Throughout military history, designers of small arms have pursued the perfect 50 cal sniper rifle. From anti-personnel to anti-material ammunition, the 50 caliber can play many roles. The 50 cal sniper rifle is the largest shoulder-fired round currently used in the military. This round is effective up to 1.5 miles and completely devastates its target. Because the 50 cal sniper rifle is fired from the shoulder, the list below is determined by the weight of the rifle. The weight of the rifle must be considered when reviewing the military usefulness and accuracy of the weapon. Listed below are the top ten that have been used in a military setting.
- Pindad SPR is made in Indonesia and comes in at the lightest weight of 15 pounds. It can be used with a telescope that is snapped on. This is a single shot, bolt action 50 cal sniper rifle with variants SPR 1, SPR 2 and SPR 3.
- DSR – 50 designed in Germany and uses a hydraulic recoil buffer. It weighs 22.7 pounds and is claimed to be one of the most reliable 50 cal sniper rifles out there.
- The Barrett M95 is made in the United Kingdom and was designed around 1995. This unit weighs in at 23.5 pounds. The pistol trigger and grip was moved up approximately 1 inch for more accurate magazine clearance.
- The Barrett M90, designed in the United Kingdom from 1990, was halted in production and replaced by the M95 around 1995. This unit weighs approximately 24 pounds. The M90 50 cal sniper rifle utilizes the Picatinny rail for the scope mounting.
- Barrett M99 is a single shot sniper rifle weighing in at 25 pounds. This is a single shot, bolt-action 50 cal sniper rifle with a high degree of accuracy. One of the favorite guns for professional snipers due to its accuracy.
- McMillan Tac-50 was designed around 1980 and weighs in at 26 pounds. It is produced in the United States and uses a 5 round detachable box for ammunition. A customized scope can be utilized for added accuracy.
- AS50, designed around 2005 in the United Kingdom weighs 27 pounds. It uses either a 5 round or 10 round detachable box magazine. This unit features a muzzle brake to reduce the amount of recoil. It is highly accurate and still fairly lightweight.
- Steyr HS .50 designed around 2004 in Austria, and weighs in at 28.5 pounds. It has an adjustable bipod and muzzle. As one of the newest additions to the 50 cal sniper rifles line up it effectively incorporates the latest technologies.
- The Barrett M82 designed around 1980 weighs approximately 31 pounds. It is manufactured in the United States and uses the bullpup configuration.
- AR-50 originally designed around 1997 to 1999, is the heaviest weapon reviewed in this list coming in at 34 pounds. It is manufactured in the United States. It is a single bullet action, but is fluted at the end to help prevent recoil action.
So you can see that the 50 cal sniper rifle comes in many sizes and with many options for the job that needs to be done on the military field of action.