SHTF 50: A ‘Budget’ 50
Well everyone, I did something. Again, I have Mack to thank for his wise words. (Something tells me I call Mack because I know he will agree that it’s a good idea. And if he doesn’t agree then I know I went off the rails…this pretty much never happens!)[I have talked him down once -Ed] I bought a Safety Harbor Firearms SHTF 50 BMG single shot upper with 29” barrel. Why did I buy this you ask? That’s a very good question and the only answer I have is, well, because.
While perusing the finest junk pocketknives and beef jerky at a recent gun show I came upon this behemoth of a 50 BMG upper and knew I wanted it. To be fair, I have been looking at this exact upper for over 2 years now but had never seen one in person. After a quick call to Mack to tell me yes and make sure the price was decent and a call to tell Red that I love her[Red is gonna kill me one day -Ed] I shook the man’s hand and toted a giant hunk of steel home that would’ve fit right at home with my gym set.
I had an extra Anderson lower (Of course it's the Poverty Pony -Ed) sitting at home just waiting to be outfitted with this new upper. After some digging through the old parts bin and a couple of gracious birthday gifts (perfect timing) I had everything I needed to complete my ‘budget’ 50 BMG. I know budget and 50 don’t really go together, but for what this gun is I think they fit nicely especially considering I have less than $1,600 total spent on this project.
I wasn’t quite sure at first what to expect once I got everything put together but I was excited. The upper comes with a heavier hammer and stronger hammer spring. It is even easier to install than setting up a standard AR. You do not need to install the bolt catch, the disconnector, or the buffer retainer. Everything else goes together like normal. Instead of just buying the parts I needed I went ahead and got a full LPK so I can easily convert this to another caliber later if I so choose.
Starting off I knew that I wanted a fixed buttstock and needed a decent scope on it. The stock was an easy decision as I had a readily available solid A2 buttstock. The sight was not quite so easy. Lots of research later I decided on a Burris Fullfield II 4.5-14 power. So far so good on this thing. The eye relief was my biggest concern but it is a non-issue here, this thing gave me plenty of standoff so I didn’t have to worry about scope bite. I haven’t shot it a ton but the sight is holding up well.
Speaking of holding up to recoil, I was pleasantly surprised with the recoil on this gun. With the weight of the gun and the muzzle brake I would equate the recoil to just a hair more than a 12 gauge 3 ½ inch slug. Not something you want to shoot all day but definitely not as intimidating as it first appeared. Luckily, my first shot was on target and I was able to get zeroed in only 4 rounds. (My checkbook appreciated this fact as well. However, I’ve only been spending $2-$3 per round so also not as bad as most people make it out to be.) After getting sighted in I decided to see what a 660 gr round would do to a cinder block and I was not disappointed. One shot dead center absolutely obliterated the cinder block and sent a 1.5lb piece flying almost 10 foot in the air and the same distance away. I’m thinking I should take a poll on what to try and destroy next.
Hopefully soon I’ll be able to really stretch out the legs on this gun and see what it (and me) are capable of at distance. I’ll make sure to keep everyone updated on how the gun, the sight, and my shoulder hold up after some more rounds downrange.