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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 01-12-2010, 4:04 PM
a.tinkerer a.tinkerer is offline
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Default Is there a safe 50bmg AR Upper..?

I just don't follow the 50BMG retrofit upper rifle conversion market/scene/hobby - but from time to time I see announcements of blown rifles and nasty injuries like the Southern California incident this weekend.


Are there such rifles (AR-15 upper/conversions) that are designed to be impossible to drop a hammer on the striker before the breech is fully engaged into battery?
I'm talking firing-pin block or such - not simply relying on the lower receiver's fire control group...




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  #2  
Old 01-12-2010, 4:07 PM
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All designs (including BOHICA) have a fail safe system built into the bolt to prevent an out of battery detonation event.

Here are a few good choices:

http://ferret50.com/

http://www.50bmg.net/

http://www.safetyharborfirearms.com/

Ferret is well respected in the community. They have never had any issues that I know of. I have one and am very happy.

ALS had an issue last year. All of the bolts for these uppers were recalled and retrofitted for free.

I don't know a lot about Safety Harbor units.

All of these are an order of magnitude better than BOHICA in quality. They are more expensive for a reason....

You'll have to order one in .50 DTC, unless you have a RAW lower, in which case you can order one in .50 BMG and actually use it in Cali. If you don't have a RAW lower, you can still order an upper in BMG and possess it in California, but you'll be limited to assembling it to a lower and shooting it while out of State. DTC is the only viable full power .50 alternative for use in California.

Here's a great resource for more information and well worth the $40 annual fee:

http://www.fcsa.org/wwwroot/index.php

Lastly, nothing about owning and shooting .50 is cheap. Buy a high quality upper, purchase or reload quality ammo and get training/detailed advice on how to stay safe. Know what you are doing with these guns or they will bite.....hard.
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Old 01-12-2010, 4:11 PM
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Everything is usually made safe.....like cars......sometimes **** happens....
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2010, 4:16 PM
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I can just about guarantee this was a stuck firing pin, not a hammer-follow issue.

On another note, one of the guys who posted in the kaboom thread was saying the Bohica bolt blocks the hammer from the firing pin until the lugs are around 95% engaged.
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  #5  
Old 01-12-2010, 5:02 PM
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NO, there is not.
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  #6  
Old 01-12-2010, 5:08 PM
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C'mon you guys, people shoot these all time. They shoot DTC and BMGs in this state, they shoot plenty of BMGs out of state, and hold plenty of competitions. I have no idea of the numbers but I am sure there are plenty of BMG uppers on AR lowers at matches like the FCSA.

1 kabooms and people are going a little nuts over it. I don't want to blame it on Bohica but they are the cheapest brand out there.
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  #7  
Old 01-12-2010, 5:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X-NewYawker View Post
NO, there is not.
Upon what do you base this statement? Be specific and detailed in your response, please. There are thousands of .50 uppers in service with an excellent safety record. Operator error is the primary variable that causes accidents. Yes, there are occasional catastrophic failures due to design inadequacies, as there are with any weapon.

Personally, I would not own or shoot a BOHICA. That's my personal opinion and not just due to the past weekend's event. I'm not the only one.
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  #8  
Old 01-12-2010, 5:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PIRATE14 View Post
Everything is usually made safe.....like cars......sometimes **** happens....
well said.
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  #9  
Old 01-12-2010, 7:46 PM
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Bottom line is, is that the activity we all partake in has some risk to it. Guns blow up every now and again, usually due to operator error. Last year I was at a machine gun shoot and a marine failed to properly headspace his M2... The result was total failure of the weapon. The receiver was warped from the explosion, the gunner looked like he just **** himself.

It sounded like

KachunkKachunkkachunk....KABOOOM! pretty wild.
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  #10  
Old 01-12-2010, 8:03 PM
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my ferret has served me well
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  #11  
Old 01-12-2010, 8:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grammaton76 View Post
I can just about guarantee this was a stuck firing pin, not a hammer-follow issue.

