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Thread: Comments on .50 Alaskan , Guide Guns, and turned brass bullets

  1. #1
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    theperfessor's Avatar
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    Smile Comments on .50 Alaskan , Guide Guns, and turned brass bullets

    I have a friend named Matt who is a professional machinist and a big bore gun nut. He asked me for my opinion on the following.

    Matt and a hunting/shooting buddy want to have their Guide Guns converted to .50 Alaskan. Apparently that cartridge uses a .510 bullet and they are scarce and expensive. He is not interested in casting at this point.

    He has access to the type of turning equipment that would allow him to turn bullets from solid rod stock. He wants to turn up some .510 solid brass bullets. I have shared what little I know about designing turned projectiles with him and I have also talked to him about getting a custom bullet mold and start casting his .510 slugs.

    Anybody care to share their thoughts about the cartridge, the gun, the conversion, and the bullets? I will send Matt a link to this thread so feel free to chip in your thoughts.

    Thank You guys.
    I am now in full production of top punches for Lyman/RCBS and Saeco lubers ($8 each including shipping, two business day turnaround), and blank sizing dies for Lyman/RCBS, Saeco, Herters, and Star machines. Other products will be added as time and health permit. PM me for details.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    All I know 100% about a 50 alaskan is I want one. Dan at bullshot has one and at least one mold he uses. I would buy cast boolits from him before I considered using solid brass.

    As soon as Dan gets his casting business back up and running, I bet he would fix him up.

  3. #3
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    stubshaft's Avatar
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    There are alot of bullet molds available for a 50 AK and there are still some companies that sell cast and lubed boolits. My favorite load uses 55.0 4198 behind a 580gr. LBT LFN boolit. It zips along at 1795fps out of my Encore 16" pistol barrel.



    Don't have any experience with a converted lever action but, it is on my bucket list.

    BTW - IIRC Ranger Rick has boolits available for it.
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

    The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    LOL Is that pistol hard to hang on too. I have been wanting a fifty ak, but a little longer is what I had in mind. I like the way the 26 in barrel on the cowboy handles and feels.

  5. #5
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    Ive got a 50ak marlin and love it. I shoot mostly cast out of mine but have shot a bunch of kelly shelps brass punch bullets too. Keep in mind that a solid brass bullet is not legal. It is considered a cop killer. Kelly had to redesign his bullets. What he did was machine out a void in the base and drill a very small hole up into the nose. He filled the void with lead and now it is considered a jacketed hp. It actually works as well as the solid version did though. What your buddy might want to do is buy a handfull of kellys bullets and see if he can get some ideas from them. Do a search for belt mountain base pins and you will find his site. Like i said i use mostly cast because the brass bullets are much more expensive and i can make my own cast bullets but in the testing we did the brass bullets kelly makes consistantly out perform cast and usually not by a small margin. Especially when you step up to the velocitys that a 50 ak is capable of.
    sixgun junky

  6. #6
    Here's my marlin 50ak. I shoot Cast performance 525 hcgc and the occasional 435gr. Right now I'm playing with 375 gr gc over a case full of trailboss. Great gun a lotta fun

  7. #7
    Boolit Master UBER7MM's Avatar
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    I remember reading somewhere that the first .50 Alaskan bullets were .50 BMG bullets cut in half on a metal lathe. If your friend wants to experiment with his machinist skills, then that might be a fun project. One could probably get two bullets of different shapes from one .50 BMG bullet. Of the two halves, the spitzer half would need to be blunted for use in a tubular magazine, while the base half could be loaded outright. Different weights could also be experimented with.

    Enjoy,
    Uber7mm

    Bambi: The great American hunting story as told through the eyes of the antagonist.

  8. #8
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    Ed in North Texas's Avatar
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    As others have stated, there are .50 moulds available. The Lyman 515141 usually casts a .512 boolit (depending on alloy), and I believe the 515142 does also. Both are PB though.

    Ed

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I don't have a clue what mold bullshop uses, but I looked at some of them in loaded cartridges and they are a good looking boolit.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    What game is to be hunted with the 50 AK GG using turned solids? Elephant, charging Cape Buffalo? Can he turn some and shoot them?- sure. But, he might spend more time turning than loading or shooting. Seems pretty tedious and wears me out just thinking of it. You might just sit back and see what plays out. Then in the future the option of shooting cast bullets and a 51 cal mold might be brought up at an appropriate moment.
    At least two and probably more mold makers offer custom or semi-custom options for 510-511" molds in the range of $100-140.

  11. #11
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    Guys, I really appreciate the responses. I have tried to talk Matt into joining so he could post here and participate in the discussions. So far no success, but I'll keep working on him! I certainly have learned a few things from the postings.
    I am now in full production of top punches for Lyman/RCBS and Saeco lubers ($8 each including shipping, two business day turnaround), and blank sizing dies for Lyman/RCBS, Saeco, Herters, and Star machines. Other products will be added as time and health permit. PM me for details.

