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We Are...MARSHALL
Picture of armedmd
posted
I've always wanted to get into some long range shooting and recently purchased an Armalite AR50 National Match. I need recommendations for a quality reasonably priced scope as well as a bipod. I believe my range will be 1000 yards +/-. Ive read a variety of reviews online about various scopes and their inability to tolerate the recoil. My local shop is recommending Vortex brand scopes and they do seem very nice but I have no personal experience with them. Thank you in advance for any advice.
If all goes according to plan I would also like to sign up for a course for the long range shooting in the summer so any recommendations regarding this would be nice as well.


Build a man a fire and keep him warm for a night, set a man on fire and keep him warm the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 1626 | Location: WV | Registered: December 15, 2005Report This Post
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Picture of exx1976
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Seems like an awful lot of rifle for such a short distance.


That said, there is no such thing as "reasonably priced" and "50BMG" in the same sentence.

I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts that any Vortex you put on there except for a Razor or Gen2 Razor will wind up broken in short order due to recoil - and I'm a HUGE Vortex fan. Regardless the brand of optic, you're going to have to spend some COIN to get some quality glass that will withstand the beating. Expect to spend a minimum of $2000.


The same can be said of bipods. I would normally recommend an Atlas, but I don't know that they would stand up to that level of punishment.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15652 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Report This Post
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The BMG50 is a long range chambering, but it's meant for high energy on target, not accuracy. Sure, it can be accurate, but not in the league of smaller bores.

Managing recoil will be a huge issue in learning how to consistently shoot well. 50-cal recoil forces are likely in the 70-80 foot pounds per shot. My 6.5 Creedmoor is around 13-14 foot pounds. You will tire of recoil pounding soon with a 50BMG, and thus much of your quality practice time will dry firing. And of course there will be the high cost per round fired, regardless of whether you hand load or buy factory ammo. BTW, truly accurate ammo may be really hard to find, if at all.

I was told by the owner of Rifle Only that military marksman are allowed only 20 (maybe less) shots per day with a 50BMG. After that, only dry fire practice is allowed -- this is due to recoil issues on the shooter, not cost of ammo.

If you stay with the 50, don't cheap out with a scope. Vortex is a minimum brand of optics investment.

No reputable precision rifle school will recommend your shooting a 50 cal as a beginning student. Some schools may not even let you shoot a 50 until you graduate to their advanced and extreme long distance courses.

Being completely honest here -- sell the 50-cal. Use the proceeds to invest in something no more energetic than a 308 Winchester, but more reasonably a 6.5mm or 6mm bore rifle.
 
Posts: 5002 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Report This Post
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Picture of exx1976
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Well wait a minute there, fritz... I don't recall that he said anything about this being his first rifle.


OP - is this your first rifle? IF it is, follow fritz's advice and return that thing before you fire it, because you got sold the wrong tool for the job (IMO).




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15652 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Report This Post
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Picture of Kuisis
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I have an AR-50. The recoil is very light because of the weight and well designed muzzle brake. I don't know if you(Fritz) have shot an AR-50, but if you have I totally disagree with your assessment. As for bipod, mine came with an Allied. It is very solid and I recommend it. They use to sell them on the Armalite site, but it seems like they don't anymore.
 
Posts: 764 | Location: Washington PA | Registered: November 23, 2010Report This Post
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I have shot Barrett 50BMG rifles. The first time was at a northeastern Colorado SigForum shoot. This gun had the mongo fish-gill brake, which reduced recoil substantially, but produced a substantial air pressure shock wave -- even back on me. The gun wasn't pleasant to shoot.

The second time was at Rifles Only facility in Texas. This rifle had a monster 50-cal suppressor, which made the concussion much more tolerable.

Both rifles had substantial recoil. 10 rounds from each was enough for me. I find both 338LM, 338 Norma, 300WM, and 300WSM all more pleasant to shoot than 50BMG.

I define very light recoil as what occurs from a suppressed 6mm Dasher, from a 15-pound rifle. That's maybe 7-8 foot pounds.
 
