The .50 Beowulf is a proprietary cartridge designed by Bill Alexander, the chef de la maison of the eponymous Alexander Arms. As a big, powerful but slow, short- to medium-distance round that’s about the size of a cocktail weenie, the .50 Beowulf is reputedly versatile enough to do the business on elk, grizzly, bison, hogzillas and your brother-in-law’s big block Chevy . . .
That’s good news for anyone who might find himself confronted by a savage Silverado. The icing on the cake is Alexander Arms’ contention that its complete Beowulf Overmatch upper assembly will mate perfectly and shoot properly on all the milspec 5.56 lowers that you might have laying around in your garage or closet, and that you won’t need to modify a damn thing, including the seemingly wimpy 5.56 recoil buffer.
Well, color me slightly skeptical. To put Alexander Arms’ claims to the test, I joined TTAG commenter Greg in Allston and his pal Dave for an afternoon of blazing away with this interesting and capable cartridge. Dave brought his .50 Beowulf upper receiver, Stag Arms lower receiver assembly, and a lady friend, while Greg and I brought a complement of lowers ranging from basic to upscale.
A Big Bore AR-15 Upper
We’ve all known for some time now that the AR-15 upper receiver is as adaptable as bacteria. It’s been exploited by creative designers to chamber more and more specialty cartridges such as the 6.5 Grendel (co-created by the aforementioned Bill Alexander), 300 AAC Blackout, 6.5 Creedmoor, 224 Valkyrie, and 6.8 Remington SPC. I also hear tell that it’s a fine platform for traditional rounds such as the .243 Winchester, .260 Remington, .338 Federal, 7mm-08 Remington, the little .22 LR, handgun calibers such as the 9mm and 45 ACP, and, for all I know, would make a great base for a phased plasma rifle in the 40 megawatt range. The big lummox of a .50 caliber cartridge is merely another step in the evolution of the exceptionally flexible Eugene Stoner design.
The .50 Beowulf cartridge is based on the .50 Action Express, a large pistol cartridge that’s the source of the Desert Eagle’s legendary power and even more legendary recoil. The .50 Beowulf’s rebated rim matches the rim of the common 7.62×39 commie cartridge. I don’t know what satanic forces inspired Mr. Alexander to consider the unlikely union of an Israeli .50 AE pistol round and a Russian carbine cartridge, but he did, and the result is the .50 Beowulf.
The family resemblance between the Beowulf carbine and your basic AR-15 is obvious. In fact, at first glance the Beowulf looks like any other AR-15, save for a heavy barrel that looks like it was borrowed from a shotgun and a shoebox size tank-style muzzle brake pinned (in Massachusetts) to the muzzle. In fact, the muzzle diameter of the .50 is closer to that of a 20 gauge than it is to a 5.56, but it’s not really shotgun-sized. Finally, there’s no dust cover on the receiver port door, which I hardly missed. The ejection port is larger, of course, and there’s a forward assist.
Removing the bolt carrier group (BCG) for a look-see, there’s another apparent difference. While the bolt carrier, firing pin and little bits seem familiar, the bolt face is sized for the 7.63×39, which has a larger rim than the 5.56. Like a good facelift, there’s a visible but not a dramatic difference.
As noted, the straight-sided .50 Beowulf cartridge features a rebated rim — the rim is narrower than the case. It looks odd, but it isn’t. The photo below also illustrates the other obvious difference between the 5.56 and the .50 Beowulf. The 5.56 looks as sleek and racy as a cheetah while the .50 Beowulf resembles a caballito.
We shot hollow points, but you can have your .50s with brass or lead solids or FMJ if you prefer. Any way you want it, the .50 Beowulf is a reloader’s delight because of its case design and the ready availability of .50 caliber bullets.
Alexander Arms will sell you .50 Beowulf mags that they claim will not handle 5.56 ammo. Rest assured that standard 5.56 mags can handle the Beowulf effortlessly. We know, because we used traditional double-stack 5.56 mags, including PMags and C-Products metal mags, and they all functioned perfectly as single-stack .50 Beowulf mags.
For shooters who live in AWB states, having Beowulf-only magazines may be an advantage. A 30 round 5.56 magazine might be a ticket to prison in AWB states even though it only holds 10 rounds of .50 Beowulf. In contrast, a 10 round Beowulf magazine, which is identical in all respects to a 30-round 5.56 mag except for the feed lips, may be legal. It’s a perfect illustration of why mag limits are stupid and any politician who votes in favor of them should be recalled.
I can’t lie – an AR with a .50 Beowulf complete upper, huge muzzle brake, optics, quad-rails, bipod, grenade launcher and other bells and whistles is more clumsy than a traditional AR carbine. But, it’s not so heavy that it will overwhelm the physical ability of a slightly-built, sub-130 lb. woman shooting it offhand.
