Why hasn't the .50 GI caught on?


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Skribs
July 18, 2012, 02:35 PM
I'm just curious as to why the .50 GI seems to be such an obscure round, since it seems to fit a niche that I would think would be very popular. I've read time and time again that the reason some people carry a .45 is because "they don't make a .50"...but they do!

Is it because this round is propriatary and nobody but GI can make guns for it? Is it because the round just hasn't caught on with a major manufacturer and people don't want to pay $3K for a 1911 or $1200 (Glock+Conversion kit) for a Glock-ish? Is it because the lack of capacity even in a Glock platform (8 round in a magazine flush with the G21, compared with 13 in .45) isn't made up for by the extra 0.05"? (or is that issue an engineering issue).

I just think it's an interesting round, and it offers something different - a bigger bore than the current "big bore". It's just not caught on yet.

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Sam1911
July 18, 2012, 02:47 PM
You've got the idea, I think. Expensive to buy, expensive to shoot. Not common anywhere at all. A big bore but not impressive performance in any other way. About all it does well is BE .50 cal.

It can only appeal to the novelty buyer who wants something strange. No defensive-minded user is going to believe it does anything at all better than a .45ACP does -- a round that's already considered a bit on the wrong side of the weight/bulk -to-terminal performance balance. As shooters evolve toward an understanding that something in the 9mm-.40 end of the spectrum is more than plenty to get the job done, even a .45 starts to look a bit like a dinosaur, a nostalgic hold-over from the Cooper era. An even bigger, oddball round is just for yukks.

Hunters will tell you the .460 and .500 S&W Mag cartridges are largely silly overkill for almost all purposes -- but at least they actually ARE more powerful than other similar handgun rounds. The .50GI doesn't even have that on its side.

JohnBT
July 18, 2012, 02:47 PM
:o I've never heard of it.

Fishslayer
July 18, 2012, 02:54 PM
It's around. I've found a few cases policing my .45 brass. Pretty impressive hunk of brass I must say.:eek:

Not really interested though. .460 Rowland or 10mm hold way more interest for me and I wouldn't recommend either of those to anybody who doesn't handload.

Skribs
July 18, 2012, 02:57 PM
Really interesting seeing the guy with 1911 in his name talking about the .45 being a dinosaur ;)

I guess I was wondering if there were an option out there for the same price as a current production model, say a XDm 50 or a M&P 50 for the same price as the .45 models, would there be a bigger interest in the round?

A big bore but not impressive performance in any other way. About all it does well is BE .50 cal.

I thought that was the whole point of the round, was to take the .45 performance, platform, and recoil and only trade capacity for a wider hole. I think it offers the same advantages over .45 as the .45 does over .40, but with a bigger loss of capacity. How much of a difference it would actually make we will probably never know.

I'm with you on the .40 or the 9, I just thought a lot of .45 fans would like the .50 for the same reasons they like the .45 - bigger hole.

Sam1911
July 18, 2012, 03:06 PM
Really interesting seeing the guy with 1911 in his name talking about the .45 being a dinosaur Hey, there's a difference between loving a gun and cartridge and deluding yourself that it is THE BEST THING in the world. It works just fine. Other things do to, and maybe better.

I guess I was wondering if there were an option out there for the same price as a current production model, say a XDm 50 or a M&P 50 for the same price as the .45 models, would there be a bigger interest in the round?
Yup!

Take your Glock 20 and toss this on: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=27083/Product/50-GI-reg-CONVERSION-SYSTEM-for-GLOCK-reg-

Just add $600 to the cost of the Glock for a cartridge that's less impressive than the 10mm you started with. Oh...don't forget to pick up a few of those $50 mags.

A big bore but not impressive performance in any other way. About all it does well is BE .50 cal. I thought that was the whole point of the round, was to take the .45 performance, platform, and recoil and only trade capacity for a wider hole. I think it offers the same advantages over .45 as the .45 does over .40, but with a bigger loss of capacity. How much of a difference it would actually make we will probably never know.
But that works backward, doesn't it? You're giving up sectional density by going to a stubbier, wider bullet. Poorer penetration with all the same recoil.

