Power: The .50 Caliber (12.7×99mm NATO)

Just how much power can a .50 caliber round emit? This article will familiarize you with the ins and outs of this 12.7x99mm bullet. Everything from history, to manufacturing, the .50 caliber bullet has revolutionized the U.S. infantry and military.


First off, we’ll focus on production. Initially, the .50 caliber round was a fabled idea made by John Browning during the first world war. It wasn’t until roughly 1917, when it was originally adopted by the U.S military that the round became popular. One of the first firearms to successfully cartridge and fire the larger round was the M2HB Browning. This .50 Caliber beast was designed at the end of World War one, by John Browning. The M2HB, otherwise known as the M2 Browning was the direct replacement for Brownings’ earlier heavy machine gun design, the M1919 Heavy Machine Gun. The M2 Browning’s .50 caliber rounds were armor-piercing, and went on to function as anti-aircraft and anti-vehicular rounds. This use of the .50 caliber round was standard for many years following World War Two.


It wasn’t until a few decades after World War Two that the .50 caliber bullet was chambered in high-powered rifles. The high-capacity round was used as early as the Korean War, and began gaining popularity after 1960. The former record for the longest distance confirmed kill was set by U.S. Marine sniper Carlos Hathcock in 1967. The distance of his confirmed kill was 2,286 yd (2,090 meters). Hathcock used the .50 caliber round in an M2 Browning Machine Gun with a telescopic sight. This weapon was the early Barrett .50 caliber rifle, until many years later, when that rifle cam into production. The U.S. Military highly utilizes the .50 caliber round, by using weapons to detonate un-exploded ordnance from safe distances. The .50 caliber round can also disable most unarmored and lightly armored vehicles.

Power: Force, Ballistics, Insanity

The power that the .50 caliber bullet holds is INSANE. Producing up to 25,000 ft-lbs of Force on the target upon impact, this round is famous for destruction. The .50 cal has received increased popularity over the years, beginning as its’ sole purpose being a machine gun round, to now allowing the NRA to host competitive shooting matches, only allowing that caliber. The Barrett M82 is the standard long-range rifle capable of firing this round. This 30+lb monster of a rifle with a 20″ barrel allows for 853m/s of muzzle velocity with a 660 grain, 42.8g projectile. With a 400 grain, 26g solid brass projectile, the muzzle velocity is 990m/s. The effective range is approximately 1,800m (5,900ft); however the maximum range is 6,812m(22,349ft). The M82 replacement cost is upwards of $8,000 USD.

All image credit to: Flickr.com

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