The camera shake is the result of Dave standing too close to, and in perfect alignment with, the backwash from the muzzle brake. The rush of hot gases is powerful enough to blow your hair back as effectively, but perhaps not as pleasantly, as a Trojan brand personal joy buzzer.
Recoil, while prodigious when compared to the light 5.56, is manageable. We worked the charging handles and fired ARs in 5.56, 7.62 and .50 Beowulf in rapid order just to get a handle on recoil. The Beowulf does have more perceived recoil that a 7.62 NATO, but no more or perhaps a tad less than a 12 gauge firing reduced recoil 00 buck. Shooting hundreds of rounds in a single range session from such a powerful rifle is not my idea of a great time, but it isn’t torture.
Greg in Allston’s presentation is so grooved that every shot he takes with any rifle looks exactly the same, and he shot the Beowulf offhand to great effect. A bit more forward lean and weight distribution might have helped mitigate muzzle rise, but still, Greg was pretty damn accurate.
Good technique seems to be the difference between an exciting shooting experience and the onset of bursitis. Pull the rifle in tight and there’s a big shove awaiting your glenohumeral joint. Get a little lackadaisical and your shoulder will quickly advise you that your technique could stand some improvement. Fortunately, this problem is self-correcting. Watch the difference between Dave’s first shot, with a big push, and his second and third with slightly less push.
Ballistics & Accuracy
.50 Beowulf ballistics are similar to the venerable .45-70. A 300 grain .45 Gov’t bullet clocks in at about 1800 fps at the muzzle and 1500 fps at 100 yards, with energy of about 2200 and 1500 ft.-lb. at those same distances. The numbers for 300 grain .50 Beowulf are almost 1900 fps at the muzzle and 1400 fps at 100 yards, bringing a load of about 2300 and 1400 lb.-ft., respectively. In other words, the .50 hits hard.
What does that mean in the real world? Well, due to of the short supply of elk at the rifle range and the prevalence of small block engines in the parking lot, we couldn’t put the .50 to the ultimate of tests by killing big game and Chevys. However, comparing the entry wounds on paper from the .50 and the 5.56 made a very cogent point. Check out the two holes at 9 o’clock on this target. You won’t have to guess which is the .50 Beowulf and which is the 5.56 NATO.
Four 5.56 bullets would fit very neatly into that single .50 caliber hole, and that’s before expansion.
This kind of impact crater, from a round that can be fired from just about any 5.56 magazine, is pretty cool. We tried to dig some expanded bullets out of the berm for photographs, but we didn’t have a steam shovel.
Power is one thing and accuracy is another. The .50 Beowulf has oodles of the former and just enough of the latter. Our buddy Dave describes the .50 slug, especially the HP, as a flying ashtray. It’s just not all that aerodynamic and thus not MOA accurate.
All our shooting was from 100 yards. We didn’t fling a ton of lead downrange, so I can’t represent our testing as a full 500 round shoulder crushing shoot ‘em up. As far as optics are concerned, we used a 1x Eotech red dot sight as opposed to a good 3x or 4x scope. Magnification would have aided our shooting; well, it certainly would have aided mine. However, even without a long period of familiarity and appropriate magnification, I’m reasonably certain that the Beowulf carbine would manage 2 MOA all day long.
For its intended uses, that’s plenty accurate enough. The .50 Beowulf was not intended to be a precision target round any more than was the .45 Gov’t. It’s more of a blunt instrument, and should kill anything it hits.
Likes and Dislikes
I liked the .50 Beowulf for the same reason that I like V8 engines, 101 proof bourbon and Marshall amps. Power, baby! Power is good, and more is better, up to the point where it becomes unmanageable. The Beowulf never crossed that line.
Power always comes at a price, and I’m not just talking about the initial cost of the upper. An entry-level Alexander Arms .50 Beowulf upper will set you back $759. That’s reasonable to me, but to you maybe not. Buy a top-of-the-line AA complete upper receiver and you won’t get any change back from your $1012 Visa statement. Too much? Maybe for me, but not for you.
Ammo cost is also an issue, but not as big an issue as you might think. Feeding this beast is very doable. AA will sell you twenty 350g Hornady® XTPs for only $29.23. The same ammo from Midway will be even cheaper when it’s in stock. That’s an attractive price for a box of first class, big bore hollow point cartridges. AA, Midway and other retailers offer several more expensive ammo flavors, but all ammo costs can be mitigated by reloading.
