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Press release [via]
St. George Arms, designer of the first American-made .50 BMG semi-automatic, gas-operated bullpup rifle, will be exhibiting at the 2016 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits held in Louisville, Kentucky, May 20 – 22, 2016, at booth 6613. The compact and lightweight Leader 50 A1 bullpup was selected . . .
as one of the 10 most innovative firearms and related accessories for 2016 by the prestigious Blue Book of Gun Values.
Charles St. George, designer of some of the most unique firearms systems ever developed, will be showcasing his ergonomic .50 BMG bullpup design to attendees of the annual NRA event. The Leader 50 A1 features Charles’ signature triangular-shaped bolt.
The entire rifle measures a compact 39.5 inches with a 24-inch barrel, which is roughly the same length as a standard AR 15 rifle. Weighing an incredible 20 lb (without magazine), the Leader 50 A1 has surprisingly low recoil. The Leader 50 A1 has a Picatinny style top rail for optics and accessories, and an AR 15 style pistol grip and safety lever.
“We are thrilled to be able to showcase America’s first semi-auto .50 BMG bullpup at the NRA show in Louisville this year,” Charles St. George, President of St. George Arms commented. “This lightweight system delivers uncompromising performance, balance and ergonomics on the only lightweight .50 BMG platform available.”
Suggested retail price of the Leader 50 A1 is $8,200.00.

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    • I have two single shot 2 50BMG. One is a Shorty with 18 inch barrel. Titanium brake. Very little recoil but lots of flash and concussion. I must wear plugs, clams and googles. After a few shots it feels like my eyes are being sucked out, My 28″ barrel single recoils more however the concussion is less.

    • “You see things, and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were, and I say ‘Why not?”

      — George Bernard Shaw

      • Shaw dreamed of a board before which every citizen would go every few years and justify their existence and of a human gas to get rid of the people the board deemed undesirable…

        “We should all be obliged to appear before a board every five years and justify our existence…on pain of liquidation” -GBS

        • My ex-wife would tell you that I could volunteer as the major provider of said gas. . .

        • Ralph. Simply stating a fact. He did dream up such a thing and spoke publicly about it.

          Avid: I’m sure my ex would accuse me of far worse things. I always wondered how I ended up spending time with such a nut and not realizing it until she started publicly accusing me of things I couldn’t do.

        • I too am a GB fan , and as the support for Trump bears out , a whole lot of people really could care less about people like GBS and what they proposed as long as they make ‘ America great again ‘ . Maybe that’s how Trump will do it .
          Sad , sad , sad .
          To me .
          I would have bought this gun 10 years ago , just to shoot it . Now I probably would need help picking it up . So nice getting older .

  1. Talk about men and boys and prices for toys!! What would I ever use this for, short of Zombie Attack?
    Looks great but $8200. buys a good size personal arsenal instead!

    • If you ever had to shoot through vehicles, helicopters, buildings, things like that, the .50BMG is hard to beat.

    • That’s a terrible gun for a zombie attack.

      In a zombie attack you’d want high capacity, low recoil, portability, and enough penetration to go into the skull and kill the brain on every shot. Also, the ability to go subsonic and suppressed would be nice.
      I would suggest an AR or similar SBR in 300BLK or 9mm subsonic with a good can on the front. Hide in the bushes, zombies keep dropping without seeing or hearing a cannon go off.

      This gun would be useful for defending your base against rival survivor groups in the zombie apocalypse, if you had a nice long kill zone.

      • In any apocalypse, center fire rifles are always for use against rival humans. For zombies, a few bricks of 22lr would do wonders.

        • I’ve often thought that. A suppressed Ruger MKIII with a quality micro red dot would be the best possible option, with an AR slung over the back for warm-blooded predators.

          Ballistics mean almost nothing when you’re shooting something that will never bleed out, doesn’t feel pain, and can only be disabled by a precise hit to the brain or brain stem. You’re trying to maximize accuracy and speed of target acquisition, not tissue damage.

          /Full Nerd

  2. Uh, get me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the idea behind the bullpup design is to have a shorter than carbine length rifle that’s easy to maneuver in a close-quarters environment? What about a .50 BMG weighing in at 20 lbs “without magazine” would make this rifle even remotely usable in a CQB environment? Is this a “solution” waiting for a problem?