I'm with you on the .40 or the 9, I just thought a lot of .45 fans would like the .50 for the same reasons they like the .45 - bigger hole.Oh sure! The few that may have adopted it probably do. But that's a pretty limited view of the utility of the thing. As others said, a .460 Rowland or a 10mm will be a better gun, and a WHOLE lot cheaper.

Skribs
July 18, 2012, 03:38 PM
I'm pretty sure those 300-grain bullets don't have too bad sectional density. It's just moving slower is all. The heavier .50 GI bullets meet the FBI penetration standards. The lighter, all-copper bullets don't have nearly enough penetration.

Sam1911
July 18, 2012, 03:52 PM
Ok. I haven't looked up any comparison of the .50GI bullet SDs to debate that point on.

But the question still would remain for most shooters -- so what? So you have a .300 gr. .50 cal bullet. What does that do for you in the role a handgunner will use it for?

Is this a hunting round? Doesn't really seem to be intended for that.

Is it a self-defense round? WHY? Is there a terminal effect created by these huge, lumbering bowling balls when they strike a person that isn't equalled or bettered by much more common 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45ACP loads? (To again say nothing of the 10mms, .44s, and other big guys.) Is putting this round in officers' and defensive carriers' guns going to directly increase lethal encounter survival?

Maybe there just isn't enough ballistic testing yet that would prove that the cartridge actually does get the job done better than more common rounds, to justify the cost and lower capacity. Maybe it finally IS the "one shot stop" round we've all been looking for. ;)

Skribs
July 18, 2012, 04:39 PM
I think if there were a way to definitevely prove how big of a difference caliber makes in a handgun, then one caliber (be it a .50 or be it a 9 or smaller, whichwever the answer led us to) would hold 90% of the self defense market.

Bullets like the .357 sig or 10mm, which are essentially, IMO, a faster version of a "standard" pistol cartridge with extra recoil and another disadvantage (capacity in the case of .357 sig over 9mm, grip size in the case of 10mm vs. .40 s&w), which offer a bigger TWC and more potential for penetration, but not really a bigger crush cavity. The .50 GI offers that bigger crush cavity...how much benefit that provides is obviously up for debate.

1911Tuner
July 18, 2012, 04:54 PM
Several factors play into the reason that it's not taking the country by storm.

A very limited number of (expensive) guns means a niche market...which means that ammunition will be both scarce and expensive while .45 Auto is everywhere you look from the Florida Keys to Nome, Alaska at an inflated but still comparatively reasonable price.

Simple logistics. Are you better off with a 300-dollar Winchester .30-30 or a 3,000-dollar Stutz Superschutzen 7.88mm that you have to special order your 50-dollar a box (20 rounds) ammunition for?

CountGlockulla
July 18, 2012, 05:02 PM
Its expensive and you cannot buy it at Walmart.

Guncrafter makes some of the best 1911s in the business though. Here is a .45 No Name

http://i687.photobucket.com/albums/vv239/BlayGlock/VZEntry3.jpg

Skribs
July 18, 2012, 05:39 PM
A very limited number of (expensive) guns means a niche market...which means that ammunition will be both scarce and expensive

I always wonder about specific cartridges if they would have a larger market for them if that market was available. In other words, offered by more reputable companies at a moderate price instead of one company at a very steep price, would people buy it?

Part of my question, which hasn't been answered yet, is whether the reason that variety doesn't exist is because:
A) The .50 GI is propietary, which means it legally can't exist...
-or-
B) The .50 GI isn't popular, and nobody else wants to take the plunge to try to give it a bigger spot in the market.

1911Tuner
July 18, 2012, 07:36 PM
In other words, offered by more reputable companies at a moderate price instead of one company at a very steep price, would people buy it?

The market is driven by supply and demand. If the demand was there for the pistol, somebody with the necessary production capacity would have stepped up to fill it by now.

As near as I've been able to tell, it was pretty much met with a collective yawn.

Skribs
July 18, 2012, 07:47 PM
If the demand was there for the pistol, somebody with the necessary production capacity would have stepped up to fill it by now.

