.50 BMG

Last updated
.50 BMG
Rifle cartridge comparison.jpg
TypeHeavy machine gun/Anti-materiel rifle
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1921–present
Used by NATO and many other countries
Wars World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Cambodian Civil War
Falklands War
Persian Gulf War
The Troubles
Global War on Terrorism
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
Syrian Civil War
Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017)
Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Saudi–Yemeni border conflict (2015–present)
Production history
DesignerWinchester Repeating Arms Co. and Frankford Arsenal
Case typeRimless, bottleneck
Bullet diameter.510 in (13.0 mm)
Land diameter.498 in (12.6 mm)
Neck diameter.560 in (14.2 mm)
Shoulder diameter.735 in (18.7 mm)
Base diameter.804 in (20.4 mm)
Rim diameter.804 in (20.4 mm)
Rim thickness.083 in (2.1 mm)
Case length3.91 in (99 mm)
Overall length5.45 in (138 mm)
Case capacity292.8  gr H2O (18.97 cm3)
Primer type#35 Arsenal Primer
Maximum pressure (TM43-0001-27)54,923 psi (378.68 MPa)
Maximum pressure (EPVAT)60,481 psi (417.00 MPa)
Maximum pressure (C.I.P.)53,664 psi (370.00 MPa)
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/typeVelocityEnergy
647 gr (42 g) Speer3,044 ft/s (928 m/s)13,310 ft⋅lbf (18,050 J)
655 gr (42 g) ADI3,029 ft/s (923 m/s)13,350 ft⋅lbf (18,100 J)
700 gr (45 g) Barnes2,978 ft/s (908 m/s)13,971 ft⋅lbf (18,942 J)
750 gr (49 g) Hornady2,820 ft/s (860 m/s)13,241 ft⋅lbf (17,952 J) [1]
800 gr (52 g) Barnes2,895 ft/s (882 m/s)14,895 ft⋅lbf (20,195 J)
Test barrel length: 45 in (1,100 mm)
Source(s): Ammoguide.com [2]

The .50 Browning Machine Gun (.50 BMG, 12.7×99mm NATO and designated as the 50 Browning by the C.I.P. [2] ) is a .50 in (12.7 mm) caliber cartridge developed for the M2 Browning machine gun in the late 1910s, entering official service in 1921. Under STANAG 4383, it is a standard service cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries. The cartridge itself has been made in many variants: multiple generations of regular ball, tracer, armor-piercing (AP), incendiary, and saboted sub-caliber rounds. The rounds intended for machine guns are made into a continuous belt using metallic links.


The .50 BMG cartridge is also used in long-range sniper rifles and anti-materiel rifles. A wide variety of ammunition is available, and the availability of match grade ammunition has increased the usefulness of .50 caliber rifles by allowing more accurate fire than lower quality rounds. [3]


In response to the need for new anti-aircraft weaponry during World War II, John Browning developed the .50 BMG. He wanted the round to be used in a machine gun, and wanted the machine gun to be based on a scaled-up version of the M1917 Browning. [4]

The development of the .50 BMG round is sometimes confused with the German 13.2 mm TuF, which was developed by Germany for an anti-tank rifle to combat British tanks during WWI and against aircraft. According to the American Rifleman : "Actually, the Browning .50 originated in the Great War. American interest in an armor-piercing cartridge was influenced by the marginal French 11 mm design, prompting U.S. Army Ordnance officers to consult Browning. They wanted a heavy projectile at 2700 feet per second (f.p.s.), but the ammunition did not exist. Browning pondered the situation and, according to his son John, replied, 'Well, the cartridge sounds pretty good to start. You make up some cartridges and we'll do some shooting.'" [5]

The American Rifleman further explains that development was "[r]eputedly influenced by Germany's 13.2x92 mm SR (.53-cal.) anti-tank rifle" and that then "Ordnance contracted with Winchester to design a .50-cal. cartridge. Subsequently, Frankford Arsenal took over from Winchester, producing the historic .50 BMG or 12.7x99 mm cartridge. The Army then returned to John Browning for the actual gun. Teamed with Colt, he produced prototypes ready for testing and, ironically, completed them by Nov. 11, 1918—the Great War's end." [5]

The round was put into use in the M1921 Browning machine gun. This gun was later developed into the M2HB Browning which with its .50 caliber armor-piercing cartridges went on to function as an anti-aircraft and anti-vehicular machine gun, capable of penetrating 0.9 inches (23 mm) of face-hardened armor steel plate at 200 meters (220 yd), [6] 1 inch (25 mm) of rolled homogeneous armor at the same range, [7] and 0.75 inches (19 mm) at 547 yards (500 m). [8]

