The Associated Press is reporting that an injured whale was recovered yesterday after being shot with a .50 caliber firearm. It is important to remember that the Associated Press have demonstrated little understanding of firearms in the past.
They have claimed that the whale was shot with a “.50-caliber machine gun”. I would be impressed if they can tell the difference between a .50BMG rifle (if it was in fact .50BMG and not another .50 caliber cartridge) and a .50BMG machine gun. Or if they even know the difference between a machine gun and a rifle.
However, I do find it interesting that the Makah Tribe, who are legally allowed to hunt whales, use .50 caliber rifles. I guess they may be used when a harpoon has not killed a whale and they are not able to take another shot with the it.
UPDATE: Some tribesman are being held by the Coast Guard, but not charged, over the incident. More here.