Maybe not specifically this cartridge, but there are others out there that I feel would do better if another reputable manufacturer put some faith into the cartridge and offered a model. Because there are no models available for $600, there's no way to say whether or not people would buy a $600 model. I understand you can get a conversion kit for that price, but not a full gun. It's sort of a circular problem - it isn't popular because it isn't popular...if that makes sense. It's my theory as to a possibility, anyway.

firesky101
July 18, 2012, 07:53 PM
I remember when it came out thinking "for that kind of money/availability of ammo, why not just get a .50AE".

Double Naught Spy
July 18, 2012, 07:57 PM
I've never heard of it.

LOL, that will slow down its popularity...assuming you even would like it if you did hear/see one.

Ok. I haven't looked up any comparison of the .50GI bullet SDs to debate that point on.

This sort of goes hand-n-hand with the less than amazing ballistics. I thought a .50 GI might be a nice upgrade. You get a bigger and heavier bullet, but less velocity. The result (at least early on when these came out) was that you got about the same energy on target. However, the larger diameter and slower velocity meant an even more pronounced trajectory arc at shorter ranges. The larger cross section also mean have more trouble penetrating barriers. On top of that, it was suggested by one reviewer that the large diameter and slower velocity, especially with a hollowpoint, would likely be stopped by a flak vest which is a fairly low level of protection.

So the .50 GI looks like it has been relegated to the likes of being more of a novelty than a serious combat gun.

1911Tuner
July 18, 2012, 08:28 PM
Maybe not specifically this cartridge, but there are others out there that I feel would do better if another reputable manufacturer put some faith into the cartridge and offered a model.

I'm afraid in the present economy, there just aren't many speculators out there willing to sink that kind of money into something like that without at least a good chance of a demand. Ain't gonna happen.

So the .50 GI looks like it has been relegated to the likes of being more of a novelty than a serious combat gun.

Bingo. It's cool to be the first kid on the block and all...but oft times, it's just not practical.

NG VI
July 18, 2012, 08:31 PM
I think it offers the same advantages over .45 as the .45 does over .40, but with a bigger loss of capacity.


I think you'll find that there isn't a whole lot of objective data showing the .45 to have any greater effect on the human target than .40, and honestly if you're looking for real data, there's basically nothing that definitively shows the .45 to be in any way an improvement over 9mm either.

However, with this .50, you get pretty poor penetration, or no expansion, along with greatly reduced capacity, greatly increased price, and a single manufacturer offering guns and conversions for it.

One of the reasons a growing number of people are questioning the real benefit of the .45 for a defense or duty caliber is because all service calibers are a game of diminishing returns, and with the .45 you have to give up a lot of capacity or have a very large grip, and you have to give up a good amount of velocity or a good amount of bullet weight or gain a large amount of recoil in order to stay in the same 1000-1300 foot per second velocity range of the other competitors, and it's more expensive.

It's all diminishing returns, and even the .45 has some easily seen diminishing without honestly offering much in the way of returns. It's a great old caliber, but to say it's terminally better than the 9mm and .40 isn't a statement with a whole lot of hard fact behind it besides starting diameter, which is basically irrelevant unless you can only use solid bullets.

To say it doesn't give up very real benefits to the 9mm and .40 isn't honest, whether you personally believe you would benefit from having thirteen to sixteen rounds in your carry pistol is irrelevant, because it will depend on the exact situation you find yourself in, and the honest answer is, yes, it will be better for your survival rate to have more rounds in your gun. Even if in your specific defensive use you don't need more than a couple of shots, your chance of survival rises the longer you can fire before running dry.

Basically the .50 is too wide a bore to use for a service cartridge, the only way to get definitively better terminal performance out of it is to jack up the recoil to unacceptable levels, and regardless it's not size-efficient for the task at hand.

That's what's going against the .45 as a service round as well, it's just not as size-efficient as other calibers which have been getting the task at hand done just as well.

Sam1911
July 18, 2012, 08:52 PM
I'm afraid in the present economy, there just aren't many speculators out there willing to sink that kind of money into something like that without at least a good chance of a demand. Ain't gonna happen.

Add to that the fact that there are about 5-6 primary (and what, ~20? second tier) cartridges that already are very well established with all the manufacturing, supply, and "social" infrastructure that supports and perpetuates them. Anything new has to compete for attention with all the well established choices on the market.

