Tuesday, November 22, 2011

.50 Caliber Machine Gun

I usually think this crazy fake-Russian guy is silly, but I must admit I enjoyed the tree cutting part.

I was wondering one thing though. Didn't our pro-gun friends make fun of and deny the need for restricting .50 caliber weapons? I remember when the suggestion was made that a round that big could bring down an airplane. They ridiculed the idea. What do you think?

25 comments:

  1. "I was wondering one thing though. Didn't our pro-gun friends make fun of and deny the need for restricting .50 caliber weapons? I remember when the suggestion was made that a round that big could bring down an airplane."

    You do realize that gun has been restricted since 1934 don't you?

    As far as bringing down airplanes, that cartridge has been around since 1912. In almost 100 years, excepting in time of war or by the police and military, exactly how many aircraft have been shot down with it? I'll give you a hint, the number has a zero in it and no other digits.

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  2. A ban on the .50 cal would be great. I'd make a fortune designing and selling a .499 cartridge.

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  3. Mikeb302000:

    Your post touches on something, obliquely, that I've been wondering about.

    While looking at an article on shotgun slugs and blackpowder loads (modern), yesterday, I got to thinking about the range of lethality of those rounds. The writer of this:

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/shotgun_slugs.htm

    seems to know what he's talking about.

    After reading the piece I began to think about rifles and their range of lethality. It seems that there are no published studies that are definitive in that regard, so where would I get information about the subject?

    Then I remembered that a Canadian Forces sniper had shot someone at over 2km distance. Looking for that story, I came across this one:

    http://www.gizmag.com/worlds-longest-sniper-kill-247km/14992/

    2.47 Km, that's some shooting.

    So, it appears that the lethality of that round (similar in size to some currently manufactured hunting rounds) is uncontested at that range. The state I live in has a minimum range of 500' from a dwelling place/place of human habitation for discharge of a firearm.

    Just sayin.

    FatWhiteMan:

    "As far as bringing down airplanes, that cartridge has been around since 1912. In almost 100 years, excepting in time of war or by the police and military, exactly how many aircraft have been shot down with it? I'll give you a hint, the number has a zero in it and no other digits.

    November 22, 2011 1:43 PM'

    That we're aware of. There's an Army (yes, Army) WWII tugboat at the Oswego, NY Marine Museum on Lake Ontario that has a German fighter aircraft's silhouette painted on the pilot house, just below the .50 Cal MG mount. That represents the only confirmed kill, afaia, of that sort (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nash_(tugboat). That shot was taken by a tugboat crewman who was most likely trained but also, most likely, had not had a lot of live fire practice against attacking aircraft.

    The Barrett rifle's own people have touted it's ability to destroy hardened targets at long ranges. Whether it's been used to take down an airplane, either civilian or military is simply not known.

    Relying on a lack of evidence is not the same thing as proving something did not happen.

    I might add that "if" and "when" are words that might be used to describe the "feat".




    " In almost 100 years, excepting in time of war or by the police and military, exactly how many aircraft have been shot down with it? I'll give you a hint, the number has a zero in it and no other digits"

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  4. FatWhiteMan's point is that the antiaircraft version is fully automatic, something that we can't buy legally without a Class III license, a tax stamp, and a long list of reporting and background checks. He said, excepting in time of war or by the police and military. In other words, name a time when a civilian has brought down an airplane with a civilian legal .50 caliber rifle.

    In addition, please tell me where I can legally buy explosive rounds. Really, I thought that they were illegal, but if I'm wrong, I'll be glad to shell out the extra bucks to get some.

    By the way, a .50 caliber round runs for around $5 a shot for normal ammunition, and the rifle costs in the high four digits, so this isn't the sort of thing that anyone but your favorite 1%ers can afford.

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  5. "In addition, please tell me where I can legally buy explosive rounds. Really, I thought that they were illegal, but if I'm wrong, I'll be glad to shell out the extra bucks to get some.

    By the way, a .50 caliber round runs for around $5 a shot for normal ammunition, and the rifle costs in the high four digits, so this isn't the sort of thing that anyone but your favorite 1%ers can afford.

    November 22, 2011 4:01 PM"

    The more you type the more scrambled your brain seems to get.