On another note, one of the guys who posted in the kaboom thread was saying the Bohica bolt blocks the hammer from the firing pin until the lugs are around 95% engaged.
That 95% thing scares the hell out of me. The ALS issue happened because it fired with the bolt somewhere around a 1/16th of an inch up. If anyone has a firearm in any caliber (even a small caliber OOBD can cause serious injury or death) that will fire before it is 100% in battery, please, DO NOT shoot it! Take it to a qualified gunsmith or send it to the manufacturer.

That said, I completely trust my ALS upper and I have always felt safe shooting Ferrets, ALSs and Safety Harbors. I've just heard too many other stories about Bohica's QC to trust them. Many of the Bohica QC problems I've heard of were posted here.
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  #12  
Old 01-12-2010, 8:11 PM
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Aside from the FUD posted, I'm trying to get MrKubota to come out to Angeles Range this coming Sunday. He owns both a Ultralite 50 and Ultramag 50 uppers, both have always worked flawless. If he comes out and brings them and you want to try one out just ask.

If you want to try out a regular 50 BMG rifle just ask and you can shoot mine. While you can no longer own a "rifle" chamber for 50 BMG, you can get them chambered in 50 DTC.

Here's a couple links, they're write ups he did on his uppers.
http://www.daplane.com/50bmg/ul50rpt.htm
http://www.daplane.com/50bmg/um50rpt.htm

I would buy ANY of the 50 BMG/DTC uppers that are on the market, it's already been stated that S**T can happen at any time to anything or anyone.
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2010, 8:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grammaton76 View Post
I can just about guarantee this was a stuck firing pin, not a hammer-follow issue.

On another note, one of the guys who posted in the kaboom thread was saying the Bohica bolt blocks the hammer from the firing pin until the lugs are around 95% engaged.
I agree wholeheartedly. This is what I figured what was gonna happen when the original KB thread was posted, people are gonna blame the gun not negligence on the shooter.

I spoke to one of the Angeles range employees and as far as what happened, I think grammaton is right. The shooter most likely had a stuck firing pin due to an overtorqued bolt and in addition, he had problems chambering a round. What he did was try to force the bolt forward (with his hand) from the rearmost position to try to mash the bolt closed on the chambered round and the stuck firing pin detonated the round in the chamber without the bolt lugs being engaged. This would explain why his hand was injured on the left side of the magwell, he was clutching it while slamming the bolt forward for extra leverage.

Disclaimer: I'm not trying to stir anything up, I'm stating what I heard from a credible source which is what I believe is a reasonable explanation of the incident (without blaming it on use of tools, etc.)
The point of this post is that owners of .50 uppers and potential owners need not worry about the safety of their weapon. If you handle your weapon in a responsible manner and take proper safety precautions, the chances of your upper KBing are slim to none.

Last edited by Pryde; 01-12-2010 at 8:18 PM..
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  #14  
Old 01-12-2010, 10:02 PM
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BTW, I have pics I shall be posting soon, of an overtorqued bolt on a Bohica (and the wear pattern I was talking about).

The shooter of the one I have pics of, has not gone boom.
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  #15  
Old 01-12-2010, 10:18 PM
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Bingo.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
That 95% thing scares the hell out of me...

It's locked or it isn't, like being pregnant or being dead.
It is or it isn't.

I'm not new to firearms at all, and at this point I'm not shopping for a .50BMG (for the sake of this conversation, all the .50BMG surrogates = .50BMG) upper - just curious to hear which (if any) of the current offerings feature a firing pin block (or such) that ensures no hammer/striker kissing before the thing's in battery.

Stuck firing pin?
Guess that throws a bit of a terd in the punchbowl.

This isn't the first mousegun conversion to BMG that I've heard of popping LATELY, definitely not the first ever. This kind of thing happens, and I've been hearing of them for years.

