(OT) Armor-Piercing Munitions Sold to Public

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Pentagon Unloads High-Powered Sniper Bullets as 'Surplus'

Here is are excerpts: The report blames a Pentagon program aimed at reducing outdated arms stocks, called the Conventional Demilitarization Program, for selling the ammunition to Talon Manufacturing Co., a West Virgina firm that refurbished and sold more than 100,000 rounds on the civilian market.

Talon sells its refurbished military ammunition in 100-round belts that mix armor-piercing, incendiary and tracer bullet rounds -- all meant for military use, the report states.

The ammunition, delivered by the Pentagon to Talon's plant in Herndon, W.Va., for $1 per ton, also wound up being re-sold to military buyers in Brazil and Colombia. Talon even sold 35,000 rounds back to the U.S. military, the report states.

In April, the report states, the Marine Corps Scout Sniper School invited congressmen to watch a marine fire multiple .50-caliber rounds completely through a 600-pound safe.

The long-range rifles weigh 28 pounds and fire shells of a half-inch diameter and 3- to 6-inches long. The rifles are accurate at over a mile and still destructive at more than four miles, the report states.

One military expert quoted in the report said the .50-caliber sniper rifle can kill unseen enemy soldiers hunkered down in bunkers.

The military weapons are "readily available in the civilian market through gun stores and the Internet," the report states.

-- Mark Mastrorilli (mastrorilli@hotmail.com), June 17, 1999


Yeah, but what are you going to fire them with??? Last I heard bullets are useless without guns to use them. Not to mention the fact that nobody likes to use fifty calibers for anything. When was the last time you heard of a criminal using a gun like that in an armed robbery?

-- (any @ 50. calibers for sale?), June 17, 1999.

As our beloved Feds rush to pass yet more restrictive laws on this subject, my question is: "Can you cite even ONE crime EVER committed in the US with one of these [.50 caliber] weapons?"

I can't, and I've been following this pretty closely. Seems to me it's obvious that the owners of these weapons have proven to be pretty damn responsible - and law abiding.

Can't have that, eh?



-- Jollyprez (jolly@prez.com), June 17, 1999.

" The military weapons are "readily available in the civilian market through gun stores and the Internet," the report states. "

Um, no...

Don't even try to back that one up. You find one place where your average joe can buy a fifty caliber and I'll shaddup.

-- (any @ 50. calibers for sale?), June 17, 1999.

Uhmmmmm... it has been a few years since I have been around this stuff but doesn't the "Desert Eagle" (Israeli Arms ???) come in .50 cal in addition to the more common .357 magnum? I remember the round being pretty ?!*& impressive - was this the above referred "3 inch long" cartridge? Just thinking....

-- Kristi (securx@succeed.net), June 17, 1999.

Fifty caliber facts.

If a civilian has a fifty caliber machine gun, he has a class 3 FFL and underwent an extensive background check to get it. (Note: Hardly anyone does. civilians mostly own the 50. cal rifles

Almost all privately owned .50 cal weapons are bolt action rifles with a few semi-autos thrown in. Boy do they cost. And the ammo is about $2 a round.

.50 cal is not a shell, its a full metal jacket bullet.

The Desert Eagle fires the .50 AE (Action express) round, which is different from .50 BMG which the article duscusses.

.50 cal armor peircing should will affect you the very same as any other rifle bullet unless you have a lightly armored vehicle.

Incindiary is meant to start fires. Be carefull where you send those. Many states forbid use of this type of amunition.

.50 Cal rifle shoots are a hoot. If you can afford one of those rifles, get one! (And a 12X scope that's rugged as Hell).

Now as far as spin goes, I always said that if they had any success scaring people by calling semi-auto rifles "Assault weapons" then one day they would start to call our bolt action rifles "sniper weapons". The purpose of the "Assault Weapon" term was to make people think "assault rifle".

Oh heck, how did I get on this soap box anyway?

Hoped the .50 cal info helps and keep your...

-- eyes_open (best@wishes.com), June 17, 1999.

Most gunshows around here have fifty caliber rifle ammunition for about $1.50 per round. And like the piece says, they are about six inches long.

-- dave (wootendave@hotmail.com), June 17, 1999.