The carbine, all fitted out with stuff, is a tad heavy. The AA upper parts alone weigh in at 4.45 to 5.37 pounds, which is light for a newborn calf but not for half a rifle. Mate the upper to your favorite lower, which will tip the scales at anywhere from 2.2 to 3.0 pounds, add the obligatory doodads and a full magazine, and the whole megillah has a bit of heft.
But, Sir Isaac Newtown giveth as much as he taketh away. Most of the “excess” weight will be forward, as this carbine starts out muzzle-heavy and only gets worse from there. The extra weight up front made my sight picture a little wobbly when shooting offhand, but also helped to keep the muzzle down, where it belonged, during firing. And the extra mass probably helped to mitigate recoil.
Owning a .50 Beowulf carbine does not require a life-altering commitment of working capital. You won’t melt your MasterCard or have to raid the kiddie’s college funds. Simply grab the complete lower and optics that you already have, order your choice of Beowulf uppers, and wait. And wait. And wait some more.
It’s going to take time to get your gun. I didn’t speak to Bill Alexander, but Dave did throughout his ordering process. Dave told me that Alexander is responsive and professional. So, like Dave, you may be able to track your personal Beowulf build, and as long as you’re patient you’ll get your big bore AR upper sooner or later. Mostly later.
By the time your new upper arrives, you’re going to be as excited as the time you had your first blind date with your first sure thing. But then, it hits you. Unless you hunt buffalo on a regular basis, what good is the .50 Beowulf? Unadulterated overkill for self-defense, not quite accurate enough for high power target shooting and possibly too much gun for whitetails or muleys, it seems like a rifle with limited utility.
So it comes down to this one question: is the pure fun of shooting this beast worth the waiting time and money?
Oh hell yeah.
Model: Alexander Arms .50 Beowulf
Configuration tested: Stag Arms tactical lower receiver, Midwest Industries quad rail handguard, Alexander Arms tank muzzle device, Eotech sight
Caliber: .50 Beowulf
Magazine capacity: 4, 7 or 10 rounds
Materials: 7075-T651 forged upper; ASTM 9310 equivalent, surface refined, case hardened, peened and phosphated bolt; CrMoV phosphated barrel; Internally honed and hard chromed, M16 type carrier
Gas system: Mid length 316 stainless, hard drawn
Weight: 4.45 – 5.37 pounds (upper only)
Barrel Length: 16.375″
Price: $759 – $1,012 MSRP (upper only)
RATINGS (out of five stars):
Style * * * *
It looks like an AR, but the huge muzzle brake adds some visual sizzle — and enough sideways muzzle blast to knock off your hat.
Ergonomics * * * *
Sure, the upper kit makes it muzzle heavy, but that doesn’t make it too clumsy to handle. Still, if we’re headed out to the prairie for a bit of early morning bison blasting, you’re the one who gets to hump the rifle there and the buffalo meat back, and I’ll carry the sandwiches.
Ergonomics (firing) * * * *
While comfort was totally dependent on technique, ease of shooting accurately was somewhat dependent on the lower. Two out of three testers subjectively felt that the carbine seemed to shoot a tad more easily with a first class two stage trigger and A2-type stock.
Reliability * * * * *
Flawless. It performed without a single hiccup, no matter what lower parts and magazines we used.
Customize This * * * *
The upper can be ordered all dressed up, or it can be fully accessorized by you to the financial limit of your wallet and the physical limit of your biceps. Add your M-LOK handguard, KeyMod front end, or other rifle accessories as you deem fit.
Overall * * * * *
Utility be damned. The fun factor alone merits four stars. Big game hunters and passionate reloaders will award it five. For manning the Karaj al-Hajaz checkpoint, the Beowulf carbine is worth its weight in gold and will appear on many wishlists.
I’m all for novelty, but the price tag just doesn’t make sense. A normalslug gun runs in at less than half of this price, and shoots ammunition that’s commonly available – so, you can have more fun, cheaper, than with this thing.
What am I missing?
If I lived in a rifle deer zone I’d own one because:
1. I have a .223 AR which I enjoy and am proficient with.
2. When I take government sponsor trips to interesting places, I carry an AR.
3. Hunting with an AR would make me more proficient and would be more realistic training for when it really counts.
4. I’d like to deer hunt with an AR but I’ve seen deer shot but not killed with a .223 (I know, shot placement, but nobody’s perfect.)
That’s fair. Thanks for taking those trips for us.
I appreciate your appreciation . . . and on behalf of the Federal Government, please accept my sincere apologies for running up a national debt which neither you, nor your children, nor their children will ever be able to repay.
That’s actually a lot more practical than I thought after all. Good points
Good point. .50 cal sabot slugs from a semi auto 12 gauge aren’t all that much different. The .50 Beowulf is interchangeable with AR-15 lowers and uses box mags.
