Wednesday, July 30, 2008

.50 BMG

We get a lot of questions about the two .50 BMG rifles we carry. I know that few, if any, of my customers will read this, but I'm putting it out here: the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the .50s.

Q: What are those?
A: One is an Armalite AR-50 single-shot .50 BMG rifle. The other is a Bushmaster 10-round bolt-action .50.

Q: Are those for sale?
A: Do you really think we'd be putting them out here if they weren't?

Q: Are they legal?
A: Well, we're willing to sell them. You tell me.

Q: But you have to go through a special background check, right?
A: No, it's the same as any other rifle.

Q: But why would anyone need one?!?!
A: Well, the most common use is shooting farther than all your buddies, though it could be useful in defending our liberties if it ever came to that. Besides that, you could also be the only one among your friends with a .50 BMG.

Q: Well, what kind of special permit would I need for one of them?
A: Oh, you're interested? All you need to do is fill out this 4473 and pay about $2850-4500, plus whatever you'll end up spending on optics.

Q: No, I'm not interested. Why isn't there any more background check than that?!?
A: Well, it's bad enough that there's a background check at all.

A: Really, you should try breathing and/or being logical.

Q: But there's more of a background check on handguns.
A: First of all, that's because small, concealable handguns are more likely to be used in crime than shotguns or rifles. Secondly, there really isn't much more checking. That form I send to the state gets called in to the same folks, just by different people. They only check to see if there's anything local that hasn't hit the feds' database (if they even bother). Also, since I've assigned you the role of Q, you should really phrase things in the form of a question.

Q: But it's a sniper rifle!
A: What did I just tell you about phrasing things as questions? Also, yeah, you could call it a sniper rifle, but do you really think no one's going to notice the guy with the .50 going to the roof or up the hill? There are far more compact, lightweight, discreet guns out there that'll do the same job. And they'll do it cheaper. I'm not advocating getting rid of things like my .30-06, but a hunting rifle will be much more practical than a .50 in most situations.

Q: What about the DC sniper?
A: He didn't use a .50, nor could he have. It was a cramped situation.

Q: But they say the .50 can shoot down a plane at 2 miles.
A: Again, questions. Also, this is a myth. Airplanes are moving very quickly through very different air currents than you find near the ground. A 2 mile shot on a stationary target is extremely difficult for an experienced shooter with a very experienced spotter. Sure, a plane is a large target, but you wouldn't hit it. Even if it were somehow manageable, where do you hit a plane to disable it?

Q: Well, I don't see why you'd sell them. Who needs something like that?
A: Do you NEED most things you own? I don't need a computer, old mil-surp rifles, a television, my Wii, or any number of other things I own. At least the .50 could be useful if it ever came to resisting tyranny.

Oddly enough, people don't tend to ask why the bolt handle is on the left side on the Bushmaster. That's so you can keep your trigger hand on the pistol grip and keep the gun steady. It's definitely a bipod gun.


bob r said...

Sure, a plane is a large target, but you wouldn't hit it. Even if it were somehow manageable, where do you hit a plane to disable it?

Even if you are inside the plane and _guaranteed_ to hit the plane, it would still be pretty challenging to hit something that would "disable" it!

Jetliners are surprisingly robust. See the Aloha Airlines flight 243. It makes the damage a .50 can do look rather puny.

Drew said...

That's a valid point, Bob. I hadn't really thought about that. And I especially hadn't thought about that particular example.
Thank you.