50 BMG Handgun

This video came out in 2012, so it has been out for a while, but this is the first time I’ve come across it. I can’t find much information about it, other than it is called the “Thunder” and appears to have been made by a company called Triple Action LLC, which is an FFL based out of Logan, Utah. The project must have been a local gunsmith put together without any serial production. It must have been created as an attempt to say, “Why not?”, along the lines of the AK50 project. The thing is so massive, it looks like it requires a breech block similar to a recoilless rifle or artillery cannon just to load. It includes a massive compensator, and iron sights. Why they even bothered with a compensator on a cartridge so large in something like a handgun is quite beyond me. But it certainly falls into the novelty category, like this German .50 BMG handgun, and there couldn’t have been many made. It seems to have been premiered at SHOT a couple years back, or a similar industry function, because of the photos on the internet with the function in the background. I would almost be concerned about the safety of the hand cannon, letting off a .50 BMG round in front of your face with nothing but a chunk of steel between you and the cartridge. That, or literally breaking your wrists.


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Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


  • Leigh Rich

    be fun to shoot. Been out a while. I have a 16″ shorty rifle that one can easly shoot 1 handed with the titanuium break on it.

  • Petto

    Put a Sig Brace on it a great handy .50 cal pistol haha

    • Travis

      Haha very handy lol

    • Anonymoose

      That was my first thought, as well.

    • Jeebus

      How about a slidefire stock?

  • Martin Grønsdal

    how come his arm didn’t come clean off?

    • Giolli Joker

      Only a limited amount of powder burns in such a short barrel, there’s a compensator and what looks like an hydraulic dampener under the barrel.
      Sure it has a hefty recoil but it doesn’t get the full recoil force that a rifle with full length barrel has to cope with.
      I’d love to see bullet velocity readings and some ballistic gel testing… just for fun.
      Somebody should find one and send it to JM…

      • Martin Grønsdal

        I know that. But still. I woul probably want someone to shoot this first, before even considering it myself 😉

        • Giolli Joker

          Sound approach, indeed.
          I’d wear padded shooting gloves as well.

          • Harrison Jones

            No kidding! That must of been a light reload.

    • milesfortis

      I’ve seen handguns chambered in .500 Linebaugh and .500 S&W that recoil that much, and more, when shot. It appears manageable, but as Mr Joker has commented, I’d wear shooting gloves and add a wrist brace.

  • Giolli Joker

    This needs a night time shooting video… I expect an awesome fireball.

  • Mcameron

    im surprised the guy in the video can find pants that fit him…..considering the size of his testes must be enormous………

  • Mark

    It actually looks great, compared to the usual .50BMG monstrosities we see. I would have put Nill target grips on it just for chuckles ?

  • Proof how great the USA is when you are still free enough to generate such a useless weapon as this. Too bad Fineswine will be all over it in the next couple of weeks using it as an example of how the innocent Shitcago hood rats are getting hold of these super gun pistols and shooting down air planes and the Sears Tower.

    • Does the Sears Tower Routinely get demolished by street gangs? Thought I woulda heard about something like that…..

      • CountryBoy

        Hyperbole, my friend, hyperbole.

    • Bal256

      She’d be wrong on the technical basis that it’s name had been changed in 2009 to the Willis Tower.

      • I’m sure Fineswine would point out that they had to change the name because the hood rats kept trying to rob it with 50 cal super guns even though there was no retail Sears outlet there.

        • Budogunner

          Based on your awesome humor I have to ask… are you the same Mongo from the SilencerTalk forums? If so, howdy : )

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    How dead do you want the guy?:
    A) Kinda
    B) Critical condition
    C) ALL THE WAY (X)

    • Paul White

      and his little dog too!


  • Andy B

    My buddy has one of the Birdman 50BMG pistols. It was our end of day gun. We’d tie a towel around it and our wrist to help secure the damn thing. One shot would do it for me. It was a beast.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    “And this one is for shooting down police helicopters”

    • The “water-cooled revolver” will certainly be the crowning weapon of the 21st century!

  • Rock or Something

    Perfect for those weekend big game excursions to Isla Nublar…

  • PK

    They registered it as a SBR to avoid it being legally a handgun and making .50BMG pistol ammunition, which would have impacted the legality of AP, API, etc.

    • Giolli Joker

      That’s thoughtful of them.

    • Nicholas C

      Interesting. What about the Pachmayer Dominator pistol? It is .308. Could that be considered AP?

    • Kyle

      Good on them for not trying to play a game of grab ass with the ATF over ammo.

    • Cattoo

      There is Magnum Research with their BFR series of revolvers that are chambered in a variety of rifle calibers and fire the very same cartridges, for example 30-30, 45-70 and such. Perhaps they are SBR officially but I doubt it.

  • Here is the patent:


    It looks like the inventors, Janos I. Lakatos and E. Clay Slade, are/were principals with Specialized Analysis Engineering, Inc. They are still making payments to keep the patent active.

  • iksnilol

    Eh, with such a short barrel that comp would be very effective.

    • Nicholas C

      Depends on the design of the comp. Not all comps are equal or effective.

      • iksnilol

        Yeah, but for comps and brakes: more pressure = more gooder


  • Kelly Jackson

    This is what all law enforcement officers should be issued to satisfy the social media ballistic experts that think police can just shoot someone one time and stop them.