    • Nobody likes carrying a 5 Foot long rifle that weights 30 lbs – even if you’re not kicking doors. It is exhausting in minutes – and about as awkward to get in and out of vehicles and buildings as a king sized mattress.

      With a few exceptions, smaller and lighter is always better.

    • The only use I can think of for bullpups in general, where both a short OAL and a long barrel is required, and ergonomics can go to hell, is shooting from inside a confined space to the outside. Drive-by’s, overwatch-in-the-building’s… etc

      • Dude, my ears hurt just looking at the picture of that thing. And then you go mouthing off about “confined space” 🙂

        I like the idea of bullpups, but even in .223, they’re loud.

    • A 33% weight reduction doesn’t seem significant to you? Also, nobody said it was for CQB.

      • I don’t play in the .50 BMG world so I don’t know what a rifle of this type normally weights. I figured being that much closer to the muzzle would not be much fun and shooting this thing would be nigh impossible for a Southpaw as the shells will be ejecting into your face…

        • Yup, just what I was thinking too. Earplugs under muffs for sure. The thought of my head immediately on top of the chamber and my ear right next to the action never gives me the warm and fuzzies.

        • I never even touched a man portable .50 (unless you count the M2 which I don’t). I just remember the weights of various rifles because I really appreciate lighter ones. Read: “I tire easily carrying things.”:-) The most powerful gun I ever owned was a 1903 Springfield. It is about the heaviest weapon I’d be willing to carry and the most powerful I feel like squeezing the trigger on.

    • Shorter and lighter is usually always a plus, even in non cqb situations. Something shorter and lighter is easier to carry around, whether it’s a .50 or a 5.56.

      • Shorter is always a plus… until you need to be accurate. Then, sight radius matters.
        Lighter is always a plus… until you actually shoot it, at which time you wish there was more mass to absorb the ungodly recoil offered by the .50 BMG.

        Get real. This is a range toy. A really expensive range toy that will make you Mr. Cool among your range buddies, who will all want to shoot it… once.

        • Sight radius isn’t really an issue considering everyone uses optics of some kind. The recoil would be worse but no one’s sending hundreds of rounds downrange through a .50.

          That being said, this is absolutely a range toy. I was speaking about bullpups in general.

        • Just because you (and I) can’t think of a practical application doesn’t mean somebody else won’t.

        • 1. Optics make sight radius irrelevant, and shorter barrels are typically more accurate (more rigid, shorter moment arm for harmonic vibration).
          2. I’ve shot light weight 50BMG rifles – they are quite manageable even as a bolt action. A semi-auto would theoretically recoil even softer. Either way, you can always add weight (lights, laser designators, suppressors, etc), you can’t generally make a gun lighter.

          Lighter and shorter is almost always better.

      • Q: Why did the M-14 fall as a select fire weapon ?

        A: At 9lbs it was too light to control. The BAR was 17lbs and was very controlable with a slightly more powerful cartridge.

        Does that answer your question about weight?

      • With that level of concussive force, I’d be more worried about tooth- and eye-safe!!

  3. Why are fiddies so much more expensive than 338’s? Is it the result of quantity*margin maximisation or is there some secret formulae required for a fiddy to work?

    • Everything about the .50 BMG is expensive. It starts with:

      1. The actions for non-MG rifles are often custom made, in small numbers, and they’re made much more beefy than a typical action.

      2. The barrel is about 2X the cost of a typical barrel.

      3. The tooling for the manufacture is more expensive – I’ve looked into .50 BMG reamers, and they’re about 2X typical reamers.

      It all adds up.

      • And from the way you’re talking, those costs are higher than for .338 Lapua or other such “reach out and touch someone” rifles?

    • I agree with DG. .50s are mega-scale guns, and semi autos increase cost. AR-10 .308s are roughly twice the price of 5.56 AR-15s. Semi auto .338 Lapuas are roughly twice the price and power of AR-10s – that’s $6-7K. At 8K, this gun is a pretty decent price if it works well.

      Although you can get Federal 660 grain FMJ .50 BMG ammo or S&B .338 Lapua 250 grain BTHP at $2.40 a round. That’s pretty cool considering the .50 puts out more than twice the energy of the .338. .416 Barrett and Cheytac ammo is super pricy at about $6-9 / round.