If hunting is the point, there are at least three saboted .50 caliber 375-385 grain bullets (Rem’s Accutip, for example, or Winchester Partition Gold) that provide similar velocities and greater energy. You don’t absolutely need a fully rifled barrel, but do need at least a 4″ rifled choke. The 600 grain Brenneke slugs for smooth bores carry less velocity but more energy. The areas I hunt require either a shotgun or a rifle, and semi-auto rifles are not permitted in either jurisdiction (PA and Sweden). A light 235 grain bullet in a .375 H&H cartridge offers much better range and energy, and a new bolt gun can be had in a good Winchester Model 70 for the same price as the loaded Beowulf upper. There’s a lot of “Why? Because I can!” in the Beowulf, the fun of which I can understand.
Wow. What will they think of next. Maybe redo some of the old muskets that shot .75 caliber balls. Wonder what that would do.
I’d sure like to have a few of the old big-bore double-rifles. We all need a rifle that hurls a 2000 grain bullet.
At that point, you are blurring the line between rifle and portable cannon.
Yes, precisely. While we’re wishing, make mine belt-fed with HE rounds.
Look up .950 JDJ. Based off a 20mm case.
3600gr bullet, 38,000ft lb
Way cool- but if I’m looking for a rifle that weighs over 100 lbs, I’m looking for a Solothurn. That’s a classy, classy weapon.
Hmmm….I see a new legislative agenda in the works. Mandate .50 Beowulf as the round allowed for civilian use and no one will be able to carry more than ten rounds…
.50 plus a drum mag 🙂
= throwing your back out 🙂
Not to mention having to walk around with a massive erection from carrying that much problem solving.
You’ll need a drum mag to carry more than 10 rounds (40 round pmag not included).
Only if I can get it in a pistol version. With a suppressor.
12″ pistol upper w/ pepper pot brake $921.99 from Midwayusa.
AWC makes their “Thundertrap” suppressor in 50 Beowulf as well. $995 + $200 tax stamp + 12+ months wait on paperwork
I propose a moratorium on new rifle development. I’m having a hard enough time deciding on my first new rifle without all these new calibers and models popping up left and right…
Still with tried and true calibers for your first rifle. 223, 308, or 243. That’s it.
It’s not “new” I’ve owned my AA 50 ‘wulf upper for 7 years or so.
The Ranier 335gr HPs make FINE whitetail medicine. Especially for folks like me who HATE tracking. Of the 3 deer I’ve killed with mine, the furthest any have made it was one jump.
On an episode of some weapons show on the Military Channel, Mr. Alexander described the Beowulf as, “a wrecking ball” I wholeheartedly agree.
I’ve also spoken with him on the phone when I was having some trouble with my Grendel, he’s a great person to deal with.
Concerning the weight of the ‘wulf upper. I have the basic “Entry” model and it’s listed @ only 4.5pounds w/o optic
I donno, it sounds like perfect hog medicine to me.
And thus, we have it. The perfect niche for such a weapon that otherwise seems unnecessary, but fills a specific role most don’t consider better than most other rifles can. Now if we could just drop that price down…
I don’t see really see the “niche” where this cartridge fits in:
Close Quarter engine-block battle?
Long Range poorly-aimed sniping?
Once you get over the giggle/fun factor, is there any application that this would really excel in?
It’s for when the fence breaks down in Jurrassic Park… T rex? 308 would barely scratch the surface and 338 lapua is too expensive
Its for when the Terminators come. Even Arnold can’t handle fifty cal, right?
For the civilian market, it looks like something a hunter would enjoy- especially a hunter who mostly uses ARs and doesn’t want a bolt gun for whatever reason.
Hunting hogs in the Southeast US. Lots of brush, big tough animals (“game” is to respectful for those vermin), and the need to not any get away if avoidable. Enter the big bore, semi-auto rifle, that doesn’t need a ton of range.
An excellent candidate for some “recoil therapy”. Maybe half a box ought to re-balance the old Yin and Yang, I’m thinking. But there is a charm to a .45-70 in a big, honkin’ lever action (yeah, I know… old school).
Half the fun of old cars is the manual transmission. I would rather shoot the lever gun and feel more “connected” to the experience.
Glad to know I’m not the only one that was thinking 45-70 the whole time.
@505markf, I love lever guns and I really enjoy shooting the .45 Gov’t. But if I could only own one or the other, I would have to choose the .50 Beowulf.
It duplicates .45-70 performance from a modern platform that can morph into a 5.56 in less than ten seconds and (when separated from the lower) fits inside my backpack.
FWIW, good quality .50 Beowulf ammo is a bit cheaper, too. Which doesn’t matter a lot unless you’re throwing a lot of ammo downrange.