AND, that what is "wrong" with defensive handgunning ISN'T their cartridges. The reasons that handguns fail to meet their users' needs from time to time isn't because the cartridges need to be better. It, for that matter, isn't a factor of the mechanical accuracy or precision of the guns themselves either. The reasons handguns seem to need "improving" is that the users aren't sufficiently trained, sufficiently skilled, sufficiently cool-headed, sufficiently wise or sufficiently ... whatever...to make the shot they have to make under life-or-death pressure. In other words, they're human and thus the weak link. Bulking up on the cartridge we're shooting won't be the fix for that.

Perhaps the next step is some new system that delivers a projectile in some way that eliminates the human failings. Until then, further developments in conventional handgun cartridges (especially what appear to be retrograde developments like the .50GI) are going to be false promises.

So, why isn't .50 GI more popular? Because it doesn't fix what's wrong.

Deaf Smith
July 18, 2012, 09:12 PM
Why?

Cause the +p .45 ACP loads are plenty for defense and the .50 is a defensive cartridge in configuration.

It's like the .30-06. It does the job so well alot of the newer rounds just don't give any real advantage.

Besides, not much can't be handled with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six (and a .45 to boot.)

Deaf

Prosser
July 18, 2012, 09:36 PM
HMMM.

Having been in discussion with someone that actually built a .475 Short for the 1911.
His first theory was the 300-325 grain bullets were going to be the way to go.
In practice, 250-275 became the rounds that actually worked. It's still a short cartridge, and even though you get a geometric increase in case capacity, likewise with the .50GI, I don't think you can generate enough velocity to justify hollow points. Yes they look good in ballistic gel, but, adding Barnes bullets to the mix just adds another cost to a already very expensive package.

The good news is with a flat point bullet in the 250-275 range you generate .45 Colt like rounds, with more velocity.

As for caliber:

Those few people that actually shoot things with .475 and .500, or .510
handguns will swear these hit like the Hammer of Thor, and the bullets they use are hardcast, not HP's. Yes, caliber at these levels appears to geometrically be more effective then the lesser cartridges, MUCH more so then the .45 to .475, or to .500 diameter jump justifies.

Others that hunt with HP's use the very heavy Hawk HP's to aide penetration, not practical in a 1911 based cartridge.

The round I discussed was the .475JRH from Jack Huntington Advanced gunsmithing. I had my gun up there to be the second one.

It took a long time, and I finally decided .45 Super was adequate, and economical enough to shoot, vs. the novelty of having a huge 1911 cartridge.

The appeal of the .475 was cheap magazines, existing guns, and a much bigger bullet.

The 275 grain Speer HP's I use in .475 open up to over the size of a quarter, and are about 2 bore in diameter. Your .45 is NOT going to do that.

However, that comes with a penetration concern.

Much as .45 Super is owned by a bunch of lawyers, and their oppressive legal practices, and royalty request add an unwanted financial burden to production, I suspect the same is true with the .50GI.

I would consider buying a .50, even a Glock. But, the extreme expense of ammunition is a factor.

The expense of EVERYTHING on their price sheet indicates they are trying to keep this a VERY expensive, very limited production pistol/ammunition combination. They are targeting a very small, very rich group. That is their choice, and says nothing about the potential popularity of a .50 round
that would work in 1911's that don't cost 3k, and have 50 dollar magazines.

It looks like their business model is along the lines of Freedom Arms original
setup.

As for the theory that the public won't buy .50 caliber cartridges:

The .500JRH, the first .500 caliber cartridge that fits in a gun that doesn't require a carriage and horse like the .500 S&W, is selling like crazy.
It's very difficult to even find a .500JRH Magnum Research revolver at this point. Hunter's have taken like a duck to water for this gun.

The only other caliber in a reasonable gun under 1000 dollars is the
MR .475 Linebaugh. Why settle for a .475 when you can get a .500
with the same ballistics, and heavier bullets?

Since the ammunition doesn't require a royalty to my knowledge, the ammunition is being produced by more and more companies.

The combination of an affordable .50, in an affordable gun, will eventually create enough demand to create a reasonable priced ammunition market, and has done so pretty much already.

I suspect, given similar circumstances, a .475 or .50 drop in kit for the 1911
or Glock at a reasonable price would sell like hot cakes, provided ammunition was around for less then an arm and leg.

