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Desert Tech loaned me one of their HTI (Hard Target Interdiction) rifles to review. Look for that soon. Spoiler alert: it shoots half-inch pills at half MOA. But I couldn’t hold back from having a little fun with those big ol’ bullets in the meantime. Listed here in the order in which the videos were shot, I present to you the Desert Tech HTI vs. various targets…

To round this out a bit, here’s a sneak peek (video is unlisted) at some of the review footage. Steel targets at 330 yards, filmed through a really cheap spotting scope:

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  1. Having seen what .50BMG can do I don’t think I would have wanted to be that close to the target dummy while firing but hey, you survived with no injuries.

    • Rubber Dummies’ targets are safe for shooting at down to point blank ranges. I wouldn’t shoot a stump that close (was like 20-25 feet), but figured the dummy would protect me from wood chips. For some of the other things I was behind cover and shot at longer ranges. The background in the woods here tends to be pretty soft and squishy and non-ricochet-y. Good looking out, though. Stay safe.

    • ^ This

      That must be one heck of a muzzle brake on that rifle. And how much does the rifle weigh?

      • It kicks like a son of a bitch. It looks like it slid my whole person rearwards on the cooler in the watermelon video haha. This snip on our Instagram page makes it look like my shoulder dislocated:

        The rifle is a hair under 20 lbs. It’s a bolt action. It has a relatively minimal recoil pad. It feels like a pile driver. I was really careful about scope bite and think it came close a couple times. Shooting it “free hand” like from kneeling or standing was actually way more comfortable than shooting from a bench. I think because my whole body could move and absorb the push. On a bench, trying to brace it hard and load up the bipod and keep it from recoiling rearwards, it handed me my ass.

        DT also sent a .375 Cheytac conversion barrel. In comparison, that was very pleasant to shoot and I could do it all day after the beating the .50 dished out. However, I shot the .375 first so my impression of it was compared to typical rifles like a .308 and whatnot, and in that comparison it thumps pretty freaking hard. In fact, at a touch over 8,000 ft-lbs of energy, the kick from the .375 had me pretty nervous to step up to the .50 BMG with its ~12,300 ft-lbs. Turns out it didn’t break my collar bone or detach my retinas, but from a bench it was definitely rough.

        • ” I was really careful about scope bite and think it came close a couple times.”

          It sounds like a candidate for one of those black rubber accordian-like scope boots thingies I’ve seen…

        • I guess if I ever want a 50BMG it will have to weigh north of 30 lbs.
          I am not a recoil junky.

        • That 20 pound weight plus a stellar muzzle brake make it doable. Consider a way to add another five pounds to the rifle to help absorb even more recoil. (Hint: add weights to the barrel which makes it nearly impossible to shoot off-hand of course.)

          To put that recoil in perspective, the numbers indicate a similar level of punishment shooting a 300 grain bullet at 2000 fps out of a 7 pound shotgun without a muzzle brake. (The shotgun bullet is about half the weight of the .50 BMG bullet and only has 2/3 the muzzle velocity … but the shotgun weighs 1/3 the weight of the rifle and does not have a muzzle brake.)

        • I was primarily shooting Desert Tech’s ammo, which sends 750 grain projectiles at 2,700 fps. That’s 12,144 ft-lbs. A 12 gauge shotgun slug (1 oz doing 1,610 fps) is usually around 2,500 ft-lbs, or a 300 grain slug (lighter and faster at about 2,000 fps) often around 2,600 ft-lbs. We’re talking ~4.75 times more energy from a gun that weighs ~2.7 times more than a Remington 870 Express.

          It’s 10 lbs lighter than a Barrett, and because it’s a bullpup you’re a foot closer to the muzzle. It isn’t a semi-auto, so the recoil-reducing effects of that don’t exist. Thankfully the brake does do a good job, but it’s still orders of magnitude more recoil than a 12 gauge slug and the recoil impulse also seems to last a lot longer.

          Originally I was planning on putting a bag of lead shot on the forend while shooting from the bench. That obviously blocks the scope, though. I thought of putting it on the scope but didn’t want to get hit in the head by a flying bag of lead shot haha. Decided to just put a sandbag behind the bipod for some of the shots, and that seemed to help a bit. I’m sure when you said “barrel” you didn’t actually mean the barrel itself (but the forend/handguard, etc)… but just in case it’s worth mentioning that you should never put weight on a gun’s barrel or rest the barrel on a sandbag or other object. It’ll throw off your shots as even small amounts of pressure in any direction will affect the barrel harmonics if not slightly bend it.

    • I say, don’t rush it. Let them take their time. I’ve got the SRS and it seems very well engineered. Probably best they slow walk release instead of pulling a Kel-Tec and letting the first buyers be quality control.

  2. Cool vids, Jeremy! DTs are pretty cool. Incidentally, my Savage 110 BA with scope is just under 20 pounds. The recoil feels less than a bolt action .308.

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