50 Action Express ctges


#1

I have two 50 AE ctges
One with the hstp: Speer 50 AE
The other one with the hstp : AAL 50 A Express

Some people told me the second one was a prototype.
Is it right ??
ThAnks
JP


#2

Yes, the AAL stands for Action Arms Ltd. It was a Philadelphia company with business ties to Israel. The inventor of the 9mmAE, .41AE, and .50AE, Evan Whilden, worked there.


#3

Thanks.
but it is just a different hstp, the dimensions are the same, aren’t they ?

jp


#4

It was the prototype case, and relatively few were made, but they should be dimensionally very close to the production rounds.


#5

Hi All,
I have one of Whilden’s prototype cartridges packed away somewhere. If memory serves, the prototype cartridges had a bullet diameter of .512 inch. It was changed to .500 inch for production to get around the destructive device over .50 cal rule.
The Desert Eagle in .50 AE is a joy to shoot with less felt recoil (to me) than a SW M29 in .44 Magnum. It is a heavy brute of a handgun.

Brian


#6

Brian has it correct. When the prototype pistol was presented to BATF&E for approval they tried their range rod down the barrel and, voila, it dropped right in! We can’t have that, they said, so the cartridge was scaled down to it’s current size.

I know I feel safer. And you should too. We can’t have those poor 7/11 clerks staring down the business end of a hole that big.

Ray


#7

[quote=“Ray Meketa”]Brian has it correct. When the prototype pistol was presented to BATF&E for approval they tried their range rod down the barrel and, voila, it dropped right in! We can’t have that, they said, so the cartridge was scaled down to it’s current size.

I know I feel safer. And you should too. We can’t have those poor 7/11 clerks staring down the business end of a hole that big.

Ray[/quote]
I read that it was rare in the USA for any handgun over 9mm Calibre to be used in a crime, and cheap .22s make up the majority of weapons used in crime, yet all the nonsense legislation targets the large calibre handguns. Yet another example of laws made by people with no knowledge of what they are trying to “protect” people from.


#8

Ray,
sorry but what is a “range rod”?

Pivi


#9

[quote=“clarkbr”]Hi All,
I have one of Whilden’s prototype cartridges packed away somewhere. If memory serves, the prototype cartridges had a bullet diameter of .512 inch. It was changed to .500 inch for production to get around the destructive device over .50 cal rule.
The Desert Eagle in .50 AE is a joy to shoot with less felt recoil (to me) than a SW M29 in .44 Magnum. It is a heavy brute of a handgun.

Brian[/quote]

Brian,

I had the opportunity to shoot one of the Desert Eagle pistols in .50 AE calibre some years ago here in the UK. I did not enjoy the experience as this particular pistol threw the ejected case accurately back down the sight line. If you took a cereful aim, squeezed the trigger and followed through the heavy brass case hit, very hard, in the sighting eye. After two shots, and with blood dribbling from my eye I declared it a stupid pistol and went back to shooting my .455 inch Webley Mark VI revolver, with considerably more success at the target end. I was forbidden from shooting at 10-pins (skittles) with the .455 “Wobbly” in case I hit one. 9mm’s and .45 ACP’s punched through the pins which could be used a few times, the .455 caused them to burst whereafter they were only fit for the range hut fire. I agree with you that it is a heavy brute but I fail to see what practical purpose it was designed for.

gravelbelly


#10

Pivi - to my knowledge, a range rod is a steel rod made to barrel specifications that gunsmiths use to check the alignment of cylinders. If a cylinder is out of alignment even by a very tiny amount, the range rod, once inserted down thru the barrel, will hit the edge of the out-of-alignment chamber (throat) in the cylinder, instantly showing that it is actually out of alignment. If the cylinder is not out of alignment, the rod will pass right on thru and hit the firing pin busing (or frame) behind the cylinder.

I am not sure what BATFE uses is properly called a range rood, but it could be. They use a series of “tools” made up by the Bureau of Weight,Measures and Standards, for measuring barrel lengths, calibers, etc. I have seen a shotgun barrel length rod used. It was very precisely 18 inches long, and once resting against the face of the bolt (breech) of a shotgun, if the rod sticks out past the muzzle any length at all, the barrel is illegally short. The width of a saw cut too short could make a shotgun barrel illegal, a reason why most gunsmiths I have met will not cut off a shotgun barrel to a true 18", but leave it about 1/4 inch longer so it is absolutely certain that it is at least 18" in length. Of course, I am speaking of U.S. Law here - different countries have different barrel length requirements.


#11

pivi

John is correct, of course. I used the term “range rod” because it is one that I am used to using. The BATF&E probably has their own name for it but it is essentially a steel or brass rod that has been certified to be a certain diameter and/or length that is placed into the barrel to verify whatever measurement the BATF&E is checking at the time. I may be wrong here again, but I believe the rod for checking 50 caliber is some nominal dimension over .500" and if the firearm accepts the rod it is considered too big and is a destructive device.