The .50 BMG cartridge M2Round.jpg
The .50 BMG cartridge

During World War II the .50 BMG was primarily used in the M2 Browning machine gun, in both its "light barrel" aircraft mount version and the "heavy barrel" (HB) version on ground vehicles, for anti-aircraft purposes. An upgraded variant of the M2 Browning HB machine gun used during World War II is still in use today. Since the mid-1950s, some armored personnel carriers and utility vehicles have been made to withstand 12.7 mm machine gun fire, restricting the destructive capability of the M2. It still has more penetrating power than lighter weapons such as general-purpose machine guns, though it is significantly heavier and more cumbersome to transport. Its range and accuracy, however, are superior to light machine guns when fixed on tripods, and it has not been replaced as the standard caliber for Western vehicle-mounted machine guns (Soviet and CIS armored vehicles mount 12.7×108mm NSVs, which are ballistically similar to .50 BMGs).[ citation needed ]

Decades later, the .50 BMG was chambered in high-powered rifles as well. [4] The Barrett M82 .50 caliber rifle and later variants were developed during the 1980s and have upgraded the anti-materiel power of the military sniper. [4] A skilled sniper can effectively neutralize an infantry unit by eliminating several targets (soldiers or equipment) without revealing his precise location. The long range (over one mile) between firing position and target allows time for the sniper to avoid enemy retaliation by either changing positions repeatedly, or by safely retreating.


A common method for understanding the actual power of a cartridge is comparison of muzzle energies. The .30-06 Springfield, the standard caliber for American soldiers in both World Wars and a popular caliber amongst American hunters, can produce muzzle energies between 2,000 and 3,000 foot-pounds force (3,000 and 4,000 J). The .50 BMG round can produce between 10,000 and 15,000 foot-pounds force (14,000 and 20,000 J), depending on its powder and bullet type, as well as the weapon it is fired from. Due to the high ballistic coefficient of the bullet, the .50 BMG's trajectory also suffers less "drift" from cross-winds than smaller and lighter calibers, making the .50 BMG a good choice for high-powered sniper rifles. [9]

Cartridge dimensions

12.7x99mm NATO cartridge dimensions in inches 50 bmg 12.7x99.svg
12.7×99mm NATO cartridge dimensions in inches

The .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO) cartridge has a capacity of 290 gr (19 g). The round is a scaled-up version of the .30-06 Springfield but uses a case wall with a long taper to facilitate feeding and extraction in various weapons.

The common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 1 in 15 in (380 mm), with eight lands and grooves. The primer type specified for this ammunition is a boxer primer that has a single centralized ignition point (US and NATO countries). [10] However, some other countries produce the ammunition with Berdan primers that have two flash holes.

The average chamber pressure in this round as listed in TM43-0001-27, [11] the U.S. Army Ammunition Data Sheets  Small Caliber Ammunition, not including plastic practice, short cased spotter, or proof/test loads, is 54,923 psi (378,680 kPa). The proof/test pressure is listed as 65,000 psi (450,000 kPa).

Military cartridge types

Left to right, rear:
.mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}
green/gray tip Raufoss Mk 211 HEIAP (high-explosive incendiary armor-piercing)
yellow/red tip (M48 spotter)
silver tip (M8 armor-piercing incendiary)
light blue tip (M23 incendiary)
black tip (M2 armor piercing)
silver tip/red sabot (M962 SLAP-T)
silver tip/amber sabot (M903 SLAP)
red tip (M17 tracer)
unpainted copper (M33 ball)
Front row are 5.56x45mm NATO and .500 S&W Magnum, for size comparison 50BMG Rounds.jpg
Left to right, rear:
  green/gray tip Raufoss Mk 211 HEIAP (high-explosive incendiary armor-piercing)
  yellow/red tip (M48 spotter)
  silver tip (M8 armor-piercing incendiary)
  light blue tip (M23 incendiary)
  black tip (M2 armor piercing)
  silver tip/red sabot (M962 SLAP-T)
  silver tip/amber sabot (M903 SLAP)
  red tip (M17 tracer)
  unpainted copper (M33 ball)
Front row are 5.56×45mm NATO and .500 S&W Magnum, for size comparison

The .50 BMG cartridge is also produced commercially in a wide range of specifications, including armor piercing, tracing, and incendiary.

