.50 cal sniper round?

This I was told is a .50 cal sniper round, this one is inert and cost me $8. The guy who sold this is a .50 cal collector and told me that the US Army pays $250 for a live round. He was able to get the components and assemble the inert rounds. The case is a .50 BMG from LC and made in 2005. It has a ice blue clear sabot and a .30 cal AP bullet pulled from old ammo. Is this thing legit? Anyone know the story behind it?
Thanks, frogbert

That looks like an M2AP 30cal projectile (with pull marks), stuffed into a sabot which I have only seen used as an aftermarket creation for gunshow type loads to stuff AP or incendiary projectiles into. The main problem with that cartridge being described as a “sniper rd” is that the sabot usually sticks out too far to be chambered in a rifle - those are patterned after the SLAP AP loads and only fit in the M2 machine guns as far as I know. I don’t believe the ballistics on those type of sabot loads are match grade either, they are decent, but are intended for volley fire against armored targets, not sniper fire in a 50bmg rifle.

So then this is not a real cartridge to be used in a rifle but is real if used in a mg. I have doubts that it cost the army $250 per loaded rd.

The $250 per rd is wild considering that the much more expensive-component-laiden SLAP loads cost less than $10 per rd for the Army when they buy them from Winchester. The brass, primer, and powder in your pictured rd are worth about $2.00, and the projectile and sabot are worth about $1.00. Assembly is probably worth $1.00… so maybe $4.00? I don’t think that the 40mm HEDP grenades even cost $250 per rd…


IMHO, that’s not a real cartridge, regardless of rifle or MG use. You paid $1 for the cartridge and $7 for the story. But still, not a bad price considering today’s devalued dollar. This morning, the wife and I rented two cups of coffee at $2.50 each. ;-)


As a person who had his share of buying fakes, I’d like to express camaraderie (if this round is not real) and advise to label it as such and keep it. Somewhere out there sits a collector of ammo fakes who wants to have it. Here, I even bought a “fake” knowing the truth viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8409&p=59801&hilit=fantasy#p59801

Thanks for the info guys. Even though it is a fake I will keep it for it does look cool.

Chuck Karwan and others have advocated saboted rounds for military snipers (albeit in 7.62x51mm), so it’s possible that a saboted .50BMG would meet requirements.

I’ve never seen a SLAP round in any caliber with a colored-tip, and the SLAP projos I’ve seen have a much more angular profile (vs. the rounder FMJ profile of the M2 projo in the pic).

I once used a double-sabot to dummy up a .50BMG cartridge that I dubbed the “.22-.50 ToolMan”. .223 55gr FMJ in a .50BMG case, estimated MV of Mach 18 or Warp 6. An associate actually loaded some up for his Windrunner, but I was too chicken to actually fire them.

Just some more FYI… Any sniper round that has a sabot cannot (should not) be fired from a rifle with a muzzle break. The aerodynamics of the sabot and the interaction with the muzzle break could get the sabot caught in the brake and cause damage to the rifle and surely cause the bullet to not fly straight. As most .50 BMG rifles have a break on them… This would also negate the “sniper quality” of the round.

just my 2 cents…

The sabot looks like the one used in a Teppo Jutsu cartridge in my collection (which is certainly genuine - like the others, it was sent to me by Marty himself). Pic from this article on my website: quarry.nildram.co.uk/TeppoJutsu.htm

From left to right: .30 HRT (110 grain Hornady V-Max); .338 Spectre – 300 grain Sierra Hollow Point Boat Tail Match King) and 300 grain HAWK Round Nose; .458 SOCOM – 300 grain Barnes X Spitzer, 400 grain Barnes Round Nose Solid and 600 grain Barnes Original; .500 Phantom - 168 grain Sierra HPBTMK (saboted), 700 grain HAWK and 750 grain Hornady A-Max