.50 Beowulf ammo

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by wrc223, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. wrc223

    wrc223 Monkey+

    Anyone know where I can get some .50 Beowulf ammo? A lot of the places I go through is out.
  2. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    can you get components and roll your own? Additionally post SHTF this is going to be a rare breed indeed. Double good reason to have the ability to load it on site.

    My 2 copper clad zincs.
  3. wrc223

    wrc223 Monkey+

    I will have the ability to load, I dont yet. I just got this thing and havent got any ammo yet. I didnt get it thinking it would be a good SHTF round. I got it for helping a friend. We had some bad floods up here a couple weeks ago. I have spent my free time since then helping out a friend with a gun shop that took on water. Overhaul and salvage has been ongoing.
    I picked up an old 44/40 lever gun and it was a little soggy and had mud in it. The owner of the shop looked a little distressed and told me to chuck it. I did...right into the back seat of my truck.
    I took it home and tore it apart. Had some replacement parts made at the machining center at work (I work for a gun manufacturer) and had them blued. Then I went through the barrel and reciever and put everything back together. I few days later I took it back to my friend. He teared up and couldnt speak. I didnt know it since he didnt tell me but he got that rifle as a gift from his father when he was a kid, he is in his early 60's now. I just figured I hated to see a cool old lever action get thrown out like trash if it could be saved.
    So, for my help and for the rifle he gave me a .50 Beowulf upper. I already had a spikes tactical lower stuffed w/ DD innards. I have a regular stock being shipped to me.
    Now I need ammo to make this thing go. Eventually I would like to try some different rounds to see what bullet weight it likes the best and that is what I will reload with but some experimentation needs to take place first.
    jasonl6 likes this.
  4. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    That is one of the inherent problems with the .50 Beo cartridge. To give some perspective, I used to own one. About two years ago I ceased being a collector and sold off all of my odball calibers.

    Although the .50 Beo is fun to shoot, I couldn't see a future for it. When I first bought the upper, I also purchased 900 empty casings from the .50 Beowulf forum's shop. Only 900 because they didn't have anymore. The casings are made from .500 magnum blanks by turning down the rim, and trimming to length. .500 mag blanks are about 2 inches long, so a couple of other cartridges can be made from them.

    Starline makes the only .50 beowulf cartridges. They are marked Alex Arms or A-A, for Alexander Arms. Not to belittle AA, they make great products, but they overestamated the potential of this round. I guess they figured they would make more money if they had total control over the cartridges? Anyway, I believe it backfired on them.

    If Starline Brass would sell .50 Beo brass directly to us consumers, I might have kept the system. At the time, .50 caliber bullets were kind of slim pickings. I used Rainier Ballistics 325gr TMJs with Hogdons 'Lil gun-another reason I didn't like loading .50 Beo- because I couldn't use a more readily available powder, like Unique. I had to have the gun shop order it in. I still have a half can left and can't really use it for anything else I load for.

    These days everybody and their brother makes a .50 cal pistol bullet, and quite a few more people are reloading for it. You may have better results then I did just by having a lot more information.

    What I did load shot really well, and the rifle liked. It is more of a question as to what you want to do with it than what it shoots best; do you want to shoot the biggest, heaviest bullet at a Rhino? You can do that, but the bullet is going to be pretty slow- 900-1000 fps range. Do you want to shoot the lightest bullet and try to penetrate 1/4" thick steel? You can get a pretty good dent at 100 yeards, and penetrate it at closer ranges.

    But to get back to the original question- no, only Alexander Arms makes .50 Beowulf ammo, and good luck trying to find it. All I can say is sigh up for the .50 Beowulf Forum and see what the members are selling or whom they are buying from.

    Sorry I couldn't be more help.
  5. wags_01

    wags_01 Monkey+

    Wow, I'd heard of this round many times before, but just now looked up what it was all about. That is just a scary looking cartridge. Not especially useful to the average monkey, but damn, that's some intimidation factor.
  6. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I had a Beo and I have to second everything that gunbunny said.

    At the time I was living minimally in WA state and my reloading equipment was about 2K miles away. It lasted about 6 months of looking for loaded ammo before I traded it off.

    It was fun to shoot. Kicks a little less than a 12 ga. You definitely feel like you are shooting something of size when shooting it. It makes a great close range weapon- great for deer, boar, or even bear I guess. I shot mine out to 150 yards. It was accurate to those ranges. The upper itself was well built. I put an ACE SOCOM stock on the lower. At the time, regular M4 stocks were collapsing from the recoil. There may be more options now with more rugged stocks on the market.

    I would rather see a .44 magnum AR.... that would be cool, if one could work out feeding issues from a rimmed case.
  7. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny


    Yeah, the .50 Beo is a ton of fun to shoot. I wouldn't think twice to blast any living creature on the earth with it, considering that you are using the right bullet and powder combination for the job you want it to do. I always wanted to try some solids. The local distributer never had them in stock- but they did show them in their catalog. If you can't get it, take it out of the catalog!