Cartridge, caliber .50, tracer, M1
This tracer is used for observing fire, signaling, target designation, and incendiary purposes. This bullet has a red tip.
Cartridge, caliber .50, incendiary, M1
This cartridge is used against unarmored, flammable targets. The incendiary bullet has a light blue tip
Cartridge, caliber .50, ball, M2
This cartridge is used against personnel and unarmored targets. This bullet has an unpainted tip.
Cartridge, caliber .50, armor piercing (AP), M2
This cartridge is used against lightly armored vehicles, protective shelters, and personnel, and can be identified by its black tip.
Cartridge, caliber .50, armor-piercing incendiary (API), M8
This cartridge is used, in place of the armor-piercing round, against armored, flammable targets. The bullet has a silver tip.
Cartridge, caliber .50, tracer, M10
Tracer for observing fire, signaling, target designation, and incendiary purposes. Designed to be less intense than the M1 tracer, the M10 has an orange tip.
Cartridge, caliber .50, tracer, M17
Tracer for observing fire, signaling, target designation, and incendiary purposes. Can be fired from the M82/M107 series of rifles.
Cartridge, caliber .50, armor-piercing incendiary tracer (API-T), M20
This cartridge is used in place of the armor-piercing round against armored, flammable targets, with a tracer element for observation purposes. This cartridge is effectively a variant of the M8 armor-piercing incendiary with the added tracer element. Can be fired from the M82/M107 series of rifles. This bullet has a red tip with a ring of aluminum paint.
Cartridge, caliber .50, tracer, headlight, M21
Tracer for use in observing fire during air-to-air combat. Designed to be more visible, the M21 is three times more brilliant than the M1 tracer.
Cartridge, caliber .50, incendiary, M23
This cartridge is used against unarmored, flammable targets. The tip of the bullet is painted blue with a light blue ring.
Cartridge, caliber .50, ball, M33
This cartridge is used against personnel and unarmored targets. Can be fired from the M82/M107 series of rifles.
Cartridge, caliber .50, saboted light armor penetrator (SLAP), M903
This cartridge has a 355 – 360 gr (23.00 – 23.33 g) heavy metal (tungsten) penetrator that is sabot-launched at a muzzle velocity of 4,000 ft/s (1,219 m/s). The 0.50 in (12.7 mm) diameter sabot is designed to separate after leaving the muzzle, releasing the 0.30 (7.62 mm) penetrator. It is injection molded of special high strength plastic and is reinforced with an aluminum insert in the base section. The cartridge is identified by an amber sabot (Ultem 1000). For use only in the M2 series of machine guns. This round can penetrate 0.75in (19 mm) of steel armor at 1,500 yards (1,400 m). [12]
Cartridge, caliber .50, saboted light armor penetrator tracer (SLAP-T), M962
Like the M903, this is a SLAP round, with the only difference being that the M962 also has a tracer element for observing fire, target designation, and incendiary purposes. It has a red plastic sabot for identification, and is used only in the M2 series of machine guns.
Cartridge, caliber .50, ball, XM1022
A long-range match cartridge specifically designed for long-range work using the M107 rifle.
Cartridge, caliber .50, M1022 long-range sniper
The .50 caliber M1022 has an olive green bullet coating with no tip ID coloration. The projectile is of standard ball design. It is designed for long-range sniper training and tactical use against targets that do not require armor-piercing or incendiary effects. It exhibits superior long range accuracy and is trajectory matched to MK211 grade A. The M1022 is ideal for use in all .50 caliber bolt-action and semi-automatic sniper rifles. [13] The bullet remains supersonic out to from 1,500 m (1,640 yd) to 1,600 m (1,750 yd). [14]
Raufoss Mk 211 Mod 0 HEIAP projectile Raufoss NM140 MP (en).svg
Raufoss Mk 211 Mod 0 HEIAP projectile
Cartridge, caliber .50, high-explosive incendiary armor-piercing (HEIAP), Mk 211 Mod 0
A "combined effects" cartridge, the Raufoss Mk 211 Mod 0 HEIAP cartridge contains a .30 caliber tungsten penetrator, zirconium powder, and Composition A explosive. It can be used in any .50 caliber weapon in the US inventory with the exception of the M85 machine gun. The cartridge is identified by a green tip with a gray ring.
Cartridge, caliber .50, armor-piercing incendiary dim tracer (API-DT), Mk 257
The .50 caliber Mk 257 API-DT has a purple bullet tip. The bullet has a hardened steel core and incendiary tip. It is used in the M2, M3, and M85. Dim trace reduces the possibility of the weapon being located during night fire and is visible only with night-vision devices. [13]
Cartridge, caliber .50, armor-piercing (AP), Mk 263 Mod 2
The .50 caliber Mk 263 has a black tip. The bullet has a hardened steel core and features double valleys to reduce bearing surface thereby decreasing friction and increasing stability. It is used in the M2, M3, and M85.
Cartridge, caliber .50, armor-piercing incendiary tracer (API-T), Mk 300 Mod 0
as with the Mk 211 Mod 0, but with a tracer component. This cartridge likely can be used in any .50 caliber weapon in the US inventory with the exception of the M85 machine gun, as with the Mk 211 Mod 0.
Cartridge, caliber .50, armor piercing explosive incendiary (APEI), Mk 169 Mod 2
This cartridge is used against hardened targets such as bunkers, for suppressive fire against lightly armored vehicles, and ground and aerial threat suppression. It is generally fired either from pilot-aimed aircraft-mounted guns or anti-aircraft platforms, both produced by FN Herstal. [15] It is identified by a gray over yellow tip. [16] A tracer variant of it also exists.
Cartridge, caliber .50, ball, Mk 323 Mod 0
Created by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, this cartridge uses M33 ball projectiles in polymer cases instead of brass. It has a clear polymer case, with a standard brass head fused at the bottom. The Mk 323 can be fired from M2HB/M2A1 machine guns and GAU-21/A aircraft guns with the same performance. It gives a 25 percent weight savings over brass-cased ammunition and allows 40 percent more ammunition to be carried for the same weight. The Mk 323's polymer casing is applied to tracer, AP, API, and SLAP projectiles. [17] [18]

