How Far will a .50 Kill? – .50 S&W Edition

    Most shooters will recognize that a .50 BMG can reach out and touch something. In fact, four of the five longest confirmed sniper kills in the world were recorded with a .50 BMG, one of which was launched from a Ma-Duece by none other than Marine sniper Carlos Hathcock.

    But, the questions is how inherently deadly is the .50 size? At half an inch in bullet diameter, there is a lot of space for powder, even in a straight-walled cartridge. Looking to answer the question, IraqVeteran8888 stepped up to shoot a single-shot rifle, specifically TheGunCollective’s Thompson Center Encore in .50 Smith & Wesson, equipped with a suppressor no less.

    Turns out the only real inhibition of the cartridge reaching out as far as the BMG is its bullet design and maximum velocity. Being a round tip bullet, the .50 S&W has significant drag and when combined with relatively low exit velocity, drops like a son-of-a-gun. At 400 yards, the 1-8x US Optics scope was nearly bottomed out at 8 mils. At that range, the weapon has a nearly 1 second time of flight.

    At 600 yards, getting the shot on target was quite the challenge, especially when one forgets to cock the hammer on the single-shot rifle. Flinch!

    Hit the video below to see the results of the .50 S & W vs plywood.

    Nathan S

    One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

    The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.