Rexster
July 18, 2012, 10:52 PM
I started handgunning in 1982 or 1983 with .45 ACP in a 1911. Even in those days, when I believed in big bores for defensive use, I did not want a .46 or a .50; .45 seemed such a practical and balanced formula. I learned, over time, that bore size is just one part of the total equation, and that smaller bores can be effective for defense against erect bipeds. I still like the .45 ACP, with its gently-accelerating recoil and relatively mild flash and blast, and have no desire for a .46 or a .50 in a practical-sized autoloading carry gun.

This does not mean I may not someday play with some of the larger bores in revolvers or single-shot pistols, but more for fun than practicality. Fun guns can be heavy, to mitigate recoil, and the weight does not affect carry, as they need not be carried in belt holsters.

Deus Machina
July 19, 2012, 02:36 PM
I can't say anything in the matter, but now that CountGlockulla pointed it out, I suddenly wish I could have a 1911 just like that in .50 GI.
Just say that out loud to yourself, and tell me it doesn't sound like the manliest handgun ever. :D

FIVETWOSEVEN
July 19, 2012, 03:37 PM
It's a good option for the Mall Ninjas. I remember seeing one talking about how it could be used to crack engine blocks in a SHTF scenario. :rolleyes:

I only see novelty in this round.

beatledog7
July 19, 2012, 04:06 PM
I wonder how many niche chamberings have been created over the years that are now extinct. Will the .50 GI be next?

Somebody should start a thread about that.

jmr40
July 19, 2012, 05:13 PM
Other than just being to say "mine is bigger than yours", it serves no useful prupose.

PabloJ
July 19, 2012, 05:28 PM
I'm just curious as to why the .50 GI seems to be such an obscure round, since it seems to fit a niche that I would think would be very popular. I've read time and time again that the reason some people carry a .45 is because "they don't make a .50"...but they do!

Is it because this round is propriatary and nobody but GI can make guns for it? Is it because the round just hasn't caught on with a major manufacturer and people don't want to pay $3K for a 1911 or $1200 (Glock+Conversion kit) for a Glock-ish? Is it because the lack of capacity even in a Glock platform (8 round in a magazine flush with the G21, compared with 13 in .45) isn't made up for by the extra 0.05"? (or is that issue an engineering issue).

I just think it's an interesting round, and it offers something different - a bigger bore than the current "big bore". It's just not caught on yet.
Most gringos prefer Desert Eagle .50AE in gold tiger stripe attire. There was another ********** Stainless pistol with similar lockup to DE chambered for cut down .308Win case. I much rather have the ********** Kool Pistola unlike the Desert Eagle it has good balance and does not feel like lead brick. Prices I'm sorry to say are horrendous to working man's wallet.

flyskater
July 19, 2012, 05:54 PM
50 GI is damn expensive. The Glock 21 barrel conversion cost more than the gun. Their 1911, you gotta take a second mortgage and take from the kids education fund to afford it. I would like a 50 GI, but there are other alternatives out there that will get the job done.

Ogreon
July 20, 2012, 02:38 AM
Perhaps the next step is some new system that delivers a projectile in some way that eliminates the human failings. Until then, further developments in conventional handgun cartridges (especially what appear to be retrograde developments like the .50GI) are going to be false promises.

So, why isn't .50 GI more popular? Because it doesn't fix what's wrong.

The .50 NR. No recoil. No bang. No problem.

Okie45
July 20, 2012, 12:08 PM
In Oklahoma, all ccw must be .45 caliber or less, so thats a reason right there that I wouldn't own one.