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) contracted with Teledyne Scientific Company to develop the EXACTO program, including a .50-caliber guided bullet. Videos published by DARPA show the guided bullet diverting to strike a moving target. [19] [20] [21] [22]

Two distinct and non-compatible metallic links have been used for the .50 BMG cartridge, depending upon the machine gun which will be firing the cartridges. The M2 and M9 links, "pull-out" designs, are used in the Browning M2 and M3 machine guns. [23] [24] Pull-out cloth belts were also used at one time, but have been obsolete since 1945. The M15-series "push-through" links were used in the M85 machine gun.

The specified maximum diameter of an unfired .50 BMG bullet is 0.510-inch (13.0 mm); while this appears to be over the .50 inch (12.7 mm) maximum allowed for non-sporting Title I firearms under the U.S. National Firearms Act, the barrel of a .50 BMG rifle is only .50 inch (12.7 mm) across the rifling lands and slightly larger in the grooves. The oversized bullet is formed to the bore size upon firing, forming a tight seal and engaging the rifling, a mechanism which in firearm terms is known as swaging. Subject to political controversy due to the great power of the cartridge (it is the most powerful commonly available cartridge not considered a destructive device under the National Firearms Act), it remains popular among long-range shooters for its accuracy and external ballistics. While the .50 BMG round is able to deliver accurate shot placement (if match grade ammunition is used) at ranges over 1,000-yard (910 m), smaller caliber rifles produce better scores and tighter groups in 1,000-yard (910 m) competitions. [25]

In response to legal action against the .50 BMG in the United States and Europe, an alternative chambering was developed. The .510 DTC Europ uses the same bullet, but has slightly different case dimensions. .510 DTC cases can be made by fire-forming .50 BMG cases in a .510 DTC chambered rifle. The new round has almost identical ballistics, but because of the different dimensions, rifles chambered for .50 BMG cannot fire the .510 DTC, and therefore rifles chambered for .510 DTC do not fall under many of the same legal prohibitions. Barrett offers a similar alternative, the .416 Barrett, which is based on a shortened .50 BMG case necked down to .416 caliber (10.3 mm).[ citation needed ]

A 1999 Justice Department Office of Special Investigations briefing on .50 caliber rifle crime identified several instances of the .50 BMG being involved in criminal activities. [26] Most of the instances of criminal activity cited in the Office of Special Investigations briefing involved the illegal possession of a .50 BMG rifle. The briefing did not identify any instance of a .50 BMG rifle being used in the commission of a murder.[ citation needed ]

In the United States, Washington, D.C. disallows registration of .50 BMG rifles, thus rendering civilian possession unlawful. [27] [28] California prohibits the private purchase of a rifle capable of firing the .50 BMG through the .50 Caliber BMG Regulation Act of 2004. [29] Connecticut specifically bans the Barrett 82A1 .50 BMG rifle. [30] However, .50 BMG rifles registered prior to the enacted bans remain lawful to possess in California [28] [31] and Connecticut. [28] [32] Maryland imposes additional regulations on the sale and transfer of .50 BMG rifles and other "regulated firearms", and limits purchases of any firearm within this class to one per month, but does not impose registration requirements or any form of categorical ban. [28]

Within the United Kingdom, it is legal to own a bolt action .50 BMG rifle with a section 1 Firearms Certificate. [33] Applications requesting firearms in this caliber are assessed by the same criteria as smaller calibers; with the applicant having to prove they have a valid reason for owning such a weapon. [34]

Contrary to a persistent misconception within the United States Armed Forces, using .50 BMG directly against enemy personnel is not prohibited by the laws of war. [35] Writing for the Marine Corps Gazette , Maj Hays Parks states that "No treaty language exists (either generally or specifically) to support a limitation on [the use of .50 BMG] against personnel, and its widespread, longstanding use in this role suggests that such antipersonnel employment is the customary practice of nations." Parks theorizes that the misconception originated in historical doctrine discouraging the use of the M8C spotting rifle—an integral .50-caliber aiming aid for the M40 recoilless rifle—in the antipersonnel role. This limitation was entirely tactical in nature and was intended to hide the vulnerable M40 and its crew from the enemy until the main anti-tank gun was ready for firing; however, Parks concludes that some U.S. troops assumed the existence of a legal limitation on the use of .50-caliber projectiles more generally.

