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I often stop by my local Wal-Mart ammunition counter to see what is happening. While .22 ammunition is starting to appear on the shelves of dedicated gun stores, it’s still absent from Wal-Mart in Yuma, Arizona. But I did find .50 Browning Machine Gun (BMG) ammunition. And why not?  The .50 BMG . . .

has been gaining popularity with American shooters for decades. It offers long range potential at just about the limit of easily carried ordnance. A few people have hunted with the caliber. It makes most “elephant” guns look anemic in comparison. But it is primarily used for ultra-long range target shooting and, of course, its military potential. It is precisely the sort of caliber the Second Amendment was written to protect.

Seeing .50 BMG in the Wal-Mart ammunition section shows how far the celebration of American gun culture has advanced. It is a speciality product that is hated by anti-gunners who wish to ban it, even though it has virtually never used in crimes. By the same token, .50 caliber rifles are so large, long and unwieldy that they’re not used for suicides.

Why do the hoplophobes hate the .50 BMG? Simple, really. It is a symbol of freedom, a symbol of power in the hands of the citizen. It is refreshing to see it prospering.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Gun Watch

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  1. “But it is primarily used for ultra-long range target shooting and, of course, its military potential. It is precisely the sort of caliber the Second Amendment was written to protect.”

    And it warms the heart.

    • It’s not a symbol of ‘freedom’ any more than a 20mm DD or a 22LR pistol is. It’s simply the most powerful (common-ish) firearm available before hitting an arbitrary line drawn by idiots a century ago.

      Besides; real American men shoot 14.5×114 as a tribute to defeating communism (oh wait; they don’t, because we didn’t, even though it’s a much cooler round)

    • I hope you aren’t one of those guys that shoots the cheap aluminum stuff and leaves the cases all over the ground at the range.

      • I never leave empty shell casings at the range. Even with current prices down, scrap metal is too valuable to throw away. I only make one or two scrap runs a year to the recycler, but it generally pays me between $50 to $100 a trip. Aluminum, brass, copper, lead, zinc, steel, iron all have a dollar value to them. I really like doing something that helps the environment AND makes me a little money.

    • The alluminum case 9mm is underpowered enough it won’t reliably cycle my full size CZ-75 (stovepipes), so I have dubbed it Federal Champiosquib. Fortunately it works fine in my other 9mms and my (much more limited) exposure to .40 champiosquib has shown no problems.

  2. Managed recoil .30-30? Must be for those raised on 5.56.

    When I see Ma Deuce for sale in the sporting goods section of wal mart I’ll celebrate.

  3. It’s interesting, but not a good market decision.

    They still limit boxes of .22 where I am and don’t sell any .308, or only just ZQ FMJ. But plenty of .270 and .30-30 in a state that doesn’t allow rifle hunting. They also don’t sell any muzzleloader supplies and have only recently got into 7.62x54r.

    I think the big 50 per gun owner ratio is about one or two per club (say 500 people), so it’s nice, but I don’t see their logic.

    • Witness the pitfalls of centralized purchasing.
      People a thousand miles away make buying decisions on stuff they know nothing about.

    • Frankly, it’s probably to get purchasers of .50 BMG ammunition identified onto facial recognition cameras.

      In a day and age where razorblade displays do it, the concept that a multi-nash retailer with Homeland Security offices inside their distribution centers not doing it too would just be naive.

      • I’m sorry, what? Why would the government care if I buy .50 any more than if I buy .45 or .357 or any other caliber? Also, why on earth would the government care if I buy razors? Pretty much everyone about the age of 14 who isn’t a hippy buys razors. Citation needed on that one.

        • Well for one, “.45 or .357” aren’t a massive Anti-Materiel Rifle Caliber capable of smoking every existing body armor imaginable, as well as 3 inches of aluminum, 1.5 inches of steel, 6+ inches of concrete, dozens and dozens of interior walls, destroying/traversing vehicles, and they also don’t hit things on purpose at 1 or even 2 miles away..

          Was that a serious (ie- actual) question?

          The razor blades weren’t government, just an analogy, but it makes another interesting point which does the same thing: puts your face and your product purchase and your credit card (or fact that you prefer to use cash) all on a meta record.