The last time I went to a gun show was the last time I saw a .50 cal rifle for sale. That must have been 8 or 9 years ago. The one for sale was called a "Tank Killer", and it was a single shot bolt action rifle from either WW1 or WW2, and looking at it one could see that any bone-head who would actually shoot it from his shoulder either has a tough shoulder or a VERY high threshhold for pain. Looked to me to be just about the most impractical weapon ever.

-- Roger (pecosroger@netscape.net), June 17, 1999.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! No, not sleep. Just forgot to tighten up the drag and turn off the click. Gotcha again.

-- Mark (maestroreally@hotmail.com), June 17, 1999.

No you've merely demonstrated that your level of ignorance is currently as low as the author of the orignal article.

You see there are people on this forum that consider Y2K to have a potential for great harm and value human life. Obviously there are many that do not.

-- Ken Seger (kenseger@earthlink.net), June 17, 1999.

This is the second hit-piece article on the 50 cal rifles, alledgedly because the Secret Service is worried about a Presidential security threat. Recall that the first one implied that someone in an office building in Alexandria, VA could hit the White House with one. Big deal, correctly calculate the ballistics and you could probably do it with everything from a .22 rifle up to the fifty. Nevermind that no scope exists to allow a four mile aimed shot from Alexandria at the White House, let alone someone standing at a window in the White House, as alluded to in the Washington Times report.

But unrealism seems to go part and parcel with this story, since 50 cal rifles go for two to eight grand. Kinda out of the average gun owner's price range the same way a Ferrari or Lamborghini is something the average car buyer can afford.

The current crop of 50 cal rifles is for two basic markets, the "I've got one of those on my wall, too." crowd who never or rarely shoot theirs and the hard-core, competition long-range target shooting bunch, who will shoot theirs a bunch. All the tempest over these guns makes me think this is just another stalking horse issue for the anti- gun crowd.

While they get everyone whipped up over this new "sniper rifle" threat, look for laws that would most severely impact the average person's scope-equipped hunting rifle.

And if the Secret Service truly thinks that the big fifties pose a security threat in the hands of "some persons", they can put a watch on "those persons", the same way they keep tabs on questionable people now.

What's next? The threat posed by plumbers who might fashion a cannon out of irrigation pipe and then use it against the White House? Maybe the threat of a junior Wherner von Braun building an oversized Estes model rocket and lunching it towards DC? A radio-controlled model airplane loaded with a cherry bomb?

The Secret Service is playing "What if?" with the most marginal of threats. And the press gets hold of the possibilities and is blowing it way out of proportion. As if every White House-facing window in Alexandria has a 50 cal sticking out of it with someone on the trigger just itching to take a shot.

You'd think they'd worry about more real possibilities, like a no- holds barred terrorist attack to get even for Bin Ladin or Kosovo.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), June 17, 1999.

Well, the idiots are at it again. Criminals don't use such guns. It's just another attempt to stir up fear and silly emotions against a non-threat.

They just want to ban the guns and ammo, plain and simple. Since .50 BMG ammo is rather effective versus vehicles, of course, it has to be banned. :)

After all, it supposedly will pierce a Bradley at less than 400 yards, and it's good versus the BATFAG's vehicles...

-- Bill (billclo@msgbox.com), June 17, 1999.

IIRC: the piece they are refering to is built by a BB gun manufacturer: BEEMAN and is a Beeman-Kricoh (no pointsa for propper spelling). This particular piece has a record of accuracy out to about 6 klicks (errr 6,000 meters).


or so an early SWAT magazine had me believe.

-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), June 18, 1999.

If you are so inclined, saw an ad several months ago in Robb Report selling a 50cal with mount for $6K plus. If you live high on a slope and had money to burn it might be justified.


-- ratt (at@tat.at), June 18, 1999.

Forget .50 cal, go with the 30.06 Talon. I have bought both the tracer and AP. The AP puts a clean hole through 1.5 inches of hardened steel. It will go through an engine block like a hot knife through butter. The tracer is fun to shoot at dusk, we shoot it out about 300 yards and let it ricochet into the air another 100 yard or so. The 30.06 AP is great!

-- y2khippo (y2khippo@yahoo.com), June 18, 1999.

