What will stop a 50 BMG like a brick wall? ½” thick AR 550 stops it – that’s what. We are very pleased to offer our 50 BMG target that can withstand .338 Lapua and 50 BMG from a mere 150 yards. And it doesn’t stop there; this incredibly tough material held up to a 14mm round shot by a PTRD-41 anti-tank rifle. Don’t believe us? Check out the video link at the bottom. But before we get to the anti-tank testing let’s talk about more common rounds.
Testing started off with .338 Lapua (Sellier & Bellot 250 grain BTHP) at 400 yards. Coming out at just a hair under 3,000 fps these rounds are cooking, and since high velocity rounds do the most damage to steel targets, we anticipated some surface wear. After putting 10+ rounds on target we went downrange to inspect the gong. Looking at the target, had someone had told us they’d been lobbing in .22 LR we would have had a hard time arguing. There wasn’t so much as a scratch on the target. Okay, so it withstood a 250 grain bullet, but what about one nearly 3 times the size?
It was time to pull out the big guns: a Steyr HS 50 M1 from just over 400 yards shooting American Eagle XM33 (660 grain FMJ). Born from an idea John Browning had for an anti-aircraft weapon, this round proved useful for taking down planes, destroying concrete structures and even lighter armored vehicles. Surely this would be enough to compromise our steel gong. The first shot, unleashing a tremendous impact of over 8,000 ft-lb, swung the nearly-30-pound-target so hard it knocked the stand apart. Success! ..? Well, it got the point across: 50 BMG hits hard! We headed downrange to reset the stand and inspect the steel and what we found was incredible. There was no puncture, no bending and no cracking. You’re thinking it already: “It was only one shot!” 15+ rounds later we were back face to face with the AR 550 gong and reading the same results. It was time to bring things in a little closer.
At 150 yards we expected to see some heavy damage to our 50 BMG target. AR 500 steel is strong, AR 550 even stronger, but how much could it really take? Choosing the lighter .338 Lapua to start we pumped the gong full of lead. Not only did we have a difficult time determining which hits were from the closer range, but we saw no noticeable difference when compared to the hits from 400 yards. Surely the 50 BMG would do some serious damage this close… or so we thought. Incredibly, at a mere 150 yards the most damage we saw to the target was on the bottom edge where 2 rounds had hit, leaving a little nick and very mild kink over a distance no greater than 1”. Again, these rounds were designed to bring down aircraft and we saw no holes, no chunks taken out and no cracks. Given those results we believe it would be safe to say the performance at 100 yards would be no different. That’s not to suggest seeing how close you can shoot it, but it’s nice to have the freedom to shoot shorter yardages if needed.
When some friends of ours over at Marstar Canada saw our footage with the 50 caliber and .338 Lapua, it didn’t take long to move the conversation to “I wonder if your 50 BMG target can stop our anti-tank rifle?” That’s not a question we could leave unanswered, so we sent them a gong and they hard mounted it to help do the most damage they could. Take out the swing and you’ve got nowhere to go but through! At no more than 80-100 yards they let the 14.5mm round fly. When they pulled the gong target out from the wreckage and scraped away the dirt we were all blown away to see that once again there was no hole in the gong – it didn’t go through! It left a sizeable dent where the round hit, but the PTRD-41 hadn’t punched a hole in it and we were all nothing short of impressed. Disclaimer: we do have to acknowledge that they used a 70% load, but we can also argue they shot the 50 BMG target nearly point blank! We’re still amazed.
Beef It Up – 50 BMG Target
With these superb results we are excited to offer you the opportunity to shoot rounds downrange at this extremely tough 50 BMG target made from AR 550 steel. We’ve rated the target specifically for .338 Lapua and 50 BMG, although the larger size provides a great target for whatever other ammunition you’d like to shoot – anti-tank rounds void your warranty! Visit the 50 BMG target page to get your hands on one today.