          Can we post links here? Three quick from google/archive if they’ll work


          Note that was 12 years ago. They said they stopped but got busted again 3(?) years later. If you want more details you can dig deeper, it’s not really my area.. just a long memory.

          Do you think the ability to do things like that has gotten better or worse in the intervening 12 years? There are systems being trialed right now that can read your eye’s unique iris signature via the sidewindow mirror of your car from thirty feet away in another vehicle, much less a comparatively gigantic face. Interconnect stuff like that to high speed networks and bob’s your uncle ( .. big’s your brother).

          Ultimately, most people buying any .50 BMG at a Wal-Mart are probably going home and posting about it on FaceBook twenty minutes later anyway, so, you know : ) whatever..

    • ME TOO!!!!!! I’ve gotta head to my local Walmart to see if they have any. I don’t own anything that will shoot it, but it would be a great conversation starter, and good stuff to trade with like minded people when the SHTF. The Lord knows I’ve thrown $40 at much worse stuff than this.

      • Nope, no .50 BMG at my Walmart, they haven’t carried it in 3 years according to the clerk. I would have bought a box, too. Just because I can.

  4. “Ordinance” and “ordnance” are different words.
    One is a local law, the other is a military term refering to guns, artillery and the like.

    And don’t leave us hanging, Dean! Did they have a three box limit or not?

  5. I’m guessing those are 10 round boxes at $37.97, or about four bucks a round.

    You could cut notches in them, pour out the powder and sell them as bottle openers at gun shows for $10 each.

    • Hard to find them not converted into junk like that. I have a dummy round vintage 1943 my wife had to search ebay to find. Lighters and bottle openers aplenty.

      Notice the empty shelf next to the .50 … .22LR in 375 pack for $15.. I’ll bet that shelf hasn’t been full in years.

    • That’s 10 rounds of ball ammo. Federal seems to be the most common maker for standard FMJ; PMC makes some as well. $4/round is not bad, but the same stuff has been going for just under $3 online. Hornady makes match grade ammo at around $6-7/round (guessing maybe as low as $5 now? I haven’t priced that lately).

      In any case, it’s encouraging to see Wally World stock that Federal round. It’s always nice to have local sources for gun food, even the more exotic stuff.

  6. I love that statement, ” a symbol of power in the hands of the citizens”. Actually that says it all, anti gunners, are those that are literally asking their legislators to diminish or take away their rights they dont believe in freedom, they demand to be ruled! They believe that being meek and weak is a good way of life for everyone.

    • “One man with a gun can control 100 without one.”
      Vladimir Lenin

      “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”
      Mao Zedong

      The power a rifle affords to the one holding it is more than symbolic. Modern leftists understand this just as well as their spiritual ancestors, hence the civilian disarmament movement. Your comment seems to refer more to the useful idiots, though, and I agree with you there.

  7. Last time I went to walmart they were out of 7.62×39.

    They had 4 different kinds of 7mm, 3 of .30-30 but only cheap Tula 7.62 and they were out of it.

    • Dang, my local Wally World had at least 10 boxes of Tul 7.62 X 39 a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t really need any, but I often pick up at least some ammo in there if my favorite clerk is on duty. He hates guns (yeah, he told me that unsolicited). It really seems to rub him the wrong way to have to come over and unlock the case for me.

      It’s the small things that make life worth living.

      • “He hates guns (yeah, he told me that unsolicited). It really seems to rub him the wrong way to have to come over and unlock the case for me.

        It’s the small things that make life worth living.”

        I like you already! I’d be in line right behind you just because.

  8. I can’t afford it and I have no place to shoot one if I did. But I’m glad we have freedom and liberty for those who can.

    • Word.

      I need to buy a box in case someone at the range brings a ‘deck gun’, as Nick mentioned when when he took a .50 he was reviewing to that 1,000 yard Marine Corps range in Virginia a few years back…

  9. I was at my local Walmart this A.M. perusing the available stock and noticed the same .50 BMG on the shelf. No .22’s, but plenty of .50 BMG. No sign saying there is a limit on number of boxes per customer, except for .22. Of course, there was no .22 to be had.

    • “No .22’s, but plenty of .50 BMG. No sign saying there is a limit on number of boxes per customer, except for .22.”

