Barrett vs Armalite for 50 BMG


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Franco
August 28, 2011, 07:38 AM
I apologize in advance if there's already a thread on this, please direct me to it if you like. I'm in the market for a 50bmg, happy to have a single shot so the Barrett M99 or Armalite AR-50a1 seem to be the most popular choices. I understand that the Armalite is a LOT heavier than the Barrett but that's about all I know. I tend to think the Barrett is better quality but have no real proof of that. Any experienced owners out there who can provide some objective feedback?

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helotaxi
August 28, 2011, 10:25 AM
I haven't shot either, but I've handled both. Take that for what it's worth.

I was looking for a .338 Lapua rifle and those were two I was considering. The LGS owner had an Armalite and swore by it but after handling it, I couldn't bring myself to buy it even though it was cheaper and in stock. It looked to me like it had been whittled out of a log. Normally I'm all about function, and don't care so much about form but I couldn't overlook how rough the Armalite looked.

The Barret on the other hand was in a totally different class with regard to fit and finish. Of those two, it would be my choice hands down even though it cost a good bit more. .50BMG isn't cheap. If cost is the determining factor, you might want to look at some other caliber.

Franco
August 28, 2011, 10:32 AM
Thanks. I've handled the Armalite and agree with the fit/finish. Cost is not the determining factor but simply one of the factors. I've heard the Armalite has better accuracy than the Barrett but, to be honest, I won't be shooting past 1000 yds with it. Just looking for a cannon as I have most other calibers up to and including 338.

dprice3844444
August 28, 2011, 12:27 PM
http://www.largrizzly.com/web/guest;jsessionid=CB59C6F2F4DD5A447BF389754BA8DB9E

Faret
August 28, 2011, 12:35 PM
Also check out statearms.com

OldmanFCSA
August 28, 2011, 12:49 PM
Thanks. I've handled the Armalite and agree with the fit/finish. Cost is not the determining factor but simply one of the factors. I've heard the Armalite has better accuracy than the Barrett but, to be honest, I won't be shooting past 1000 yds with it. Just looking for a cannon as I have most other calibers up to and including 338.
Franco,

Please visit the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association website at www.fcsa.org.
Try the Visitors Forum.
Review all the pages and links.

There will be a FCSA Match Shoot at Quantico Labor Day weekend.
FCSA members are trying to get into Williamsport rifle range and recently had a sample shoot there.

By becoming a member, you will also have access to the VHP - Very High Power magazine, and more importantly, the FCSA Member Forum.

I will be unavailable for the next 2 weeks as I am attending the Alliance Nebraska 1000 yard FCSA Match over Labor Day and then onto Wyoming to look for prairrie dogs.

As an ArmaLite AR-50 owner, I am biased to it because I have shot a 5-shot group at 1000 yards under 5 inches center-to-center. I also own a State Arms Shorty rifle and am working up loads for it .

Rumor is Barret's aren't made just for accuracy - and I haven't seen one shoot very well either. You pay for the NAME.

PM me if you need more info - I will be leaving Wednesday evening to help setup the Alliance Match as I have Assistant Match Director duties.

Check out the State Arms series of rifles - you might like that better. I am building a custom with a State Arms action, Feddersen Chrome-moly barrel, Armalite AR-50 muzzle brake, Manners Carbon Fiber stock, and Leupold 8.5X25X50 Mark IV scope.

NightForce scopes are good too - but I'm a Leupold man.

OldmanFCSA
August 28, 2011, 12:55 PM
Also check out statearms.com

Faret,
You beat me to it - State Arms.
They are a good rifle!

Franco,
You must reload the 50 to get the best accuracy out of it.
I can help you get started by pointing you in the right direction.
I will try to save you the years it took me to learn all the tricks, and I am still learning.
Contact Dave Fricke in PA for his Lehigh Bullets - I use them for all my target loads.
Say HI for me!

OldmanFCSA
August 28, 2011, 12:58 PM
http://www.largrizzly.com/web/guest;jsessionid=CB59C6F2F4DD5A447BF389754BA8DB9E
IN MY OPINION, LAR Grizzly's have issues for competition.

But as a blaster rifler, they work great.

Franco
August 28, 2011, 03:37 PM
Thanks all, I'll check out the state arms' versions and the FCSA. As for reloading, I've been reloading a dozen other calibers for years so I'm sure I'll be fine with it.

