The .50 Browning Machine Gun (BMG) round is a rifle round used for a multitude of purposes today.

Developed in 1918 by Winchester Repeating Arms Company at the personal request of General John Pershing, the .50 has a metric measurement of 12.7x99mm. The .50 has an actual projectile (bullet) diameter of .51 inches (all bullets are larger than the barrel in order to force the bullet into the rifling).

The .50 bullet carries a muzzle energy of about 12,000 foot-pounds, and a velocity of 2900 fps with a chamber pressure of max 55,000 PSI.

The .50's primary role is to engage hard (armored) targets at extreme ranges, there is a misconception on how the .50 serves as the ultimate sniper round but this is just pish-posh. There is no reason to engage a human target with a 700 grain bullet, then combine this with the trouble faced trying to stalk through rough terrain with a 50 kilogram weapon measuring approximately 2 meters long, and packs a recoil of a sledgehammer.
The round/rifle serves best in defensive operations as a light anti tank weapon.

There is great potential for accuracy, but as of now the .50 has an uneven trajectory and there is a lack of match ammunition.

Actually, contrary to Pelle, I will say that the .50 BMG has more than proven its unofficial title as the worlds premier long range sniper caliber. The past two world record shots on human targets have all been successfully performed by rifles chambered to fire this effective round.

It all started with that sniper we all know and love, U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock, who claimed the life of an NVA regular at 2.25km with the The Browning M2 .50 caliber Heavy Machine Gun. Impressively, the M2 has an estimated effective range of only about 1.83km.

Most recently, during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan's Shah-i-Kot Valley, Master Corporal Arron Perry of the Canadian Forces, with a .50-caliber McMillan TAC-50 rifle, shot and killed an opposing combatant from a distance of 2.43km.

So, while the .50 BMG is utilized mostly for tactical materials destruction, and to spite the more common use of the .308, 7.62, and .223 cartridges, the .50 BMG has maintained a firm hold on its record for almost 40 years.

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