None of which has an adverse effect on my love of lever guns.
Its old school and new school. In my mind, the two may have similar ballistics, but are different enough in charm that they both have room in my safe. Not my wallet, though.
Now here is a serious question. Must the base of brass casings be “small” (on the order of .30 caliber) in order to be compatible with the AR-15 platform? If not, I would much prefer an upper in .45-70 Government over .50 Beowulf. The .45 caliber bullets are still plenty huge for knocking down a bison, grizzly, or anything else on the face of the Earth. There are lots of .45 caliber bullet choices for reloading. It obviously retains more velocity down range because it has a smaller cross section than .50 caliber bullets. And I have to believe that .45-70 Government factory ammunition is much more readily available at local stores than .50 Beowulf. I would also guess that .45-70 Government factory ammunition is less expensive than .50 Beowulf as well.
As for knock-down power, 50 caliber bullets are second to none. Hunters who use full caliber bullets in their .50 caliber muzzleloaders can attest to that. Of course 300 grain .45 caliber bullets are a darn close second.
At any rate, back to my original question, if it is possible to use .45-70 Government cartridges in the AR-15 platform, I would be supremely interested such a configuration. Along the same lines, an AR-15 chambered for .454 Casull would also be interesting.
You can have an upper chambered in literally anything, it just might only be single shot. The limiting reagent is the magwell. If you want to have multiple rounds ready to go, they have to be roughly the same length as the 5.56 to fit through the hole in the bottom. But there’s really nothing stopping you from feeding it through the ejection port.
There is one company making a side feeding bolt action upper (the idea of which i love, but it only comes in anti-material rounds and i’m not in the market)
See the .458 SOCOM or .450 Bushmaster. The .45-70 is too long to fit into the mag well of an AR-15. I have a .45-70 Marlin XLR and the .50 Beowulf. Since I can shoot +P .45-70 Grizzly and Buffalo Bore, and have more case capacity than the .50 Beowulf, the .45-70 is better in many respects as a big game gun. The rapid fire capability and fun factor of the .50 is unparalleled. Enjoy.
Thank you for the details Accur81 … now I can stop fantasizing about an AR-15 in .45-70 Government!
The reason Mr. A went with the 7.62×39 head size was, per an interview he did about it, because that’s the largest he could make an AR bolt without significantly weakening the lugs.
That’s also why AA’s Grendel and Beowulf barrels/bolts aren’t compatible with other “Grendel” and “12.7×42” (Beowulf w/o the copyright) barrels/bolts. He changed the bolt dimension/head space to leave a little more metal in the lug area which means they won’t head space properly when mixed (AA bolt, “other” bbl or AA bbl and “other” 7.62×39 bolt)
Hi I got A Davidson Defense Nitride Finish BCG 7.62×39 for my complete upper pistol kit,So my bolt will work or not with both of them?
The wrong, stupid part of my brain took one look at that sucker and thought “Well that’ll definitely get rid of the squirrels in the backyard..” then the rational part said “Does the phrase ‘pink mist’ mean anything to you?” and the stupid part said “You going somewhere with this or are we gonna get to blast some tree rats?”
So my professional conclusions are A: I’m possibly insane and B: this thing sounds like a whole lot of fun.
The NSA is in the room and they blab everything to the keepers of the NICS…
I want to party with the stupid part of your brain.
I want to take classes taught be the “stupid” part of his brain…
I totally lol’d.
I can see it now on my shopping list – 1 box of Hornady Pink Mist Beowulf.
Thanks for that!
Terminator reference. awesome.
Thanks for the review!
Some observations: the pictures upper looks like the 16″ Advanced Weapons System upper with the tank brake muzzle brake. That upper costs $1,012 plus the cost of upgrades. The Overmatch Plus starts at $968, and the cheapest upper is the Entry at $759.00.
The .243, 7mm-08, etc. run off AR-10 platforms. Anything .308 / 7.62 x 51 based will not fit into an AR-15 mag well. The .50 Beowulf is the biggest, nastiest cartridge that actually cycles out of the AR-15 platform.
An H3 buffer and heavy duty buffer spring mitigates recoil quite a bit. I agree with 2 MOA, which is roughly what mine shoots, but mine wears Troy back up iron sights.
I still haven’t built a dedicated lower for it.. I stole one from an inexpensive starter AR(Stag model1+) I have a 2 stage tactical trigger and an PRS stock ready to assemble for it..
I bought one of Mr. Alexander’s early .50 Beowulfs, and I’m here to tell you, they’re a ton of fun. I took a buffalo with it, and have reduced numerous metal plate targets and bowling pins to scrap. At a glance, it looks like every other EBR on the range, but after the first shot, a crowd begins to gather.