    Online .50bmg ammo. Here:

    http://50bmgsupply.com/ammo.shtml

    Online semi-auto Barrett. Here:

    http://www.barrett.net/firearms/model82a1

    Barrett Price List. Here:

    http://www.barrett.net/pdfs/Price-List.pdf

    BORS optics price list. Here:

    http://www.barrettrifles.com/Store/product/BORS-with-Leupold-Mark4-45-14x50mm-66000-7WS,1040,59.htm


    I know workin' stiffs that prolly make less than $50K/annum who drive VERY expensive automobiles, have extreme stereo systems and all sorts of other toys like jetskis, powerboats, Harleys, $50K trucks and skidoos. Buying a $10-20K "weapons system" would hardly bankrupt them, compared to their outlays for the other stuff.

    I found all of this shit in less than 5 minutes and I have no desire to buy any of it.

    With proliferation of this sort of weapon (designed for nothing but killing and destroying property)some Soldier of Fortune tough guy is gonna eventually use one to do something nasty to the "soft targets" that are out there. And then, we will have a repeat of,

    "We've got death. We've got drama. We've got a situation basically that no one could ever imagine would happen here,"

    apologist bullshit.

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  6. Demo,

    I am quite aware that the .50 machine gun has been used to down aircraft mounted on other planes, boats, trucks and everthing else on wheels or with a propeller. In fact, the .50 Browning has probably shot down more aircraft than any other projectile. However, it has always been in times of war.

    The Barrett and other .50 sniper rifles are not machine guns. Thy can only be fired one then the action needs cycled. You cannot use one for sustained fire on a target like an aircraft in flight. You would get one shot and that would probably not bring down a modern aircraft alone. As far as lack of evidence, the .50BMG cartridge has been around almost as long as aircraft have. I would say that if it was going to happen outside of a war zone, it would have by now.

    BTW, you touched on one very good point with the shotgun slug comparison.

    Now I am not going to pretend that someone like me will oppose nearly all gun bans--including a ban on .50 Barrets which I do not own nor have a safe range to shoot one at if I did--thats a given. However, part of the reason that bans on .50 weapons have been opposed so blatantly is because most that author these bills don't know what they are doing and did not do the research that you have done. (McCarthy and her "we must ban the barrel shroud at all costs" is a prime example). Most of your .50 cal rifle bans have been far too broad as introduced. In their quest to ban a 100 year old cartridge that they heard about on Nightline or something they end up banning all 50 cal firearms, failing to realize that they just banned nearly every modern muzzloading rifle made from the late 1970's on as well as all of the Civil War Renactors' muskets, the famous "Brown Bess" and the family airloom in the closet. Some bands are so broad that they include all shotguns above .410 caliber.

    Until a .50 rifle is used in a significant number of shootings then banning it makes little sense if your honest goal is to "reduce gun violence".

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  7. MikeB,

    I believe the targets were reactive, not explosive ammo. He did mention using incendiary rounds but those aren't explosive. The "kool-aid" was "explosive Koolaid" as he pointed out.

    BTW, for about $25, I can make any target explode like that using almost any centerfire gun.

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  8. Democommie,

    I stand corrected about the ammunition. Of course, those prices are still outside of my range, especially since the rifle itself is spendy.

    Now, as for the idea of some wacko shooting down a plane, how exactly would that happen? Have you ever watched videos of soldiers or sailors trying to shoot down a plane? They blast off hundreds of rounds, and they've been trained in how to aim at an object moving that fast.

    But more than that, a .50 caliber rifle is functionally the same as any other centerfire rifle. What is so scary about the number .50? Do you want to ban the .338 Lapua? How about the .460 Weatherby Magnum? There are lots of powerful rifle cartridges, and the .50 isn't unique.

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  9. FatWhiteMan:

    Prior to the introduction of the Barrett 821A in .50 there wasn't a semi-automatic rifle of that caliber available, afaia.

    Using the 82A1, a BORS optical system and some of the APIT rounds offered on the .50BMG Ammo website; shooting at relatively slow moving aircraft (taking off/landing) and aiming for a large profile target like a GE or Pratt & Whitney Turbofan's intake (over 8' diamater) it is hardly outside the realm of possibility to take down a plane. That it hasn't been done, afaia, is luck, imo.

    Greg Camp:

    I don't assume you don't know your ass from your elbow when it comes to guns but I'm beginning to rethink that.

    The guys aiming at planes that are trying to kill them, taking evasive action and using every other trick in the book ARE going to miss a lot. A pilot flying a commercial jet out of some civilian airport is not going to take off like the C-130's did at Khe Sahn; nor is a commercial 747 going to drop out of the sky like a rock to avoid fire on landing. Just ain't gonna happen--until, of course, some asshole decides to make taking one down his personal Holy Grail.