On May 1, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban on various "military-style" firearms in Canada. This ban includes firearms that chamber the .50 BMG. The ban includes a two-year amnesty period before the firearms must be surrendered, with an as-yet-unannounced compensation program in the works. [36] [37]

Typical uses

The primary military use of this round is in the Browning M2HB heavy machine gun and the Barrett M82 anti-materiel rifle.[ citation needed ]

The U.S. Coast Guard uses .50 BMG rifles to disable outboard engines from armed helicopters during interdictions. Similarly, .50 BMG weapons have attracted attention from law enforcement agencies; they have been adopted by the New York City Police Department as well as the Pittsburgh Police. A .50 BMG round can effectively disable a vehicle when fired into the engine block. If it is necessary to breach barriers, a .50 BMG round will penetrate most commercial brick walls and concrete cinder blocks.[ citation needed ]

The .50 BMG round has been used as a sniper round as early as the Korean War. [38] The former record for a confirmed long-distance kill was set by U.S. Marine sniper Carlos Hathcock in 1967 during the Vietnam War, at a distance of 2,090 meters (2,290 yd; 1.30 mi); [39] Hathcock used the .50 BMG in an M2 Browning Machine Gun equipped with a telescopic sight. This weapon was used by other snipers, and eventually purpose-built sniper rifles were developed specifically for this round.[ citation needed ]

In June 2017, a McMillan Tac-50 was used by a sniper with Canada's Joint Task Force 2 to kill an Islamic State insurgent in Iraq, setting the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot in military history at 3,540 meters (3,870 yd; 2.20 mi). [40] Before that record, Canadian Army Corporal Rob Furlong of the PPCLI achieved what was then the longest-range confirmed sniper kill in history when he shot a Taliban combatant at 2,430 meters (2,660 yd; 1.51 mi) during the 2002 campaign in the Afghanistan War. [41] This was surpassed in 2009 by a British sniper in Afghanistan with 2,475 meters (2,707 yd; 1.538 mi) using a .338 Lapua Magnum (8.58×70 mm) rifle. [42] [43]

In addition to long-range and anti-materiel sniping, the U.S. military uses .50 BMG weapons to detonate unexploded ordnance from a safe distance. It can disable most unarmored and lightly armored vehicles. [44]

Some civilians use .50 caliber rifles for long-range target shooting: the US-based Fifty Caliber Shooters Association holds .50 BMG shooting matches. [45]

Partial list of .50 BMG firearms



Machine guns


Chain gun

See also

Related Research Articles

5.56×45mm NATO rimless bottlenecked intermediate cartridge

The 5.56×45mm NATO is a rimless bottlenecked intermediate cartridge family developed in the late 1970s in Belgium by FN Herstal. It consists of the SS109, SS110, and SS111 cartridges. On 28 October 1980 under STANAG 4172 it was standardized as the second standard service rifle cartridge for NATO forces as well as many non-NATO countries. Though they are not entirely identical, the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge family was derived from and is dimensionally similar to the .223 Remington cartridge designed by Remington Arms in the early 1960s.

Bullet Projectile propelled by a firearm, sling, or air gun

A bullet is a kinetic projectile, a component of firearm ammunition that is shot from a gun barrel. The term is from Middle French, originating as the diminutive of the word boulle (boullet), which means "small ball". Bullets are made of a variety of materials, such as copper, lead, steel, polymer, rubber and even wax. Bullets are made in various shapes and constructions, including specialized functions such as hunting, target shooting, training and combat. bullets are often tapered, making them more aerodynamic. Bullet sizes are expressed by their weights and diameters in both imperial and metric measurement systems. For example: 55 grain .223 caliber bullets are of the same weight and caliber as 3.56 gram 5.56mm caliber bullets. Bullets do not normally contain explosives, but strike or damage the intended target by transferring kinetic energy upon impact and penetration.

M2 Browning Type of heavy machine gun

The M2 machine gun or Browning .50 caliber machine gun is a heavy machine gun designed toward the end of World War I by John Browning. Its design is similar to Browning's earlier M1919 Browning machine gun, which was chambered for the .30-06 cartridge. The M2 uses the much larger and much more powerful .50 BMG cartridge, which was developed alongside and takes its name from the gun itself. It has been referred to as "Ma Deuce", in reference to its M2 nomenclature. The design has had many specific designations; the official US military designation for the current infantry type is Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB, Flexible. It is effective against infantry, unarmored or lightly armored vehicles and boats, light fortifications, and low-flying aircraft.

