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The lethality of a .50 sniper rifle - VIDEO

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posted on Mar, 4 2003 @ 10:00 PM
I came across this video a while back. For some time now .50 calibre rifles have been available to the public, with less controls than handguns.
What most people don't realize is the tremendous damage one of these rifles can do. Especially when the US has released military surplus ammo for them.
Anyway the video is of a US Marine Scout/Sniper shooting at various targets with the .50, using military ammunition.
Worth a look, especially if you don't know much about .50 rifles.
You can use save as on the T1 connection.

This is a link to armour peircing ammo being sold to civilians from surplus military stocks.

posted on Mar, 4 2003 @ 10:08 PM
Americans make a rod for their own backs....

They wonder why the terrorists are so able to attack whilst yet the average joe blogs can buy machinery like that ... that serves no other purpose than to kill people ..

its crazy...

.. love of money has distorted reality

[Edited on 5-3-2003 by Netchicken]

posted on Mar, 4 2003 @ 10:11 PM
these rifles are so cool. they shoot a round that is basicaly a fighter jet bullet. about 6 inches long. accurate up to 2000 yards. fun to shoot but dang expensive. there really is no useful purpose for them, other than hitting targets at ranges of half a mile or so. but they are fun.

posted on Mar, 4 2003 @ 10:23 PM
The Sarah Brady bunch likes to jump up and down about these guns (but then, Sarah Brady herself is quite the hypocrite, getting busted herself for illegally bringing a rifle across state lines).

I am STILL waiting for an explaination as to why .50 rifles are considered dangerous to the public..... Yes, they are lethal at long ranges, but then so are other modern rifle cartridges. For sheer impact energy, the .458 Winchester magnum, the .416 Rigby, and the .460 Weatherby are very close to the .50 (all of these are big game cartridges, and can be found in most all well stocked gun stores).

For long range, the .300 WinMag, .300 UltraMag, 7.62mm Warbird, and the .338 Lapua can reach out in excess of 1500 yards, and the .338 Lapua has been proven to do so to 2000 meters. Again, each of these are readily available at virtually any well stocked gun store.

As far as penetration, the .444 Marlin or the .45-70 Government round (over 160 years old!!!!!!) Are more than capable of penetrating any vehical, and almost all structural buildings likely to be found in any city. I have personally fired a .444 Marlin into the cast iron V8 engine block of a 1963 Dodge station wagon from 50 yards and seen it literrally break it in half, and continue merrily on through the rest of the vehical. The standard deer rifle cartridge, 30.06, even in its plain soft point guise for deer hunting will penetrate all but Level IV (ceramic armor plate) body armor. Even then, when loaded with a common full metal jacket bullet will penetrate even Level IV readily. Again, all of these are perfectly common bullets found at any well stocked sporting goods store.

Never mind the fact that there is ABSOLUTELY NO FEDERAL LAW BARRING THE SALE, POSSESSION OR USE OF ARMOR PIERCING RIFLE AMMUNITION. The only law banning armor piercing ammunition is in regards of HANDGUN ammunition, ONLY. Your local gun range may not like you using AP ammo, but there are no laws against it....

Also, there is the one sore spot for the Sarah Brady Bunch that they don't like to talk about.... there has NEVER been a SINGLE civilian shot with a .50 rifle, intentionally or accidentally.... Hard to call it a threat if you can't point to it ever being used as a weapon....

Who exactly owns these rifles? Wannabe gangbangers who would use them for drive bys or other crimes??? Lets look at a few facts:

The average .50 rifle runs between $1800 and $10,000.... not very likely to be bought by a drug dealer...

Most .50 rifles are at least 3 feet (1 meter) in length, and most are considerably longer. They all weigh a minimum of 30 pounds or about 15-16 kilos (have to weigh that much, or it would break your shoulder when you fired it). Not exactly a concealable weapon....

The vast majority of .50 rifles are single shot weapons, and only one model is semi-auto (the one that costs $10,000!), therefore, not very conducive to use in a drive by or a gang fight.

The vast majority of people who buy these .50 rifles are well respected long distance marksman whose sport is hitting very small steel silhouette targets at very long distances. This is a well respected and established sport that has been around for decades.

Time for the Sarah Brady bunch to own up to what this little stunt really is... a political publicity stunt, that will have exactly ZERO impact on crime.

posted on Mar, 4 2003 @ 10:57 PM
I drive a 4000 lb vehicle ever day that could kill somebody. I can pick up a rock that could easily crack a skull open. A human is easy to kill. If someone wanted to kill someone and didn't have access to this kickass .50 cal sniper rifle... then he'd do it with his vehicle, a knife, a rock.. a bat... his hands..etc...