    Anyway, I think Bushmaster's attempt at a big bore AR-15 is probably the best bet- IF you can get casings for it relatively easy. Bullets should not be a problem, and if they allow other makers (not bloody likely) to produce brass for it, they might be on to something. Everybody wants their name on the rim; I remember when Glock was calling .357 Sig .357 Auto.

    If bushmaster doesn't get it's act together, it will only ever be a marginal enterprise at best. Only enthusiasts are looking for something like this, and they probably already have a .50 Beo, .458 Socom, or that .50 Hammer (or whatever they called it from Lietner-Wise)...
  8. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Sounds like that upper is good 'trading stock' towards something you can actually USE.
  9. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Yup, that's what I did. A few years ago I ceased being a collector and became a realist. I only have what I think I need and the spares/ammo/parts/tools for them. I do miss a few things, like the .50 Beo, my Mauser large ring C-96 broomhandle relined to 9mm (wife called the brooms "the ugly guns"), and my Soviet war trophy armory parts built Luger (ran like a top).
  10. wrc223

    wrc223 Monkey+

    I aint trading it. I shot a few rounds out of it this afternoon and I am sure I will keep this to ensure I have "enough gun" for anything that may need shootin. It is a blast to shoot and it definately lets you know a big hunk of lead is spittin out the business end!!
    I talked to enough people and found a shop that has an entire case of .50 Beowulf ammo. When I went over to get a couple boxes they had to pull it from out back and it had an inch of dust on it. The owner said he got the ammo when he sold a few uppers but only one guy ever came back to buy ammo. He had 7 boxes and it was only $20/box because he wanted to get rid of it. I ordered brass and dies so I can reload.
    I am going to put a Leupold VX-II 3-9x40 on top of it and hopefully sight it in tomorrow afternoon.
    I have plenty of AR's and those are my MBR's but when I want or need something with real knock down power or something to stop a Buick, I will keep the Beo for just that purpose. Having brass and reloading components on hand will ensure I can keep the thing going for quite some time.
  11. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    The way things are progressing in DC, you may well need an 'elephant gun'........

  12. toydoc

    toydoc Monkey+++


    I just went to the starline site and they advertise the brass for sale on the site. Seems like you can order what you want from them directly.
  13. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Seems like I bought the upper way too early- I should have waited five years. I guess Alexander Arms finally figured out how to market a firearm to the civillian consumer.

    If you can get .50 Beo brass from starline directly, I'd say BUY BUY BUY, before they run out. 1500 to 2000 would do it for me, but YMMV.

    The next problem to overcome is the magazine issue. I found that Magpul magazines seemed to work really well. I never tried it, but aserveral guys on the .50 Beo forum were using the MGW 90 round drum. It was designed for 5.56, but they were loading 20+ .50 Beo cartridges. That would be a monster!
  14. wrc223

    wrc223 Monkey+

    That would be one heavy loaded rifle!!!
  15. hammer502

    hammer502 Monkey+

    considering building a 50 beowulf pistol off of one of my stripped lowers.i have a 5.56 pistol,but keep hearing about the loss of fps/energy. looking at the 50 to overcome the loss associated with the short barrel,hoping work picks up so i can get my parts.
  16. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Do yourself a favor and get the bolt made by Alexander Arms for your pistol. It is not a standard 7.62x39 bolt, as it is made from a harder metal and made to different specs. An off-the-shelf 7.62x39 bolt is not up to the task of dealing with .50 Beo.
  17. wrc223

    wrc223 Monkey+

    Ammo is now taken care of.
    Thanks for the responses.
    I shook some trees and 140 rounds fell out. I also have the dies enroute for reloading. I already have an RCBS single station hand loader and a Dillon 450 press.
    I ordered some Lil Gun today at the local shop.
    I ordered a variety of bullets for it. I want to find the one I like the most (Load up all of them but store the ones I dont want as primary for a rainy day). Got brass from a friend of a friend.....cheap.
    The upper ended up on a Spikes tactical lower with a standard stock and a RRA NM trigger kit. I put a Leupold VX-II 3-9x40 on top. Sunday will be final sight in (weather permitting) and a range report.
  18. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Sounds like you got it all worked out- good to hear! Congrats on your purchase, and I hope you have much more luck with it than I did.

    Keep us up to date with your bullet choices. I even tried to use muzzleloading sabots once. That didn't work. I was just trying to see if making the cross sectional density (smaller caliber) would help it punch through 1/4" steel plate at 100 yards.

    Sabots and compensators don't mix well, and apparently, don't hold together well enough when subjected to the higher twist rates of modern firearms! It was sort of like shooting a 20ga shotgun slug out of a 12 ga barrel... I couldn't hit jack and pieces of plastic were hard to get out of the compensator. I wasn't using the chroney, but I bet they weren't going anywhere near as fast as they could have.
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