Anti-personnel weapon

An anti-personnel weapon is a weapon primarily used to maim or kill infantry and other personnel not behind armor, as opposed to attacking structures or vehicles, or hunting game. The development of defensive fortification and combat vehicles gave rise to weapons designed specifically to attack them, and thus a need to distinguish between those systems and ones intended to attack people. For instance, an anti-personnel landmine will explode into small and sharp splinters that tear flesh but have little effect on metal surfaces, while anti-tank mines have considerably different design, using much more explosive power to effect damage to armored fighting vehicles, or use explosively formed penetrators to punch through armor plating. Note that while the stereotypical tank is effectively invulnerable to anti-personnel, a lightly armored vehicle will still take damage. Humvees, for example, have light armor and may still take severe damage from an anti-personnel weapon, such as a claymore. The issue has been patched by the add-on armor, but it can still be pierced by this type in some areas.

Sniper rifle Type of rifle used for long-range engagements against enemy personnel

A sniper rifle is a high-precision, long-range rifle. Requirements include accuracy, reliability, mobility, concealment and optics for anti-personnel, anti-materiel and surveillance uses of the military sniper. The modern sniper rifle is a portable shoulder-fired weapon system with a choice between bolt-action or semi-automatic action, fitted with a telescopic sight for extreme accuracy and chambered for a high-ballistic performance centerfire cartridge.

Anti-tank rifle

An anti-tank rifle is an anti-materiel rifle designed to penetrate the armor of armored fighting vehicles, most commonly tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles. The usefulness of rifles for this purpose ran from the introduction of tanks in World War I until the Korean War. While medium and heavy tank armor became too thick to be penetrated by rigid projectiles from rifles that could be carried by a single soldier, anti-tank rifles continued to be used against other "soft" targets, though recoilless rifles and rocket-propelled grenades such as the bazooka were also introduced for infantry close-layer defense against tanks.

Anti-materiel rifle

An anti-materiel rifle (AMR) is a rifle designed for use against military equipment (materiel), rather than against humans ("anti-personnel").

25 mm caliber

25 mm is a specific diameter of cannon or autocannon ammunition. It has also been recently used for the Barrett XM109 anti-materiel rifle. Such ammunition includes the NATO-standard 25×137mm and 25×184mm rounds, Soviet 25x218mmSR, as well as the World War II-era French-designed 25×163mm and 25×193.5mmR rounds.

The .30-06 Springfield cartridge, 7.62×63mm in metric notation and called ".30 Gov't '06" by Winchester, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and later standardized; it remained in use until the late-1970s. The ".30" refers to the caliber of the bullet in inches. The "06" refers to the year the cartridge was adopted, 1906. It replaced the .30-03, 6mm Lee Navy, and .30-40 Krag cartridges. The .30-06 remained the U.S. Army's primary rifle and machine gun cartridge for nearly 50 years before being replaced by the 7.62×51mm NATO and 5.56×45mm NATO, both of which remain in current U.S. and NATO service. It remains a very popular sporting round, with ammunition produced by all major manufacturers.

7.62×54mmR Russian military rifle cartridge

The 7.62×54mmR is a rimmed rifle cartridge developed by the Russian Empire and introduced as a service cartridge in 1891. Originally designed for the bolt-action Mosin–Nagant rifle, it was used during the late tsarist era and throughout the Soviet period to the present day. The cartridge remains one of the few standard-issue rimmed cartridges still in military use, and has one of the longest service lives of any military-issued cartridge.

.303 British British military rifle cartridge

The .303 British or 7.7×56mmR, is a .303-inch (7.7 mm) calibre rimmed rifle cartridge.


The 12.7×108mm cartridge is a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun and anti-materiel rifle cartridge used by the former Soviet Union, the former Warsaw Pact, modern Russia, China and other countries. It was invented in 1934 to create a cartridge like the German 13.2mm TuF anti-tank rifle round and the American .50 Browning Machine Gun round.

Boys anti-tank rifle British anti-tank rifle in use during the Second World War.

The Rifle, Anti-Tank, .55in, Boys, commonly known as the "Boys Anti-tank Rifle", was a British anti-tank rifle in use during the Second World War. It was often nicknamed the "elephant gun" by its users due to its size and large bore.

The 20 mm caliber is a common firearm bore diameter, typically used to distinguish smaller-caliber weapons, commonly called "guns", from larger-caliber "cannons". All 20 mm cartridges have an outside projectile (bullet) diameter and barrel bore diameter of 0.787 inches (20.0 mm). These projectiles are typically 75 to 127 mm (3–5 in) long, cartridge cases are typically 75 to 152 mm (3–6 in) long, and most are shells, with an explosive payload and detonating fuze.