Strongbad
August 28, 2011, 03:41 PM
+1 on State Arms

sansone
August 28, 2011, 03:50 PM
on armalite's AR10's they give an accuracy gaurantee and shooters are reporting the actual shots fired are doing better than their gaurantee. Armalite takes their accuracy promise very seriously. The bores of their new unfired rifles are beautiful, if not the outside of the gun.

50 Shooter
August 28, 2011, 11:21 PM
I would have to say as an owner of an AR-50 I'm biased also and agree with Oldman that by buying the Barrett you're paying for the name. The AR-50 will shoot just as good if not better then the M-99 with match ammo. Plus the trigger can be swapped out on the AR-50 for a match grade one, something the Barret's can't do.

Plenty of other aftermarket accessories for the AR-50... bipods, monopods, bases with extra MOA (15,30,50)...

You can see they're popular.
http://www.daplane.com/50bmg/ds2005/fall/50cal_line03.jpg

Looking down range at a 2000 yard target.
http://www.daplane.com/50bmg/ds2006/spring/dss06_2ktgt72.jpg

OldmanFCSA
August 29, 2011, 01:01 AM
Thanks all, I'll check out the state arms' versions and the FCSA. As for reloading, I've been reloading a dozen other calibers for years so I'm sure I'll be fine with it.
As I did - I reload about 34 different calibers.

The 50 is a whole new ballgame !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zak Smith
August 29, 2011, 12:36 PM
I have shot those two (owned one of them). I would strongly recommend the AR-50. It is more shootable and the recoil is much less.

henschman
August 29, 2011, 01:05 PM
Is it going to be a hobby gun that you will only ever shoot off a bench, or do you think you might actually ever hump it into the field? If the former, the Armalite is cheaper and the weight isn't an issue (it actually helps dampen recoil). For a field rifle, the much lighter Barret would be tempting. But then the Anzio Ironworks 50 and the Serbu BFG-50 are both as light or lighter, and cost a lot less to boot. Those are the top 2 I'm considering for my own .50 purchase, since I want to be able to carry it on my back if I have to.

10mmGlock
August 29, 2011, 01:09 PM
Another happy AR50 owner here. The AR50 is very heavy but that weight in conjunction with the massive muzzle brake equates to relatively minor recoil and pleasant days at the range.

taliv
August 29, 2011, 01:30 PM
i've owned the barrett and shot a couple armalites too.

my view is i would want to do one of two things with a 50bmg:

1. shoot Armor-Piercing Incendiary Tracer (APIT) rounds at junker cars full of tannerite, etc
2. competitive benchrest or Extreme Long Range matches

The Barrett is perfect for the first, plus they are easier to resell when you get tired of it. Neither are adequate for the second. I'd want a custom gun built for precision. So imho, that leaves the armalite in some no-mans-land where yes it's probably more accurate than the barrett, but it's not accurate enough to be competitive and it's too expensive to shoot regularly (especially match ammo), and 50bmg is way too hard on steel targets anywhere under 1000 yrds, and shooting paper is boring... etc etc .... so why would i want one?

I'm not saying the AR-50 isn't a quality gun... i just don't know what people do with them.

my barrett mostly got shot by new shooters that i took to the range. it's a better conversation piece than the armalite too.

the "fit/finish" isn't anything to write home about on either of them

animator
August 29, 2011, 02:37 PM
I've shot both the barret m82 and the armalite ar-50 many times (couple hundred rounds at least) and I've been more impressed with the armalite as far as repeatable accuracy at 800+ yards. The trigger was much improved over the m82, and the rifle just felt more comfortable to be behind. Both rifles are great in recoil management and ergonomics, in my opinion.


They both have things I like and dislike, but as far as which one would I buy personally?? I'd go with the AR-50.

Franco
August 30, 2011, 10:44 PM
Thanks again everyone. I don't intend to shoot competitively off the bench. I want a 50 for three reasons: (a) I love guns and own almost every caliber (any excuse to get a new gun will work for me); (b) I think it would be a blast (so to speak) to pick off woodchucks and possibly whitetails from my folks' hay loft at extended ranges (500+yds); (c) if the day ever comes where I need a full range arsenal for personal reasons, then I want the full range, literally. So, portability may be necessary and accuracy, although important, is not the driving factor -- I've also found that accuracy in non-competition shooting has more to do with the shooter than the weapon. I'm no wealthy guy, but the difference in price of $1000 or so isn't that material. So, I just bought the Barrett M99 with the 32" heavy barrel. It came with a cheapy Bushnell 10x scope but I'm replacing that with a 5.5-22 nightforce. I'll let you know how it shoots. I looked at the Armalite and, frankly, I wasn't impressed with the fit/finish and it's heavy as hell. I'm sure it's a great gun, but it just didn't do it for me compared to the Barrett. The local shops didn't carry the other brands touted on here and when I went to some of their websites, they just didn't turn me on too much -- more for the competitive shooter. I think if I was competitive shooting only, I would not have chosen the Barrett. However, given my needs (probably not the right word) the Barrett fit the bill. Thanks again. This site has been uber helpful over the years with everything from gun choices to reloading issues.