Pardon my ignorance, but “EBR”?
In this context, “Evil Black Rifle”.
EBR = Evil Black Rifle. An AR by any other name will cause PSH in the faint of heart and rationality. So much the better.
I love the Wulf. It’s a heavy hitting, short range mag fed AR. Easy to reload(no shoulder to reshape) Slugs and powder are easy to find(thank you 500 s&w). Every single person who has shot it, loves the gun.. And I always bring extra ammo for the range for them to try.
“…I also hear tell that it’s a fine platform for traditional rounds such as the .243 Winchester…”
You cannot run a 243 Winchester through an AR-15. You have to use a long action AR-10 platform because the 243 is nothing more than a necked down 7.62 NATO cartridge.
Yes, agreed. I should have referenced the Stoner AR platform and not the AR-15 specifically.
Ralph said “weeni” ! 🙂
Ralph bought all the .50 AE. All of my online sources are sold out!
Great review, Ralph. Another gun to add to my “need to get” list. S**t.
If yours is anything like mine, it’s already too long.
Shoot, i haven’t updated mine in years, and it was still six pages long. This however has been on it for quite some time. A Safety Harbor .50BMG upper would also be nice.
In Alyaska this would rock!
Wouldn’t be bad in Alaska, either.
Not enough accuracy? My “entry” upper will put every round into a cloverleaf (granted it’s a BIG cloverleaf) at 100 off the bench all day long. I use a Leupold 1×4 shotgun scope and it’s plenty of magnification.
A cloverleaf of 50 Beowulf is almost a full 2″. Its not really a measurement of error, so much as an estimation of destruction.
“estimation of destruction”; yes, when you’re running this round you’re truly on the Eve of Destruction.
This a great article but it’s th3 quality of the comments that boosts it’s awesomeness by a factor of 10
Guess I’m one of the few who noticed.
Your deck photo looks like the floor of my boat. Littered with spent .22 casings.
I’ll be hitting the gun show this weekend. I’ve been toying with a .458 socom, but it looks like the .50 ammo is a bit cheaper.
Got lucky at a gunshop 2 years ago and picked up my Beowulf on a S&W MP-15 lower plus 60 rounds of ammo, soft case , bipod for $700.00.
Love to go to our farm and hit coyotes and feral dogs..rolls them up like a .22 does a soda can.
Mine is on a RRA receiver. (Since 2007) And 600 rounds… neat engine block gun… not a long distance hitter.
Hey Ralph, I really love your review! I have a question about your writing availability. Could you shoot me an email so we can touch base? nicole.bowen at ccaofnc dot org.
You know, I would normally think of this as a novelty item, but as of this year we in Ohio can now hunt Deer with rifles other than muzzle loaders, but there is a catch… We have to use a rifle chambered for straight wall pistol cartridges, such as .44 mag, 9mm, .45, etc. This upper and round look perfect for taking down some white tails and getting more use out of my AR than plinking or just in case shtf. I think I’ll be looking into getting one when they’ve caught up to their orders.
best article I’ve ever read. can’t wait to read your next review
Ralph, you want pictures of expansion from the ‘wulf, here ya go.
86# doe, shot in the left shoulder, the lump you see is the bullet under the hide on the off side.
Here’s the recovered slug, bullet is a 335 Ranier HP in my handloads @ 1812 MV, range was a lased 41 yards, deer dropped at the shot with one back leg kick
I found some ammo in stock at http://www.Detroitammoco.com they are using some plastic tipped ammo that I haven’t seen before.
Ed, those are Hornady 300gr FTX (flex tip, expanding)
Tried some in my reloads and their terminal performance was lacking compared to the 335 Rainier HP
I ordered some on the 21st and recived them on the 25th. Shipping was a non issue. Cant wait to try them out.
Hi all I ordered a AA .50 Beowulf upper, and reloading dies and 150 Hornady 300gr FTX (flex tip, expanding) to start with . I would like any reloading data you may have in any weights of bullets and type powder and of course how much powder. [email protected]
the other question does any one cast bullets for this Cal. If they do what mold sizing deis etc and of course powder type and weight
Thanks Phil in the great north west
I’ve had my .50 Beowulf for about 3 years now and I love it! Initially the recoil was an issue but after installing a muzzle brake and a LimbSaver recoil pad the recoil is almost comfortable. Why a .50 Beowulf? Why not? There are more cartridge choices than any one person would ever need and compared to more traditional “big game” calibers, the ammo is very affordable. Where else can you have a 5.56 AR carbine for whatever and then in a matter of seconds swap out uppers to get a compact, semi-automatic, big game rifle with quick change box mags then, in a matter of seconds, swap uppers again and have a perfect hunting or looooong range target rifle (the 6.5 Grendel)?
