In the midst of all the kerfuffle surrounding the ATF Project Gunwalker scandal we’ve learned that the feds have let more than a few Barrett 5o’s flow down the so-called Iron River to Mexico. As with most things media, over time, the shock value of drug lords equipped with large-caliber rifles has worn off. Besides, when it comes to tooling-up for dirty deeds, a .50 is too big to hide under a coat and it can’t be done dirt cheap. That equation could change. defensereview.com has a hard-on for a prototype bull-pup .50-cal. “Mark our words, the Leader 50 BMG has the potential to become the single most effective and viable semi-auto .50 BMG anti-materiel/sniper rifle for military Special Operations Forces (SOF), period, provided the production version proves to be accurate, reliable, and durable under high round count and adverse conditions, and features a good trigger.” And if my grandmother had wheels I’d be a trolly car. Still . . .

Unlike the current .50 BMG weapons on the market, the Leader 50 BMG does not use any castings, MIM parts, or unsightly weldments, and offers a sleek design with an easy to manage weight distribution, allowing for a compact overall length of only 39 inches and a full 24-inch (24″) barrel. The short breech mechanism and side-mounted trigger mechanism contributes to its reduced overall length and balance.

That bad boy better be balanced. Unless our heart attack serious friend above is Tom Cruise small, the LSR50 BMG is a handful—and then some.

The really good news? Although Sabre Defense displayed the gun at the SHOT show, Leader has found a new manufacture–one that hasn’t been indicted and shuttered—to produce the $7k-ish LSR50. That honor now belongs to Micor Industries.

Is the bullpup .50 firearms vaporware? defense-review.com says the gun will be aviable for demo at the NDIA small arms exposition [International Infantry & Joint Services Small Arms Systems Symposium, Exhibition & Firing Demonstration 2011. So will we, playing follow the leader.

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2 Responses to 50 BMG: Follow the Leader?

  1. You mention balance several times in this article. I assume you are not talking about gas balance as that is less important in a gun that is not full auto capable. So you must be talking about the weight of the gun itself being balanced.

    I know balance plays a role, rear balanced guns are generally quicker to ADS(Aim Down Sight) whereas front balanced guns are generally easier to reaquire targets with. But I can’t figure out the benefit you seem to believe is important for a rifle this size in balance. So I was hoping you could expand on that a little.

    Thanks.

    EDIT: After posting I thought about it a little. I forgot to compare it to a non-bullpup .50 BMG which is so incredibly front heavy that ADS is near impossible to obtain and keep while standing, not that I would ever even consider firing one while standing (well unless it was mounted ofcourse).

    I have fired a .50 before, it was fun, but I was prone and it still beat the hell out of me (and I am no stanger to sniper rifles). No way I would fire one in any non prone position unless the gun was mounted. So, I now see the advantage of balance, but still think it is not so important as firing this standing is still unadvisable I would sermise.

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