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50 BMG Reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 5.56, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. 5.56

    5.56 Well-Known Member

    CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

    Just tossed that in for a good starter! OK I am looking for someone who has alot of knowledge with the 5o BMG rd. I reload the 50 BMG. I am not new to reloading just new to the 50 BMG. I have some data that is WAY out on the fringe.

    I am not going to post the charge load at this time. I would like to discuss this with others in emails. I went to the range yesterday with some reloads and some military rds. We were chronographing some different loads. Temp was 32 degress when we started. The military rds were SL 4 headstamp.
    The bullet was an API. I had pulled one of these bullets in this lot of ammo to check the charge. I only checked one. The API bullet scaled at 662gr. as well.
    here are the results of the rds in question. Range was 100 yds.
    #1 2695 FPS nice rd

    #2 3976 FPS it hit 8" higher on the target, brass showed less pressure signs than the first shot. It looked like an extremly mild load via pressure signs. The primer was still rounded at the edges and not flowing. No ejector marks on the case head. No brass flow on the case head. The case ejected with ease and did not stick. We thought it was a fluke till we continued firing.
    #3 3879 FPS brass same as #2 this shot cut the bullet hole of the 2nd shot as well.

    #4 3826 FPS bullet strike 1 1" left and 1" low of #2 and #3 shots. We thought perhaps the gases from the muzzle were giving the chrony false readings. The chrony was 10 feet from the muzzle with the first trap and another 4 feet to the 2nd trap. For the #5 shot. I took aim at the target, my buddy leaned a target holder with a piece of cardboard against the muzzle break to MAKE SURE THERE WAS NO GASES CAUSING FALSE READINGS. I was shooting through the cardboard before the rd went through the chrony.

    #5 3952 FPS Brass same condition as the previous brass. No pressure signs at all.

    Anyone who would like to discuss this please feel free to Email or use yahoo messenger. my yahoo is nickmull as well as the nickmull@yahoo.com email.

  2. Winger Ed.

    Winger Ed. Well-Known Member

    I think you'll find these forums are more about sharing info. & experiances publicly with others that have similar interests, rather than picking up new 'email buddies'.

    That being said, the .50BMG folks are a rather small percentage of the shooting community in general, but there are a few places they tend to hang out.

    Check out the fifty cal. shooters Assoc, and maybe the Barret forum board.
    Put ".50BMG" in a search engine, and it'll take ya to several places you might find interesting.

    If you can't find the Barret .50BMG forum on 'Biggerhammer', let me know (here), and I'll dig out the link and post it here. On biggerhammer, there are several old Gu-Ru-s, some of the manufacturerers themselves, and competitive shooters there who are walking encyclopedias on the things and post regularily on all aspects of the .50s.

    Ed. (Club Serbu #165)
  3. 5.56

    5.56 Well-Known Member

    Not looking for a email buddy. But I will not post information on loads to the public and have someone injure themselves or another. So if that is a problem for you then I guess so be it. But I will not post the loads and prefer to correspond with others in regards to this. I have had some folks respond. If you do not care for thr 50 cal stuff then do not respond.

  4. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Oh Brother...Easy boys. Tis the season you know. And a Merry Christmas to you and yours.:)

    Ease up guys....:D
  5. 50 Shooter

    50 Shooter member

    I reload for the .50 but don't feel the need to push it to the limits. Why beat yourself, the gun and brass up?

    One of the scariest loads I saw was a spotter tracer (800+ gr bullet) loaded with 220 grs. of 5010. I will say that it was impressive to see the bullet trace out flat and not in a big arc. You could tell when they were fired that they were pushing the limits, the pressure was intense and myself and another shooter took a few steps back.:uhoh:

    Taking risks with the .50 isn't something I feel like doing, hotter loads really aren't needed. If you shoot an M2 you can get away with it as there's alot more mass that's needs to be moved to cycle the bolt/belt. Be safe and have fun.
  6. 5.56

    5.56 Well-Known Member

    The rds I listed were not reloads. I have about 50 of them left. I only shot those 5 rds. They are military rds loaded from the St Louis army ordance plant. There is one fly in the ointment yet that we are looking at yet. The rifle bble had just been lapped with JB bore lapping compound I then treated the bble with an old product that has not been made in yrs. It is a teflon based lubricant that the tech specs on it has a burnoff of over 500 degress and it is supposed to put teflon into the pours of the metal. I have seen major increases in speed in .223/5.56 rds. 55gr vmax at 3430 FPS with no pressure signs. I am going to recondition the bble again since I cleaned it with montana extreme and see if it has any bearing on the velocitry of known loads. In the mean time I most likely will be pulling these military loads and checking the powder charges.

  7. 50 Shooter

    50 Shooter member

    If they are true surplus and carry the SL4 headstamp, don't forget that these are corrosive as they were probably made in 1944. My guess on the powder charge is going to be somewhere around 240 grs. +/- a few.

    You might have trouble breaking them down, the projo's are seated with a tar like substance to seal them from the elements. I ended up using a dremel with a 3M pad to remove it from some pulled projo's that I picked up. On the ones you fired, some of the tar will be on inside of the case necks. You can remove that with a .50 cal bore brush chucked up in a drill.
  8. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    I'm glad that nobody was chased off (5.56) as I'm learning a little more about the venerable .50 calibre MG that I used to shoot mines with when we swept them and target practice at 55 gallon barrels at sea. Though I doubt that this ol' boy is ever going to own or try a .50 rifle...It's still interesting...:)

    Merry Christmas to you and yours...:)
  9. 5.56

    5.56 Well-Known Member

    50Shooter, I am going to go ahead and destroy the bullets pulling them. Means putting the Big assed 20" channel locks on them and stroking down with the press. Bullets are trash, but pulled. I will knock out the mil primers and replace them with hurtenberger primers.

