Penetration By Cal Ap Rounds

Medium Penetration @ 100 Yards

CONCRETE (solid) 9 inches

TIMBER (logs) 96 inches

STEEL (nonarmored) 1.8 inches

ALUMINUM 3.5 inches RUBBLE (asphalt, soil, cement) 20 inches

DRY SOIL 28 inches

WET SOIL 42 inches

DRY SAND 24 inches

WET SAND 36 inches

DRY CLAY 42 inches

WET CLAY 64 inches

An efficient muzzle brake reduces recoil but boosts the visual signature, especially on dusty, sandy soil.

impossible to find him, but your previous surveillance and range card data will enable you to engage his concealed positions for some time.

Due to their weight and bulk, .50-caliber rifles are not suited for direct assaults or classic sniper stalking. Indeed, U.S. Marine Corps and Army sniper teams outfitted with these heavy rifles typically have at least three men, and they're used almost exclusively in a support role for other maneuver forces. Although ,50s are welcome support weapons for almost any kind of operation, they're especially useful for neutralizing enemy positions and crew-served weapons. It's their tremendous ability to penetrate bunkers and buildings that makes them so deadly, as reflected in the penetration data we've listed.

But also beware. The same efficient muzzle brake that makes recoil tolerable also produces a visible blast that begs for enemy counterfire and pulses a blast that can deafen you. A .50-caliber sniper needs to wear doable hearing protection— ear plugs beneath earmuffs—which is absolutely critical when firing from inside a building or amid trees or rocks.

AWC System Technologies manufactures a special .50-caliber suppressor that addresses both these issues. Threaded to replace the muzzle brake, the AWC Turbodyne suppressor is 2 inches wide and a foot long, and it dramatically reduces the blast signature while also reducing sound so well that ear protection is not

The AWC Turbodyne suppressor reduces a .50'$ sound signature and blast well below that of a 30.08.

Caliber SuppressorRobar RiflesRobar Rc50f

The hinged stock and shorter barrel on this Robar RC50F allows compact transportation

Caliber Suppressor

These SSK man-packable .50s weigh 13 lbs. each and fire a round based on the .460 Weatherby. The lower version sports an integral suppressor.

Caliber SuppressorSasr Sniper Training
The French-made Hecate II is marketed in the United States by FNH.
Integral Suppressed Sniper

It is now being fielded throughout the U.S. armed forces.

The Ml07 Long Range Sniper Rifle has a lengthy Picatinny rail running from the receiver across the forearm that can accommodate a night vision adaptive sight—like the Simrad— ahead of its Leupold daytime optic. The threaded muzzle on its match-grade-fluted barrel can mount either an efficient muzzle brake or a newly developed suppressor that reduces both recoil and sound signature. The M107 is considered capable of hitting individual personnel out to 1.500 meters and materiel targets to 2,000 meters.

When used in civilian competition, the semiauto .50 has not shot quite as well as its finely runed bolt-action cousins. Current 1,000-yard, five-shot, semiauto world records, according to the Fifty Caliber Shooters Association, are held by Ed Brown with a group of 12.25 inches and Del Dimick with 12.75 inches. This equates to a 1.25 MOA, or 25 inches at 2,000 yards, pretty impressive by anyone's standard.

Initial M107 combat results from Afghanistan and Iraq have been extremely impressive. A U.S. Army sniper with the 325th Parachute Infantry Regiment reports he engaged an Iraqi with an RPG atop a water tower at a lazed distance of 1,400 meters. "The top half of the torso fell forward out of the tower and the lower portion remained in the tower," he told a debriefer. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jim Smith reported, "Soldiers not only appreciated the range and accuracy, but also the target effect. Leaders and scouts viewed the effect of the .50 cal. round as a combat multiplier due to the psychological impact on other combatants that viewed the destruction of the target."

The Barrett rifle was used extensively by U.S. Marines assaulting Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. The M107 won many engagements against hidden RPG gunners, snipers, and ambushers by punching through walls and barriers, with precision fire delivered over the heads of fellow Marines. I recently spoke with a USMC sniper who had nothing but praise for his SASR .50-caliber. Some of the lessons learned in Fallujah will influence heavy rifle sniping tactics and techniques for the next 20 years.

Barrett is now developing an even more advanced antimateriel rifle, based on this proven semiauto rifle. Chambered for a new 25x59mm cartridge, this man-portable gun more truly is an antimateriel weapon, not a sniper rifle. It's addressed below, along with 14.5mm and 20mm rifles.

In early 2006, Barrett fielded a new, cutting-edge, proprietary cartridge, dubbed the .416 Barrett, for which it is chambering updated versions of its M82A1M and M90 rifles. In its initial loading, this advanced, low-drag Barrett round features a 395-grain, moly-coated brass, match-grade bullet that generates a muzzle velocity of 3,300 fps. With a surprisingly high ballistic coefficient of 0.989, the new Barrett round is still supersonic at 2,000 yards and, according to Barrett's Dan Goodwin, fires groups measuring a mere 0.5 MOA. In addition to this step forward in ballistic performance, Goodwin notes, the new Barrett cartridge is "California legal" since it is not, by that states's definition, a .50-caliber round.

The .50-caliber cartridge, developed almost 100 years ago, was not conceived or designed for accuracy, though recent decades of tweaking have improved it considerably. What if, instead, you began from scratch to design a modern cartridge that efficiently integrated all the breakthroughs in powder plasma physics, reduced drag bullets, and match-grade bullet manufacturing? Then, you fitted that new round to a rifle that incorporated what we better understand about rifle building—barrel harmonics, bedding, triggers, bolt faces, and such. And finally, you integrated this rifle and cartridge with a specialized ballistic program as sophisticated as anything produced by NASA for interplanetary probes, taking into account all the ways a bullet's trajectory is influenced.

That's the CheyTac .408.

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