Sure there are the other two members of “the big three” but only the Beowulf actually matches the ballistics of the .45-70 and if you have a job that needs a big hammer, why not use the biggest, meanest, most powerful hammer in the toolbox?
It’s a great gun and the accuracy was excellent. I haven’t had a chance to shoot at 200 yards yet but it performed great at 100 and 150. The first time I ever got to shoot steel plates with it was awesome. At 100 yards it sounded like they were getting hit with sledgehammers. I actually had to stop because I was knocking the big steel plates over at 100 yards and I didn’t want to get in trouble lol. That was with the 335 grain FMJ “target loads”, I imagine some of the others would cause mayhem. I have a few boxes of the 350 grain solid Spitzer “dangerous game” ammo that I haven’t tried yet but I’m betting should be capable of taking down a T-Rex at 300 yards. I use a Leupold VX-R 1.25-4X20 HOG scope with FireDot illuminated reticle and it turns a .50 Beowulf into just the most amazing carbine/rifle (mines a 16″ barrel) you could ever imagine for wild hogs, elk, moose, bison, brown bear, Sasquatch’s, Yeti’s, Wooly Mammoth, great white sharks, rogue elephants, hippo’s, rhinosauruses and flying tryranasauruses. There isn’t a single “big game” rifle in the world that can do 10% of what the Beowulf can do which is reason enough but what other reason should you need than it’s a FIFTY CALIBER AR15!!! Not a little .45 or .458…it’s a real FIVE OH! (Emphasis on OH yeahhhhh). Plus I’ve dealt with Bill Alexander when I had some questions about a different rifle and he’s a really great guy who cares very much about his customers and the company’s customer service is also excellent. I have the idea for a second 6.5 Grendel in my head and I will definitely be going to Alexander Arms to get it.
Tried to edit the above post but it didn’t take so I’ll do it here.
“Sure there are the other two members of “the big three” but only the Beowulf actually matches the ballistics of the .45-70 and if you have a job that needs a big hammer, why not use the biggest, meanest, most powerful hammer in the toolbox?”
What I meant to say was “from what I’ve read the .50 Beowulf is actually the only one of the “big 3″ that matches the ballistics of the venerable .45-70, while the others come close. I have no proof of that, just what I read so it might be wrong.”
Anywho, doesn’t change the point I was getting to…the “why not use the biggest, meanest, most powerful hammer in the toolbox?”
Also, in full disclosure, I am a Beowulf fan girl, I love them. I acknowledge that .450 & .458 are also great choices for hunting in North America, it really comes down to personal preference, like many gun purchases we all consider so hold the hate mail lol (and go buy a fifty cal!!!!) 😛
Just ordered mine! Merry Christmas to me! Michigan just changed the law allowing me to use this for deer in my zone. Have a new Spikes Pirate lower I am building waiting for it!
I got mine when they first came out. I have never been able to shoot more than 4 rounds in a row with out the gun jamming. It is always unburnt powder in the chamber that is the problem. I have used different lowers with the same result. The ammo I use is right froqm Alexander . Needless to say I got tired of ducking
MGI makes a take-down gun that is named the “Hydra” which is also multi-caliber with kits from .22 LR up to and including a .50 Beowulf. I personally have a couple of these modular systems that include .22, 9 mm, .223, 7.62 x 39, .450 Bushmaster thumper, and a .50 Beowulf. They also make other conversion kits for .40 S&W, .45, .300 Blackout, 6.5, 6.8, as well as some others. A.308 is on it’s way sometime soon.
This gun has a quick change barrel, so all you have to do is change out the barrel, bolt, and in some cases with the pistol calibers, the magwell changes as well. The whole process takes a few minutes and is extremely easy to do. Great gun – I can’t say enough good things about it although I haven’t had a chance to test all the kits I have yet. One thing that I don’t like is the .50 Beowulf barrel comes unthreaded (bull barrel), so if you want to install a muzzle break, you are going to have to have it threaded. On the plus side, it is a high quality stainless steel barrel.
Overall, if you want one gun that will break down into an extremely modest space that you can carry around unnoticed and has multi-caliber capability, this is the gun for you.
I got mine when they first came out. I have never been able to shoot more than 4 rounds in a row with out the gun jamming. It is always unburnt powder in the chamber that is the problem. I have used different lowers with the same result. The ammo I use is right froqm Alexander . Needless to say I got tired of fucking around with it and put in the back of my gun cabinet . Anyone have any advise?
