DIY “AR-50” rides again in Brazil

    Back in 2015, TFB ( showed a DIY .50BMG caliber rifle that was seized from criminal hands in Rio de Janeiro by the local Military Police BOPE – Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (Special Police Operations Battalion) and which was falsely marked as an “ArmaLite  AR-50”.

    The “ArmaLite AR-50” .50BMG rifle seized in Rio de Janeiro two years ago.

    It just so happened that a very similar “Frankenstein” gun was found with a large group of outlaws who took part in a recent (April 24) multi-million dollar robbery from a bank security company in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, near the Brazilian borderline with Paraná State. Some of the guys trying to escape back to Brazil were caught (some, actually, killed) by agents of several Brazilian police agencies involved in the chase, when one of the weapons used in the crime was seized. Guess what? It was a close copy of the earlier mysterious gun.

    The .50BMG “Frankie” seized in Brazil after the multi-million-dollar robbery in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.

    Images made available by Brazilian police authorities show that the so-marked “AR-50A2” features a somewhat different, box-like muzzle brake and general features basically common to the weapon found two years earlier, including the detachable box magazine that fits under the receiver. Unlike the “AR-50”, the “A2” barrel is not fluted.

    The seized rifle (location of the spurious markings indicated by circle) and part of the money recovered. Displayed badges are those of Brazil’s Polícia Federal (Federal Police) and Paraná State Military Police’s BPFron – Batalhão Polícia de Fronteira (Border Police Battalion).

    The DIY rifle and its box magazine as in the location found by Brazilian police.

    This is just to give you an idea of the damage caused by explosives and gunfire used in the late-April robbery in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, carried out by (mostly) Brazilian criminals.

    One of the weapons used in the robbery captured by PRF (Polícia Rodoviária Federal, Federal Highway Police) was this AR-platform rifle, whose displayed magazines seem to be for the 7.62x39mm chambering.

    Ronaldo Olive

    Ronaldo is a long-time (starting in the 1960s) Brazilian writer on aviation, military, LE, and gun subjects, with articles published in local and international (UK, Switzerland, and U.S.) periodicals. His vast experience has made him a frequent guest lecturer and instructor in Brazil’s armed and police forces.