Gress
September 5, 2012, 12:31 AM
Hi everyone, and sorry for a long first post and for resurrecting this old one, but I just came around this discussion and found it interesting with many good points made from all sides.
To me the answer to why .50GI cartridge did not catch up is that it was not meant to. It was designed IMO as a vehicle to drive sales of the guns and conversion kits for a company. And boy does this company excel in designing and building guns which are truly just pieces of art. So AFAIK it is proprietary and only available through this one company and if you want to use it you’d need to buy one of the company offerings.
Does it mean that the cartridge is not successful on the market due to design flaws? Obviously not, as there is no known data on how it would perform given an option to enter mass market. I think the cartridge is very interesting idea and gives lots of possibilities for a reloader. I voted for this round by buying a Model 1 and I am telling you that it is the most pleasant round to shoot. I have few pistols in .22, 9mm, 38, .357mag, 10mm, 45acp and while all these guns are fun to shoot too, my Model 1 in .50GI makes me smile every time I shoot it. Now, not to start a discussion on stopping power etc., I suggest still to take a look at the table (derived from GI site) which shows how .50GI is positioned vs other calibers with respect to these two hunting indeces.
http://i48.tinypic.com/210kh3k.jpg
Again, it is not for “stopping power” or “big and slow vs. small and fast” discussion, but merely for some type of a numerical measure to show what this round could actually deliver with different loads. I am sure that the guys from Guncrafter Industries have developed many more loads beyond those listed, but even those listed are different enough to have all the fun. BTW, the one which I did not include in the table, but like the most to shoot is GI 230 grain CHP, 7.1 grains of Bullseye, 1.220” OAL, velocity of 1000 fps. (TKO 16.5 and Thorniley scale of 68)
If you reload, the cost per round is not too bad either. I am averaging at 37c per round with me losing 20% of brass all the time (counted into this cost).
Now would 50GI be extinct? I sure hope not and do not see why would it either.

As for gun prices, those are in the middle of the range for semi to custom guns and deserve every penny IMO. You can easily spend this type of dollars on a quality 1911. And this is what this Model 1 gun is exactly. BTW you can buy it in 45acp too. This is what actually made me buy my gun. I shoot it in both calibers, but .50GI is having more range time.

So was this new cartridge even needed? What it does what others don’t?
It is like a Volkswagen W12 / W16 engine. It is only available in VW upscale cars. Why did not it catch up? Similar to this discussion here it was many opinions and technical debates on what does it offer vs other existing solutions and yet the fastest street car and the most expensive one on the market Bugatti Veyron is using W16 engine to delight of few lucky ones to even drive it. Can a Toyota do what this car does in real life road environment on city streets? You bet… But, there are and always will be other cars to serve other than utilitarian needs, if we call them needs..

Girodin
September 5, 2012, 11:59 PM
New rounds tend to be uncommon and thus more expensive. Thus, to catch on they need to either really do something better than other common cartridges or have a serious push from ammo and/or gun manufactures. The 50 GI has neither of those going for it.

Better new chamberings than the 50 GI have not been well accepted.

If I was going to change one of my 45s it would be to a .460 Rowland.

MachIVshooter
September 6, 2012, 12:26 AM
I wonder how many niche chamberings have been created over the years that are now extinct. Will the .50 GI be next?

A lot. And more to come, no doubt.

The .50 GI's shortcomings have been well noted thus far. Case in point, there have been developments that did properly address the woes of the .45 ACP and they still didn't catch on big. The 10mm is one such example: Increased capacity, MUCH increased horsepower, but still well short of "mainstream" 30 years later (though it has been gaining ground the last few years). The .50 GI, on the other hand, offers no ballistic improvement whatsoever over a good .45 load (and certainly nothing over the 10mm, .45 Super or .460 Rowland), and significantly decreases magazine capacity. Add the ridiculous cost, and what you have is a cartridge that might hang in there indefinitely as a proprietary critter. The .50 GI is to the .45 ACP as the .45 GAP is to the .40 S&W.

GI was trying to capitalize on the relative success of the S&W .500 magnum and the Desert Eagle with it's .50 AE chambering. They failed for both practical and economic reasons.

Gress
September 6, 2012, 01:20 AM
New rounds tend to be uncommon and thus more expensive. Thus, to catch on they need to either really do something better than other common cartridges or have a serious push from ammo and/or gun manufactures. The 50 GI has neither of those going for it.

Better new chamberings than the 50 GI have not been well accepted.

If I was going to change one of my 45s it would be to a .460 Rowland.
Agreed. on new being more expensive. BTW why "tend"? They are new and hence uncommon. IMO 50GI actually does one of the two things you mentioned though as it is better suited for a 1911 frame than other large bore conversions while giving more options than plain 45acp. I hope it will not be extinct, as it is real fun to shoot with all other practical aspects of it being equal or better than 45 met. I also do not know how to judge which caliber is "better"... I can only compare them with regard to specific objectives. And I like choices, don't you? Because of this I am also considering 460 Rowland conversion. One thing for sure though is that GI gun built around .50GI round will outlast a regular 1911 with Rowland conversion.

