The Armalite AR 50A1B Caliber Single Shot Bolt Action



Well, we can’t talk about big bore rifles without talking about the Armalite single shot bolt-action AR 50A1B a newer model. It is just a very large version of the 30-06 Springfield developed back in 1910 WW I as an Anti- Aircraft round. The fact is that I have shot many big bore rifles but never shot a 50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) round in testing or otherwise. Most folks that know me, know that I just love to shoot big rifles.  They are just great fun when you know the recoil has been tamed.  Energy delivered down range is massive, and can be shot with extreme accuracy at very long ranges. Note that there are lesser rounds that have achieved this range during the Civil War but not with this energy.  As a target shooter and one that believes fully in the Second Amendment it is valuable for all riflemen and women to have had the experience of shooting this legal firearm.

I have sent an email to Armalite to see if New Hampshire Rifleman can obtain one for testing and to share our findings with New Hampshire readers first hand.  If we can’t get one from Armalite we will see who has one locally that we can shoot.

The Armalite advertisement says they are moderate in recoil to shoot. At 34 pounds it should shoot like a pussycat.  Wow! It is only 4 to 6 bucks a round to shoot, not bad.  Most of those I observed shooting them on utube did not use a shoulder pad so it must push more than jolt the shooter, making it easier for women and younger folks to shoot.  There are several clubs in New Hampshire that allow it.  What are the spec’s on this rig you ask?

*Shown with optional Scope, Scope Mount, Mono-pod and Bi-pod

Model: AR-50A1
Caliber: .50 BMG
Barrel: 30″ Chrome moly, 8 Groove
Rifling Twist: RH 1:15″
Muzzle Device: Highly Efficient Multi-Flute Recoil Check, Very Moderate Felt Recoil. Threading: 1″-14
Upper Receiver: Modified Octagonal Form, Grilled & Slotted for Mil STD Scope Rail with Boss to Engage Cross-Slot on Receiver
Bolt: Triple Front Locking Lug
Ejector: Spring Loaded Plunger, Automatic Ejection
Extractor: Sako Type
Trigger: Schilen Standard Single Stage, Approximate 5 lbs Pull
Stock: 3 Section Stock: Extruded Forend, Machined Grip with Vertical Grip, Forged and Machined Removable Buttstock
Buttplate: Vertically Adjustable, Specially Built for Heavy Calibers
Overall Length: 58.5″ Without Buttstock: 49 3/4 inches
Weight: 34.1 LBS
Finish: Hard Anodized Aluminum, Manganese Phosphated Steel
Accuracy: 7″ – 8″ @ 1000 yds
Included with Rifle: 15 Minute Sight Base, Owners Manual, Ear Plugs, Limited Lifetime Warranty

Your Price New: $3,359.00  EA

Want to see it shoot in a utube video? Click Here

See Ammo in a utube video? Click Here

It is a rather large round to say the least. It is not for hunting! It is to shoot for skill and fun at long ranges. There are at least 2000 Match Rifle Shooters shooting this caliber in the USA and growing.

Seriously, If most law-abiding households had one of these, then people who want to take your gun rights away would think twice about coming for you, and change occupations abruptly.

Look for more on this topic. Ed


Coming Attractions

Coming Attractions

Rifle Testing in .243 Winchester

As a deer hunter and a varmint Coyote hunter you will see what the .243 Winchester Rifle’s below will provide for low recoil shooting fun for hunting and shooting. This caliber is great for those just beginning to hunt or for the veteran hunter. Recoil is negligible and there are many bullets to choose from in this highly versatile caliber


Ruger American

Ruger American

Thompson Center Dimension Rifle

tc dimension

Savage Arms


Scope Testing

Nikon’s Coyote Special 3-9 x 40mm full Camo version with BDC Predator Reticle

coyote_landing scope

Leupold VX-1 3-9 x 40mm with Long Range Duplex Reticle

31-30-120x120 Leupold VX 1



One Hunting Rifle/Cartridge for the Planet?

Is there such a thing? One Hunting Rifle for the Planet?

Big or small, Cape Buffalo or whitetail deer, This rifle must do it all, and do it well!