I gotta jump on this. As far as the 50's go,an M2 Browning machine gun costs about $7500.00 at this time. The cyclic rate of fire for one of these is about 550 rounds per minute.And they weigh about 82 pounds without the tripod. If ammunition costs $1.25 a round then it costs about $800.00 a minute to operate.Not to mention having to go thru the fingerprinting, photographing, FBI background check, interview with your local,"CLEO"(Chief Law Enforcement Officer), $200.00 transfer tax for each non dealer it passes through or to , and up to many years wait(In reality it takes about 90 days to get the approval to take possession). If you want a rifle the cheapest go for about $3500.00 and the ones fielded to the military run about $7000.00. So how many do you want? I confess I'm a gun nut of the first degree but I can't afford to buy one much less feed it. BTW, the only crime I've ever heard committed with one of these big guns was in Denver a couple years a go. A murder. I for one think it was not cost effective.

-- nine (nine_fingers@hotmail.com), June 18, 1999.

I'm only a little under 300#. I don't want to fire a .50 cal. rifle from the sholder. Too much kick! You need to fire it from a tripod or bench. Maybe we could use a couple to keep invaders out of Kauai.

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), June 18, 1999.

The only use I've ever heard of for a fifty cal rifle was in a conversation with a bunch of special ops types about airfield security. The point being that a sniper with a fifty cal rifle could put planes out of commision by taking "windshield shots" from a mile or so away. All that would be needed was a hit on the nose portion of the plane.

After all, nobody is going to fly a jet which has a damaged windscreen, windscreen frame or cockpit section. It would be suicide to try. Hence, one sniper could probably ground every plane he could get a shot at, before security forces could get to him. And best of all, the planes would only be temporariy disabled, if you planned on capturing the airfield and using the assets.

What does this have to do with the press stories and the Secret Service concerns? The issue is expressed as one of somebody taking shots at people from a mile or more away. The biggest users of these guns, the specials ops world, uses them to attack much larger things from the mile or more range. Things like aircraft on the ground, vehicles, power substation transformers, municipal water tanks, fuel storage tanks, not human-sized targets. There's a big difference in a one mile shot with "shoot to kill" versus "anywhere on the front half" accuracy. Any competant shooter will tell you that, but it doesn't matter anyway.

What we're seeing is a new front opening in the gun-control issue and this is the prybar that's being used. Nevermind that it's based on overstated claims of how such a gun would be used. The issue isn't that particular fifty cal gun, it's any scoped rifle. Soon all will have the lable SNIPER RIFLE plastered on them by the anti-gunners and the press.

Remember the label ASSAULT WEAPON and what it's done to any semi- automatic rifle or pistol? The similarities are to numerous to count. Now all that's needed is for a bunch of high-profile incidents to occur involving some idiot using a scoped rifle and the howls of "Ban the sniper guns!" will start the ball rolling to make the average deer or elk hunter's gun illegal.

Coming to a political scene near you, just in time for Y2K.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), June 18, 1999.


I agree 100%.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), June 18, 1999.

I shot a rifle chambered for .50 BMG a couple months ago. This one was a bolt action single-shot with a bipod. I planted the bipod legs securely, slipped off the safety, gritted my teeth and squeezed off an AP round. Lordy, lordy, talk about loud!!! But the recoil wasn't bad at all.

-- Max Dixon (mcdixon@konnections.com), June 18, 1999.

Last year on a gun thread there was concern about having too big a gun for the wife. My advice then and now from experience is to always were ear protection and learn to shoot straight is the primary objective of shooting a gun at a firing range. The sound of a gunshot is a big distraction. With ear plugs, the recoil is not that big a deal, no matter what the caliber. When someone is shooting at you in a firefight, you will not even notice the sound or the recoil until later, maybe a little sore if you are not in shape.

-- VietNam67-68 (123@19C06.com), June 18, 1999.

One of my old team used a "Boy's Rifle" in SE Asia as a sniper weapon. I believe it was British made and fired the same round as a M2. Bolt was a half-turn locking type and I personally saw him make his shots from 900 yards downhill across the paddies. I fired it a couple of times for grins except the second time I didn't have it in the right spot. Fractured a clavicle (collarbone to the unmedical). Also shoved me back about two inches while lying in a prone shooting position. Been there, don't really want to go back.

-- Lobo (atthelair@yahoo.com), June 19, 1999.

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