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No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

- Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia, Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776

.50 Action Express (AE)

The .50 Action Express (AE, 12.7x33mm) is a large caliber handgun cartridge developed in 1988 by Evan Whildin of Action Arms.

.50 AE 9mm Luger 7.62 .357 Sig, 10mm Auto, .40 S&W, .45 GAP, .50 AE

In order left to right; 9mm LUGER, 7,62, .357SIG, 10mmAUTO, .40S&W, .45GAP, .50AE

The actual cartridge has a .547 inch (13.9 mm) diameter base, with a rebated rim that is the same diameter as the .44 Magnum. The case length, at 1.285", is also identical to that of the .44 Magnum. This allows existing .44 Magnum Desert Eagle pistols to be upgraded to the new cartridge with only a barrel change. Original blueprints had been to use .510" diameter bullets (like the .50 BMG), but the polygonal rifling of the final prototype Desert Eagle allowed the .50 caliber bore plug to drop through, thus rendering the gun a destructive device under BATFE regulations. Nominal bullet diameter was reduced to the current 0.500 inch (12.7 mm);

Currently, the .50 AE is outperformed by few commercial handgun cartridges such as the .454 Casull, .460 S&W Magnum and the .500 S&W Magnum.

.50 AE, .454 Casull, .500 S&W magnum, .460 S&W magnum

The principal uses of the .50 AE are metallic silhouette shooting and hunting.

Recoil of the .50 AE in the Desert Eagle pistol is substantial. The cartridge is quite loud as well. For these reasons, the .50 AE is not a cartridge for the beginner or novice. It is also quite expensive, at over $30 per box of 20 rounds. Other firearms chambered for the .50 AE include the AMT AutoMag V, LAR Grizzly Win Mag, Freedom Arms model 555, Magnum Research BFR.

Performance

SAAMI recommends a maximum chamber pressure of 36,000 psi for the .50 AE. Available factory loads can produce over 1400 ft·lbf (1900 J) of muzzle energy.

Currently, only IMI (Samson) and Speer/CCI load .50 AE. New, unprimed brass is available from Starline. Bullets are available from a few different manufacturers.

Most bullets designed for the .500 S&W Magnum are too long for use in .50 AE semi-automatic pistols.

Type                                Handgun
Place of origin                 United States

Production History

Designer                         Evan Whildin, Action Arms
Designed                        1988
Specifications

Case type                        Rebated rim, straight
Bullet diameter               .500 in (12.7 mm)
Neck diameter                .540 in (13.7 mm)
Base diameter                 .547 in (13.9 mm)
Rim diameter                  .514 in (13.1 mm)
Rim thickness                 .060 in (1.5 mm)
Case length                     1.285 in (32.6 mm)
Overall length                 1.610 in (40.9 mm)
Primer type                      Large pistol

Ballistic Performance

Bullet weight/type                       Velocity                       Energy
325 gr (21.1 g) Ball             1,305 ft/s (398 m/s)      1,229 ft·lbf (1,666 J)

Banks shooting the .338 Winchester Magnum by Browning

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I recently ordered a couple of new guns from my local gun shop. It may be a while until they come in, from what I am told. I ordered a 3 inch Ruger SP101 in the new .327 Federal Magnum caliber and a Ruger Hawkeye African in the .375 Ruger caliber. The seller tells me that the SP 101 in that make up is just now trickling out of the factory and that distributers are having a hard time stocking them for retailers, so I may be waiting a while...click for more.

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