Many an outdoor writer has written on the mythical best all around cartridge and rifle for the money. These authors, like me have to make some assumptions about what you want in an all around rifle. Here are my assumptions:

The hunter wants to either hunt Alaska or Africa some day for Brown Bear or Cape Buffalo/Plains Game and Elephant in Africa; but more than not, hunts deer, moose, Bison and bear whenever possible. And you can only use one rifle/cartridge to do it all and be happy with your choice!

Does this Rifle and Cartridge even exist? Let me throw out some hurdles for this rifle cartridge to overcome as well…

The cartridge is available at larger retailers and can be hand-loaded by the shooter/hunter.

Use bullet heads available on the market from several manufacturers.

Can be used on game from whitetail deer without damaging meat to cleanly kill Cape Buffalo and Elephant when solids are used.

Shoot low recoil hand loaded 225 grain rounds for deer or bear that a teenager could shoot e.g. 12 ft -lbs recoil energy as compared to 17 ft-lbs for a 30-06.

Shoot a range of delivered energies from 1800 ft-lbs to 4500 Ft -lbs

Shoot bench rest 3 shot groups at 100 yards at 1 MOA or better with all bullets types and weights.

Uses a standard action only.

The rifle must cost less than $900 dollars

Can shoot flat enough and with ample punch to kill an Elk at 500 yards.

Shoot flatter than a 30-06 Springfield/180 grain heads and do it with a 225 grain bullet with 1000 ft-lbs more energy than the 30-06.

There is only one rifle on the planet that meets this criteria!

The Answer is the .375 Ruger Cartridge (a proprietary Hornady case)  in the Ruger’s M77 Hawkeye Rifle. And is made right here in New Hampshire.

375 Ruger

I have the pleasure of owning the .375 Ruger M77 Hawkeye African, and have owned it for several years. I have shot 3 1/8 groups at 600 yards (prone position on grass) with Nosler 260 grain AccuBonds. It shoots 1/2 inch groups at its best at 100 yards and sub-MOA groups for most all bullet types and styles and is not finicky over its diet. VX Gold Ring Leupold Scopes are a must on this rifle with dual erector springs to absorb the recoil day after day.

Cases from Hornady

375 ruger unprimed new cases



At the Range

375 Ruger-0001

The Ruger M77 Hawkeye is better than any rifle I have ever owned or shot for the money in nearly 50 years of hunting and shooting. I would rather sell all of my other hunting rifles first before selling it.

I bought the rifle new and had it shipped to my FFL dealer. It was not shiny like some other rifles it was beautiful however with good rifle lines and was specifically made for the Hunter. Me! I have taken Moose and Bison Buffalo with this rifle. The Buffalo was a difficult shot at 150 yards quartering away. I had to place a 260 grain AccuBond just behind the last rib and drive the bullet up through the chest cavity, lungs and heart. Not only did it do just that but it broke the far shoulder too and then exited. The Buff fell in less than 20 yards.



CCI Best in Class for .22 Ammo and Primers

CCI image feb 2013My readers can tell you that the rifle, pistol and ammo industry is just boiling over and have a tough time keeping up with demand.

That said, A friend tipped me off on the “How To’s” of making rim-fire ammo for CCI Products that I love so much, I loved the Video!  If I had a choice for .22 ammo or primers, CCI wins hands down!

First lets take a look at CCI itself. Cascade Cartridges, Inc. is what is behind the CCI initials and that CCI is located in Lewiston, Idaho. A refreshing American Company!

I have always given my vote to CCI as best in Class for .22 ammo and Primers. Most all of my friends do as well. I have shot .22 ammo since I was 10 years old. Before my dad passed away he always kept a stock of .22 ammo, the CCI Stinger was his hot load for Chucks. Over time we learned that CCI Reliability and accuracy coupled with real punch was dominating our purchases. Today, my varmint round is between the CCI Stinger® and the new Velocitor®, and both work fine in my .22 semi-auto rifle. I have not shot the Signature .22 LR Mini-Mag which is a bit slower and less energy than the Velocitor’s  but the thousands of Alligators killed with the Mini-Mag don’t know that! Here is a utube Velocitor test using a pistol into 4 layers of terri cloth a chicken cadaver, and gallon jugs of water to capture the round. Speed – around 1100fps and energy is 107 ft lbs. This is what I expect from my .22 LR rifle at 100 yards because the rifle bullet speed is about 1400 fps due to the longer 20 inch barrel. Chicken Test by DOCTACDAD