Your AR-15/BMG has been working great with no troubles or open-breech detonations?
My guess is that every guy who has had his hands or face blown up (or just his rifle) would tell you the same thing -- up to the moment it fragged.

It's great to minimize risk from the drawing board on out to the end user - and that's the nature of my question -- which of this crop of accessory upper receiver kits have redundant (not just the 'safe' switch on the lower receiver) safety features..?





Cheers
Tinker

Last edited by a.tinkerer; 01-12-2010 at 10:20 PM..
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  #16  
Old 01-12-2010, 10:26 PM
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Emphasis added by yours truly...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pryde View Post
The shooter most likely had a stuck firing pin due to an overtorqued bolt...


Not on a witch hunt here, really don't give a hoot for bohica (whoever they are) and I don't have a dog in whatever (inevitable) fight might follow this weekend's equipment crash.

I'm not familiar with the rifle though and I'll ask here please -- What is this 'overtorqued bolt' business, and how is it that it can cause a firing pin to stick?

Photos would likely be helpful, drawings too if you think it's necessary...


Cheers
Tinker
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  #17  
Old 01-12-2010, 11:01 PM
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My understanding is that the bolt handle on Bohica uppers is threaded into the bolt body on top of a washer. It is apparently possible for an overzealous owner to excessively torque the handle down. This can deform the washer and cause the assembly to protrude into the firing pin channel resulting in friction or lockup of the firing pin.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:10 PM
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No Kidding?


Quote:
Originally Posted by impactco View Post
My understanding is that the bolt handle on Bohica uppers is threaded into the bolt body on top of a washer. It is apparently possible for an overzealous owner to excessively torque the handle down. This can deform the washer and cause the assembly to protrude into the firing pin channel resulting in friction or lockup of the firing pin.

If what you just said is true, that's an added not safety feature.

Can't wait to see the detail photos of that particular feature.





Cheers
Tinker
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impactco View Post
My understanding is that the bolt handle on Bohica uppers is threaded into the bolt body on top of a washer. It is apparently possible for an overzealous owner to excessively torque the handle down. This can deform the washer and cause the assembly to protrude into the firing pin channel resulting in friction or lockup of the firing pin.
wow a positive design flaw.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:23 PM
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More interesting reading here:

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sho...readid=3253338
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:27 PM
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No kidding.


Quote:
Originally Posted by turbochris View Post
wow a positive design flaw.

Zeal or not, picture some guy/gal who buys something like this -- and the bolt handle comes loose.
They tighten it.
Comes loose again.
They tighten it more and keep shooting.
Things seem fine, but a couple rounds more and the bolt is loose again.
They tighten it a bit more.

Zeal?
Eh.
That could appear to most folks to be quirky maintenance on a quirky custom rifle part.
You know, it's just a handle - right?
Gotta wonder if there's a note in the owner's manual that states the dangers of tightening up a bolt handle that comes loose when you use it...

Simple things.

What do most Bohica guys do when their bolt handles come unscrewed?
Glue it back in?

Wonder what the other guys have 'designed in' to their conversion kits.







Cheers
Tinker
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impactco View Post
thanks for posting went through the whole first page have to register to read the rest. interesting points made
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:35 PM
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I'm a regular at a monthly local .50 club shoot. I have seen people do some really stupid stuff. For example, here is a photo of the Bohica bolt assembled and disassembled. Note the two ridiculously tiny little E clips that retain the firing pin inside the bolt. I believe these E clips are the only mechanism that retains the firing pin inside the bolt, hence the astounding firing pin perforation of the stock tube in the recent KB.





One guy had one of the E clips become deformed and the firing pin would not strike the primer when fired. He disassembled the thing and used duct tape to replace the E clip. Apparently he then fired the gun, locking up the bolt completely. He was lucky.....