  12. #12
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    If you look at the illegal wording in USC Sec. 921, armor piercing ammunition means any and all ammunition components to be used in a a handgun made of all the metals that are used in projectiles except lead. Barnes bullet co. ran into this problem when BATFE decided their Brass bullets were AP for handguns and were illegal as I recall.

    Sec. 921. Definitions


    (17)(A) The term "ammunition" means ammunition or cartridge
    cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in
    any firearm.
    (B) The term "armor piercing ammunition" means -
    (i) a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a
    handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence
    of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of
    tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or
    depleted uranium; or
    (ii) a full jacketed projectile larger than .22 caliber
    designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a
    weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the
    projectile.

    So , I would be cautious about making my own as it could get you a visit from the G-men...and they have no sense of humor in matters like this.
    NOTE...THIS IS FOR HANDGUN AMMO ONLY !
    Rifle ammo would be OK but if you used it in a handgun it would be illegal.
    Rich
    Last edited by Mooseman; 10-28-2012 at 11:26 PM.
    You Know You Might Be Facing your DOOM , if all you get is a click, Instead of a BOOM !

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master OnHoPr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stubshaft View Post
    There are alot of bullet molds available for a 50 AK and there are still some companies that sell cast and lubed boolits. My favorite load uses 55.0 4198 behind a 580gr. LBT LFN boolit. It zips along at 1795fps out of my Encore 16" pistol barrel.



    Don't have any experience with a converted lever action but, it is on my bucket list.

    BTW - IIRC Ranger Rick has boolits available for it.
    Where do you put the cannon axle and wheels on that? I know you are thinking about a recoilless system for that CANNON. Do you have any mouse fart loads for that?

  14. #14
    Fuzzy Boolit


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    I love the rifle but the cartridge only interests me on paper. Sounded like a fun project up to the point where our friends @ the BATFE might get interested. Keep working on the cast boolit angle, perfessor.


    Can I watch you shoot that handcannon, stubshaft? Scope and mount look very familiar, seems I have that setup on my .35 Rem Contender. Surprised it's lasted, if it's working for you I'll quit worrying about it.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    TxGunNut, you have my curiosity up now. Why would the batf take an interest in the 50 alaskan.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXGunNut View Post
    Scope and mount look very familiar, seems I have that setup on my .35 Rem Contender. Surprised it's lasted, if it's working for you I'll quit worrying about it.
    It is a MGM six screw steel mount with three steel Warne rings. The scope is a Leupy 2X. It has been back to the factory once already (although I did have it on my 500 for a while too). The Weavers (2X and 4X) broke on my 500 Smith (each went back 4X) and the old Redfield recoil proof, wasn't. Burris lasted less than 18 rounds.
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

    The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by starmac View Post
    TxGunNut, you have my curiosity up now. Why would the batf take an interest in the 50 alaskan.
    See my post #12 !
    IF you had a .50 AK in both a pistol and a rifle and you made solid Brass bullets, they would be illegal for the Pistol , but legal for the rifle.
    BATFE frowns on AP pistol ammo and they have no sense of humor.

    Rich
    You Know You Might Be Facing your DOOM , if all you get is a click, Instead of a BOOM !

    If God had wanted us to have Plastic gun stocks he would have planted plastic Trees !

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    OK. I thought he was talking about the caliber itself. I would like to have one, but NOT in a pistol and I would have no use for brass solids either.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Brian Pearce did an article on the .50 AK recently in either Handlaoder or Rifle magazine. This is probably wheree "uber7mm' got the idea that the original bullets were made from .50 BMG bullets cut in half.

    They only used the back half with the boat tail forward.

    The Belt Mountain Punch Solids are currently the penetration king. I talked to Dave Scoville at the SHOT Show a couple of years ago, and he told me about a female elephant he shot with a 45-70 and one of those bullets. in the face out the arse! didn't find the bullets. 11 feet total, and still going.

    Brian Pearce shot a Cape Buff with one and it killed a cow on the off side as well.

    Any turned brass bullet from a .50AK would do the same. But really there is no need to reinvent the wheel on this one as it is already done right, and I doubt anyone could shoot more than about 50 of these in a lifetime.

    There's alot happening on both ends of a gun like this.

    My advice for him would be to "buy" some 300gr cast boolits and start from there. I think he will run out of shoulder long before he gets to 600gr brass solids.

    Keith, try to talk some sense into him, if he won't do his research by joining the site, then he probably is just going to get himself hurt. If he has no idea what a brass bullet should look like then chances are he is going to over pressure the gun.

    More to this than meets the uneducated eye.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  20. #20
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    One word about brass bullets: anneal.

    HF

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