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.50 rifle in the 50s?

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Hatchett, Sep 20, 2003.

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  1. Hatchett

    Hatchett Member

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    I'm sort of writing a novel, aand it's pretty heavily involved with firearms. I'm thinking of adding a .50 BMG rifle at once point, but the story is based in the 50s (more accurately 50s pulp sci-fi, but I'm trying to base it on 50s technology).

    My question is, was there any sort of long range rifle-type weapon avaiable that used a .50 BMG cartrdige, and if not, what would be the most realistic way of someone building one in the fifties? Right now, the best I can think of is a Browning M2 reconfigured for semiauto with a telescopic sight. Can anyone think of anything better? I've read about 57mm recoilless rifles remade to fire .50-caliber and things like the Lahti anti-tank gun rechambered, but is there anything else?
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The first .50 BMG rifles I know of were rebarrelled from WW I (ONE) 13mm Mauser anti-tank rifles. The WW II British Boyes AT rifles were pretty cheap then and when the .55 ammo dried up, many were - still are - rebarrelled to .50. I guess you could convert one of the Polish monster 8mm ultra high velocity rifles to .50 but have never heard of one.

    Browning .50 didn't have to be reconfigured for semi, they were made with scope bases and it is easy enough to tap off singles (Q.V. Carlos Hathcock.) But I wouldn't call a M2 a semiportable like a Mauser or Boyes could be. And they were not readily available on the commercial market like the bolt actions were.
     
  3. SDC

    SDC Member

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    In Senich's book "A Complete History of US Sniping", he tells of snipers as early as the Korean war using .50 cals (both the PTRD and re-barrelled Boys) for confirmed hits at up to 2000 metres. HTH.
     
  4. Hatchett

    Hatchett Member

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    Since it's set in a sort of an alternate-future Arizona desert. I'll probably go with the M2. What would be the best scope for the job, would you guess? Did Unertl have a 20X model back then?
     
  5. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    Or...
    Mayhap an old Lyman Target Master ?.

    Sam
     
  6. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Back in the '50s, Capt. William Brophy took a Russian PTRD anti-tank rifle (kinda along the lines of the German Mauser 13 mm anti tank rifle) and rebarreled it for 50 caliber. He's the fellow Peter Senich writes up in his book on U.S. Sniping.
     
  7. Crimper-D

    Crimper-D Member

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    I've read of at least 1 instance in the Korean War

    Where someone in a bunker position on the front lines sandbagged a Browning 50cal MG to stabelize it, bolted a scope onto it and using single loads, was useing it as a long range sniper weapon to pick off support troops over 1/2 mile away behind the lines. There was a pic, looked like a really big scope, especially for the 50's.
     
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