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.50 Beowulf: The AR Platform Shoulder Cannon

Have you ever said, "I sure love my AR15 but it needs more oomph…"? Luckily, the AR15 is an extremely adaptable platform since it can take advantage of different calibers. If you need massive stopping power in a package that still fits in the confines of a standard AR15 lower receiver, .50 Beowulf is just what the doctor ordered. Whether you are taking big game at close to medium range, enjoy heavy recoiling large cartridges, or love bragging about owning the biggest round available in AR15s, .50 Beowulf is a beastly heavy hitter. 

What is .50 Beowulf?

.50 Beowulf is a very specialized .50 caliber cartridge with superior penetration and power at close to medium range. The .50 Beowulf cartridge crushes through obstacles like a half-inch freight train. Mass times velocity equals force, and the .50 Beowulf generates tones of energy with 400-grain bullets traveling at 1800 feet per second. One might ask what's the point of such a heavy-hitting cartridge when rounds are so fat that only ten fit in a standard 30 round AR15 magazine? Power is the answer, and some applications demand more of it.

Short Cannon: .50 Beowulf Pistol from Alexander Firearms

Why was .50 Beowulf Created?

The deficiencies of 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem cartridge, the standard AR15 caliber, led to the creation of .50 Beowulf. 5.56/.223 is an excellent multipurpose round with numerous benefits. It's lightweight so you can carry a bunch of it, recoil is very low, and velocity is high. 5.56 does, however, have one downside. These lightweight rounds sometimes fail to penetrate harder targets like parts of a vehicle because their weight isn't enough to carry them through some barriers. 

While not all occasions call for the incredible power .50 Beowful offers, the creators envisioned this caliber being used in heavy-hitting situations. For example, one role .50 Beowulf works for is against vehicles speeding towards checkpoints. The massive, powerful round more reliably penetrates the fronts of cars to disable them than 5.56 NATO in a standard AR15. 

Alexander Firearms .50 Beowulf Rifle with fancy walnut furniture.

How is the .50 Beowulf Cartridge Made?

Most new cartridges originate from a parent case (the case of a previous cartridge) that is modified to fit design requirements of the new round, and .50 Beowulf is no exception. Alexander Firearms, the inventor of .50 Beowulf created the round by lengthening the .50 Action Express cartridge case to hold more gun powder and boost velocity. Yes, this is the same .50 Action Express used in the famous Magnum Research Desert Eagle pistol. Next, is a process called rebating, in which the case head is shrunk to a smaller size like that found in a 7.62x39 round. This resulting modified round became a new caliber, .50 Beowulf, that easily fits standard AR15 lower receivers and magazines.  

.50 Beowulf Fuel.

What are Other Uses for .50 Beowulf?

Incredibly enough .50 Beowulf can do more than just taking large game, shooting though vehicle body panels and engaging armored targets. Do you like shooting at reactive targets? If so, .50 Beowulf is a perfect round for this fun type of target shooting. When you shoot a steel target with .50 Beowulf, it will dance and sing and likely fall down dramatically. Watermelons are another great target choice for .50 Beowulf for the way they rapidly explode upon the impact. The fun level of shooting .50 Beowulf is equal only to its power. 

Who Makes Rifles in .50 Beowulf?

Like all ARs, you can easily build a rifle in .50 Beowulf. For people that prefer a controlled purchasing experience, Alexander Firearms makes some of the best .50 Beowulf rifles on the market. From models sporting ornate walnut furniture to versions looking a bit more tactical, numerous .50 Beuwolf rifles exist for your needs.

Full tacticool .50 Beowulf rifle from Alexander Firearms.


Who doesn't love a shoulder-fired cannon? We know you crave more harsh recoil and ear-splitting blast in your life. The .50 Beowulf round has these qualities in spades. However, .50 Beowulf isn't just a noisemaker, it’s a hard-hitting cartridge for folks that need maximum power from an AR15 platform. Shop our selection of .50 Beowulf rifles and get ready to shoot through everything. 

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