TFB friend Brandon Herrera, aka The AK Guy, started several years ago the “crazy” project of manufacturing a .50 BMG AK-based rifle, the AK-50. The project is still ongoing and, with Brandon’s internet fame, more and more people started questioning if it will ever reach completion. Brandon decided to jokingly offer a treat to his impatient fans, by building the AK-50 Lite in .50 Beowulf.
The AK Guy @ TFB:
- An AK in .50 BMG: Introducing The AK-50 (Project AKG)
- Inside The AK-50 – For When You want .50 BMG and Reliability
- The AK Guy Introduces His First Production Model AK Called AKG-47
- The 50 BMG AK Project As Told By Brandon, The AK Guy
The AK-50 Project
Simply speaking the AK-50 is a highly ambitious attempt towards designing an AK-based rifle around the .50 BMG cartridge. The project started a few years ago and The AK Guy is slowly going through prototyping stages in order to have a design that is safe, reliable, and optimized to be manufactured in limited series.
We earlier published a TFBTV video that walks you through the whole history of the project with Brandon Herrera.
Rigorous testing and manufacturing constraints stretch the development times of new models even for big manufacturers, much more so for small shops. The result is that updates are sporadic, and sometimes they may not be enough for the hungry internet public.
Some voices in this crowd apparently just want to see an AK chambered in “something .50”: enter the .50 Beowulf.
The .50 Beowulf Cartridge
The .50 Beowulf is a straight-wall .500 caliber cartridge designed to operate in AR-15 based weapons (which may explain why Brandon seems to dislike it so much). The Beowulf was designed by Bill Alexander of Alexander Arms and it’s one of the low-pressure rounds created to give big-bore capabilities to the AR-15 platform.
Other notable examples are the .458 SOCOM, arguably the trendsetter, and the .450 Bushmaster. These rounds feed from modified AR-15 magazines and have ballistics comparable to .45-70, offering good hunting performance on most game in short to medium ranges.
The straight-wall design of the casing may be advantageous in areas where hunting regulations require this feature. Given the wide diameter of the case head, a rebated rim design was adopted to allow the use of existing AR bolt heads. The rim diameter of .50 Beowulf is the same as the 7.62×39 mm, making the chambering of an AK in this caliber relatively straightforward.
Needless to say, the .50 BMG and the .50 Beowulf share only the nominal caliber (the BMG bullet is actually .510″).
The build is functional but meant to be somewhat rough to highlight the silliness of the idea behind it. Brandon won’t be manufacturing any more of these in the future, although, with some refinement, it could be interesting.
Here below the full video on the big-bore monstrosity. Enjoy!