The history of CCI is much like that of my visionary friends at Nosler, Inc where John Nosler (1913-2010) succeeded in creating a better big game bullet, John came up with the Nosler Partition®. In the case of CCI, Richard “Dick” Speer (1915-1994) followed his brother Vernon’s lead at Speer Bullets in the component industry  but instead of making bullets, he envisioned a need for quality primers and soon to follow “best in class” .22 ammo. His skill in the metal extrusion and manufacturing process is exceptional as the CCI Manufacture Process indicates. For an in depth history you can go the CCI History site and read more. The manufacturing process video is a must see.

The Categories of .22 ammo are classed at Varmint, Small Game, competition, Pest Control/ Specialty and of course primers which I use in reloading Rifle and Pistol ammo. CCI manufactures a full line of Primers for all firearm cartridges, I use them in reloading rifle cartridges such as my .375 Ruger, .338 Winchester Magnum, .270 Winchester, and .45ACP. check them out at 

Better yet go to video’s by CCI and you will be educated and entertained.

CCI dealers are found everywhere. Here in New Hampshire my closest dealer is three miles away at State Line Guns, Ammo and Archery

Go to your nearest friendly shooter supply and stock up on your CCI products Today!

Good Shooting! Good Hunting! Be Safe! Ed Hale







NRA Announces – National School Shield Emergency Response Program


I applaud and support the NRA for initiating this voluntary program to train and place armed security in schools across the nation. Because statistically there are many more Adam Lanza’s out there. The question is; when will it happen again? Not if, but when!  Our most precious resources are protected by armed security. The President, members of Congress, Celebrities, Courts all have it.

Why not our most precious resource, our children.

Wayne Lapierre of the NRA calls on the Honorable Asa Hutchinson, former US Congressman,former US Atty for Western District of Arkansas,former Adminsitrator of the US DEA to develop this plan by April 1st.

To hear Asa Hutchinson:

Please forward…I will be donating to this effort to protect and defend our children. Perhaps you may like to as well…


Ed Hale – NH Rifleman Online Magazine – Editor/Owner


Grey Ghost of Africa

It was always a dream, a dream to hunt in Africa. My childhood memories of stories told of danger and adventure drew me like a bee to honey. A while back in 2003, I was lucky enough to win a New Hampshire Wildlife Federation Auction to hunt with my son Jason in South Africa. We were on a Plains Game Hunt with rifles and Bow and Arrow. I had so much fun on that hunt that I wrote a book about it and things to do to prepare for such a hunt.  We hunted just outside of Danielskull, South Africa with Mount Carmel Safari’s. I was prepared to hunt with my .338 Winchester Magnum and 250 grain Nosler Partition Bullets and Jason hunted with my .270 Winchester with 150 grain Nosler bullets.

ruger 270 and 338

The Kudu story was one that was years in the making because I dreamed  of hunting the Grey Ghost of Africa long ago. It is what I came to Africa for!kudu for web

It was nearly sunset on the plains and near my favorite watering hole.

sunset at Ed's favorite hide

An hour earlier I had taken a large bull Red Hartebeest with Bow (another story). I wanted to take a greater kudu with bow too if possible and had my Ruger M77 Bolt Action .338 at the ready as well.

It was 6:15 PM and only about 20 minutes of shooting light left. The skyline was turning purple as it attempted to hold the blackness of night from crushing what daylight we had left.

