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Old October 15, 2011, 07:40 PM   #1
Company Man
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Anyone reloading .50 BMG?

Not new to reloading, but new to .50 bmg reloading.
Wondering if anyone has experience with this round and would share some knowledge.
My current setup is 100% RCBS gear w/loadmaster & prep center. I have BMG press & dies, but still need a little more equipment.

Thanks,
John
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Old October 15, 2011, 11:39 PM   #2
rg1
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I've reloaded for mine for a few years. I shoot mostly all surplus components. I load using both surplus WC 860 and 5010 powders and pulled surplus military bullets. I've loaded 647 Ball, 690 AP, 643 API, Blue Tips, and Tracers. I've bought components from Pats Reloading, GIBrass (Bartletts), Hi-Tech, and Polygunbags, and a few other sources. Only primers I've used have been CCI primers and now the only CCI ones available seem to be the CCI Arsenal primers. I much preferred the old "blue box" CCI's. The Arsenal primers have a domed cup. Primer punches in die sets usually include a flat punch and a cupped punch. Even though the cupped punch would match the domed primer cup, CCI reps I discussed seating the Arsenal primers with said to use the flat seating punch and slightly flatten the domed primer when seating it. I highly recommend buying K&M's primer pocket uniformer:
http://www.kmshooting.com/catalog/pr...tion-tool.html
Primer pockets on military cases seem to vary in pocket depth and uniforming them all to .220" deep minimum will insure they get seated flush or below. I do think that the Arsenal primers vary in their height? Also inspect military surplus cases very closely for case stretching to prevent case separations. You can definitely feel any stretch marks on the inside of cases and actually see them with a light. You'll need a 50 case trimmer.
Typical starting loads with bullets 643-650 grains using 860 or 5010 is around 210 grains. 700 grain bullets start at 205 grains and work up. A lot of shooters find an accurate load from 215-220 grains with 640-690 grain bullets using 5010 or 860. The 860 I've loaded has been a little faster than my one large lot of 5010. Surplus powders do vary in burn rate and you definitely need to work up loads from start charges. Since you only get about 32 loads per pound, buy a large enough lot of surplus powder so you won't have to re-work up loads every time you switch lots of surplus powders. Have fun and be safe!

Last edited by rg1; October 16, 2011 at 10:50 PM.
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Old October 19, 2011, 09:51 AM   #3
David Wolfiert
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Help for reloading 50 BMG

Please, I need some help with reloading my 50 BMG. I have been reloading half of my life and this is very frustrating. I am not having much good luck. If you can help me, I would appreciate it very much. I ordered some brace from 50 BMG and put powder and bullets there and that worked very good. But the problem is when I tried to resize those cases the resizer die would NOT go full length on the cases and they would not go into my gun. I use an Armolite 50 BMG sniper rifle. The resizer die seems to not be working correctly. It is a Lee die set. What am I doing wrong? What do I need to do to get myself out of this particular situation? The resizer die stops about a quarter inch from the bottom of the case. The primer has not come out either. This just flat does not work. I need some help. Someone said that ammo shot out of a machine gun will not work. I am frustrated and do not know what to do to extricate myself from this matter. Thank you very much.
David Wolfiert
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Old October 19, 2011, 12:50 PM   #4
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I've heard of alot of guys having problems getting once fired machine gun brass to size in their Lee press. Did you have the case lubed all the way down to the bottom? What type of lube are you using? Hornady's Unique case lube and Imperial are two of the best that I've used for F/L sizing M2 brass.

You might need a cheater bar on the handle to get it to go all the way to the shell holder. Just be sure that you're not going to snap off the handle using to much force. Have you tried sizing any other brass that hasn't been fired out of an M2? Another issue is that Military primers can be hard to punch out as they're crimped in. Once you do get them out you'll need to ream or swage the mouth of the pocket to get rid of the crimp.
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Old October 19, 2011, 06:36 PM   #5
David Wolfiert
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Thank you so much