    I have no problem at all with .50 Cal rounds for muzzleloaders.

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  10. As I started out, I have no problem with .50 cal muzzleloader rounds (and some of them are quite powerful, going by the information I've found). The maximum range of such a round is not something I've been able to find but I'm going to allow a mile. The maximum range of the .50 BMG round is, according to the marine captain who runs the Sniper Scout range in this video (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8733668854193756605#) is around 7,000 yds., just under 4 miles. The rounds available for the muzzleloader do not include, afaia, explosive, incendiary or armor piercing varieties.

    I'm not comfortable with the idea of knuckleheads being able to get their hands on such ammunition and the guns to fire it out from.

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  11. Democommie,

    But it's just the .50 number that troubles you? Those other calibers that I named are O.K.? The current record sniper shot was with a .338 Lapua, but .338 isn't as scary as .50, I suppose.

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  12. Greg Camp:

    That's gotta be about the 10th time you've either acted like a dumbfuck or indicated that you really are one.

    How's this. I don't want any civilian to have any access to weapons that are not intended for self-defense or hunting. Something that kills at the distance of the shot that was made by the British and Canadian Forces guys is, by definition, not a self-defense weapon under U.S. law.

    You like to pretend that you don't know the difference between a military weapon and a sporting gun. When you're talking about the .338 I will guess you're thinking of the L115A3. Aren't you the guy who told me that the Barrett was out of your league, pricewise? This:

    http://www.gizmag.com/the-best-sniper-rifle-in-the-world/10447/

    indicates that in 2008 that rifle was going for about $35K. The rounds for that one seem to be as pricey as the .50 BMG.

    I'll save you some time and trouble. don't bother asking me if I object to a given bore. You want to play fucking games, I get that. The only people I play with are the ones who don't put the goal posts on a travel trailer.

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  13. Democommie,

    I'm just trying to get you to declare the game that you're playing. You want to ban military weapons. And how do you distinguish those from hunting or self defense weapons? They are functionally the same.

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  14. "They are functionally the same.

    November 23, 2011 2:43 AM"

    You are delusional.

    A Barrett sniper rifle or the other weapons talked about on this thread have NO other purpose than a military one. They are not used for home defense or to hunt.

    You admit that the Barrett is out of your price range, the other weapon discussed is even more expensive. The rounds are expensive. Both weapons are heavy and large. Nobody is going to go tramping around in the woods with one of either of those guns, unless they have a serious Rambo complex.

    The longer you comment here, the more apparent it becomes that you are completely divorced from reality.

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  15. Greg and FWM, I know those guns are highly restricted, but my point is you guys oppose that, don't you?

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  16. Democommie,

    Yes, for me, a .50 caliber rifle would be a toy. I also have a drum set that I play with when time allows. I ain't Neil Peart, though, despite an youthful fantasy.

    The point is that for those who can afford these guns, they are enjoyable. I've been at the range when someone else fired on off. It makes a thundering boom. They could be used in big game hunting of some kind, but mostly, they're just for fun.

    Still, they are functionally the same. They have bolt or semiautomatic actions, rifled barrels, scopes usually, and a trigger and striker mechanism. If you ban one of these, what's to stop you from banning a deer rifle tomorrow?

    Mikeb302000,

    I see a full auto Browning .50 M2 as a weapon appropriate to the military--that's how it's typically used. I don't see it as belonging to the category "arms" as it was understood by the Founders in the Second Amendment. Now, the semiautomatic version, as I said to Democommie, is basically a toy for rich people. And much good may it do them.

    You're going to ask me where I draw the line. I'm willing to accept that fully automatic fire is a military application. (Have you looked at ammunition prices lately? Only the wealthy can afford full auto, unless we're talking an entity that prints its own money.) As Jeff Cooper told us a long time ago, spray and pray is appropriate for only a few jobs, and I don't do any of those.

    I do think that with licensing and some attention to where it can be done, owning a full auto weapon ought to be available. There's an indoor range in the area that offers the chance to shoot a couple of submachine guns for a fee. As a birthday present to myself, someday I'm going to give it a try.

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  17. Yes, for me, a .50 caliber rifle would be a toy

    Greg, you have just made a statement which makes me seriously question whether you should even dream about being able to handle a weapon.

    And I'm going to call it a weapon, because that it what they drilled into my head a firearm WAS.

    It is not a fucking toy of any kind.

    Greg, you are truly a fucking idiot and danger to society.

