NRA Explore

.50 Caliber Rifles And Ammunition: Latest Anti-Gun Targets Of Opportunity

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

With the demise of the Clinton Gun Ban, and several independent studies for the federal government showing that the "assault weapons" ban was ill-conceived, gun prohibitionists have found new firearms to demonize--those chambered to fire the vintage .50 BMG cartridge.

A fear-mongering campaign to demonize both those firearms and the hobbyists who own them began in earnest. CBS's "60 Minutes" used its Jan. 9, 2005, edition to portray .50 caliber rifles as being "too dangerous to be in the hands of private citizens." (Note: the next day four CBS employees were fired for their roles in Dan Rather's report on President Bush's National Guard service. The firings came after an independent panel said CBS had failed to follow basic journalistic principles and then compounded that failure with a "rigid and blind" defense.)

So what, the gun banners say, if these rifles aren't used in crimes--they might be one day. If that sounds familiar, it should. That's the same language U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) used to help Bill Clinton attack semi-automatics more than a decade ago.

And these crimes of the future would not be just any crimes, of course. .50 caliber rifles won't be used by street criminals to rob liquor stores, or to settle disputes between rival drug trafficking gangs, or commit other crimes that actually happen. Anti-gunners in the post 9/11 world can't resist "playing the terrorist card." An example is Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va.), who rages about "a number of different, horrifying scenarios in which these weapons could be employed."

In the real world, who really owns these firearms and what are they used for? Twenty years ago, the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association, Inc. (FCSA) was founded by a group of dedicated marksmen who banded together in order to advance the sporting uses of the .50 caliber cartridge and advance the art of long-range accuracy shooting with .50 caliber rifles. The FCSA, an NRA affiliate, today holds 1000-yd. shooting competitions around the country.

In keeping with the historical tradition of American firearms development, the FCSA shares the knowledge gained through long-range target shooting with law-enforcement and the military. Civilian gun owners, working together with the nation's armed forces, have improved equipment and skills, to the benefit of both the military and the shooting sports.

Costing thousands of dollars, measuring 4-5 ft. in length, and weighing 22-34 lbs., .50 caliber rifles are much too expensive and cumbersome for run-of-the-mill lowlifes. But, claim a few of the most radical anti-gun activists, they might--just might--;be used to commit the types of crimes found only in the pages of "action" novels and on movie and TV screens. Ridiculous in the extreme, this fear-mongering is currently being peddled by--you guessed it--the Violence Policy Center (VPC). Those who are familiar with the group might say, "Consider the source," given its cynical positions and preposterous claims over the years.

For many years, VPC has said that handguns should be banned because they are too small, but now says that .50 caliber rifles should be banned because they are too big. The VPC will never agree that there is a gun that is "just right" for the American people.

.50 Caliber Rifle Facts

  • .50 caliber rifles are not used in crimes--.50 caliber rifles are too large and heavy to be employed in normal criminal behavior.
  • .50 caliber rifles are also among the most expensive made, confining their purchase to dedicated marksmen and collectors.
  • Most people who own .50 caliber rifles are long-range target shooting experts. For more than a century, long-range target shooting competitions have attracted marksmen, and modern .50 caliber rifles are among the most accurate for long-range shooting.
  • .50 caliber rifle ammunition is not new. Contrary to anti-gunners' wild claims, the ammunition used in these rifles was invented shortly after World War I.
  • Despite outlandish claims from anti-gunners, Mk211 military ammunition is strictly controlled by the U.S. Armed Forces and not available to the general public.
  • Gun banners argue that because some .50 caliber rifles are used by the military, they should not be available to private individuals. This rejects the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, who, beyond any question, placed their faith in the people.
  • American citizens have comprised the Militia of the United States under federal law since 1792. They have always owned the same small arms as are used in the military, and their practice and improvement in the use of these firearms has been encouraged by federal law since 1903.
.50 Caliber Rifles


Friday, August 28, 2015

Call Guinness, New Record in Gun Control Stupidity

Despite the best efforts of the Brady Campaign and Michael Bloomberg's Everytown, a small group in suburban Chicago ...


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Weird Science

As gun owners see all too often, a favored tactic of the gun control crowd is to provide ...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Smoke and Mirrors: Seattle Sales Tax

This week, the NRA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), firearms retailers, and private ...


Friday, August 28, 2015

White House, Media Mislead on Crime Trends, Ignore Evidence that Could Save More Lives

Tragedy strikes – and the White House immediately shifts into exploitation mode, trying to use raw emotion to ...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Federal Court Finds Due Process Violation in NY County's Confiscated Gun Policy

This week, a federal court ruled that the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department could not rely on its "retention ...

Monday, August 31, 2015

Alabama: Pro-Gun Reforms Take Effect September 1, 2015

Tomorrow, September 1, 2015, House Bill 47, one of the most significant and thoughtful pieces of pro-gun reforms ...


Friday, August 28, 2015

Research Findings a Blow to Anti-gun Academics

For decades, anti-gun academics have attacked firearms and firearm owners by conducting “research” that purportedly offers insight into ...


Friday, August 28, 2015

Walmart Discontinues Selling America’s Most Popular Rifle

Americans acquiring the most popular rifle in the country will now be doing so only from traditional firearm ...


Friday, May 15, 2015

Obama Administration Opposes CMP Handgun Sales

The House of Representatives has approved Congressman Mike D. Rogers’ amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which—if accepted in ...


Friday, August 21, 2015

A Decade Later, Remember New Orleans … Gun Confiscation Can (and Has) Happened in America

August 29th marks the 10-year anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, La. The memory of the ...


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.