7.92×57mm Mauser German military rifle cartridge

The 7.92×57mm Mauser is a rimless bottlenecked rifle cartridge. The 8mm Mauser cartridge was adopted by the German Empire in 1903–1905, and was the German service cartridge in both World Wars. In its day, the 8mm Mauser cartridge was one of the world's most popular military cartridges. In the 21st century it is still a popular sport and hunting cartridge that is factory-produced in Europe and the United States.

14.5×114mm Heavy machine gun and anti-materiel rifle cartridge

The 14.5×114mm is a heavy machine gun and anti-materiel rifle cartridge used by the Soviet Union, the former Warsaw Pact, modern Russia, and other countries.

Raufoss Mk 211

The Raufoss Mk 211 is a .50 caliber multi-purpose anti-materiel high-explosive incendiary/armor-piercing ammunition projectile produced by Nammo under the model name NM140 MP. It is commonly referred to as multipurpose or Raufoss, meaning red waterfall in Norwegian. This refers to Nammo's precursor company Raufoss Ammunisjonsfabrikker, an ammunition manufacturer established 1896 in Raufoss, Norway. The "Mk 211" name comes from the nomenclature Mk 211 Mod 0 used by the U.S. military for this round.

6.5×50mmSR Arisaka

The 6.5x50mmSR Arisaka is a semi-rimmed rifle cartridge with a 6.5 mm (.264) diameter bullet. It was the standard Japanese military cartridge from 1897 until the late 1930s for service rifles and machine guns when it was gradually replaced by the 7.7×58mm Arisaka

Underwater firearm Firearms that can be effectively fired underwater

An underwater firearm is a firearm designed for use underwater. They are in the arms inventories of many nations. A common feature of underwater firearms or needleguns is that they fire flechettes or spear-like bolts instead of standard bullets. These may be fired by pressurised gas.

7.62×51mm NATO Rimless, centerfire, bottlenecked rifle cartridge

The 7.62×51mm NATO is a rimless, bottlenecked rifle cartridge. It is a standard for small arms among NATO countries.


