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Reloading The .50 BMG


Loads for .50 BMG:
(Note: These are near MAXIMUM loads, you should use 10% less to start.)
(See note on Powders below or read all about various Powders.)
Bullet diameter is .510 (some are .511) and this is the Big Boy used in the Browning Machine Gun, ground, aircraft, and sniper rifles that reach a LONG way out.

While there are loads below for the 50 BMG, reloading it requires a bit more care than most other ammo reloading. Here is a link to a shooter that shows in detail with good photos, steps he takes to prepare the cases and reload the ammo. http://www.hevanet.com/temple/50reloading.html

And I recommend you visit the 50 Caliber Shooters Association. Click the photo:

(Note "V" - "Vihtavuori" powders)
-----------------------------------------
647 grain Speer FMJ-BT
    V-N170    201.1 gr.  2,629 fps (start)
    V-N170    227.8 gr.  2,932   (Max)
    V-24N41   213.8 gr.  2,688   (start)
    V-24N41   227.2 gr.  2,915   (Max)
    V-20N29   239.7 gr.  2,744   (start)
    V-20N29   256.3 gr.  3,024   (Max)
-----------------------------------------
650 grain M-33
    Hodgdon US 869   265 gr.  3,155 fps (Maximum)
----------------------------------------
655 grain ADI-FMJ
    H-50BMG    248.0 gr.   3,029 FPS   (Max)
       (Start ~ 224 gr. of 50BMG)
-----------------------------------------
700 grain Barnes SOLID
    V-24N41   211.2 gr.  2,652   (start)
    V-24N41   231.5 gr.  2,910   (Max)
    V-20N29   235.6 gr.  2,687   (start)
    V-20N29   256.3 gr.  2,978   (Max)
-----------------------------------------
750 grain Hornady A-Max
    Hodgdon US 869  185.0 gr.      2,387 (start)
    Hodgdon US 869  215.0 gr.      2,725
    Hodgdon US 869  250.0 gr.      2,944  (Max)
    H-50BMG         233.0 gr.      2,800  (Max)
       (Start ~ 210 gr. of 50BMG)
    Hodgdon H-870   187.0 gr.      2,322  (start)
    Hodgdon H-870   222.0 gr.      2,782  (MAX)
    Accurate 8700   195.0 gr.      2,322 
    Accurate 8700   218.0 gr.      2,700  (MAX)
    V-N170    190.0 gr.  2,490 fps (start)
    V-N170    215.8 gr.  2,763   (Max)
    V-24N41   200.2 gr.  2,508   (start)
    V-24N41   218.0 gr.  2,765   (Max)
    V-20N29   225.2 gr.  2,556   (start)
    V-20N29   246.4 gr.  2,829   (Max)
-----------------------------------------
800 grain Bar Solid (Barnes)
    H-US-869        250.0 gr.      2,895  (Max)
    H-50BMG         225.0 gr.      2,725  (Max)
    V-24N41   181.9 gr.  2,369   (start)
    V-24N41   198.1 gr.  2,592   (Max)
    V-20N29   219.1 gr.  2,557   (start)
    V-20N29   245.0 gr.  2,788   (Max)
-----------------------------------------
850 grain Solid (Barnes)
    V-24N41   190.5 gr.  2,349   (start)
    V-24N41   208.3 gr.  2,573   (Max)
    V-20N29   214.7 gr.  2,447   (start)
    V-20N29   238.0 gr.  2,716   (Max)
-----------------------------------------
Discussion:

*
Alliant (formerly Hercules) Powders.
US869, H50BMG are products of Hodgdon Powders.
IMR (formerly DuPont) Powder Company (owned by Hodgdon).
Ramshot and Accurate Powder Company (Sub of Western Powders, Inc.)
Vihtavuori powders: For .50 BMG there are two special Vihtavuori reloading powders available: 24N41 and 20N29. They are, like N100 series, single base surface treated powders. Their burning rate is slower and grain size larger than that of the N100 series rifle reloading powders.

References: Vihtavuori & Hodgdon web sites (2008), Accurate Arms Co. 1996 Reloading booklet - - Alliant Powder Co. Reloaders' Guide (1995) - - Hodgdon's Basic Reloaders Manual (1996) - - Speer Reloading Manual, #12 - - Winchester Reloading Components Manual, 14th edition - - Lyman Piston & Revolver Reloading Handbook, 2nd edition. - - VihtaVuori Oy Company,reloading booklet (1995)& Internet web site 2008 - - Numerous magazine articles on reloading special calibers and personal loads where noted.

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This page created 7/09/08 by M.D. Smith and last modified on August 8, 2008 ©