The Bushmaster BA 50 was a visitor to my local club yesterday. I was asked ” Would you like to shoot it?” Well you don’t have to ask twice. Just so happened that I had my Nikon camera and I-Phone for video.
According to Wikipedia: “The Bushmaster BA50 is a bolt action, magazine fed rifle designed to shoot the .50 BMG cartridge. It has a 22 (carbine)or 30 inch, match grade Lothar Walther free-floating barrel with a 1 in 15 inch twist rate (standard for the .50 BMG cartridge). The rifle weighs 30 pounds (without a magazine or ammunition) and has a muzzle brake to help tame the recoil.Bushmaster literature says that the rifle recoils like a .243 Winchester. The barrel has a MIL-STD-1913 rail (Weaver style) for mounting a rifle scope.
The BA50 was the original design of Cobb Manufacturing. Bushmaster purchased the design and upgraded it and released it as the Bushmaster BA50.
So lets shoot it!
Erin, a club friend had his Bushmaster along. He shoots it in my NH Rifleman video below.
Luckily I was far away from the horrendous muzzle blast. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqfFsoKC-aQ
Next, I get to shoot this baby! Can you say FUN!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCGcvaanYHc
The bullets are in the 650 to 750 grain range and can deliver over 13000 ft-lbs of energy at the Muzzle.
There are more than 2000 shooters across the USA that are registered participants in 50 BMG competitions according to my Hornady Manual. Hornady produces the 750 grain A-MAX® bullet for handloading to deliver 2700 to 2800 fps at the muzzle. This bullet when put into the Hornady ballistics calculator is an eye opener if you use the advanced setting where you can select the drag function G1 drag is for a standard bullet that does not maximize bullet shape for long distance such as a spitzer without a boat tail. The 750 grain A-Max utilizes its length and boat tail specifically for LR shooting so the G7 drag function is used. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/External_ballistics for more on G1 vs G7 Function. The Ballistic Coefficient for this bullet is 1.050. Wow! Most bullets in the 30 cal family never exceed .600 BC and more normally at the .400 BC. So here is the Hornady chart for this round using the G7 Drag function to 1800 yards it still has 2000 fps and 7148 ft-lbs energy. If you sight this in for 1000 yards the bullet only raises up 62 inches at 600 yards but after the 1000 yards the bullet drop correction is 23.1 MOA or 92 inches in nearly a mile, 5100 ft of travel. Wind drift at 10 mph is 55 inches. At MOA the bullet can hit a target 180 inches across. and if you take wind drift into account add 55 to 180 and you get 235 inches or almost 20 feet. You would need a rifle that shoots 1/2 moa to cut the 180 in half. Of course we took altitude, temp and pressure into consideration too if you have a walking weather station. The variables are significant at that distance. A shooter needs to see where the shot went to correct for the second or third shot. That is why a spotter is used in target shooting as well as military.
In contrast the venerable 30-06 Springfield considered a great long-range rifle shoots a 165 grain bullet at nearly the same speed.
The 50 BMG has definitely got some whump!
This round when shot in a bolt or semi-auto is legal to own and shoot. The cost of this gun is around $5000 or so without the scope so not alot of folks are running to buy them. At about 6-7 dollars a shot you can go through some serious money in a hurry. For example: 10 shots is 60-70 dollars. Out west on the plains this round and rifle are at home at over 1000 yards. If you get a chance to try one, give it a go!! ©