50 bmg questions

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  • Last Post 24 January 2022
zhughes posted this 24 January 2022

Hi all,

Acquiring a 50 bmg soon, so looking at procuring all the gear for loading a new caliber.

I'll be shooting maximum 400 yards in my area, but mostly around 100-200 yards.
Accuracy doesn't have to be perfect so I'll be perfectly happy with results from surplus projectiles.

The primary reason I reload for all calibers I handload is cost savings so I can shoot more.
I've been comparing factory loaded surplus round prices with what it would cost me if I were to reload this cartridge and the prices seem to be about the same - around $2.80 - $3.00 a round.

Is that about what ya'll are paying to reload the 50?
With the cost seemingly being equal I'm contemplating whether I should even reload this cartridge at all and just stick to factory loaded surplus rounds.

I've searched high and low for info/load data for cast bmg projectiles but haven't found a source I've felt 100% safe using yet. I think if I could cast the projectiles that would bring the price down enough to be worth handloading for plinking at my 100 yard range.
With that said, if anyone knows of a definitive/reliable and safe source for a specific mold + load data they could share that would be ultimate.

Thanks!

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RicinYakima posted this 24 January 2022

Having an interest in 50 BMG since firing them 55 years ago, the issue becomes if the rifle semi-auto or bolt. If semi, shoot surplus and have fun. If bolt action, you can do 700 grains subsonic pretty reasonable. Big expense up front for moulds and dies, but normal powders will get you by for plinking. And 400 yards is plinking with an M2. FWIW

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zhughes posted this 24 January 2022

Good point, I'm getting a bolt.

Yea, I get that. I'm picking up a 50 cal just because I can

Most people ask why you need X. I ask why not. The glass is half full for me 

 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 24 January 2022

if you buy your lead at $3 per pound ....  you will have about 30 cents in a cast bullet .. i think the primers for the 50 are maybe 10-20 cents each ... and for reduced but sporty loads powder will be about 40 cents ... a total of about a buck per shot for reloads ... not including the original brass case.

if you want to step power up a notch you might need either gas checks or powder coating ...  gas checks are about 6 cents each ... PC is pretty cheap.

i think Lee dies are about $100 and not every press will accept the large diameter dies and the extra long case . ...

***************

i would think it a hoot to shoot a 50BMG with backed off reloads that a guy could shoot more than one shot a week ...  i shoot pistol bullets in my 45-70 for that reason ...

let us know how your project is coming along ..

ken

 

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zhughes posted this 24 January 2022

I have a local source where I've been able to get lead for $2 a pound the last couple years which has been nice.

Unfortunately I haven't seen 50 cal primers south of 72 cents per in at least a year.

Yea, I shoot 45 acp projectiles (fmj) out of my 450 bushmaster at the range, pretty big cost savings there.

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MP1886 posted this 24 January 2022

zhughes you may be able to get a mold for the TC 370 grain Maxi-Ball which is for their 50 caliber muzzle loader and get it to work for your 50 cal cast lead shooting. 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 24 January 2022

50 bmg primers ... 70 cents .. wow ... i wonder if ... for non-critical shooting ... just machining the 50 case to take ...  LR Mag primers ...  a bushing ... would work.  might be worth a try ...  209 shotshell primers might fire ok but i am not sure how much pressure the cup is rated for ...  probably ok for 30,000 psi or so ...

i bet somebody somewhere has tried the primer conversion .. i would be willing to try conversions a few for you but not until about March when my shop reaches over 40 degrees ... heh ...

what gun are you planning to use for the 50bmg ?? 

ken

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MP1886 posted this 24 January 2022

50 bmg primers ... 70 cents .. wow ... i wonder if ... for non-critical shooting ... just machining the 50 case to take ...  LR Mag primers ...  a bushing ... would work.  might be worth a try ...  209 shotshell primers might fire ok but i am not sure how much pressure the cup is rated for ...  probably ok for 30,000 psi or so ...

i bet somebody somewhere has tried the primer conversion .. i would be willing to try conversions a few for you but not until about March when my shop reaches over 40 degrees ... heh ...

what gun are you planning to use for the 50bmg ?? 

ken

 

Read somewhere one time where a qualified person wanted to see what pressure it would take to blow up a Remington 870 shotgun in 12 gauge. He was using standard shells and reloading components.  He said it took 150K to blow it.  I would assume as you did that 30K is okay for shotgun primers in that 50 caliber cartridge. 

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Bud Hyett posted this 24 January 2022

I knew of a WW II 37mm anti-tank gun where the breech was only bead-welded in a few spots. The local American Legion post had this in their front yard for decoration. There was a local high school tradition to steal this artillery piece, The local commander picked it up when found and saw the beads were thin.

Enterprising people cut the beads off with a Dremel tool and got it working. Scrounging a few 37mm empties, they next needed primers. They machined a bushing to use shotgun primers and set out to try it. These were light loads and the primers worked in test firing. I have no idea of the pressures generate. 

 It was shot and returned, the breech being welded deeper and longer.

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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