Homemade .50 BMG rifle

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

The .50-Caliber Rifle Construction Manual written by Bill Holmes was published in 2002. The Amazon customer reviews have criticized the book for its poor drawings and complex construction techniques.

A guy names “mxwelch” on YouTube has build a working .50 BMG rifle based on Bill’s book. To simplify construction he used an M2 maching gun barrel which he cut it down and re-chambered, instead of building his own, and made the rifle single shot instead of a magazine fed repeater.

The total monetary cost was $400 which includes the M2 barrel and chamber reamer rental. It took over 25 hours of shop time to build!

It weights 34 lbs and can shoot 1.5 MOA.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

More by Steve Johnson

Join the conversation
2 of 17 comments
  • Willyt Willyt on Feb 24, 2011

    Thanks for the info ,but I am not ready for this project yet. But Ill still buy the book.

  • Dick C. Dick C. on Nov 06, 2011

    I'm just starting the Holmes gun, have an M2 barrel coming. What is the optimum barrel length to use?? The plans say 'length to suit'. There is a barrel length that will work best isn't there?

    You did a great job on yours!
    Dick C.