      Has there *ever* been a run on .50 BMG that anyone can recall?



      • Seems every time I go online to buy, I hit the wrong week.
        But I reload, so it’s a bit different.
        A pound of powder doesn’t last long at 210 grains a pop, so I bought cases of 8 pounders when available.
        Projos were hit and miss for plinkers.
        Barnes bore riders shot the best.
        With a G-1 BC of 1.05, they flew beautifully.

    • I’ve seen that as well. I believe it was Remington supersonic, and the price was decent if not great. That find marked the arrival of 300BLK for me: major brand at a major retailer.

    • At that price point, you can get your hands on some surplus API ammo. It does a number on your targets, but if you have a .50, you can afford it.

  10. It’s nice to see Walmart is selling 50 bmg. It’s unfortunate that theybowed down to the antis pressure and quit selling ar’s and anything with the word Tactical in it though. My brother got a DPMS 308 for $599 and I got Remington 877 for $200 on clearance. Just one more place that won’t be selling the guns people want to own.

    • They still have AR’s in the “spinner” cases at various Wally worlds in northern MI. If the Walmart has the glass case with sliding doors it is all bolt rifles and pump shotguns.

    • The Walmart in Stroudsburg, PA sells modern sporting rifles (AR variants) in black and occasionally in pink. I believe the Walmart in Nazareth PA does as well. You might want to ask your store’s manager what the deal is? Maybe a local ordinance? Maybe he/she is a member of Mom’s demanding stupid things?

  11. We will really be winning when we can get .22LR ammo at Wally World.
    .50 BMG ammo is a media event as a lot of gun ranges in redneck Indiana do not permit you to shoot it.
    My .243 has plenty of realistic range.

    • I suspect that if I owned a range, I would not allow .50. It would be able to tear up most steel targets, and just because you have some money does not mean you have any sense. Owners could apply for permission after an interview, but why bother? The things are designed for the wide-open spaces.

    • .338 Federal Anerican Eagle can be purchased online for less than $2.50 / round. Not super cheap, but a lot more reasonable than a few years ago.

  12. Buying .50 cal ammo is exercising your 2nd amendment rights. Few non gun items make a statement like that. This ammo is absolutely hated by the left. I haven’t read so much controversy over an ammo category since Black Talon.

    • I don’t think even 50cal has a bill introduced in the House of Reps annually to ban it by name like 5.7×28 does…

  13. Gee I see exotic calibers in Walmart and think nothing of it-maybe i could write an article about it! And that’s about all they had during the ammo famine(always 40 though)…

  14. The Walmart that I work at gets maybe one case of .22lr per week, and it usually doesn’t stay on the shelf for longer than an hour after it gets put there. Same thing with 7.62×39, 7.62 NATO/.308 Win, and .45ACP.
    But if you want 30-06, any flavor of 7mm, 9mm, or 12 gauge, there’s more than enough. And oddly, we’ve been getting in a lot of .300 Blackout. Nobody is buying it though, except for a couple of local cops who are complete AR-nerds and make enough to afford it.

    • What state, like I have said above I have seen 6.8 but not 300 black, it’s hard for me to find any supersonic 300 in a brick and morter store.

      • Alabama. We just sold the last box of .300BLK on the shelf and haven’t gotten anymore in yet, but there have been increasing numbers of customers bugging our sporting-goods manager about it. So far she’s been pretty decent listening to customer requests.
        But still no .50BMG, and we sold the last AR in .22lr a week ago. No more scary black rifles for us…..

  15. I’d like a price check in the Barrett section please. Damn. Still can’t afford it.

    Never any .22 on the shelf here, nor any .357, .40SW or .45. Lots of 9mm and 12ga bird loads. No 12ga Buck or slugs.

    • There are some more affordable .50 BMG rifles out there. A few years ago I observed a single shot in the $700 price range.

  16. If you want to get down to the physical layer, fine, you work with whatever the device is actually capable of, and if that’s forty bits per track on a magnetic drum from the 1950s, then that’s what you The representations that people actually work with once you get past the firmware are generally organized in blocks that are a power of Source: was software engineer for fifteen years, BA and MA in CS, have worked on software at all levels from OS to messy giant databases, was educated on hardware down to microcode and simple gate level design and software through basic AI *You will not win this


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