Gossettc68
August 31, 2011, 06:50 PM
Looks like I need to get out and shoot an AR-50. Been on Barrett's all my life but from what I am reading I may need to switch it up.

zipp
October 3, 2013, 05:49 PM
taliv's post is a bit troubling to me. Did you really say you didn't know what people really did with the AR50? Sir, I think you were misinformed. In fact the AR50 has a great track record established in long range tournament shooting. The AR's capabilities, especially with properly tuned handloads can make for a fierce competitor in FCSA events. Not to put down the Barrett in any way, but shooting vehicles filled with tanerite or plinking for giggles doesn't adequately measure the accuracy potential of the AR50. what do people really do with them?? Win tournaments! They are one of the best 50's out there. What's with the hate? Lol

50 Shooter
October 3, 2013, 06:28 PM
Seeing how this thread is over 2 years old... As good as the AR-50 is, it still isn't a bench rest rifle and that's what wins at matches. I know some guys have shot some pretty good groups with them but when BR rifles are shooting sub 3" groups at 1K yards... The AR-50 isn't capable of doing that every time you set it up to shoot.

Don't get me wrong, I own an AR-50 and think its a great .50 but I also know its not a BR rifle. What it does do is provide for a lot of fun at the range and shooting in places where you can shoot at 1000 yards or further. If you look at my post above you can see the 2000 yard target that we set up out in the desert. Shooting tannerite at long range or even close up is also a fun for plinking when that's what you want to do.

zipp
October 3, 2013, 06:52 PM
Agreed sir, but the potential of the AR is high, not to mention accesorizing with barrels and such. Also the National Match is another conversation. It has a performance class that is noteworthy. Boy you are a 50 shooter, you see everything even if it is two years old. Lol

taliv
October 3, 2013, 06:54 PM
zipp, welcome to THR and no hate here. it's a little ugly but i don't have anything against it. :)

50 Shooter
October 3, 2013, 07:00 PM
I just wish Armalite would chamber the AR-50 in 50DTC so that it could be sold here in CA.

When I ever need a new barrel for mine I'll probably go to 36" and keep the barrel at full profile from the receiver to the brake. That and probably tighten up the chamber a bit, all ready changed the trigger so I don't need to do that.

zipp
October 3, 2013, 07:28 PM
I believe the DTC will be on the horizon. It would certainly make them more money. That sounds like a great idea with the barrel. I myself like the looks of the AR . I don't know but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps im a bit ugly as well. Lol.

In the immortal words of Col. Townsend Whelen: "Only actuate rifles are interesting."

50 Shooter
October 3, 2013, 07:44 PM
It might look like a Warthog but it sure can shoot! Probably as tuff as a Warthog also.

I don't think Armalite or Barrett have any plans on building a rifle chambered in 50 DTC. About the only way they would is if there was an outright ban on 50 BMG rifles. Only way to get one here is to buy it, Have it sent to an out of state gunsmith, rebarrel it in 50 DTC and then have it sent here.

zipp
October 3, 2013, 09:13 PM
Oh, just in passing, I find the EDM Windrunner to be an odd looking ugly duckling, just in regards to looks. Does this suprise anyone? The price is even uglier.

Magnuumpwr
October 3, 2013, 10:48 PM
Franco, is there a specific reason you are not considering the Bushmaster BA50? I do not have any experience with either you mentioned but do own a BA. Wanted something clip fed. Also own a State Arms but hate having to remove the bolt to load!

50 Shooter
October 3, 2013, 11:26 PM
Actually I like the Windrunner, having shot a few of them I think they're one of the best .50's on the market. The price is due to the EDM machining (hence the name) that they use to build them. About the only off the shelf rifle better would be a TAC-50.

The other part of the price is the break down feature of the rifle and the fact that it will return to zero everytime. Plus you can buy a .408 CT and .338 LM conversion kit and have 3 rifles in one. If I had the money I would buy one without thinking about it.

