You remember that REDICULOUS 50 BMG bullpup that we saw a few days ago? Well, I just fondled it here at NDIA. And I have to say it feels exactly like I expected it would.

When you first see it, you think to yourself “this can’t possibly be light.” And it isn’t. This rifle weighs a LOT more than your standard AR-15, and even more than my exceedingly heavy Pretty Princess AR (18″ heavy barrel + 3-9×40 optic). It’s something that you COULD shoulder and fire offhand (as pictured), but you would be nowhere near accurate. This isn’t something you’re going to be clearing rooms with.

What you don’t get from the pictures is just how front heavy it is. While the operating system does add some mass to the stock, the barrel and muzzle brake more than offset the weight. The discrepancy isn’t so great that it couldn’t be offset by a loaded magazine of .50 BMG rounds, but it is noticeable.

The charging handle on this gun is a non-reciporicating handle on the left side of the gun, and is fixed in place (not able to be converted for lefties). That, in addition to the positioning of the ejection port, makes this something that no sinistral human can fire without getting hot fiddy cal brass in their face.

I was talking to the guy that designed it, and after noting all of these foibles asked a question that boiled down to “what the hell is this thing good for?” With a short barrel and a semi-automatic operating system, you’re trading accuracy for size and speed. His response was that it was designed to give marksmen in a convoy the ability to move in and out of vehicles easily, put fire on distant targets, and take out the engine blocks of cars at checkpoints. And for that purpose it seems well made. The ArmaLite AR-50 would be my choice for accuracy at distance, but that monster is a pain to lug around a range let alone parts of the “sandbox.”

After playing with it for a while, I only had two questions left. Are they bringing it to a civilian market? Yes, they plan to. Can I have one? As soon as they start production, they claim one of the first ones off the line will be destined for my FFL. Keep an eye out for a gun review in the near future.

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2 Responses to NDIA: Hands On with the 50 BMG Bullpup

  1. To compare its weight to any AR-15 is ridiculous; a quick second of brain usage says they fill entirely different roles. Furthermore, how is 17 pounds too much weight to fire from the shoulder accurately? People fire the M249 SAW, M240 Bravo, M60, MK 46 and 48, and countless other machine guns from the shoulder on a daily basis, and they can do it accurately to boot. All of this aside, remember that the more expensive Barrett M82A1 weighs about 35 pounds combat ready, is extremely cumbersome in all but an open field, and kicks like a mule on crack. From what I understand, they intend to produce a left handed model, so the concerns regarding that are moot as well. And as for barrel length, 24″ is NOT too short, especially when you consider it is free floating and does not reciprocate.

    This rifle is going to put .50 BMG range and power in the hands of more men in more situations, augmenting the abilities of DMs and snipers and the guys who fight alongside them. Being roughly the length and weight of the M249 SAW (that’s without its box of linked ammunition, by the way), one can easily enter and exit vehicles, and move room to room and building to building with this rifle in hand, ready to go.

    As far as I’m concerned, this may be the only true innovation in decades in the realm of large bore rifles. Therefore, we should be mindful as to what we’re comparing it to.

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