There is a video on youtube with some jackass' hunting deer w/ a .50BMG. as i recall in the video the first shot, they shot over the back of the deer at 70 yards
why did that not surprise me? A moron hunting w/ a .50BMG and then not being able to hit the deer ANYWHERE at 70 yards.....hmm who would have thought. Next shot they hit it and it was not spectacular. thing ran away and then dropped. and as i recall everyone on video was astonished that it didn't blow up/drop right there. The fact that it ran did not surprise me i feel like the deer would have had much more damage if shot with a smaller higher velocity round.
Just my thoughts here, but IMO the .50 is not going to explode things like deer when hit in the ribs on a broad side. reason being is that 1) Its not a fast cartridge and 2) even a soft point bullet is so big and heavy that its not going to get much if any expansion w/ the minimal resistance a couple ribs have to offer. surely it is seeing basically no resistance passing through lungs, and then it hits some ribs again and is gone.
Where i think the round would shine would be in a thick tough animal that offers the bullet heavy resistance. such as a shoulder -> shoulder shot on a buffalo (either north american or cape) an elephant ect. I feel it needs to have to travel through heavy bone, thick skin and thick meat to have its anticipated effect.