A killer is going to kill regardless if a weapon is available.

posted on Mar, 4 2003 @ 10:58 PM
A killer is going to kill regardless if a weapon is available Posted by Grunt Ignited


posted on Mar, 4 2003 @ 11:00 PM
I was wondering DragonRider if these other heavy caliber rifles are so effective, why hasn't the US military developed them for sniper purposes ?
As for the .50 rifle, I think the worry is that if one of these got into the hands of a terrorist, it would be quite easy to take out somebody riding in an armoured limo etc.
David Koresh and his Branchdividians had 2 .50 Barrett rifles, I guess it was lucky for the ATF he didn't use them. Although they were spotted several times by FBI snipers.

posted on Mar, 4 2003 @ 11:13 PM
I was wondering DragonRider if these other heavy caliber rifles are so effective, why hasn't the US military developed them for sniper purposes ? Posted by Mad Scientist

Actually, the .300 Winchester Magnum and the .338 Lapua are already well employed by military and law enforcement snipers due to thier long ranges, and the newest .300 UltraMag is being developed as such as well.

The bigbore magnum rifles certainly generate enough energy to be useful for some military and law enforcement applications, although they also generate so much crushing recoil as to negate any possibly usefulness. The .460 Weatherby for example, generates more recoil than the .50, and has been known to dislocate shooters shoulders. (However, it is still the preferred weapon for those who may have to face down a charging water buffalo)

The .45-70 Government rifle caliber was *the orginal* military rifle caliber.... dating back to the 1870s.... Originally used in the old single shot Springfield Trapdoor rifle, it served until the Krag Jorgensen rifle was adopted in .30-40 Krag around the turn of the century.

The .444 Marlin, chambered in the Marlin 1894 lever action rifle, was originally intended as a heavy brush hunting rifle (and is perfect for medium sized moderately dangerous game like javelina and wild hog, and cuts through brush quite effectively). It was also used by many police departments as a *road block rifle* as one shot could easily disable a charging vehicals engine.

I *heard* that there were Barrett M-82 rifles at the Waco compound... however, during the investigation afterwards, they could NOT provide proof that they were actually there. All they had were reports from the ATF (which I find less than credible). Certainly, if the Davidians were trapped inside a building, being picked off one by one, with thier children inside, they would have returned fire with thier most effective weapons.... so why wasn't there any documentation of injury to ATF officers, or even so much as an offending bullet hole in an ATF vehicle????

posted on Mar, 4 2003 @ 11:23 PM
I have it on good authority that their were 2 Barrett's at Waco. I once met one of the FBI HRT snipers, a few years back and he spotted one of the rifles in a hide. What happened though was the negotiator told them to move it from a threatening position or be taken out. Of course they moved it and they never saw the Barretts again. After a fire that size, they would have been melted to slag.
I'm not too sure but after the initial gunfight it was a standoff with no more shots being fired.

PS. The HRT sniper I met used .338 lapua. His name was Chris Whitcomb, I think he may have written a book, he was talking about it when I met him anyway. I'll see if I can find some more info.

[Edited on 5-3-2003 by mad scientist]

posted on Mar, 4 2003 @ 11:35 PM
Check this one out....

posted on Mar, 4 2003 @ 11:46 PM
Actually U.S. Military snipers use a .308. I'm not sure of the model, but it is a Remington.

posted on Mar, 5 2003 @ 12:02 AM
Remington 700 PSS in 5.56, 7.62, and .300 WinMag and .300 UltraMag.

posted on Mar, 5 2003 @ 12:56 PM
Remington model 700 in .308


posted on Mar, 5 2003 @ 01:06 PM
I'd rather see gangbangers with a 3 foot rifle than an Uzi, hehe...they'd be a lot easier to spot and would kill less innocents in drive-bys!!!

Seriously though, a cheap rifle can kill someone just as easily as an expensive one...just as a 30.06 could kill as easily as a .50 cal. The ability to go through a bus isn't fact, it'd probably be more lethal to simply shoot out the front tire at the right time, etc.

I really don't see the public's ability to buy .50 cal's as a big threat...

posted on Mar, 5 2003 @ 03:53 PM
Actually, I can attest to the letheality of *any* .50 rifle...After all, even as far back as "Buffalo" Bill Cody, the Sharps .50cal was used for hunting buffalos & also used as defense on stagecoaches.

posted on Mar, 5 2003 @ 04:49 PM

Originally posted by MidnightDStroyer
Actually, I can attest to the letheality of *any* .50 rifle...After all, even as far back as "Buffalo" Bill Cody, the Sharps .50cal was used for hunting buffalos & also used as defense on stagecoaches.

You saw that show on the history channel yesterday too
I want one of those sharps rifles. I can go 'plinking' with 55 gallon drums

posted on Mar, 5 2003 @ 06:07 PM
Actually...No; I didn't see that particular show. I've known about the Sharps .50 cal "Buffalo Rifle" for better than 20 years...

posted on Mar, 5 2003 @ 08:00 PM
This is a story told to me by a retired FBI agent, who swears this actually happened in Quantico VA.

