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Your AR15 shoots the 50BMG ctg

2853 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Terry G
I thought about putting this in the 50BMG section but this is such a hybrid that I thought if would fit better here. The following is from the Cabelas catalog.

Spider Firearms Ferret 50

The Ferret 50 conversion kit contains everything needed to transform your existing AR15/M16 into a highly accurate devastatingly powerful 50BMG bolt action rifle. The lock assembly is crafted of the highest grade 4140 and 4130 chrome-moly steel using the latest cad/cam software. Its a 3 lug pattern engineered to withstand four times the force exerted by the BMG. The Lothar Walther barrel is also made of chrome-moly steel. It has an adjustable headspace, 1 in 15 twist, match chamber that accepts military and match ammunition. Plus its free floating in the vented handguard. A threaded muzzle break sports an 8 degree fan pattern to deflect blast and shockwave away from you and adjoining shooters. The aircraft grade steel bipod attaches quickly with 3 screws and boasts adjustable, lockable legs. Each kit is test fired and closely inspected before shipping and comes with everything needed to complete conversion, including bolt assembly, barrel, muzzle break, bipod, quick-pull takeown pins, replacement hammer and detailed instructions. Lower assembly not included. Parkerized finish. Weight after conversion 22 lbs. Length after conversion 53 inches. Cost is $1799.99 plus shipping.

I wonder how the AR15 lower unit, being made of cast machined aluminum, would stand up to all the pounding that the 50BMG ctg gives. Then too, you have to change out the regular hammer for their special hammer which means that you can't quickly convert the lower back into a regular rifle.

Add $400 - $500 for a dedicated lower unit and your cost approaches $2200 - $2300. I think that I will pass and save for a real rifle like a Barrett if I wanted a 50.

What do you guys think from the engineering stress viewpoint and from the practical/tactical side?

BTW, Cabelas offers the 50 Beowolff Entry kit for only $679.99. (Think I'll pass on that one too). :D

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Personally I see the .50 bmg cartridge as a specialized piece of kit and not something that should just be cobbled together out of 2 different rifles. If you are going to spend that kind of money you should have a dedicated rifle in the one caliber. One the practical side in Afganistan Canadian snipers carried a .50 cal rifle AND a C8 (M4) Carbine with all the rest of their kit. If the balloon ever goes up, you want your primary defensive rifle available to you at all times. If you choose to convert it from, .22 LR to .223 or .223 to .50bmg, you might just get caught with the firearm assembled in the wrong configuration when you need it most.

Since a .50 cal rifle is a little on the weighty side, if I felt the need for an extreme long range rifle I think that I'd go to something in .338.
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There seem to be several different manufacturers doing an AR15 upper that shoots the .50BMG. I had the same thoughts about the lower holding up, but so far have not heard of a single instance of a problem. Some of them are quite impractical, in my opinion, as the method you need to employ in order to load a round is quite time consuming. I was never very keen on a shell holder style loader, but one or more of them are even more cumbersome than that.

But I do believe there is even a unit available that acts like a standard bolt action and even has a magazine that protrudes from the side.

But as was mentioned above, if you are going to shoot the .50BMG, maybe you should consider getting a real rifle to do so. About the only advantage I can think of an upper receiver is that you can get one without having to do the paperwork for getting a whole new rifle. With talk of laws being passed to ban the fifties, some people may consider this as a viable option.
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I think that .50 BMG upper would beat the lower receiver to death in short order. I have alway's liked the .50 machine gun cartridge, IN a machine gun. I know some snipers like their Barrett's, etc. But I alway's thought the job could be done with a lighter load. (200 Rds. of .50 weighs 75 lbs.) not that a sniper or his spotter would carry that much, but still rifle and ammuntion are HEAVY. Mobility is bound to suffer.
I'd rather go with a dedicated rifle for such a beast.

For SHTF, they would be very useful in point defense, you wouldn't carry it as an MBR.
The problem, however, is not just the bulk and weight of ammo, but the extreme cost of the ammo.
the .50is a pointless pos, with the exception of destroying a multibillion $ liquid fueld rocket, at launch, from a mile away. ONE hit, anywhere on the fuel tank, spills fuel down into the launch flames, POW. :)

Maybe YOU can't find a lower for under $400, but anyone else can do so for $200, tops. Being able to just ABANDON the .50 cal upper, and it's suppressor, snap on the silenced, antipersonnel upper, makes a lot of sense to me. Help you safely "get clear" of the scene of your serious blow to Big Brother. :)

Maybe YOU can't swap out an AR hammer in 30 seconds, but anyone with normal dexterity, 1 minute's worth of instrucition, a drift punch, "slave pin" and 5 minutes of practice can do so . :)
Since there's no need to practice, to be able to hit a 100mtall, 10m wide target at a mile, given a , bipod, proper zero, the .50 needn't be fired even 20 rds, man. :) So why WASTE the extra $1000 on a dedicated gun, hmm?
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There are not any liquid fueled rockets in our inventory IIRC. Teh old V-1, V-2 buzz bombs were fueled this way, and most of the Sov short and intermediate range weapons also used a liquid mixture, but the odds of getting that close to alunch site is fairly low. I have found that a .50 is good for turning cover into concealment, or long range sentry removal, also useful on fuel farms, but not the most versatile weapon in the world and all of them will be a bear to hump any distance. I agree with Terry G that the lowerr of a AR series doesnt look sturdy enough for a .50BMG, but maybe one of the "Ubber Pistol" rounds IE .50 AE, .50Beowolf.
btt. More comments to come
Gunkid, we've been over this before. 1. No military rockets in use today are liquid fueled. 2. There are a lot of targets that a .50 is useful for. Not just something you read in a Jerry Ahern book. 3. There is a lot of factors you need to weigh in for a one mile shot. You won't understand them with 20 rounds out of the guns and how else are you going to practice? hmmm? 4. Even if you DO get a shot on a liquid fuel rocket, do you know the design to identify where the fuel tank is?

Hard Rock said:
4. Even if you DO get a shot on a liquid fuel rocket, do you know the design to identify where the fuel tank is?


Not to mention you'd have to hit the tank RIGHT. A glancing hit, even from a .50 will not rupture the pressure vessel. So you'd have to know where the tank(s) are, hit the aeroshell dead on, so it won't deflect the bullet, and then hope to hell an internal structural member doesn't deflect the bullet further. And supposedly do this at a mile. Give it up.
Long Range Sniping

I think the whole idea of putting a .50 BMG cartridge upper on a AR-15 receiver, is not well thought out. Like I said previously, it will likely beat the receiver to death. If you are doing anti-personnell work, you are better served with a match grade heavy barreled .308 or .300 Winchester Magnum. I have seen DOJ snipers perform amazing shots with .308 Mcmillan (SP?) rifles. If going for anti-material shot's I would say a Barrett certainly could do the job, but I wouldn't want to pack a 35 POUND rifle, plus heavy ammunition, plus water, food, and all the other little things that come in handy living in a combat evironment. If you have a vehicle for your team, why not just throw the M2 in the HUMVEE, deploy, sandbag the legs do your camouflage thing, shoot the hell out of your target when it appears, and leave. A sandbagged M2 .50 caliber has an accurate range of TWO miles not one. If your target is stationary and your going to be helicopter deployed, the Barret makes sense.
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