I bought two of the Beowulf barrels when they first came out me and my son both built guns never had a problem with misfires powder backing up nothing jamming my gun runs just as fast as I can pull the trigger little rough on the shoulder but it works just fine
I love my AA 50 Beowulf overmatch rifle! Unlike Mike Schulte, I’ve never had any issues with mine. Just yesterday I purchased a 10.5″ pistol upper from Radical Firearms 50 Beo from Primaryarms.com on sale for $419.95 (I got them to price match what Radical FA was selling them at). I felt it was too good a deal to pass up, and I have been wanting to build a pistol version for some time now. Just thought I would get the word out that Radical is building them and are much cheaper than the AA variety. They have several other varieties too, as well as other sought after calibers, generally all for the same price.
I will try to post a report after I have assembled it and taken it for a spin.
Customer service sucks. I asked about payment methods, waited a week, no answer so I ordered anyway. A week later I got a reply to the first question with no acknowledgement that I had actually placed an order a week earlier.
I placed the order on a Friday and on Saturday my next door neighbor, who owns a big gun shop in Punxsutawney, PA, faxed the paperwork.
Monday I got an email saying I had to send paperwork from a dealer. I replied it had been sent two days earlier and quickly got a second email saying it had been received but misplaced.
Then a week later I got an automated message saying essentially: 1. your order may have been cancelled because you specifically requested in writing that it be cancelled, 2. your order may be partially fulfilled, 3. your order has been manually entered, 4. IF you didn’t cancel the order it is being prepared for delivery or partial delivery.
“No specific shipment information is available yet”
BEST OF ALL: “This message is generic and is incapable of knowing which one applies to your order.” AND ONE of these is the reason you got this message.
The same message included:
“No action needs to be taken by you”
“Nothing is wrong and no action needs to be taken by you.”
THIS is customer service???
I have decades of experience on USENET and later the Internet so I don’t poke the bear – I just ignored all that and waited a few days.
The actual order went right through and the gun arrived quickly so I am happy.
The gun itself is GREAT!, Love it!
They seriously need some professional customer service staff or at least a technical writer.
The T shirt didn’t arrive. I didn’t want it, but it shows sloppy management that the invoice says it was in the shipment.
The soft case isn’t long enough to comfortably close on the gun WITH the tank muzzle brake. Add a butt pad to soften the recoil and it doesn’t come close to zipping shut, really wish it had been designed three inches longer so it would zip closed. As it is, I am using the case for an air rifle and bought a gun case that fits. I hate getting something so well made and nice looking which is doesn’t fit and is therefore useless.
FYI, those interested in ordering one, December 2015 the wait from order date to arrival was only 2 weeks and the gun store owner and gunsmith were in awe of the gun and ammo. If you were considering getting one but were scared off by the long wait times you should know there are no current delays.
If I wasn’t clear, there is some sloppy customer service here but fortunately the people who actually designed and built the gun are top notch!
Finally got to thde
Finally got to the range and guess what. THE GOD DAMNED NEW GUN JAMMED ON THE FIRST ROUND. CLEARED THE JAM, INSPECTED THE CLIP, LOCKED IT BACK IN AND THE DAMN GUN JAMMED AGAIN. TWO SHOTS, TWO JAMS. This is a beautiful piece of crap.
Its not a (clip), its a magazine. Only a liberal would call it a (clip). I bet you also think a bullet button makes an AR full auto lol
My logic for a 50 Beowulf……
I like the big crisp round holes it punches in paper.
I have bad knees and do not like having to track wounded deer.
Lots of big bear in the area.
Would work nicely should I luck out and draw a moose permit.
12 gauge slugs are more common but I will go with the 50 BEO because it’s semi-auto, mag fed, & can be reloaded cheaply, I use the same powder as I use for loading my .410 shotgun…Hodgen lil’ gun…
just my 2 cents…and thanks for the rant…lol
Myself I just love guns and sometimes buy things I have no business in. Example my 338lapua,I have never shot it,never had enough real-estate but hey I got one lol the same with the Beowulf, Some things are just for shits and giggles
I love my Beowulf many years shooted shotguns muzzleloaders couldn’t get that long-range to kill the nice big bucks don’t have to worry about that with the Beowulf knock down power is phenomenal one shot one kill
Everyone overlooked the fact that you can have a 50 Beowulf PISTOL! The game won’t notice the difference between a 14in. or 16in. barrel. In Michigan the only way I can have a loaded gun in my truck is if it’s a pistol with my cpl. Now when I’m bear hunting with hounds I’m not loading and unloading my gun 20 times a day. I can’t leave my 12ga or big bore lever loaded in the truck when driving around. That alone ends the debate for me. And pistols don’t have magazine limits in michigan so you’re not limited to 5rd mags when hunting. Pistols give you more FREEDOM when you live in a liberal state.
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