Njal Thorgeirsson
October 4, 2013, 12:00 AM
Also check out statearms.com
If you aren't absolutely determined to get a tactical .50, I'd say the State Arms is a great choice. They are nice-looking rifles, and I'm sure they'll shot just as well as (if not better than) an Armalite or Barret. They look nice, have laminate stocks, and they're probably about the same price as the Armalite. There are numerous custom options too.

zipp
October 4, 2013, 04:03 AM
The Tac-50 is a great thing. But I dare say that there are some AR50's that can keep up in accuracy, with the right tuning, reloading, and the right shooter.

zipp
October 4, 2013, 04:06 AM
I have heard a number of good things about state arms, but don't know much about them. Is it true that many of them are shellholder action?

zipp
October 4, 2013, 04:09 AM
50 Shooter, you are a competitor?

zipp
October 4, 2013, 05:09 AM
By the way, I think that there is a good number of people out there in the shooting community that are unaware of the accuracy potential of the 50 BMG. The 50 can often be cost prohibitive for many, but if more people really understood the inherent accuracy of this cartridge there would probably be even more people interested. there are a number of cartridges out there that seem to have high levels of inherent accuracy, but many will write off this round as simply an anti-material round. Some of the best 1000 yard groups I have ever seen have been accomplished with the 50.

50 Shooter
October 5, 2013, 10:43 AM
Zipp,
I wouldn't say I'm a competitor, I have shot in some local matches with the .50 but that's about it.

All State Arms .50's are shell holders and are very accurate rifles, they will give an AR-50 a run for its money any day. Larry knows how to build'em right, he was shown how by a great guy before he passed away.

The desert is calling and a 2000 yard target is waiting to be beat on, can't wait for the coming desert shoot!

zipp
October 5, 2013, 06:52 PM
Good luck 50 Shooter. You are in fact contributing a great deal to the sport. The more people who know more about the sport of 50 BMG shooting, the better off we all are.

:)

Grizzdude
October 5, 2013, 07:32 PM
+1 on the Serbu's!! I have a BFG-50A and this this is about 23lbs unloaded, and rocks BIG TIME! I think there single shots are way lighter and less than $3K.

zipp
December 14, 2013, 12:19 PM
Franco,

Please visit the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association website at www.fcsa.org.
Try the Visitors Forum.
Review all the pages and links.

There will be a FCSA Match Shoot at Quantico Labor Day weekend.
FCSA members are trying to get into Williamsport rifle range and recently had a sample shoot there.

By becoming a member, you will also have access to the VHP - Very High Power magazine, and more importantly, the FCSA Member Forum.

I will be unavailable for the next 2 weeks as I am attending the Alliance Nebraska 1000 yard FCSA Match over Labor Day and then onto Wyoming to look for prairrie dogs.

As an ArmaLite AR-50 owner, I am biased to it because I have shot a 5-shot group at 1000 yards under 5 inches center-to-center. I also own a State Arms Shorty rifle and am working up loads for it .

Rumor is Barret's aren't made just for accuracy - and I haven't seen one shoot very well either. You pay for the NAME.

PM me if you need more info - I will be leaving Wednesday evening to help setup the Alliance Match as I have Assistant Match Director duties.

Check out the State Arms series of rifles - you might like that better. I am building a custom with a State Arms action, Feddersen Chrome-moly barrel, Armalite AR-50 muzzle brake, Manners Carbon Fiber stock, and Leupold 8.5X25X50 Mark IV scope.

NightForce scopes are good too - but I'm a Leupold man.
"Barrett isn't just made for accuracy. "
That is a very polite way to say it. Im not downing the Barrett, but in all honesty the AR50A1 will shoot circles around the Barrett all day long. Say what you want about fit & finish. With all things being equal, the AR50A1 is capable of tournament level accuracy. Call me crazy, but I like the looks of the AR.

Fleetman
December 14, 2013, 03:16 PM
I own the LAR and I am completely satisfied with it plus it fits easily in my safe. I really don't think shooting .50's are that expensive given that the average person isn't going to blast 50 rounds a day. My .458 Lott is much more expensive to shoot and not nearly as fun!

Trent
December 14, 2013, 04:26 PM
Holy zombie thread resurrection...

I own a Barrett M95, bullpup, bolt action. When you shoot it, it feels like you're running through a field of flowers and butterflies without a care in the world, as fast as you can go, and suddenly get punched in the face by a very cruel, invisible man.

"Taste the blood after each shot!" should be a reasonable depiction, due to the ruptured capillaries in your mouth and nose.

Ro6TGFg6hzk

Art Eatman
December 14, 2013, 06:22 PM
Recall that Franco has already bought his Barrett...

:)

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