  1. "50 BMG 750 gr A-MAX Match". Hornady. Archived from the original on October 15, 2016. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  2. 1 2 "C.I.P. TDCC sheet 50 Browning" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on March 29, 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  3. Sweeney, Patrick (December 21, 2015). Gun Digest Book of Suppressors. Iola, Wisconsin: F+W Media. p. 177. ISBN   978-1-4402-4540-4.
  4. 1 2 3 Skinner, Stan (November 20, 2013). Shooter's Bible Guide to Extreme Iron. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. p. 172. ISBN   978-1-62873-538-3.
  5. 1 2 Barrett Tillman, American Rifleman,February 23, 2017, https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2017/2/23/the-50-cal-browning-machine-gun-the-gun-that-won-the-war/ Archived June 17, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  6. "MCWP 3-15.1 Machine Guns and Machine Gunnery". archive.org. US Marine Corps.
  7. "Browning Machine Gun Caliber .50 HB, M2" (PDF). bits.de. Headquarters Department of the Army.
  8. Barnes, Frank C., Cartridges of the World, U.S. Army .50 BMG Cartridge Specifications, DBI Books (1989), ISBN   978-0-87349-033-7, p. 432.
  9. Michaelis, Dean (March 1, 2000). The Complete .50-caliber Sniper Course: Hard-Target Interdiction. Boulder, Colorado: Paladin Press. pp. 26–34. ISBN   978-1-58160-068-1.
  10. NATO Infantry Weapons Standardization, Per G. Arvidsson, ChairmanWeapons & Sensors Working GroupLand Capability Group 1 - Dismounted Soldier NATO Army Armaments Group Archived December 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  11. "Army Ammunition Data Sheets for Small Caliber Ammunition" (PDF). Defense Technical Information Center. April 1994. p. 150. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 2, 2007. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  12. "albums/oo255/FEDE_EL_SOMALI/1-15". i381.photobucket.com. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  13. 1 2 "Small Caliber Ammunition" (PDF). ATK. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 24, 2007. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  14. Cartridges for Long-Range Sniping Rifles by Anthony G Williams Archived March 14, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  15. Janes listing of the FN Herstal .50 cal M3P coaxial weapon system (Belgium). [ permanent dead link ]
  16. Igman Ammunition Cal. 12.7 x 99 mm, APEI, M 02 Archived March 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  17. Crane Using Lightweight .50 Cal Ammo Archived September 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine - Kitup. Military.com, September 11, 2011.
  18. Jarod Stoll and Kathryn Hunt (May 21, 2012). "Advancements in Lightweight .50 Caliber Ammunition" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  19. Cox, Matthew (December 15, 2014). "DoD Wants Bullet That Can Change Direction After Being Fired". Military.com. Archived from the original on April 22, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  20. "EXACTO Guided bullet demonstrates repeatable performance against moving targets 2904152 | weapons defence industry military technology UK | analyse focus army defence military industry army". Armyrecognition.com. April 29, 2015. Archived from the original on September 12, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  21. "EXACTO Guided Bullet Demonstrates Repeatable Performance against Moving Targets". Darpa.mil. April 27, 2015. Archived from the original on April 22, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  22. "EXACTO Live-Fire Tests, February 2015". DARPAtv. April 27, 2015. Archived from the original on October 4, 2017. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  23. "Metal link M9 for cal. 12.7×99mm Technical data" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on December 23, 2018. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  24. "Technical Manual Small-Arms Ammunition, TM9-1990, U.S. War Department". May 23, 1942. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  25. GunWeek.com. "SHOT Show 2006 New Rifles, Shotguns, Pistols Offer Enhanced Performance". Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008.
  26. General Accounting Office (August 4, 1999). "Weaponry: .50 Caliber Rifle Crime," GAO Office of Special Investigations letter". Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  27. "District of Columbia Code". ATF. Archived from the original on October 4, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  28. 1 2 3 4 "Machine Guns & 50-Caliber". lawcenter.giffords.org. Giffords Law Center. 2018. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  29. "Assembly Bill No. 50". CA Legislature. Archived from the original on October 4, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  30. "CHAPTER 943 OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC PEACE AND SAFETY". Connecticut General Assembly. Archived from the original on October 4, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  31. Shouse, Neil (July 17, 2017). "Are .50 BMG rifles legal in California?". shouselaw.com. Shouse California Law Group. Archived from the original on October 6, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  32. "Special Licensing and Firearms". ct.gov. Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. September 6, 2018. Archived from the original on February 3, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018. ...any person who has a Certificate of Possession issued by the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit may possess the Assault Weapon listed on their certificate.... a Certificate of Possession must be obtained prior to January 1, 2014
  33. "Home". Fifty Calibre Shooters Association UK. Archived from the original on August 18, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  34. Home Office (June 2014). "Guide on firearms licensing law" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on December 21, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2014.[ page needed ]
  35. Parks, Maj W. Hays (January 1988). "Killing A Myth". Marine Corps Gazette . Archived from the original on February 28, 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
  36. CBC News (May 12, 2020). "Gun shop owners left 'holding the bag' by the unexpected scope of Ottawa firearms ban". CBC.ca. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  37. "Canada's 'Assault Weapon' Ban". Guns & Ammo. May 5, 2020. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
  38. Senich, Peter R. (1993). U.S. Marine Corps Scout-sniper: World War II and Korea. Boulder: Paladin Press. pp. 225–227. ISBN   978-0-87364-710-6.
  39. Henderson, Charles (2003). Silent Warrior (2003 ed.). Berkley Books. p.  181. ISBN   978-0-425-18864-4.
  40. FIFE, ROBERT (June 21, 2017). "Canadian elite special forces sniper makes record-breaking kill shot in Iraq". Archived from the original on November 17, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  41. Michael Friscolanti (May 15, 2006). "Friscolanti, Michael (May 15, 2006). "We were abandoned", Macleans 119 (20)". Macleans.ca. Archived from the original on February 24, 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  42. Smith, Michael (May 2, 2010). "Hotshot sniper in one-and-a-half mile double kill". The Sunday Times. UK. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  43. Sheridan, Michael (May 3, 2010). "British sniper Craig Harrison (The Silent Assassin) breaks record, kills target from 1.5 miles away". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on October 18, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  44. Cutshaw, Charles Q. (February 28, 2011). Tactical Small Arms of the 21st Century: A Complete Guide to Small Arms From Around the World. Iola: Gun Digest Books. pp. 322–323. ISBN   978-1-4402-2709-7.
  45. Match dates at the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association Archived August 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  46. 1 2 "Serbu BFG-50". Archived from the original on August 28, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  47. "Arms Tech Ltd. TTR-50". Archived from the original on November 3, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2013.
  48. "Bushmaster Firearms". Bushmaster Firearms International. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  49. "M96 .50 Cal BMG". E.D.M. Arms. Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  50. Chris L. Movigliatti. "A.M.S.D. Sa". Amsd.ch. Archived from the original on September 13, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  51. "PT. Pindad (Persero) - Home". pindad.com. Archived from the original on August 11, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
  52. "RAMO DEFENCE M650 and M600". Securityarms.com. Archived from the original on September 5, 2010. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  53. "Serbu BFG-50a". Archived from the original on August 16, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  54. "Serbu RN-50". Archived from the original on February 27, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2019.