Back in the 1890s, there was fort in Adobe Walls, in the panhandle of Texas. This fort was a trading post, mainly for professional buffalo hunters. Sometime in the early 1890s, this fort was attacked by a combined force of Kiowa and Cherokee warriors.

The Kiowa and Cherokee managed to break in and catch the occupants (mainly buffalo hunters) unawares. This led to a very vicious shootout, with the hunters driving the warriors out with their Colts, Remingtons, and Schofields. Once they managed to push the raiders outside the protective walls, the hunters turned their long range buffalo rifles (largely comprised of Sharps rifles, with some Remington rolling blocks thrown in) on the enemy force. Being accustomed to firing on moving targets at long range, the experienced buffalo hunters fairly decimated t he Kiowa and Cherokee forces.

One of the buffalo hunters, a young rookie by the name of Billy Dixon, reportedly knocked a Kiowa warrior from his horse on a far distant butte. This shot was widely reported, and later was investigated by land surveyors, who found the distance to the butte to be in excess of 1500 yards. (Keep in mind, this is far before the advent of telescopic sights, this shot was taken with open iron sights.) This incident became a subject of controversy for historians for years, as it was unknown if it ever really happened.

Fast forward to the FBI academy at Quantico VA, 1997. Some of the high tech counter terrorism group at Quantico were working on a new type of radar, designed to track a bullet in flight, from the time it left the muzzle until it hit the ground. (The idea was to design a counter sniper system to automatically track back to point of origin in the event of a terroristic sniper attack). One of the techie guys working on the project also wrote for a technical news letter that circulated in law enforcement circles. He had at the time written an article about the Billy Dixon shot and claimed it to be physically impossible, that the old Sharps rifles simply couldnt get a bullet that far. My aquaintance, a history buff, challenged him on it, and proceeded to get into quite an argument with him.

They decided to settle the matter. A call was made to Shiloh Sharps (who still makes Sharps rifles virtually identicle to the 1800s), and requested one of their reps bring a sample of production firearms to Quantico. They specified a Sharps with a 32 barrel chambered in .50-90 (the same caliber and configuration that Billy Dixon had used).

The rep arrived with the requested rifle. It was put into a machine rest, elevated to 45 degrees, loaded, and fired. According to the new radar, the bullet (barely making 1200 fps at the muzzle) was in the air for over 30 seconds, exceeded 4000 feet in altitude (almost a mile!), and landed more than 4300 yards downrange (that is about 2 miles!) and was still moving 3 times as fast as was needed to be lethal when it hit the ground. The techie got very quiet and very red in the face.

Moral of the story, just because something is new, high tech, and has lots of bells and whistles doesnt mean that it is any better than something 100+ years old.

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 02:50 AM
It may have had the range, but to say that it was n accurate shot is BS. Ballistics back then were terrible. The shot was little more than a fluke, if it was a in fact a bullet which felled the indian.

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 08:22 PM
It may have had the range, but to say that it was n accurate shot is BS. Ballistics back then were terrible. The shot was little more than a fluke, if it was a in fact a bullet which felled the indian. Posted by Mad Scientist

Au contrair...

Hank Williams Jr. owns a ranch in Wyoming (I believe), and one of his favorite pasttimes is shooting old single shot Sharps Shiloh rifles in various calibers, usually in the original black powder loadings. His favorite target is a life sized steel sihlouette of a buffalo set up on a hill. When guests visit, it is not unusual for Hank to take them out shooting in his "shooting house" at the foot of the hill. He often offers his visitors to try thier luck on the buffalo on the hill, and surprisingly, the majority are rewarded with a low bonnggg of a hit (takes several seconds for the sound to come back though). When questioned on how far his target is set, he will produce a modern laser rangefinder and allow his guest to check for themselves... it is precisely 985 yards from his shooting table.

The old Sharps single shots were extremely accurate, the equivalent of our modern sniper rifles. Just because they were made over 100 years ago doesnt mean that the builders did not understand the fundamentals of ballistic stabilization of bullets. The rounds fired by these rifles are very long and heavy: The weight prevents much if any influence from cross winds or intervening brush. The length of the bullet allowed the maximum bearing surface exposed to the rifling. The barrel rifling was often slow, allowing it to gradually spin the bullet as it proceeded down a very long barrel, as opposed to our quick spin barrel twists today (needed because we use considerably shorter barrels to impart the needed spin) thereby reducing bullet wobble as it exits the bore.

The one disadvantage of these old guns is because of the heavy bullet weight and relatively low velocities (compared to modern guns) the bullets had a very pronounced parabolic trajectory. Therefore, you sense of rangefinding had to be precise as you were essentially dropping your bullets on your target. (Our modern calibers are much more flat shooting, allowing greater lattitude in determining ranges or shooting at targets at unknown ranges).

If you have seen the movie Quigley Down Under, and have any knowledge of firearms, you will know the ONLY fiction in the movie was the actual story line of a Montana sharpshooter going to Australia. The gun was real, the caliber was real, and it was certainly capable of the feats shown in the movie.

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