great target for 1000-2000 yards with a .50 are those tall (man size:43:) 100 pound propane tanks (empty of course...) they sound like a church bell on a hit and even at that trange you can hear the hit. cant say ive shot 1.94" groups at tha trange but with a Trijicon ACOG calibrated for .50 have shot plenty into the 5" center on a shoot-n-c target taped on to the propane bottle. sometimes places that sell bottled propane sell the old tanks dirt cheap because the bottoms are rusty or the bottle has exceeded the allowable service life.