Hello Shooter 50.
That is a good idea. A cheater bar could very well be an answer. I will try to do that next week. I have been using an homemade potion of oil on the cases. Rubbing alcohol with Lanolin mixed in. It works plenty good on everything else. I will think about that and work on that in my mind. I am going to buy new brass from the start. That will help me. Then nothing but powder and a bullet in the brass. That has worked well for me thus far. A cheater bar SHOULD work well if I can get the correct amount of pressure on it and not break something. M2 brass could very well be a continueing problem. New brass should be one answer. Thank you very much. I will post about some work on this in the future. Thank you very much.
David Wolfiert
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Old October 20, 2011, 08:47 AM   #6
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If you need some new brass I know a guy that has some CBC for sale at $1 each. It's decent brass to use and if you don't load it to hot you should be able to get about 20 reloads on it. That's with using a neck sizing die and F/L sizing after every 3-4 reloads.

PM me if you're interested and I'll give you his contact info.
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Old October 20, 2011, 01:56 PM   #7
rg1
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A good case lube is definitely required. I use Dillons case lube sprayed on a lube pad and roll the cases. Plus I use a nylon neck brush to generously lube inside the neck. Some crimped in primers on military brass are hard to deprime. Also, the sizing die is at its greatest resistance just as the deprime pin is pushing on the spent primer. A tool to remove the primers BEFORE sizing greatly reduces the force needed to resize once fired military cases. I made a punch from a 1/2" rod. I drilled the rod and then took the drill and cut off the shank and inserted it in the rod. I use a hammer to knock out the crimped in primers. You'll see how much force is needed just to push out the crimped in primer when you're trying to hammer it out. By removing the primers with a punch you won't need the cheater bar which will only break your press arm. There are possibly tools for sale to knock out the 50bmg primers? I made an anvil by drilling a hole big enough for the 50 case to drop into and then drilling a hole big enough that the spent primers would fall through. Anyway, knocking out the spent crimped primer makes a tremendous difference when resizing 50 cases. Also with my RCBS sizing die I have to have very firm contact with the shellholder to get the shoulder pushed back to "zero". I think it's from the pressure needed and the flex and slop of the RCBS 50 press. You may have to adjust your sizing die tight against the shellholder to the point that the ram will barely travel it's full stroke. Knock out the crimped primers FIRST. It will even make sizing the big cases easier if you use new cases or cases you've removed the military crimp. You'll need tools to cut the military crimp before seating a new primer plus I highly recommend K&M's primer pocket uniformer to cut all 50 brass primer pockets to .220" depth minimum so primers will seat flush or below. A lot of work isn't it to load the big cases, plus expensive too.

Last edited by rg1; October 20, 2011 at 02:11 PM.
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Old October 21, 2011, 09:24 AM   #8
David Wolfiert
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rg1
Yes, there is a lot to be learned about this project. I had already discovered about the punch and hammer to get the primers punched out. And reaming out the primer pocket also for the new primers. I am going to be working on this stuff next week some more and will let you know about success or failure of my project.

David
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Old October 21, 2011, 03:30 PM   #9
Kiwi Hunter
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If you are having trouble sizing 50 cal use better lube, lanolin based lube works fine for smaller cases but a light coat of Mobil 1 works best for the big .50! Lanolin is pretty good for keeping sheep warm and dry but if you want high pressure lubricant then quality synthetic oil all the way.

Wash it off with white spirits (or petrol) before moving on
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Old October 22, 2011, 09:33 AM   #10
David Wolfiert
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Case lube

At what source do I get some Mobile 1 synthetic lube for the big 50 cal? Are you talking about Mobile Oil company synthetic oil for a motor? Thank you very much for your information.
David
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Old October 22, 2011, 10:14 AM   #11
David Wolfiert
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Reloading the 50 BMG

Hello to Whomever
You know, I bit off a big chew here. There is lots to learn about reloading the 50 BMG. That is a big caliber and it is also a big job. I might could write a book about this afterward.
David
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Old October 22, 2011, 02:38 PM   #12
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Hi, yes thats Mobil-1 (or any of the good quality synthetic car oils) from an auto shop we used the 5-50 and found it vastly better than any standard case lube (and I have part used containers of most of them )

We used it in a plastic bag, just a few drops in the bag and roll your brass round till there is a super light coat everywhere then a quick brush inside the neck before putting it on the ram.
The only slight hassle is getting it off after sizing but a quick shake in petrol takes it off nicely.
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Old October 22, 2011, 02:46 PM   #13
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Just remember that whatever lube you use, don't use to much or you can actually crush the case. If you use Mobile 1 use a very light coat on the case, I would wear a rubber glove and just use a drop. Spread the oil over the case by rolling it in your hand.