We had been hunting and observing in this hide for several hours. I was going stir crazy as I had a very respectable bull Hartebeest we had arrowed and checked on earlier, but knowing that in the last twinkles of light that we had left, sometimes the largest and most cunning of game species venture out when they think it is finally safe to drink. I poked my head into all the nooks and crannies looking outside for any approaching game. Nothing there! I looked out another break in the grass wall. Nothing there! The last place to look was through our back door. As I did, I froze… Unfortunately the door was swung open and a huge Kudu could be seen at 40 yards approaching the water. My guide Jonam reached out and closed the door enough so we would not be seen. At 30 yards we could not see the Kudu, he was coming in on our blind side. All of a sudden there was an earth shattering roar. “ROOOF, ROOOF, ROOOF!” A Lion? No, it was the kudu!  We were had! The kudu is the second largest antelope on the African Plains, he was more than 600 pounds on the hoof. Like an Elk he swapped ends and high stepped it to about 150 yards to a small hill. We kept silent and watched him with awe.  His head was visible above the brush and sky lined in the fading purple. His spiral horns were silhouetted as if to showcase the magnificence of the nearly three perfect curls.That image was forever etched into my brain!  I grabbed the .338 in case he steps clear of brush. I had my Leupold VX-2 atop the Ruger .338. I was amazed at how clearly I could see and do not know to this day what magnification I may have set in those fleeting moments, probably 3x which is my normal setting. One thing was for sure, I had enough adrenaline in my blood stream that, to this day, I can play those moments in my head like it was yesterday.

In a whisper to Jonam, “If he steps out so can get a clear shot, I’ll take it!” I held on the kudu so long perhaps 30 seconds that my arms began to shake. The gun and my arms felt like lead. I held that rifle for what seemed like eternity  Seconds passed like cold maple syrup off a spoon. Finally, in desperation for a shot, I braced the rifle on the metal frame of the hide. “For Petes sake, step forward”, I mumbled, or something like that. No sooner did I  think it that he stepped forward, one step, two steps. Ok I have a clear shot.

As the crosshairs of my Leupold scope touched the chest, I squeezed crisply. “KABOOM!”  I worked the bolt as fast as I could and put another round in the chamber.  I shouted, “I can’t see him; I can’t see him.”  In the fading light I put the safety back on.  We pile out the back door and Jonam was scanning with binoculars.  Jonam shouted: “He’s up… er, no, he went down.”  As the last light was swallowed by the African night, we realized that we did not have a flashlight with us. Luckily, Jonam did have a two way radio, so we radioed for assistance.  Sitting there in the pitch-black darkness I mused that I always seem to shoot animals when I don’t have a flashlight; how on earth could I have forgotten a flashlight from the planning list?

Jonam was sure the kudu had moved to the right, so when Jason and his tracker “Jim” arrived, Jason set out with his penlight. Not sure where the kudu had fallen, Jonam assured me that if I hit him with the .338 where I said I did; it was only a matter of locating him. As we began to search, we crisscrossed the spot that Jonam saw him last, all looking for blood spoor.  “None here,” I said.  “Nope, none here,” chimed in Jonam.  We went back to where I thought I shot him.  “He is somewhere here, Dad. We will find him.” Jason encouraged.  “I can’t understand it; I believe that I hit him well,” I said as we went back to where I thought I shot him. Denied visual confirmation, my heart began to sink, when suddenly a whooping sound arose from Jonam and Jim, who had found the kudu not 20 yards from where he had been hit. It was a double-lung hit, a bit high but that is hunting.  We high fived each other, and then it occurred to me to tell Jason my other great news; “I have a red hartebeest down over there that I shot with my bow earlier.”  “You what!  WAHOO!” was Jason’s response. And then I began to relax… a little.


It took all four of us to load the kudu and red hartebeest on the back of the Toyota Land Cruiser Pickup.  Jason and I rode in the back with the game.  As we headed out of the bushveld in the darkness, the stars were so bright and clear that we could reach out and touch them.  The spiral arm of the “Milky Way” galaxy pointed the way back to camp.  As we bumped along, with a soft cool African wind in my face high atop the Toyota, my right hand was holding the ivory kudu horn tip to keep it from banging into metal.  Jason was sitting to my left.  I accomplished my dream to take a fine kudu and hunt with my son in Africa.  The hunt could have ended there and then. My kudu dream was fulfilled; I said a quiet prayer in thanksgiving.  When we got back we celebrated, and celebrated some more over a crackling campfire. This is but one of several exciting hunts in my e-book African Safari -Rifle and Bow and Arrow.  Come with me and Jason, hop on a 747 with us and go on Safari.