Just to be fair, I have seen non-Bohica owners do stupid stuff as well.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:48 PM
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wow simple e-clips? I dont want to say anything bad but you get what you pay for. Im sure it was tested using the proper procedures though. I wouldnt substitute any moving parts on a firearm. just plan dangerous. One a side not Ive had a friend that used duct tape to repair a hole in his drag slicks. Now that is stupid(it held up too)

Last edited by turbochris; 01-13-2010 at 12:06 AM..
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:01 AM
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Wonder what the 'proper procedure' actually is - as stated by the rifle maker.


Quote:
Originally Posted by turbochris View Post
wow simple e-clips? I dont want to say anything bad but you get what you pay for. Im sure it was tested using the proper procedures though. I would substitute and moving parts on a firearm. just plan dangerous. One a side not Ive had a friend that used duct tape to repair a hole in his drag slicks. Now that is stupid(it held up too)

I also wonder how critical that clearance between the bolt handle and the firing pin is -- how much clearance is there on a properly functional rifle, and how much clearance is too little -- also I wonder what the bolt-stretch specification (for the threaded feature on the bolt-handle) and measurement protocol is *as per the maker* in the manual.

I still don't know enough about the rifle to know one way or the other - or to even guess what happened. Bolt-stretch is a long-established phenomenon, and engineers allow for it in the design of mechanisms and machines.
For instance, in many cases bolt-stretch is the determining factor on whether or not your engine connecting rod bolts are tight enough - or if they've been over-torqued.
Stretch them too far and it's time to replace them, not run them.

With a situation where too much bolt stretch (or washer/shoulder crush/deformation) could bind the firing pin, especially where the critical part is the thing with which you crank the bolt open/closed , things sound a little spooky to me.

Is this a commonly known and discussed/heeded issue with this particular upper receiver kit?





Cheers
Tinker
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbochris View Post
wow simple e-clips? I dont want to say anything bad but you get what you pay for. Im sure it was tested using the proper procedures though. I wouldnt substitute any moving parts on a firearm. just plan dangerous. One a side not Ive had a friend that used duct tape to repair a hole in his drag slicks. Now that is stupid(it held up too)
had to edit my above post
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:11 AM
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Got it Chris.
Good save.

I'm very much interested to hear more detail on this bolt handle / firing pin interference possibility issue with the B-brand kit.

I have a sense there are folks reading this who own/shoot one of these who haven't heard of this, don't know about it, or wouldn't have imagined it could be an issue.

Ya' think..?





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Tinker
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:28 AM
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its a very interesting design. makes me think twice about being cheap on things especially firearm related. just by the picture posted above Id be wary of that bolt in any firearm definitely in a 50cal. Im sure due to the recent incident someone will do some rigorous testing on the bolt in a forum thread. I wont speculate and try to place blame and just wait for answers.

To the op save your money if you want a 50 cal. pay for quality items and do your research. I have heard nothing but good things about serbu rifles and they are complete. they are just ugly rifles lol. check them out can be had for around 2k but yet again research
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:40 AM
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Chris-


Quote:
Originally Posted by turbochris View Post
its a very interesting design. makes me think twice about being cheap on things especially firearm related. just by the picture posted above Id be wary of that bolt in any firearm definitely in a 50cal. Im sure due to the recent incident someone will do some rigorous testing on the bolt in a forum thread. I wont speculate and try to place blame and just wait for answers.

To the op save your money if you want a 50 cal. pay for quality items and do your research. I have heard nothing but good things about serbu rifles and they are complete. they are just ugly rifles lol. check them out can be had for around 2k but yet again research


I'm not shopping for a .50BMG(or whatever suffix that essentially equals BMG) upper or rifle.
Not really my thing

I am interested in seeing what other skeletons are in the closets of the B-brand and the other upper receiver kits.
Kind of getting a sense that this bolt-handle issue might just be a known issue (to some guys) - and that there might be similarly glaring issues with the other brands of kit - that the guys shooting them just work-around at the range.

If this Bohica *bolt-handle interference with firing pin* is indeed a distinct possibility (that some folks know about, but some don't), we're talking about a much more insidious issue than say - the dangers associated with riding away on your bicycle with the kickstand down...






