A reader emailed us the above photo of Filipino rebel troops belonging to the the unfortunately named MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front). The man on the left is carrying one of the .50 Caliber backyard workshop rifles that seem to be popping up frequently in the Philippines.
I am told that members of the Philippines military are not pleased with the state of affairs. They do not believe the rebels are “playing by the rules”. Because of the peace negotiations with the various rebel groups the military has strict limitations on the deployment of their Barrett M95 .50 BMG rifles. The rebels don’t appear to be reciprocating.
Now .50 Caliber bolt action rifles are not ideal general purpose marksman’s rifle. They are large, heavy, the ammunition is heavy, they are loud and they make a large flash. These rifles are probably not accurate enough anyway to shoot accuracy at the extreme end of the .50 BMG cartridge’s range, negating that benefit. So I wonder why they are busy building these rifles when they could be building more versatile 7.62x51mm rifles. Could it be because they are running out of other types of ammunition, cannot risk shooting up large quantities of .50 BMG in machine guns or because their machine guns are falling to pieces?
Many thanks to Reuel for the photo.