    • Budogunner

      They would also only need one bullet to hit their target. The statistics would be interesting.

  • Space Captian

    Just found my new CCW…KIDDING!

    • Budogunner

      I have met two people who carried .50AE Desert Eagles. One even qualified for his CCDW license with it. Makes no sense to me, but whatever.

  • LV-426

    When you absolutely have to break your wrist, a little more quietly….

    • iksnilol

      Blow out the case and load some .70 caliber subsonic slugs 😉

      • Julio


        • iksnilol

          That or I should be really thankful for the free healthcare here in Norway.

          • Giolli Joker

            So a subsonic 700 WTF?

          • iksnilol

            I dunno.

            Maybe much cheaper?

      • Xeno Da Morph

        You don’t think, a sub sonic fifty cal would be good enough for any thing on earth the walks? Or are you just thinking about busting caps on whales or velociraptors?

        • iksnilol

          Eh, I want to take advantage of as much powder as possible 😛

          I’d rather avoid downloading the charge 😉

    • Budogunner

      That is a sand blaster for silencer baffles if ever I’ve seen one.

  • Nicholas C

    I wonder if you could suppress this with a .50 bmg suppressor? LOL

    • 1leggeddog

      I doubt a .50 can would survive the pressure…

      • Budogunner

        With such a short barrel I don’t know if much pressure would build up, honestly. I’m thinking something like Mr. Silvers’ slow motion video of discharging a shotgun sans-barrel.

        • iksnilol

          I dunno, shorter barrels mean more pressure at the muzzle.

  • mechamaster

    Terminator and Robocop will capable to use this handgun effectively. lol

    • LCON

      Don’t forget Master Chief for this new generation.

      • mechamaster

        Haha, true ! ^^

  • nova3930

    Asking can without asking should?

  • Darren Hruska

    Somebody needs to chronograph the velocity of .50 BMG ammo from such a short barrel.

  • Anonymous

    It was made to demonstrate a piston shock absorber. See the black tube with the silver rod? It’s a pistol scale recoil absorption piston, like those used in car tailgates as far as scale goes. That is why it can be easily hand fired.

    • Edeco

      Hmmm. I wonder how hot it gets.

  • Lance

    OOOOuch!!!!!! Looks painful!

  • Edeco

    I’ve heard of recoil being relatively low in short barrels before. Hard to say though since shorter usually means lighter. It would be interesting to see inch-by-inch data for recoil vs barrel length, with no muzzle device, and the weight of the gun kept constant.

    • iksnilol

      The physics say it should recoil less if the mass is kept constant.

      • Edeco

        Yep. I’m too lazy, inattentive, and cynical to put on my math-hat, though, rather see an operator, load-cell, 36″ barrel 50BMG, and a hacksaw applied to the problem. Gordian-knot this thing.

      • AlDeLarge

        There is also a rocket effect from the still-burning powder, but some say it’s negligible.

    • Leigh Rich

      I have a Shorty 50 BMG single show With a 16″ barrel and a titanium brake. Recoil is like a 12 gauge and one best not even have to hold it to a shoulder standing. However the compression and flas is a killer.

      • Edeco

        Ah, yeah, I bet you feel that in the lungs, any other organs with gas-pockets at the time-of firing 😀

        • Leigh Rich

          I have to wear plugs and a clam and goggles if i shoot over a couple rounds. Feels like my eyes are being sucked out.

  • Phil Hsueh

    I like it, it kind of reminds me of the blasters from the original Battlestar Galactica.

  • Jon

    Oh yeah! Now we need one in 14.5x113mm!

  • Badwolf

    Need holster for this.

    • Budogunner

      Sticky holster, for all that ails you. I mean, it’s not like you are going to reholster this thing.

  • Cymond

    Here’s a pic of it being fired at night. http://www.ljplus.ru/img3/s/e/serpentthegreen/50bmghandgun.jpg
    Fwiw, the blog Airborne Combat Engineer did a write up on this in 2005. As far as I know it’s never been seen since it’s debut those many years ago.

    • I would love to see some slow-motion footage of that thing in action….. If only there was someone reading this that had some camera gear for that ::Cough:: Larry Vickers ::Cough::

  • Silverado

    You first…

  • Modifa

    I had calculated the actual power of this gun before.
    IIRC, at least muzzle energy is comparable to that of .300 win mag from 24 inch barrel…
    Isn’t that enough impressive?
    This gun always reminds me HALO space marines use .50 cal handguns issued as ‘PDW’…

  • Christopher Armour

    What’s next, a 20mm pocket pistol?

  • Heretical Politik

    man… he just lasered that guys legs…

  • 1leggeddog

    You’ll shoot yer eye… HEAD OFF!

  • Joey Dryer

    Ahh good ol’ Birdman and Biggerhammer. These types of pistols were made in the early 2000s with those DIY BMG kits. Had a friend that had a bullpup BMG he made that was only about 26-30 inches long.

    • me ohmy

      man.. I bet that thing is a handful, and horrible to be close to when fired

  • scaatylobo

    as Phil Rizzitto would have said “HOLY COW”.
    That was —— er painful.