Posts: 5002 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Report This Post
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op -- reputable precision rifle training companies include Rifles Only, Gunsite Academy, K&M, Thunder Ranch. These companies may not allow a 50-cal shooting at any steel targets closer than 750 yards, maybe not even closer than 1,000 yards. The impact energy of the 50's tear up targets and target hangers.

You will not begin by shooting at 1,000 yard steel. After your gun is zeroed at 100 yards and you've proven you can shoot good groups at 100 yards on paper, you will start developing elevation dope from 300 to 1000 yards in 100 or 200 yard increments on steel.

Most precision schools will have you shoot 50 to 80 rounds per day after your first intro day. Most people can't stand that kind of recoil. You likely won't be allowed to shoot a 50 on the line next to other students with a brake, therefore investing in a suppressor should be on you list.

The precision schools will have you perform precision drills of shooting 1" diameter dots at 100 yards, which is really hard to do with a high-recoiling rifle. You will likely have to shoot from barriers, not just prone. You will shoot from kneeling and sitting positions, both with and without a sling. You may have to shoot, move to another location, then shoot again. Think about all of this with a 50BMG.
 
Posts: 5002 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Report This Post
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Good points and I should've mentioned that I'm not completely new to rifles but am new to the 50 with only a few rounds fired through a friend's rifle and new to 600 yards +. I do have a .308 which I've shot quite a bit, approximately 500 rounds through it, out to 600 yards which was max at my old range. I now have access to 1200 yards and would like to try the 50 out. I know the .308 is capable of that but I guess I needed an excuse to get the 50. A friend mentioned there is a significant difference in the jump from the 308. Unfortunately he didn't offer any more advice. I wasn't even looking for a rifle but picked the AR50 up at a very good price while at a local shop that's relatively new. I am not in a tremendous hurry to get it to the range as it's still cold here and I have a few other projects going at home. The vortex scope recommended by the shop was the Razor. I've seen a lot of folks going with Leupold which comes with a lot of the Barrett kits. Unfortunately I've read mixed reviews on the leupold on the 50. Incidentally I have a leupold on the .308 and haven't had any issues. I'll check out the courses mentioned. Thanks again for your input and I welcome any further suggestions.


Build a man a fire and keep him warm for a night, set a man on fire and keep him warm the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 1626 | Location: WV | Registered: December 15, 2005Report This Post
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An unbraked 308 produces 17-18 foot pounds of recoil, 50BMG produces 70-80 foot pounds, 223 produces 3-4 foot pounds. The best brakes reduce recoil by 45-50%, the best suppressors by 40-45%. Precision rifle technique is all about controlling the recoil forces so that your scope's reticle never leaves the target. Which means you actually are watching the target when the bullet impacts or misses. When you get good, you watch your bullet's trace gracefully arc into the target. This is hard to do with a 308. I seriously doubt I have the skills to do that with a 50. I've shot over 4k rounds of 308, almost 3k rounds of 6.5 Creedmoor, maybe 10k rounds of 223, over 25k rounds of 12 gauge. I'm beginning to understand a little about controlling recoil.

Talk to Cory Trapp at Gunsite, Jacob Bynum at Rifles Only, Clint & Heidi Smith at Thunder Ranch about shooting a 50-cal in their classes. Be prepared for a pregnant pause, then guarded words of "bring your 308". When you ask again, they will emphatically state "bring your 308". After you've shot a few long distance courses with the 308, call Cory Trapp again and ask about their extreme long range class and your 50-cal. Cory will likely pause, then ask if you have access to a 338LM or maybe some flavor of CheyTac. And then he'll likely say "leave the 50-cal at home".

This summer I plan to shoot a long distance PRS match in Wyoming, with fellow SF member offgrid. The planned target distances are 500 to 1800 yards. I will use my 6.5 Creedmoor, I believe offgrid will use a 6.5x47 Lapua. A buddy of ours will use a 6mm Dasher -- he shot the match with a 300WM last year and didn't have much fun.