Gress
September 6, 2012, 01:42 AM
Perhaps the reason 500SW Mag, 50AE and 10mm (to some extent) are only relatively successful due to them being more powerful than necessary for defense applications with all the negatives of this extra power. So they serve smaller market. 50GI on other hand was never meant to deliver that magnum type of horsepower, so it does not. I think many are confused about it. The way I see it, it is a caliber to be used almost as a 45 (in same form factor gun) but with extra flexibility on different loads with heavier bullets. Truly an instrument for a reloader to use to his likings.

Sam1911
September 6, 2012, 09:51 AM
Perhaps the reason 500SW Mag, 50AE and 10mm (to some extent) are only relatively successful due to them being more powerful than necessary for defense applications with all the negatives of this extra power
I'd agree with that in regards to the 10mm, but no one buys .500 S&W Mag or a .50 AE as a defensive handgun (unless we're talking about dangerous animal defense, where that power is needed).

1911Tuner
September 6, 2012, 09:56 AM
I wonder how many niche chamberings have been created over the years that are now extinct.

A bunch of'em. A perfect example of a fine cartridge that's barely managed to hang on is my all-time favorite, the .41 Magnum. It's survived only because of a sufficient number of people who refuse to let it die, even though it doesn't really do anything any better...and in many cases not as well...as other, well-established cartridges.

NG VI
September 6, 2012, 11:19 AM
The .50 GI is to the .45 ACP as the .45 GAP is to the .40 S&W.


The .45 GAP is way more practical than the .50 GI.

The way I see it, it is a caliber to be used almost as a 45 (in same form factor gun) but with extra flexibility on different loads with heavier bullets.

I can't imagine the short case and very short overall length limitations of the .50 GI relative to bore size lends itself well to load flexibility. I'd imagine some of the bullets that work well in the .500 S&W are longer than the GI case.

.50 bore sized cartridges aren't all that common, and they tend to either be heavy revolver or lever rifle short-range big game hunting rounds, or long-range target rifles, neither of which have much projectile overlap with a light for caliber defense/service-type caliber.

The .50 GI is basically an upsized .380 ACP, as far as I can tell. Limited to the shortest previously available bullets in its caliber or even shorter ones, at velocities below what you'd ordinarily see from even light loads in the rest of the calibers that share the bore size with it.

It looks really fun and neat, but for practical purposes, eh, none of what it does can't be done better by a leaner, faster, more appropriate bullet from a narrower service caliber.

Skribs
September 6, 2012, 12:03 PM
The .45 GAP is way more practical than the .50 GI.

I beg to differ. The .45 GAP is supposedly a smaller round than the .45 ACP, but if you look at the pistols chambered in it, you'll notice a huge decrease in capacity compared to their .45 ACP brethren. Glock 21 vs. 37 you're looking at 13 rounds vs. 10, XD you're looking at 13 rounds vs. 9. I'd have thought the .45 GAP should have the same capacity as the ACP, but it loses about 25%.

The .50 GI, on the other hand, offers a wider platform than you can get with .45. How necessary that ends up being is up to the individual to decide.

It looks really fun and neat, but for practical purposes, eh, none of what it does can't be done better by a leaner, faster, more appropriate bullet from a narrower service caliber.

The proper loads (not the CHP rounds) meet the FBI requirements for penetration. So you end up with a wider bullet and less capacity...hey, that's the same tradeoff as the jump from .40 to .45.

silicosys4
September 6, 2012, 01:08 PM
In regards to the table posted above, Post #31:

Since when does a 300 grain slug moving at 860 fps constitute a ".44 mag level load"? My 300 grain loads are moving out of my redhawk at 1375fps... Good luck getting that out of a .50GI.

Also, I get a chuckle out of those gaping 300 grain hollowpoints that don't leave the barrel with enough velocity to actually open. Like the rest of the cartridge, it's more about visuals than about practicality.

mavracer
September 6, 2012, 01:24 PM
I wonder how many niche chamberings have been created over the years that are now extinct.
I don't know about extinct but IMHO the only truely successful cartridge introduced in the last 50 years is the 40 S&W every thing else is pretty much fallen into a nitch.

