Machined Aluminum Cased .50 BMG Cartridges by Blackwater Ammunition

    Blackwater Ammunition Hybrid Case .50 BMG Cartridges (1)

    Blackwater Ammunition is a new company established by Eric Prince, the founder of Academy (Blackwater), James Fenech, ammunition and arms distributor, and Nicola Bandini who also is (was?) the CEO of Arsenal Firearms. The launch of this new company was officially announced during IWA 2018 exhibition. Blackwater Ammunition is located in Malta. It is a subsidiary of another Maltese company called Precision Ballistic Manufacturing.

    Among a variety of rifle and pistol ammunition offerings, perhaps the most interesting is the line of .50 BMG cartridges made by Blackwater Ammunition. These cartridges are loaded with CNC machined solid copper bullets and utilize cases machined from 7075 aluminum. As seen in the video embedded below, the cases have a split design with about 1″ tall bottom portion screwed into the top one.

    According to Blackwater Ammunition, their aluminum .50 BMG cases have about half the weight of standard brass cases. Depending on the bullet weight, the overall weight reduction per cartridge can be up to 35%. Besides being a benefit for an individual shooter, the light weight of ammunition is also important for logistics and airborne operations.

    Blackwater Ammunition .50BMG case heads

    The company claims that these cases have successfully passed pressure tests withstanding over 70,000 psi of pressure. They have also tested these cartridges in a variety of semi-auto and bolt action firearms and they are currently testing them in full auto guns.

    Blackwater Ammunition Hybrid Case .50 BMG Cartridges (6)

    The headstamp of .50 BMG cartridges made by Blackwater Ammunition

    Right now, the cases are not available separately and Blackwater Ammunition offers the loaded ammunition only. They have three loads with the M33 bullet, and two solid copper bullets – 600 grain IFS which has a muzzle velocity of 3,050 fps, and 770 grain SOLID projectile with an MV of 2,450 fps.

    Blackwater Ammunition Hybrid Case .50 BMG Cartridges (5)

    Blackwater Ammunition Hybrid Case .50 BMG Cartridges (4)

    L-R: IFS, SOLID, M33

    Arguably the most interesting projectile is the IFS. It has quite unusual geometry with what looks to be a conical ogive, rather large and deeply recessed portion on the bearing surface and a multi-stage tail.

    Blackwater Ammunition IFS

    Blackwater Ammunition IFS bullet

    The company also made the cardboard cases of their ammunition useful by printing targets inside them.

    Blackwater Ammunition Hybrid Case .50 BMG Cartridges (2)

    Images from

    Hrachya H

    Managing Editor

    Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. He also writes for and
    Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at [email protected]