Last year in a Nebraska PRS match I shot my 6.5 out to a mile. Didn't hit the first 30" target in 5 shots, as it took me 4 shots to get the elevation correct. For the second 30" target I landed 2 of 5 hits, with the 3 misses being just left and right of the plate due to incorrect wind calls. One hit was on the edge of the plate at 9 o'clock, the other was 4" above dead center. IIRC that put me in 7th or 9th place. The winner was less than 2" from center -- he used a 6.5x47 Lapua. SF member Alpine did well with his 7 SAUM (?), I believe landing 7 or 10 hits on the two plates. Moderate bore rifles can do quite well at distance.

If you bought the 50BMG for the sole purposes of making a lot of noise, bragging that you own a 50, burning $5+ every time you press the trigger, scaring the bejeezus out of targets, and occasionally even hitting a target --- then you've made the perfect purchase.

If you intend to hit distant targets with precision and on demand, sell that 50 ASAP and invest in a smaller bore rifle.
 
Posts: 5002 | Location: Colorado | Registered: January 26, 2008Report This Post
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If I were buying a scope for a rifle with the recoil of a 50, NightForce 5-25 ATACR F1. I shoot lots of matches, we have many thousands of rounds on our gear, I see what breaks. NightForce scopes are very reliable.

I've been using Atlas bi-pods for several years. Very happy with them. Tried others.... I did break one after about 10K rds on it, broke the main bolt shooting my 17lb 7SAUM. As fritz mentioned above it's important to control recoil. I would lean very hard into the bi-pod to load it, get the rifle to recoil straight back, stay on target, watch my impact... Atlas did fix it in a week, no charge, excellent customer service.

Now to rain on your 50 parade. If you came to me or any of my long range shooting buddies, we would all discourage you from buying a 50 Cal or any other large caliber, 338LM... Now that you have access to 1200yds, I would add to fritz's suggestion and sell the 308 as well. A 308 will not get you to 1200yds consistently, very challenging to say the least. Replace them both with a 6.5 Creedmoor if you don't reload, 6.5x47 if you do reload. A 6.5 will be much more capable of consistently reaching 1200yds and much more enjoyable to shoot.
 
Posts: 2357 | Location: 9860 ft above sea level Colorado | Registered: December 31, 2008Report This Post
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Friend has an AR 50 and has been using a Nightforce NXS 5.5-22X50 NP-R1 RETICLE for at least 8 years.
 
Posts: 1725 | Location: Arizona | Registered: June 20, 2009Report This Post
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Is also have a nightforce nxs and it has been fine. I use the barrett rings. Mine came with the std. bipod so I can't help you there.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 6429 | Registered: October 14, 2004Report This Post
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I have no experience shooting an AR-50 but I do know that ArmaLite makes a bipod for it.

https://armalite.com/shop/bipo...ter-for-the-ar-50a1/
 
Posts: 2683 | Location: Texas | Registered: June 20, 2012Report This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Kuisis:
I have an AR-50. The recoil is very light because of the weight and well designed muzzle brake. I don't know if you(Fritz) have shot an AR-50, but if you have I totally disagree with your assessment. As for bipod, mine came with an Allied. It is very solid and I recommend it. They use to sell them on the Armalite site, but it seems like they don't anymore.


I would agree with this. I first shot a Barrett 99 and then a 107 I believe. Before I purchased my Armalite AR50. The recoil on the AR50 is a lot less than either Barrett and is to me even less than my Remington 700 SS 5R in 308 or my Sako Greywolf in 270. But the concussion is much greater, so good hearing protection is a must. Some shooters even put hearing plugs in as well as their regular hearing protection.

On mine I have a Nightforce NXS 5.5-22x50 on it now, but I am going to put a SWFA SS 16X or possibly a USOptics 10x on it since I don't get to shoot it as often as I would like to justify having that nice of glass on it. Most ranges in my area of the country have banned the 50BMG.

https://swfa.com/optics/browse...ical-riflescope.html

If you look you can find ammo for the $2.50 range. And the last time I looked SGAmmo has some for that price. Also I was told to use AP as an inexpensive form of match ammo. I found it is only slightly less accurate than the Hornaday 750gn match ammo(Which you can find of less than $4.00 from time to time.) in my AR50. HSM ammo also works well. And speaking of accuracy my AR50 is sub MOA when I do my part.