Cheers
Tinker

Last edited by a.tinkerer; 01-13-2010 at 5:48 AM.. Reason: clarity
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Old 01-13-2010, 1:43 AM
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ill find my manual tomorrow and see if i can find the page you guys are looking for. im almost positive it says in there somewhere that you shouldnt tighten the bolt handle too tight because the firing pin to become stuck. i know the instructions with the newer bolt handle say it. ill see what i can find.
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Old 01-13-2010, 5:50 AM
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Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tdaughg View Post
ill find my manual tomorrow and see if i can find the page you guys are looking for. im almost positive it says in there somewhere that you shouldnt tighten the bolt handle too tight because the firing pin to become stuck. i know the instructions with the newer bolt handle say it. ill see what i can find.

'Newer bolt handle'?
They've revised the bolt handle?




Cheers
Tinker
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Old 01-13-2010, 8:25 AM
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Still waiting to hear from X-NewYawker about his statement.....
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Old 01-13-2010, 8:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a.tinkerer View Post
Thanks!

'Newer bolt handle'?
They've revised the bolt handle?

Cheers
Tinker
yeah, different shape and washer design to help cam the bolt open because there was problems with it not having enough force to extract the case. it seemed normal to use a rubber mallet and a wooden dowl to pop out the case after you lift the bolt.

gotta go to work but ill try to get you more info later.
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Old 01-13-2010, 9:50 AM
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Calguns Hive Mind watch the video and see if theres any safety issues here then discuss....


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  #35  
Old 01-13-2010, 10:01 AM
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Kind of not relevant to this discussion, but....

...after watching the video, I would suggest keeping the left hand off the forward receiver/barrel area. Better to support the stock area with that hand. Should a failure occur, that hand will be much safer.

Pretty annoying how the bipod folds up after the shot!

People in the background need better hearing protection than their hands! All of them should be wearing plugs and muffs.

Otherwise, just a bunch of guys having fun.
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Last edited by EBR Works; 01-13-2010 at 11:02 AM..
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:52 AM
a.tinkerer a.tinkerer is offline
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I can put this in a slightly different light for those who care to comment:


Of the crop of (essentially) 50BMG upper receiver retrofit kits (for the AR-15), which ones would you NOT SHOOT/OWN due to design features or lack of design features?
Which ones and why?
Please explain to me in relatively simple (skip the acronyms, skip the Calguns vernacular) terms - and include images if you can.
I'm coming at this with genuine curiosity and I don't have the experience with this class of accessory - and I know that there is a pretty solid group of guys here who do have that experience.




Cheers
Tinker
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  #37  
Old 01-13-2010, 12:32 PM
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$158 .50 Caliber rifle/cannon/fail?

Honestly, its pretty cool he made it himself.
http://community-1.webtv.net/ggiilli...0050BMGFUNGUN/
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Sorry, but I can't help but get a homo-erotic vibe from this thread.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd1023x View Post
$158 .50 Caliber rifle/cannon/fail?
Honestly, its pretty cool he made it himself.
http://community-1.webtv.net/ggiilli...0050BMGFUNGUN/
Wow! I guess that guy has a lot of confidence in his machining skills.
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Old 01-13-2010, 1:04 PM
slappomatt slappomatt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh3239 View Post
C'mon you guys, people shoot these all time. They shoot DTC and BMGs in this state, they shoot plenty of BMGs out of state, and hold plenty of competitions. I have no idea of the numbers but I am sure there are plenty of BMG uppers on AR lowers at matches like the FCSA.

1 kabooms and people are going a little nuts over it. I don't want to blame it on Bohica but they are the cheapest brand out there.
but its hardly an isolated incident. I have heard of 3 or 4 THIS year. one was very recently besides the one that just happened.
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Old 01-13-2010, 1:07 PM
turbochris turbochris is offline
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video should show the chambering of the cartridge. otherewise useless to what we are talking about. looks like alot of fun though
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