McMillan .50 BMG


Dan Forrester
August 3, 2005, 08:08 PM
Hi guys. I have a chance to purchase a McMillan .50 BMG Sporter Rifle for $4500. The rifle is identical to the one shown here (at the top of the page) except it has no bipod:

The rifle is brand new and has never been fired. It has one small speck of rust right above the bolt, but thatís it. It also has a Night Force NXS scope with an illuminated reticle. I donít know the magnification however. I think itís 3.5-15 X 56 but am not sure.

So is this a good price? How are the Night Force scopes in general? How is the market for .50 BMG weapons? Do you think this will be a good investment? Iíve seen the price of MG rise dramatically over the years and wonder if this might be like getting in on a pre 86 transferable MG. Do you .50 guys see these as becoming NFA Weapons any time soon; and if so how would this affect value?

This is more an investment for right now, I probably wouldnít be shooting it any time soon.

Thanks, Dan

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Zak Smith
August 3, 2005, 08:49 PM
Hi. I own the following rifle, which is nearly identical to the one pictured-- ( [ link to LARGER image ] (

I've had it for about 18 months, and have somewher around 700 rounds through it. I have shot it from benchrest groups @ 100 to junker vehicles at 1 mile distant.

Here are my impressions--

1. The stock sucks. It is too short for a normal sized person (I'm 5'9"). It could be extended about 2" as a start. The cheek weld is WAY too low for any scope. It is not possible to add a cheek riser because of the bolt throw (note the slot cut in the very top of the comb). The TAC-50 stock looks like it addresses these issues.

2. The detachable box magazine is a waste. Unlike AR15, M14, or AI-AW magazines which work well, this one is nearly impossible to get seated correctly, making it easier and faster to just chuck rounds into the port instead of screwing around with a magazine that doesn't want to seat itself in the receiver.

3. The bipod sucks. To the casual observer, it looks similar to the Parker-Hale type bipods which come with AI rifles (and work well), but in reality, it's too high and not very stable. Its adjustments are prone to sticking.

4. The brake is less effective than the Armalite AR-50 brake.

The Nightforce is probably the most popular scope for 50BMG. The 3.5-15 and 5.5-22 models are most popular due to their elevation travel. I am using about 62 minutes to get to 1 mile, with a 30 MOA base. I suggest the NPR2 reticle, as it is the finest one. To get something much better than the Nightforce, you need to spend over $2000 on optics.

$4500 for that rifle with Nightforce scope and mounts is a good price. If the scope and mounts are not included, it is a poor deal.

50 Shooter
August 4, 2005, 08:58 PM
+1 for what Zak said.

Good rifle and good price if everything is included.

Dan Forrester
August 4, 2005, 11:42 PM
Thanks for the responses guys.

Too bad about the magazine issue. Thatís a pretty critical part of the firearm.

I guess I better try to round some money up. Iíll probably offer him $4000 for the package.

Thank Again, Dan

Zak Smith
August 5, 2005, 03:48 AM
The mag doesn't cause problems-- I just never use it. The extra time it takes for your bolt-operating hand to throw a round into the port will not slow your rate of fire with this rifle. The other advantage of single loading is that you can shoot longer OAL reloads, if your rifle prefers them for accuracy.

August 6, 2005, 02:12 AM
Never shot a McMillan, but I have a NSX 5.56-22x56mm on my Barrett M82-A1. It's a great scope, wtih fantastic light gathering. Exactly as Zak said, you'll need to spend $2k+ to better it. The NP-R2 reticule is probally the best (and the most common with good reason) it allows you to range and use holdover.

Forget investment gobblygook, enjoy a good bolt .50 by blasting relatively big holes in relatively tough things (like 1" steel plate!!!) and HUGE FRIGGIN GRINS when you touch one off :)

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