Mine came with the bipod that Nikon shared from Armalite. But I replaced it with an ARA bipod. The one that Armalite sells has a little movement similar to to a Versa Pod. Most I know like the Armalite bipod, but I preferred the ARA. Also the only bipods that I know of that I would use are these. Most bipods are not designed for a 34lb rifle. I do remember watching an individual use a Harris on his AR50 which collapsed on the first shot. i might be interested in parting with my Armalite bipod if interested contact me.

One other important item you will want is a good bore guide. I use this one and I am happy with it.

http://www.sinclairintl.com/gu...piece-prod35264.aspx
 
Posts: 677 | Location: South Dakota | Registered: May 21, 2013Report This Post
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The problem that plagues the NXS line is that they are SFP scopes.

Unless all you plan to try to do is make tiny groups in some paper at a fixed distance (the SAME distance) over and over, SFP is worthless.

The Razor will get it done, as will the ATACR.

USO is another good choice, but they are a bit more spendy than either of those.


FWIW, if I were going to buy a "big bore" rifle, I'd buy a .375 CheyTac LONG before I considered anything else out there. Not a .408, not a .416, and damn sure not a .50.

If not a .375 CheyTac, then some other .375 variant, like a SnipeTac or similar .375 wildcat.

Check the BCs on the available bullets and you'll figure out why in a big hurry. Sectional density on the .375 is far superior. It's the same reasons 6.5s and 7s are way better than a .308.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15652 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Report This Post
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Picture of armedmd
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Thank you everyone for the continued input. I will check out your recommendations. Again this will be a drawn out process for me but I'll update as I make progress. Once I try it out the 50 may leave but I'm going to give it a try. For the price I paid I think I'll be fine. Again, many thanks for your input.


Build a man a fire and keep him warm for a night, set a man on fire and keep him warm the rest of his life.
 
Posts: 1626 | Location: WV | Registered: December 15, 2005Report This Post
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I have a couple FFP NXS so its not totally true of all NXS scopes. Maybe they are rare I don't know.


“So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”
 
Posts: 6429 | Registered: October 14, 2004Report This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by hrcjon:
I have a couple FFP NXS so its not totally true of all NXS scopes. Maybe they are rare I don't know.


The 3-15s were available ffp, as well as some of the smaller stuff. Don't think they made anything ffp with more magnification. My eyes appreciate 25+ for long range work.




Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 
Posts: 15652 | Location: Location, Location  | Registered: April 09, 2012Report This Post
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Picture of Alpine
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I once owned a 50-BMG. Good advice from many here so far, but I would like to clarify some misconceptions. A 50-BMG can be accurate, just like any other rifle. Factors such as barrel, chamber, ammunition all contribute to accuracy.
My 50-BMG was a Steyr HS-50, considered to be the most accurate factory 50-BMG. The HS-50 swept First, Second, and Third places at the world championships a couple years ago, and from a personal conversation with a two-time 50-BMG world champion who shot a custom rifle, he had a lot of praise for the HS-50.

Getting back to suggestions for you, ditto on the Nightforce scopes, they are bomb-proof. And if you want to get the best accuracy out of your new rifle short of reloading, I suggest you run the Hornady AMax ammo. The 850-gr AMax has a G1 BC of 1.050, which is crazy.

Good luck, and the only two reason I sold my 50-BMG; Blast concussion, and portability.


----------------------------------------

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

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Posts: 896 | Location: Colorado, and as far away from Denver as I can get. | Registered: March 13, 2008Report This Post
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Picture of RaiseHal
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I got a great deal on a Steyr HS50 about a decade ago. Unfortunately there is no place near me that will allow me to shoot it. SWFA scopes are a good budget scope. Check out Palmetto States Armory, they have been known to have some good ammo sales in the past. I bought several cases from them and shipping was reasonable.


It's a shame that youth is wasted on the young --- Mark Twain

Anyone who is not a liberal by age 20 has no heart; anyone who is not a conservative by age 40 has no brain---Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 4463 | Location: The Free State of Georgia | Registered: August 01, 2004Report This Post
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