Another round in need of ID

This appears to have been made from a .50 BMG.

See picture comparing to .50 BMG ball round.
The bullet is non-magnetic, No HS, 3 stab crimp with a brass primer. Bullet diameter approximately 9.85 mm and the case length is approximately 92.9 mm.

Closer view


Anyone seen this before?

Looks like a .50/338 wildcat. Which would be a .338 Lapua bullet loaded into a necked-down .50BMG. They are sometimes loaded for expensive custom rifles made by companies like SSK industries, or just one-offs from gunsmiths. Calibers like that get around California’s .50 cal ban, or are just fun for being a super high-velocity wildcat.

Sorry but 9.85 mm would correspond to .3875" so it can’t be a .338" bullet.

Flectarn, are you sure about the reported bullet diam? It’s a really strange bullet diameter. Could it be 9.55 mm so .375"?

The case in the picture has clearly been fireformed to an improved configuration

I guess .375 CheyTac would be the closest one to the measurement given for that type of projectile?

Odd there is no HS. Who would make a case with no HS and with 3 stab crimps around the primer?

I don’t think so. The 408 CheyTac ( and so its .375 version) was ( dimensionally) based on the .505 Gibbs case, that is far smaller than the .50 BMG.

I think that the pictured round could well be a .375" ( ?) improved version of the .50 BMG.

CA does not have a .50 cal ban. It restricts only the 50 BMG. Cartridges such as the 50 DTC were developed to end-run the CA laws since they are still Cal .50 and can be used in some of the 50 caliber competitions. Not all, but some.

Such wildcats are very common. Whatever the bullet diameter of the cartridge shown, it’s name is probably lost to history. Such is the fate of most wildcats.


That’s what I meant, was that the bullet might be a .375 Chey Tac. The case looks like a typical .50BMG except for the headstamp

Now the other question is would it have worked? This is one for Ray I think, does a cartridge actually need that amount of case capacity? My take on it would be they could only use a very slow burning powder which would then not burn fast enough or completely enough to give the spectacular ballistics expected of it.
You can only get so much burning gases down a barrel before the bullet leaves the end.
To use John’s rather good description of such rounds, is it another dingbat?

Below are a number of wildcats based on the 50BMG, with a “real” 50BMG on the far right.

The 3 to the left of the 50 are a 460 Styer, a 416 Barrett and a 375-50 (the smaller ones are more fantasy than realistic)

Below is another view of the 50, 460S and 416B

Some other 50BMG based wildcats (all the below are by Ed Hubel)

#3 is a 700 SHE (Short Hubel Express), #4 is a 700 HE (Hubel Express) #5 is a 12ga From Hell (one of the few Sabot loadings known to exist)

Bob - Nice wildcats!

Vince - You are right. Most all of the really big loudenboomers have way too much powder capacity to be balanced with today’s powders. All of the unusable powder only serves to burn out a barrel before the shooter has a chance to develop an accurate load. Maybe some day in the future when chemists develop newer powders, but even then, as you said, you can only push a certain volume of gas down a barrel and you can only accellerate it to a finite velocity. The cartridges of the future may work on completely different principles than those of today and metallurigsts will develop steels or ceramics to accomodate them. Or, maybe Star Wars really is the future?


Checked the bullet dia again–9.85mm.

If it is a wildcat, why remove the headstamp?

Wildcatters are not easily explained to normal people. That bullet diameter is very odd and it’s probably hand-made. Maybe swadged or maybe lathe turned. I don’t know anyone who makes 9.85mm bullets, or barrels.The case appears to be fire-formed but it may be one of kind, possibly made as a curiosity or joke, much like several of the cartridges Tailgunner showed. The case may have been un-headstamped originally. Or the headstamp was removed as part of the process. It does show a lot of signs of being sanded or filed down.

Pull the bullet and see what’s inside.

Unless some positive evidence turns up, every guess is equally valid.



Just to add more confusion, I have a THV bullet whose diameter is .390" . An odd diameter for a rifle or a pistol

It is of recent production but I have no info about the gun that could fire it.

Recently some custom rifles were chambered for .395" cal. wildcats ( .395 Tatanka). A bit larger than the pictured bullet.
Could the base of bullet be about .395 - .408"? The part of the bullet that is outside the case could be slightly smaller than the actual diameter

I measured my .408 CheyTac sample. It is assembled with a .408" monolithic bullet but it is .399" if measured just beyond the case mouth


I will compare it to my .408 Cheytac, tonight.


obviously your round is not a 408 CheyTac but it could have the same bullet if the bullet portion inside the case is of bigger diam

is your #2 the 28 Gauge from Hell? I have the same samples in my collection. Anyway my 12 GFH is loaded with a huge FMJ bullet ( custom made?)

is your #2 the 28 Gauge from Hell? I have the same samples in my collection. Anyway my 12 GFH is loaded with a huge FMJ bullet ( custom made?)[/quote]

Yes, it’s the 28GaFH.
Right now I have 4 different bullet and 2 case versions of the 12GaFH, Sabot, Flat nose Brass monolithic, flat nose lead (these all have the threaded on rim piece) and a jacketed round nose (this one has had the base reduced and a standard “high brass” 12Ga rim pressed on. Living close to Ed (about 140km) , and having being one of the first people that ever shoulder fired that cannon has it’s advantages grin