Check out this page http://www.m2hb.net/m2phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=709 Shows alot of good pics and how the poster was using his press and tools. You can also go back to the main page and look up other reloading pointers, Q's about primers, brass...
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Old October 22, 2011, 05:41 PM   #14
David Wolfiert
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Thanks to everyone!!!

A sound ThankYOU to everyone about helping with this project. The last post helped me a lot with the pics and all. I have a Lee die set. A little more equipment and will be good to go. Thanks to all.
David
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Old October 23, 2011, 08:34 AM   #15
Uncle Buck
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Tag.

I do not have this cartridge yet, but I find this whole situation very interesting.

David, Please let us know how it turns out for you.
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Old October 23, 2011, 11:07 AM   #16
David Wolfiert
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Reloading the 50 BMG

Hello Uncle Buck,

I will definitely let you know how thiings go. This is a very large challenge for me, but it is NOT impossible and I have enough info now to proceed toward the completion of this project. I will let yuo know how it goes. More work next week on this matter.
David
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Old October 23, 2011, 10:54 PM   #17
Kiwi Hunter
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Another resource on the 50 topic is over at AR

http://forums.accuratereloading.com/...rm/f/619104082
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Old December 25, 2011, 04:41 PM   #18
David Wolfiert
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Reloading the Big 50 BMG

Hello,
I want to tell everyone that I have finally worked all the kinks out of reloading the big 50 BMG. We have it down now. It was a special project for us and we worked on that all fall. We now have it mastered. Took all the special helps that everyone gave us and used all the advice and we have it down to a science now. Heavy lube oil is important. Setting the resizing die correctly is also a must. All the pointers pointed us in the correct direction. I want to thank everyone for their personal help with this project. Thank you. Everyone's advice helped us perfect the plan. It is now working and shooting good also. Thank everyone for the help. This is David
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Old December 25, 2011, 06:38 PM   #19
JACK308
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what else can you do with the 50? can you hunt with that heavy gun? or use it just for targets?.
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Old December 25, 2011, 10:29 PM   #20
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Yes, you can use the .50 to hunt with as long as the State that you live in allows it. It's also great for shooting 1000 yard matches, been awhile since I checked but the world record is right about 2".

Don't listen to all the XYZ can beat out the .50, when you see that ask them what type of bullet they're making a comparison to. Most are comparing their bullets to standard .50 ball. When you compare match grade stuff with their match grade stuff the .50 is hands down the winner. Most if not all .50 match bullets have a 1.0+ BC, you won't see that on smaller calibers.
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Old April 9, 2012, 10:28 AM   #21
bandit252
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.50 upper

I can't seem to post my own question...so here it is. I bought a .50 cal converted rifle. single shot, .223 panther arms lower. from what I gather, the upper is of the 1st generation of .50 conversion kits. nothing stamped on it but "50 B.M.G." the bolt is threaded, with the round sliding into a notch in the bolt. it looks like a tool originally came with it to tighten the bolt when placed in the firearm. i did not receive said tool when I bought the weapon. any idea where to find one, name of kit, anything at all that might help me find this very needed part?
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Old April 10, 2012, 02:02 AM   #22
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I've been using STP on a case lube pad for years. The EP additives really help on the 50bmg and when forming wildcats from parent cases. Since it worked so well on those, I use it exclusively on all my bottle neck cases.
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Old April 11, 2012, 01:41 AM   #23
50 shooter
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Bandit,
Sounds like you have a Watson's Weapons 50 BMG upper, that's the only one that I know of with that design. They bought the rights to build them years ago from a guy that tinkerd with firearms designing.

Look them up and if It's what you have, give them a call and get yourself some more info about your upper from them.
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