Ray


#12

Hello Gravelbelly,
Yes, the Desert Eagle is notorious for dropping the cases in your forehead. My buddy has one in .50 AE,.44 Mag and .41 Mag and that is what his does. Mine kicks them over my shoulder about 3-4 feet as does my .357 Desert Eagle. I have been told that it is due to how the pistol is held. Something to do with the torquing of the handgun during recoil. I have more problems with my Gold Cup National Match torquing. I think the weight of the Desert Eagle helps me. I don’t have the beefiest arms and I have quite a death grip on the darn thing when i shoot it.
As to the size of it? Why not? It makes quite an impression to the person on the wrong end of it.
I also shoot a TC Contender pistol with a .45-70 Government barrel. My 560 grain loads are actually more comfortable that the 350 grain loads (smile). I’m a nut for .45-70 Govt. I have to say that I’m getting a little older now and the large calibers aren’t as easy for me to shoot all day so I tend to load them down quite a bit.
I have shot the .455 Webley and enjoyed it greatly. It was a bit old and worn, but was wonderful to shoot.

Brian


#13

Ray - I’m not sure you are really wrong in your use of “Range Rod” as both are steel rods that go down the barrel (or in the case of BATFE measuring rods, perhaps don’t) to determine something about the weapon in question. Very similar purpose. I was just more familiar with the alignment function of a ranging rod.

What you just said about the BATFE’s rod for gauging legal caliber sounds good to me. It makes sense. I have never seen one of these used, but as you described would fulfill the purpose perfectly.


#14

We used bore gauges when determining the calibers of weapons, not a rod, when weapons were submitted for examination. If the weapon was close to .50 +/-, we got out other tools and took several measurements to ensure accuracy.
Fortunately the guys who test all those weapons, LOVE guns, that’s why they work in that shop. Heck, working there gets you daily access to a reference collection of 10,000+ guns. Pure bliss.
The laws governing and defining the destructive device, machineguns, short barrel rifles and shotguns were created well before ATF even existed, not to mention the laws were created by Congress.

Chris.


#15

[quote=“clarkbr”]Hi All,
. If memory serves, the prototype cartridges had a bullet diameter of .512 inch. It was changed to .500 inch for production to get around the destructive device over .50 cal rule.

Brian[/quote]
Yes, it is was I was told when I bought it.

What is the value please?
Thanks
JP


#16

Here are two 50 Action Express dummies.

Like Brian wrote the A.A.L. bullet in larger than the Speer. When measured at the case mouth the AAL bullet is 0.507" vs 0.498" for the Speer. Case neck diameter is 0.542" for AAL vs 0.528"

My question is is this AAL case an actual factory dummy or just an unprimed case with a proper bullet stuck in. Also JP listed his headstamp as " AAL 50 A Express " not the same as my “A.A.L. 50 A. EXP.” What other headstamps are out there?

Paul


#17

Paul

Mine has the same headstamp as yours. I was told that it was factory dummy and that no loaded rounds were ever made nor were MT cases or bullets ever sold.

And that’s all I know about that.

Ray


#18

Will try to post this answer a second time. Nothing but trouble with this site the last few days.

I believe that live rounds were made in the original AAL .50 AE. Mine is from a good source originally, and has a different bullet than my dummy round does. It is less pointed in ogive, and the meplat of the lead soft nose is wider than that on the bullet in the dummy rounds. The diameter of the bullet of my live round is even slightly larger in diameter than that of my dummy round at the point of measurement just above the case mouth. This is probably because of the different ogive of the bullet. I suspect if both bullets would be pulled, which I will not do, the bearing surfaces of each would be about the same diameter. Further, the bullets on both rounds are different than that in any of my serial production .50 AE cartridges, of which I have 23 variations. I have seen two other live rounds in collections and they were identical to mine. Also, I think that it has been said here, and I am sure it is right, that BATFE measured the bore of a pistol and found it a bit too large. That would have been a pistol made to the specs of the original cartridge, and that, to me, provides more evidence that there were “original” live rounds for testing and development of the pistol itself. A pistol made to the specs of what became the production version of the .50 AE would not have had a bore “too big.”

For those reasonsx, I think it is incorrect to say no live rounds were made. Just my opinion.

I agree with what Ray said, though, about the sale of bullets and cases in quantity. When these things showed up, they were not easy to get, and I saw no evidence of widespread sale of these components.


#19

I can’t comment on any of the production diameter changes, but I can tell you for sure that there were loaded “AAL” rounds. I shot some of them on a visit to Action Arms. The only gun they had chambered for the round was a Thompson-Center single-shot pistol. They must have still been developing the round and the Desert Eagle was not available yet. After a couple of shots I was happy to switch to an Uzi.


#20

As I have said, I am only repeating what I was told to be the story of these factory dummy rounds. Since I don’t ordinarily collect stuff like this I cataloged it that way.

What I have always found puzzling, and something that has not been mentioned here, is why someone such as Whilden, AA, or IMI would manufacture a prototype pistol and ammunition that failed BATF&E standards. Surely they must have known what was legal and what was not. It makes me wonder if there ever was an “oversize” pistol made and actually test fired. Wouldn’t it make more sense for them to first present their specs to BATF&E for, at least, a preliminary approval?

Ray