    I am onlhy sorry that I cannot be a centimetre in front of your face telling you what a fuckwit and misearble example of a "human being" you are.

    You are not a human being.

    You are some new form of humanoid who does not have a brain and is incapable of thought.

    The only job that you are capable of doing is clearing up shit, Greg.

    I would prefer to outsource my security than have it in the hands of fuckwits like yourself who is more likely to shoot himself--I was going to say in the cock, but I am pretty sure you don't have one.

    At least one that is functional.

    In fact, I am pretty sure that your nervous and reproduction sytems are nonfunctional.

    I'm curious as to what other parts of your body are disfunctional.

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  18. Laci the Dog,

    You're not my type, so you'll just never know.

    As for getting .39 inches from my face and making offensive remarks, that sounds vaguely threatening. Is that actually what you mean? I just want to be clear on your intentions.

    Yes, the .50 caliber rifle is a weapon. But in civilian hands, its primary purpose is entertainment--you know, blowing holes in bottles a long way away on the kind of range that makes that possible. In what way am I a danger to society? Please be specific. I didn't say that a person should take a .50 cal. and go shooting out windows downtown. I didn't recommend a Barrett as the solution to my neighbor's barking dogs. I said that restrictions on fully automatic weapons are reasonable. I didn't say that a .50 caliber rifle is the same kind of toy as a water gun.

    So again, how am I a danger to society if someday I can afford to take a .50 rifle out to a big range and shoot targets with it?

    Mikeb302000,

    Please review Laci the Dog's comment to me and ask yourself if you agree with such talk.

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  19. "The point is that for those who can afford these guns, they are enjoyable. I've been at the range when someone else fired on off. It makes a thundering boom. They could be used in big game hunting of some kind, but mostly, they're just for fun."

    Big game hunting, with a rifle that can hit a human size target at 1-1/2 miles distance? That's not really sporting, but I suppose if your idea of manliness is carrying an inanimate object Model 1911 tucked in your pants, well, what the hell.

    Not more than 24 hours ago you were telling me that these rifles are too expensive but now you're saying their toys? Really.

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  20. Democommie,

    Yes, they're toys for the same people who can own Porsches and yachts. And as I said, a .338 Lapua rifle can shoot a human at the distance that you named.

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  21. Greg asks me, "Please review Laci the Dog's comment to me and ask yourself if you agree with such talk."

    Well, I guess Laci didn't like your calling a weapon a toy. I agree with that.

    I appreciate your comments and I hope you don't lose that thick skin of yours.

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  22. Haven't we all had a lesson here in how a category can have subcategories? Some of you are so quick to decide that I have poor judgement that you can't understand what I actually said. There are dangerous toys, and there are entertaining weapons. I've said before that a firearm is a weapon. It is also possible to say that a firearm is an instrument of entertainment. The two are not mutually exclusive.

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  23. Greg Camp:

    So, they're toys for the 1%ers or the or the 26%ers or the 53%ers. Most of the folks I see shoppin' at Dick's, Cabellos and Gander Mountain aren't Porsche driving, weekend yacht sailors. The inanimate objects under discussion here are not something that can be driven around or sailed up to the yatch club dock. The only place you can show them off is at shooting ranges that are WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY longer than a mile--give me a count on those, will ya?--and places like Afghanistan where not a lot of the leisure class is vacationing these days.

    Of course you can prove me wrong, by furnishing some citations for hunters who will admit to being so fucking careless/stupid that they will shoot at a targe a couple of thousand yards off. Or get some yahoo that shoots at the local GunzParadize range and has a shooting lane that deep to work with.

    Let me get you a telegraph spoon* (http://www.epinions.com/hmgd-Lawn_and_Garden-Hand_Tools-All-Ames_Three_Star_Telegraph_Spoon) so you can get all of the dirt out of that hole you're digging for yourself.

    * I actually used to sell these things, along with apple pickers ladders and pot warp**

    ** Very stout green twine for manufacturing/maintaining wooden lobster traps.

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  24. Democommie,

    As has been observed here earlier, any firearm has a theoretical range of over a mile. If potential range is your standard, you have to ban all firearms. Oh, right, that's your goal.

    On the other hand, I've seen .50 caliber rifles for sale at the local gun store. They've been for sale for over a year now. No one has bought them.

    And if you want to shoot one, just aim at the berm, as you would (well, perhaps you wouldn't, with your anger problems) with any other gun. Or go to a range out west with plenty of room to shoot.

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