.50 Rifles now banned in California.

I haven’t looked into it in a long time, but if I recall correctly (somebody will surely correct me if I’m wrong) the ballistic drop of a .30-06 Springfield is on the order of six feet over a thousand yards. Crosswinds, especially with gusting, add in an unpredictable variation of between a few inches and a few feet. That’s a huge problem in a sport where the current record for group size stands at just under six inches.

That’s why some shooters spend a lot of time and money wildcatting weird handloads. They’re trying to produce accuracy like the big .50 gets. Why bother when you can get the real thing?

How many have been killed by soccer riots in California? How about in the 50 states? If we taling about bans on weapons in America, let’s restrict the grounds of “who’s been killed by what” to equivalent areas, ok?

Actually, no, that’s not what the BMG is for. The BMG is for competition shooting long-distance(think 2 miles). The BMG is huge, heavy and fires best when used with bags or a tripod, so hunting is out.


The same reason a person would jump out of a perfectly good airplane on purpose (parachuting), or stand in a ring in their boxer shorts and pummel each other for little green pieces of paper while thousands cheered them on (boxing, martial arts), or jump off a bridge with a little rubber rope tied to their feet (bungee jumping), or speed down a snow covered mountain with little boards strapped to their feet (skiing), or build million dollar machines and drive them as fast as possible in a circle (NASCAR). Why do humans do half the stupid shit they do? At least hunting wild animals has a loose basis in something that was once a survival technique, as compared to all the things I listed above which are actually conter productive to living.

I’m more talking about a .50 caliber muzzleloader, or in-line black powder rifle.

I’m guessing you haven’t. A musk ox is much, much smaller than a domestic cow or a bison. They’re aggressive little suckers, but huge, they ain’t.

Really? Nobody’s ever been murdered in the U.S. by a .50.


Actually, probably hundreds of people have been killed by random .50 projectiles(think Desert Eagle), but that’s not what this is about. This is about a very specific .50 round, the BMG .50.

The BMG round, invented by Barrett Heavy Industries, is about 5" in length, and .75" in diameter judging by the one on my desk right here. I’m fairly confident that not very many people have been killed or wounded-accidentally or on purpose-with a BMG .50 weapon.

Well, we’re talking about the BMG .50, the subject of the OP and the only weapon banned by the specific legislature. Which, I suppose makes it even more ridiculous that some dumbfuck legislators banned it.


Preach it! I was doing some downtown shopping last week, when a cape buffalo came pounding out of a Starbucks and almost ran me over. If I’d been packing a .50 I would have put a cap in his ass for sure!

I don’t mean for this to be a hijack but I’m curious . . . can you get .50 cal ammo that retains it’s accuracy in a tracer round?

Cuz if I can fire high caliber badboys and watch their progress as they scream off and arc across 1000 yards to smack a bullseye the size of a dessert plate then heck, mebbe I’ll buy a .50 this afternoon.

That’s not what’s being banned, though. There’s no comparison at all betweena .50 BMG and a .50 AE or muzzleloader. It’s in a totally different class. I, for one, have no desire whatsoever to go up against a grizzly with a muzzleloader, but a .300 Win Mag would be more than sufficient.

As an aside to Twisty, there are several Grizzly attacks every year in this country, and the people involved aren’t usually looking for bear. In America, sometimes the bears hunt you. There are places where it’s simple prudence to carry a good rifle.

Fair enough, I can see the reasoning behind the larger caliber for the distance shooting.

Even so, I would still favour restrictive gun laws, but I’m like that regardless of the type of gun.

I couldn’t be happier about the law. Although there is definitely a huge need to protect a person from wild animals in some areas, there are bullets smaller than .50 that will do the job.

The bad guys will go to Oregon to get them, bad guys will always have big guns, blah, blah, blah. Leave the big defense weapons to the people that are actually DOING the defending, huh?

absolutely, but would a lower calibre rifle be completely inefficient in the event of a grizzly attack? I doubt your’d be worried about 1000 yard cross winds in that event :slight_smile:

Even with the several Grizzly attacks/ deaths or so, noone make the case for killing all the grizzlies! That’s what annoys me when people drag out the “Soccer matches are more dangerous!” argument.

While the .50 certainly represent overkill in most hunting situations, I guess what puzzles me is why ban it if it hasn’t been the weapon of choice by criminals and doesn’t appear to fit some niche that they require to be successful.

Sounds like all a ban does is piss off some law abiding long range marksmen.

But we’re not talking about taking guns away from “Bad Guys”. We’re talking about taking guns away from competition shooters. A “Bad Guy” gun is a handgun. A “Bad Guy” gun is a shotgun. A “Bad Guy” gun is NOT a 25 pound tripod-mounted long-range weapon.

The guys that own and shoot these weapons are older and have more money than your typical “Bad Guy”. They’re ex-military, current military and Law Enforcement officers as well.

Other than this group of sportsmen, this weapon is only good for assassination plots, which don’t happen terribly often in the US, and can’t be stopped because these are “Bad Guys”, remember?


Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding!

We have a winner!

The BMG .50 is being banned because it falls into the classification of other Assault Weapons-“Big, Scary guns”. Here is why:


See that? It’s scary, and mean-looking. So some county councilpeople freaked out, and wrote up a ban. When that ban was upheld(in Contra Costa or Marin, don’t remember which), the legislators knew they could write a state-wide bill to ban them, and they were successful.


Because the anti-gun people will use any pretext to advance their agenda. Wanna know the pretext for this particular one? Are you sure? Cuz it’ll give you a headache.

Terrorism. See, a terrorist could fire a .50 BMG round at an oil storage tank and blow it up while being far enough away to escape detection or danger to himself.

Well, according to this site, 22 people have been killed playing soccer in the US in the last 20 years, mostly by goalposts. That’s 22 more than have ever been killed by BMG .50s (thanks for the correction GaWd, accuracy is important). Based strictly on the number of deaths, we should be demanding the banning of soccer goals!

So, let me ask you Twisty, or anyone else who cares to answer: Can you think of a logical reason (not just a personal distaste for guns) for a law outlawing BMG .50 rifles? They’re tremendously expensive, essentially useless for anything except extreme range target shooting and have never killed anyone in the U.S. What is the point in banning them?

Funny you should mention that. The county-wide ban here in California to test the waters was enacted for that exact reason. The area around Martinez and other parts of the Bay Area are full of refineries and these yapping, dumbfuck, overpaid, mistaken idiots on the county council got uppity and paranoid about some brown person who hates America and loves Allah attacking our oil industry.


These arguments always make me smile. Being gun tolerant, but not an enthusiast, my first question when something like this comes up is, “.50? what’s that used for?” The responses run from the inane… “it’s cool,” as someone did here, to highly coherent explanations like the one involving long distance target shooting.

However, isn’t there always something interesting you can do with a weapon? If the ability to target shoot at 2 miles is important enough to keep a weapon legal, why not the ability to knock down multiple targets in the shortest period time? Seems like something that would make an interesting competition, but I’m not so sure it in itself would justify civilians with assault weapons.

Just for grins, I’ll defy gravity and slide up this slippery slope into the realm of the ridiculous. Could not some articulate gun lobbyist make the same “but there’s already a sport!" argument for any weapon at all? What if blue whale hunting becomes popular (got to keep the pod culled!) but no one can have any torpedoes? How are we gonna do non-line-of-sight target shooting without mortars?