    Bushmaster, I am a big boy and have chassed riff raff into dark alleys and dragged them to jail. I have been shot twice and returned fire and I am still standing. <smile>So I do not get "run off" Served in the military as well. I do not start flamming others. But I will stick up for myself as well. But enough of that. I am seeking others that are like minded in thier hobbies as well. I have met several good folks on the boards. I also see that there is that 2% no matter where ya go in life as well.
    I think the best thing to do is to just tear the ammo down and use the brass and forget the rest.

  10. Winger Ed.

    Winger Ed. Well-Known Member

    Hmmm.... I wouldn't ever want to do that.

    I got to fire unsighted "Air" .50s a couple times from the window mounts in our CH-46's while overseas in the mid '70s. Every 5th round was tracer, and you just sort of walked the red steam where ya wanted it. We got to practice on 'convoys' of junk cars & trucks from 500 feet and 40 mph.

    It was a hoot!! And I was hooked.

    When single shot .50BMG bolt guns got popular about 7-8 years ago, I just had to have one. Then came reloading for it. Using the equip. and components for it is like no other aspect of reloading.

    Now I find myself gathering cool things to shoot with it. Also daydreaming and planning for the next outting to go shoot it. The latest part of my saga with the .50 was selling my Serbu, and getting a 36" bull barreled State Arms 'Big Bertha'. Last time out: I found that hitting a car engine with it isn't a problem, but shooting down individual bolt holes to pulverize the last chunks of cast iron was a blast.
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I am not a .50 BMG shooter, but I have a little experience with chronographs and they can lie to you for all sorts of reasons. I really, really doubt that you had a sudden 1100fps jump in velocity and see no chance that surplus ammo was doing a true 3900 fps. I have seen a .45-70 shooting black powder to register 4000 fps and that is only somewhat less likely. Something is wrong and a sheet of cardboard did not prevent it.
  12. 50 Shooter

    50 Shooter member

    Don't go crazy on them yet, CH4D sells a collet puller for the .50 BMG. If they don't pull out with it, try seating them a little deeper to break the seal. Then put them back into the puller and they should come out.

    Take a piece of brass to the hardware store and get a reamer that's big enough to get rid of the crimp (stakes). I use one in a drill to make fast work out of the process. You only need to remove just enough material to get rid of the crimp. K & M makes some good case prep tools for the .50 BMG, you can reach them at (717)292-3175.

    I agree about the chrony, I've seen guys get readings all over the board when using the .50. I wanna say one of the guys I shoot with said it had to do with the muzzleblast or shockwave. Can't remember for sure but I know they would get readings from guys shooting .50's next to them.
  13. 5.56

    5.56 Well-Known Member

    They are already pulled and the powder has been burned. I have already removed the crimp and polished out the sealent. They are currently in the tumbler.
    Not a problem. I would tend to agree on the chrono except for a couple of things. The rounds I reloaded and brought along gave readings that I would expect for a load 15 grn under the military load. They too were 50 cal API bullets. I can say the muzzle blast was tremendous in caparison to the reloads. Recoil was up a bit, and 3 of those rds grouped 8" high in a 1 1/2" group at 100 yrds. The fifth round was on target but I was shooting blind through the cardboard. So unless my scope went 8" out of adjustment and put itself back into adjustment when I went to my own loads. I am at a loss as to why the rounds hit higher if the velocity was not higher as well. We were shooting bowling pins through the neck 20 rds after the military ones with no scope adjustment with my own loads. My buddy was running some tests on his chrono as well. He was having trouble with accepting what he was getting.
    Hell if you were to tell me you were getting those velocities I'd say you were smelling to much cleaning solvent! As soon as we dropped in some test rds that were incendary and tracer as well as my own API loads the velocity dropped back into scale where it should be. I'd expect no less than being skeptical. I ran 10 rds of my own through for an average 2300 FPS at 34 degress. St Dev was 55 FPS My rounds were loaded 15 grns under mil spec.

    Last edited: Dec 26, 2005
  14. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Muzzle blast Shock wave or pressure wave...What ever you want to call it. Most chronographs can and will read this wave and give a false reading almost always higher then the bullet velocity. A cure for this is to move the sensors farther away from the shooting bench.

    My chronograph is notorious for reading the velocity of the patch of my Front stuffer. I had a real problem with 200 fps round balls using 90 grains of black powder.:confused: For some reason it didn't see the ball but did see the patch...Moved the sensors out to 15 feet and the patch couldn't make the distance. Got my 1900fps round ball velocity....:)
  15. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    The bullets are not going 3500+ fps, without something very bad happening. The chrono has got to be the culprit.

    Military loading for a 622gr API is 233gr #5010 for 2910fps from presumably an M2.

    All the military loadings for the AP, API, APIT, M8, M33, and Tracer are between 230 and 240gr. None of their spec velocities are over 3000fps from presumably an M2.
  16. 5.56

    5.56 Well-Known Member

    The only thing that we are going to try again is lapping the bble lightly and treating it with the teflon again and see if that has a bearing on it. The subsequent rounds that were shot after the bble had been scrubbed with montana extreme were in the normal range. All I can do is tell you what went on. The muzzle blast was alot more than normal. We shoot out of a log cabin range house with a trap door opening at a bench. Makes it easy to shoot in any weather. The muzzle blast was ALOT worse with those rounds as well. But anyhow, they rest have been pulled down.


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