First outing with my .50, ouch! Not what you think.


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Exposure
December 27, 2006, 10:40 PM
Well I finally made it to the range on Christmas Eve (daytime) to sight in my Barrett Model 99. I couldn't get the eye relief right on the scope but got it to a point where I could get a good sight picture so I figured I was good to go.

Unfortunately my position on the rifle had my right ear muff pushing hard against the stock. When I fired the first round the recoil lifted the muff from my head and, "BONNNGGGGG"! I was completely deaf in my right ear! Hearing damage, AHOY! It was a full hour before my hearing came back in that ear, that is most definitely not a good thing.

So after cursing and rubbing my ear I checked the target, not even on the paper. :uhoh: Too many other holes in the target backer but I thought I knew where the first one had gone. So I looked in my truck for some foam earplugs to supplement my muffs, none to be found. I did find a nice piece of foam packing material, guess what I did with it? Yup, rolled it up and put it in my ear! That, in conjunction with my muffs and I set up for a second shot. BOOM! No ringing ear this time, but still not on the paper, DANG! Those rounds don't come cheap so I decided to pack up the .50 and shoot my Garand until I could get the Barrett bore sighted. You sideline coaches can save your comments about doing that before heading to the range! :o

Lesson learned, double up on the hearing protection when shooting a 50 BMG from under an enclosure and with less than stellar ear muffs!

My wife was with me. She stood behind, and slightly off center of me and swore that the concussion took the breath from her lungs. On the second shot she went and sat in the truck!

Now I need to figure out what is going on with this scope. Then maybe I can get back to the range and get her sighted in.

On a side note, the recoil was LIGHT! That is one effective muzzle brake. The felt recoil was equivalent to an SKS or maybe slightly more than a Mini 14. I was simply amazed! :)

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taliv
December 27, 2006, 10:55 PM
my experience has been that it's not THAT bad when you're on the gun or directly behind it. being on either side is the worst.

telomerase
December 27, 2006, 11:05 PM
Good cautionary tale. Too bad the US government works so hard at banning basic safety equipment (like suppressors).

hksw
December 28, 2006, 01:04 PM
Err, since you were already at the range, why didn't you bore sight it while you were there?

Chipperman
December 28, 2006, 01:08 PM
Maybe he meant with a laser and did not have it with him.

Exposure
December 28, 2006, 01:09 PM
I don't own a boresighter. :o One is one the way though!

Thefabulousfink
December 28, 2006, 01:13 PM
They make suppressors for .50bmg? :what:

Sorry to hear about the bad range trip, it's never fun when a trip to the range with a new gun is dissapointing:( (especially with an expensive gun). Hopefully, with a boresight, some nice electronic ear muffs, and mabey a blast shield for the wife, your next trip will be much more enjoyable.

Wes Janson
December 28, 2006, 01:30 PM
What distance was your target set up at?

El Tejon
December 28, 2006, 01:51 PM
The fab, yes, they do. Used a lot in Afghanistand. Gets the sound down to about a .308 but out past 1K yards sounds like a cb.:)

Live and learn, Exposure. I'll bet you are a lot better prepared when you go to the range from here on.;)

sumpnz
December 28, 2006, 02:42 PM
I don't own a laser boresighter, largly becuase I'm a cheap bastard. Here's how I "boresight" my bolt action rifles.

Set a target out at no more than 25 yards. Remove the bolt and set the rifle in a steady rest such as sand bags front and rear. Look down the bore and adjust the rifle until it's centered on the target. Being careful not to move the rifle, move yourself up and look through the scope. Make any adjustments necessary to put the crosshairs on the center of the target. Then look down the bore again to make sure you're still aimed at the center of the target. If you are, you're now boresighted. If not, repeat the process with greater care to avoid bumping the rifle.

Leaving the target at 25 yards take one shot aiming dead center. You'll no doubt not hit dead center, but you'll be on paper. Correct for windage and elevation (make sure you quardruple the number of clicks if your scope is 1/4 MOA to account for being at 25 yards instead of 100). Fire another shot. If that one is within a couple inches of the POA you're good to go for moving out to 100 yards for the real sightin. If not, make necessary adjustments to get there and fire one more shot to confirm.

Jackal
December 28, 2006, 02:48 PM
I never rely on ear muffs. I work around heavy equipment and have learned that there is no replacment for the orange, 33NRR earplug. I wont even use muffs for .357's or .30 rifles.

CanonNinja
December 28, 2006, 03:45 PM
yeah, dont stand anywhere but behind or slightly off center and behind the shooter with a .50bmg.

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
December 28, 2006, 05:52 PM
And never stand down range of a shooter with a 50!!!!:neener:

ScottsGT
December 28, 2006, 07:52 PM
Oh, I feel your pain. Note sarcasm. You own a Barret .50BMG. I don't. :p
Yes, I'm envious, and I'm green with it.

nipprdog
December 28, 2006, 08:03 PM
for those asking why he didn't boresight it, you can't boresight the Barrett Model 99 like we do our regular bolt actions. ;)

RecoilRob
December 28, 2006, 08:06 PM
Good plugs AND muffs are the way to go shooting the 50's. Only using one or the other will likely end up giving you some discomfort.