Girodin
September 6, 2012, 04:51 PM
IMO 50GI actually does one of the two things you mentioned though as it is better suited for a 1911 frame than other large bore conversions while giving more options than plain 45acp.

That is not doing one of things I mentioned. I said it must do something better (and I should have said "significantly better) than the cartridge it seeks to replace. You are in essence saying it, in one respect and for one style of weapon, is better than other replacement cartridges. That is not the same as being significantly better than the original.

Also I don't think it compares real well to the Rowland in terms of power. According to the table above the GI pushes a 275 gr. bullet 750 FPS. A Rowland can a 260 grain slug 1150 FPS easily. Given that the Rowland is likely to get expansion at that velocity and I question whether the GI is going to see much if any with such a low velocity, its whopping .05 staring diameter advantage is likely lost when talking about terminal ballistics.

NG VI
September 6, 2012, 05:03 PM
I beg to differ. The .45 GAP is supposedly a smaller round than the .45 ACP, but if you look at the pistols chambered in it, you'll notice a huge decrease in capacity compared to their .45 ACP brethren. Glock 21 vs. 37 you're looking at 13 rounds vs. 10, XD you're looking at 13 rounds vs. 9. I'd have thought the .45 GAP should have the same capacity as the ACP, but it loses about 25%.

The .50 GI, on the other hand, offers a wider platform than you can get with .45. How necessary that ends up being is up to the individual to decide.


It's a smaller round than the .45 ACP, so it fits into a smaller gun than a .45 ACP, while pushing the same bullets as the .45 ACP to the same speeds as the .45 ACP.

That it holds less rounds is a function of it's primary reason for existing at all, to fit into a smaller grip. Naturally a significantly narrower magazine isn't going to hold the same number of rounds of the same width as a wider magazine could, but it's all about compromises, and the GAP does not compromise on the bullet diameter, weight, or velocity, while gaining the ability to be chambered in existing pistols that cannot be chambered in ACP because of length considerations.

If the Glock 17 was the same exact size as the Glock 21, but with it's real-world front to back grip length, then the Glock 37 would hold 13 rounds, just like the 21.

But it's a smaller gun in all dimensions, which is why it holds less rounds of equal size.

None of which has any bearing on how practical the .45 GAP is (pretty practical, gives you ACP ballistics and projectiles in shorter grips) compared to the .50 GI, which is pretty impractical, since it gives you super light for caliber bullets at some of the lowest velocities achievable by a functional firearm cartridge.

Skribs
September 6, 2012, 05:04 PM
With handgun calibers, what matters is 1) did it penetrate deep enough and (distant second) 2) what's the size of the hole? Energy is simply what drives the bullet to penetrate in spite of its expansion.

I don't think the .50 GI offers a significantly better platform, much like the .45 doesn't offer much over 9, and the .40 (which is very successful) doesn't offer much over either. I think it's the next "tick" on the scale of 9-.40-.45, up to .50.

None of which has any bearing on how practical the .45 GAP is (pretty practical, gives you ACP ballistics and projectiles in shorter grips) compared to the .50 GI, which is pretty impractical, since it gives you super light for caliber bullets at some of the lowest velocities achievable by a functional firearm cartridge.

275-grain and 300-grain is super light for caliber? I thought it was a natural step up from 200-230 grain .45 rounds. The weight and velocity are important, but tertiary to penetration (primary) and expanded caliber (secondary), and the 275/300-grain loads do meet the minimum 12" penetration. So it offers the most important part. Like I said, the 175/200 grain CHP rounds are crap, they penetrate something like 8-9" IIRC. But I wouldn't call the caliber bad because of those loads.

HorseSoldier
September 6, 2012, 05:28 PM
I think it hasn't caught on because it doesn't really do anything super special besides carry the novelty of being fifty caliber, like others have noted. The souped-up-45 cal market is a niche one, and already has competition in it -- 45 Super, 460 Rowland, (sort of) 10mm Auto and 400 Corbon (if it is even still around at all) and whatever else. Not a big market to begin with, and 50 GI doesn't do anything that would break it out of that niche market.

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