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50 BMG penetration tests

I took my “social” 50 (18″ barrel) out to test my WW2 AP’s penetration against an artifact I built. This was 6, 1/4″ thick, 4″ x 4″ steel plates mounted on bolts. The plates were stood apart 3/4″ using nuts; the shooting was done from 20 yards away.

The backstop was a frozen dirt berm at least 8′ thick; the bulldozer blades left little notches in the base which were perfect to contain any energetic material. As such, I placed the artifact into the base and was not worried in the least about ricochets or similar. Of interest may be this ice formation on my rear wheel:

My first shot, on a rifle which had not been sighted in, was well high and right. Instead of adjusting the optic (EOTech), I adjusted my point of aim. The snow was falling apace and the cold was biting; I had no desire to be out any longer than need be. Regardless, the results are interesting to me; the first plate has a neat 50 caliber hole, lined with copper. (for all images, click for a larger size).

The second plate caught the lead core, and was impressively deformed. It is torn, greatly belled inward, and in general torn to crap.

The third through sixth plates had neat little holes, as if I’d used a drill press. The steel is barely deformed.

If you are interested in more detailed pictures, I’ve put them on flickr.

The first shot went into the berm at least 36″ (the longest cleaning rod I had on hand to probe). The second shot’s penetrator went in at least as far. I didn’t climb to the back of the berm to check for penetration; had it gone through the berm, it would have impacted the hillside 20′ behin, so I am not worried about over-penetration or items downrange.

Written by Ry Jones

25 January 2009 at 9:50

Posted in Shooting Stuff

7 Responses

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  1. […] 50 Caliber penetration tests. […]

    SayUncle » Big holes

    28 January 2009 at 5:45

  2. Drool….

    Envy….

    More drool….

    *LOL*

    nugun

    28 January 2009 at 6:35

  3. […] .50 BMG through 6 steel plates. […]

  4. Velocity data? Just curious.

    Kyle

    28 January 2009 at 9:55

  5. Kyle: Can’t tell you; I’ll do a better test next time.

    Ry Jones

    28 January 2009 at 15:13

  6. What steel alloy and temper? Just curious. There are huge differences.

    Lyle

    30 January 2009 at 14:50

    • I don’t know. I bought the stock at Lowe’s; it took lots of lube to cut it without scorching saw blades.

      Ry Jones

      30 January 2009 at 14:56


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