Unless you have actually shot one, it is hard to comprehend the concussion that is generated by the muzzle brake. It takes some getting used to.

Only thing I have ever fired that comes close is the KelTec PLR-16 with their brake installed. Very similar pounding and I went for my muffs after three shots with just plugs. Head throbbing is NOT fun at the range.

hksw
December 28, 2006, 08:26 PM
Maybe he meant with a laser and did not have it with him.
I don't own a boresighter. One is one the way though!

Boresighting by eye pre-dates laser, lights, things you stick in a barrel, magic, voodoo, etc. As sumpnz details, it can be done without any tools, it's what I do also. You can't take the butt off of the 99 and look through the barrel?

Wes Janson
December 30, 2006, 03:16 AM
Only thing I have ever fired that comes close is the KelTec PLR-16 with their brake installed. Very similar pounding and I went for my muffs after three shots with just plugs. Head throbbing is NOT fun at the range.

Never tried that, but I'd put my vote in for standing next to a G3 on full auto. My god, that rifle is incredibly obnoxious in firing (at least a Barrett isn't select-fire).

Father Knows Best
December 30, 2006, 10:24 AM
I'd put my vote in for standing next to a G3 on full auto.
I'll go you one better -- a DSA SA58 OSW with the 11" barrel on full auto. My dad's shop has one as a dealer demo. You can clear a room with it and you don't even have to hit anything! The blast and flash will do the job.

Double Naught Spy
December 30, 2006, 10:38 AM
Exposure, you really should be wearing low profile muffs AND plugs while shooting a .50 BMG and especially if you are present while another person is shooting it and you are watching.

As noted, the quietest place around a Barrett is the shooter's position...and that is still very loud. Directly behind the shooter is pretty good as you are in the same shadow of the sound. As you move to the sides, off that center line, the sound level rises pretty dramatically.

Your wife said it took her breath away? Trust me on this. You don't want to be up alongside the shooter, acting as a sunshade. The percussion that passes through your body isn't pleasant at all.

As for noise suppressors on .50 BMGs, they will invalidate the Barrett warranty. Barrett, as of October, didn't have any suppressors they could suggest that would both work and not be detrimental to their guns in some manner. There may be some out there, just none that Barrett backs, not yet.

Glockfan.45
December 30, 2006, 10:46 AM
lol I get a stange little thrill out of shooting a gun that makes bystanders wince. Wonder what Freud would have to say about that.

Exposure
December 30, 2006, 10:16 PM
You can pull the bolt and butt stock from the Model 99 to get a view down the bore, but it would be fairly difficult to bore sight it this way. To get the butt stock off, and the bolt out, you need to pull the trigger group as well. This essentially breaks the rifle down to the point where you need to get pretty creative to block it up with sandbags. So I guess I probably shouldn't have gone to the range to shoot without knowing roughly where my rounds were going to impact, but I did it anyways.

Was it a bad decision on my part? Only to the tune of a few dollars spent on ammo.

My laser boresighter didn't make it here this week so I guess no .50 shooting for me this weekend. :(

But I think I will take my K-31, M-39, and maybe a Mauser or two out tomorrow. :)

Banshee
December 31, 2006, 12:18 AM
I have an AMAC .50. I bore sighted my by removing the bolt and looking throught the bore at the target and moving the scope to match what I was seeing through the bore.

Milkmaster
December 31, 2006, 12:29 AM
I live within 5 miles of where they manufacture this beautiful weapon and still cannot afford one. Although I do have a couple of parts from a local machine shop who used to do some work for them when they got behind etc. Nothing threatening. Just enough to say I have a part or two! hahah

SASS#23149
December 31, 2006, 01:09 AM
blowing up the barrle on any guns is dangerous,but it's gotta be moreso with that big a weapon!
there is a picture circulating on the web,from our local range,of a rifle with a split barrel,and the suspect was a boresite not removed.
It would only take once!!!!:what: :banghead:

oh,and color me very very green also.congrats!!

MachIVshooter
December 31, 2006, 07:28 PM
Lesson learned, double up on the hearing protection when shooting a 50 BMG.........

Don't mean to sound condescending, but........

DUH!

Exposure
December 31, 2006, 08:19 PM
Don't mean to sound condescending, but........

Apparently you did mean to sound condescneding.

Thanks for the constructive comment though.

Wes Janson
January 1, 2007, 02:26 AM
I've sometimes doubled-up shooting fifties, but the last few times I've used just plain muffs, and not had too much of a problem. I'm sure someone will come along to say that it causes damage anyway, blah blah, but it didn't hurt, and wasn't (unusually) unpleasant, although I probably will continue to use both in the future.

island
January 1, 2007, 07:24 AM
Having fired a .50 under a tin roof, I can attest you describe the noise very accurately :)

The reverberations go on for an impressive amount of time....

CornCod
January 1, 2007, 08:30 AM
Yes, looks like a firearm that should be shot with ear plugs and muffs.

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