I’ve been reading up on the 50 caliber SLAP cartridges of which I have a few, and I’m trying to decide whether or not I should try one from my single shot bolt rifle. It seems to be universally clear that the muzzle brake must be removed to do this safely as the sabot can be a serious safety issue if it contacts the brake fins. Some forum posts I found online also mention that the chamber may not be correct on rifles for firing the SLAP cartridge due to the chamber and barrel ream not being correct? I also see that the SLAP is intended for stellite-lined barrels, but that this might not be a total necessity. Has anyone ever heard more about these ever being fired in a rifle, or whether the chamber / ream is an important consideration? If it isn’t and if the muzzle brake simply needs to be removed, then I am willing to give it a try and put up with the recoil.
Case dimensions on the SLAP cartridges are the same as any other 50BMG so a standard chamber should not be a problem. However, if you have a match chamber that is cut for bore-rider bullets it may not have a conventional neck, free-bore, and throat which could cause some difficulties in chambering a round. Since the projectile will only weigh about 350 grains, recoil should be tolerable without a brake.
A standard 50BMG cartridge is expensive. How much do you figure for each shot using a SLAP??? ;) ;)
I’ve raised this question with most of the major .50 rifle mfgrs. The brake is a potential problem intefering with the sabot stripping. Damage to the rifle brake and potential debris threat to those on the firing line. Many rifles will not even chamber the round due to the blunt profile presented by the SLAP. The Barrett M82, for example won’t chamber the round unless you have the special barrel made for it. They don’t sell that barrel to civilians. The standard answer here is don’t do it unless the mfgr has cleared the request. They will know one way or another whether it’s feasible.
I have 6 standard and 2 tracers at the moment, and I mostly wanted to fire one standard SLAP at a 1" steel plate at 200 yards for curiosity’s sake. I guess the replacement cost is around $40 per these days
Not sure how the stellite realtes to SLAP, but when I was in the service, all of our .50 BMG barrels had a stellite liner. Our welding shop would take out of spec barrels and torch cut the chamber and rifled portion off of the barrels, leaving the stellite portion to be returned to depot level. My understanding of stellite barrels was that is was simply a way to reduce throat erosion from prolonged firing and pre-dates SLAP by many years.
I can save you the bother: the SLAP will penetrate around 40mm armour at short range and your one-inch plate should still be penetrated at 1,000 yards.
Thanks for checking with 50 cal shooters Keith, and thanks for the info on 40mm of penetration Tony. I also just found this site which is great for info on the AP type projectiles and their penetration: http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mg/50_ammo.html
Thanks for that. One of the things you have to watch with published info on .50 velocity and performance is that it is usually measured from 45" barrels. Rifles are likely to be considerably shorter.
Isn’t that blue over light blue tipped 50 a M-48 rather than a M-23? Reguarding the web site above???
Nope, the M48 (and M48A1) are red over yellow, and are spotter-tracers.
DUH!!! Where was my brain at!!!