[Knob Creek 2016] Bullpup .50 BMG Leader A1

    The St. George Arms Leader A1 .50 BMG rifle is the creation of Charles St. George, based off of his previous design, the Leader 50 rifle. It is a semi-automatic .50 BMG magazine fed bullpup rifle with a 24 inch barrel that uses a short stroke gas piston system. The bolt is made out of Maraging steel, which the company claims is an extremely strong material to be used within small arms design (indeed, simple stock prices of the steel are very costly). Magazine is a 10 round Serbu magazine, pistol grip and selector switch are both AR compatible and thus can be switched out. The top rail is a picatinny rail that extends over the extrusion that is the receiver of the rifle. Non reciprocating charging handle is on the left side of the rifle above the pistol grip. There is a picatinny rail underneath the charging handle that bipods can be mounted on, in addition to a picatinny rail behind the magazine for a monopod. The compensator is massive, held together by what appears to be hex screws. The rifle is in full production form and the company is currently taking in orders. It comes in at an overall length of 39.5 inches and an unloaded weight of 18.5 lb.

    The current A1 model differs from the original Leader 50 mostly in manufacturing methods rather than an actual design change. The original Leader 50 didn’t come to market, thus this will be the first time it will be available for consumers. The rifle can be made in a left hand version as ordered. The Leader 50 A1 was presented the Blue Book of Gun Value Award for the best original Bullpup design at this years NRA Show.

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    The buttstock isn’t in its final form yet, this will be improved before release.DSC03287 DSC03289 DSC03291 DSC03293 DSC03294

    Charles St. George has an interesting tale that actually begins with the beginnings of the Barrett company. Essentially St. George appears to have came out with the triangular bolt used in the Barrett design before Ronnie Barrett began the company. Forgotten Weapons has an interview with him over this fact where they discuss the design differences. St. George received a patent in 1982 (filed in 1979) for his T2 5.56x45mm rifle that featured a triangular bolt (U.S. Patent Number 4,358,986), while Ronnie Barrett didn’t receive his first patent until October 1989, having been filed in 1987(U.S. Patent Number 4,867,040), for the M82 with a triangular bolt. St. George also did substantial work on the Bushmaster bullpup M17S, so he isn’t a newcomer when it comes to the bullpup design game.

    The original Leader 50 being fired by the inventor.

    Current Leader 50 also being fired by the inventor.

    Miles

    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 [email protected]


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