Serbu Firearms is best known for their SUPER-SHORTY shotgun, which I reviewed here a few months ago. That certainly isn’t their only product, though, as Mark Serbu and the gang have been manufacturing a semi-auto .50 cal and an affordable ($1,900) bolt-action .50 cal in addition to a buffer tube-less AR-15 for years. In collaboration with an interesting YouTube personality, Serbu is now offering a .50 BMG (or .50 DTC) rifle at an introductory price of only $875. Which is pretty crazy. But, yes, there’s a bit of a catch . . .
You see, that YouTuber is Royal Nonesuch. His ~131,000 subscribers come to see his homemade firearms, which are often hardware store creations. As in, plumbing parts and galvanized pipe. Serbu borrowed him to aid in their quest of creating the simplest, least expensive .50 cal rifle possible. The result is the break-action, single-shot RN-50 with a muzzle brake.
Of course, it isn’t a hardware store special and Serbu is machining it out of actual ordnance steel and such. But it is a single-shot in the style of Mr. Royal Nonesuch — which is much like various other breech loaders — in that the rear of the breech must be opened up in order to insert a round into the chamber or to remove a spent case. On the RN-50, it’s a thread-on breech cap that secures the round inside of the chamber and houses the firing pin.
So it won’t win any speed shooting contests, but it will help one’s .50 BMG ammo budget last a little longer. It’s also a simple, lightweight solution for long range shooting. In fact, with 29.5″ barrel the whole shebang is only 17 lbs. Okay, that isn’t light, but it’s light for a .50.
The RN-50 accepts AR-15 pistol grips and buttstocks, and has rails for mounting an optic and a bipod. Apparently it’s an accurate rifle, too, which I may just find out for myself if Serbu ends up loaning me one. As it states in the flyer below, $875 is an introductory price. I’m not sure how long that’ll be good for, but MSRP once these go into full-on production still won’t hit four digits.
Here is more on the rifle from the manufacturer:
Our newest .50 caliber rifle – as well as the most affordable, the RN-50 is a break action with threaded breech that just can’t be beaten.
The RN-50 represents the first time a production firearm has ever been inspired by social media. Designed in conjunction with YouTube celebrity Royal Nonesuch. The RN-50 is a unique approach to the .50 BMG single-shot rifle. Rugged, lightweight, accurate, easy takedown and low price make this rifle a winner! The simple screw-on breech cap is not only strong, it applies absolutely symmetrical support to the cartridge case, allowing for incredible accuracy. Using top quality materials as well as parts from our proven BFG-50 rifle, the RN-50 gives you high quality at an incredible price, along with lineage to a safe, proven firearm that’s been in production for 17+ years. Whether you’re looking for the least expensive way to get into shooting .50BMG or you want to outshoot your friends’ expensive match rifle, the RN-50 is for you!
.50 BMG, .50 DTC (+$250) for restricted markets.
Modified break action with threaded breech
Barrel Length and Options
29.5″ (standard), 22″, 18″ (+$125), 36″ heavy (+$250), all alloy steel with 1-in-15 button rifling
Heat-treated steel and aluminum construction
Manganese phosphate and hard anodized
© Serbu Firearms, Inc. 2019. Specifications subject to change.
No matter which scope you get, make sure that it is rated for .50 BMG recoil. The two listed below both are.
SWFA Model SS – approx $350
Millet Model LRS – approx $400-450 depending on when and where you get it.
You want low height rings. We recommend IOR Valdada low rings, however, Vortex is said to make a good set of strong low rings.
Stay away from American Eagle in the black box, if possible. Soft brass getting stuck in the chamber and being difficult to extract has been a commonly reported problem. You’re welcome to try it out for yourself, but please be aware of its issues.
Online suppliers such as Freedom Munitions, unammo.com, and 50bmgsupply.com are all great options.
Easy barrel change for different calibers, indeed.