      I’d like to buy a gun like this, a portable .50 that is shorter than my .338 and weighs about the same. And to those griping about weight, balance is a lot more important. Personally I like heavy guns and heavy barrels as long as they have good balance. The bull pup design and shorter overall length should move the balance point further back, as opposed to longer magnums that get so muzzle heavy they are virtually impossible to shoot offhand.

  4. not practical. im wondering how many people are going to want a .50 cal blast that close to their face, and for what reason would you want/need a bullpup .50?

    • Ditto. I’ve been around .50’s on a match firing line. I’d vastly prefer that muzzle to be over 30″ from my face.

      • Personally I prefer them vehicle mounted and fully automatic. But that’s only when Uncle Sugar provided the ammo.

        Homey don’t do that stuff no mo’.

      • From the shooting vids on the St George Arms site, the recoil doesn’t seem that bad. The muzzle blast looks like it would clear out your sinus passages.

  5. Very neat but having shot full size, I can’t imagine wanting to shoot this thing. Less weight and closer to the business end will make things miserable very quickly. I love shooting bullpup bolt guns like Desert Tech but I don’t want to try it in .50. (Edit: I know this is semi, just comparing)

  6. For all of you who are complaining that this is still too heavy: You’d better learn some physics before you shoot this .50, never mind a .50 light enough to stop your complaining.

    Let’s give you some numbers. The typical recoil of a .30-06 is in the low-mid 20 ft-lbs of energy. A snappy, non-African magnum in a hunting rifle (eg, a .300 WinMag, .338 WM) will be in the low to mid 30’s.

    A .50 BMG being fired out of a 10lb rifle will start at over 200 ft-lbs of recoil. That’s assuming very modest loads – a 650 grain bullet and 200 grains of powder. For comparison, the most vicious of African dangerous-game magnums will be in the 80 ft-lbs range. For a 750 grain pill out of a .50, your recoil heads north to over 300 ft-lbs.

    If you’re shooting a .50 BMG, you need mass in the rifle. No ands, ifs or buts. There’s this thing called “conservation of momentum” that is going to bite you really, really hard if you have a light .50. The consequences could be a separated shoulder, detachment of your retina(s), whiplash, etc.

    • And putting the muzzle that much closer to your head won’t be doing your eardrums and retinas much good, no matter what EarPro you’re using…

  7. Once again, southpaws are left out in the cold. Damn you, bullpup manufacturers. We either have to buy part$ to convert your already-too-expensive rifle to left-handed operation, or have to buy a Kel-tec.


  8. I, personally, like a bit of distance between my face and where the 60,000+ psi pressures are withheld, just because I “might” survive a click bang explosion due to a barrel obstruction or otherwise. Putting my face basically against the retaining components of that blast assures little chance of survival in that event.

    That said, and putting aside those risks/possibilities/theoreticals, I’m sure it certainly reduces weight, increases maneuverability, while retaining projectile velocity as a result of the bullpup design.

  9. I’ve heard that silencers mitigate muzzle blast and noise. I’d be willing to bet anyone who could afford this could also afford a silencer. Plus, I’d imagine that this rifle would be much easier to shoot in the standing position which I think is much easier on the shoulder. Now as to having your face just above the chamber, is there any reinforcement on this rifle to protect against an unplanned kaboom in the chamber and has anyone heard of such an event in a bullpup rifle?

    • David,
      See photo above.
      That’s a SERIOUS compensator on the muzzle, which it really, really needs to tame the recoil (see D.G.’s physics lesson above), despite the fact that it makes things seriously loud for the shooter and his admiring range buddies. You can have a compensator like that, or you can have a silencer, but you can’t have both.

  10. Is 338/338 Yogi, .416 Barrett ore 408 CheyTac not an better chose if you don t need an ft/lbs record ??
    They look flatter in tragedy.

  11. Most anyone looking at a 50BMG to carry into the zombie apocalypse is hopefully keeping up their physical fitness or at least has plans for a two man team so someone can carry the extra ammo. 20Lbs isn’t all that bad for this class of rifle, way better than a 35lb full length rifle, loaded with optics, not including extra ammo, but not quite as lightweight as a single shot bolt action in the sub 20LB range like the SHTF 50 or RN 50.

    $8K is out of my price range, now five years ago that would have been a different story. 😛

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