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Discussion Starter #1
HI,

I am not trying to cause any problem,but it seems like this forum should be called the 4570+444 forum.I only hear once in awhile talk about other rounds,I am a big beleaver in the 50AK and I think many people are over looking this round due to the lack of any interest by rifle companies.So it is hard to get a 50AK only if you send it to a gunsmith,big bucks,I known because that is what I did.It is to bad,because it is a incredable round. Just my two cents Thanks,KEV
 

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Kevin, Buffalo Bore is listing four loads for the .50 AK. I think two are cast bullets of 450 grs. and 525 grs. and two are JSP loads all are above 4000 Pds. I also think there a little above 2000 fps. You should check the Buffalo Bore web site. I agree with you the .50 AK is very neet. If I build a .500 linebaugh Pistol I will build a .50 AK to go with  it and hunt with a pair of .50's.
Hope this helps. Jack K.
 

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Kevin- There are good reasons we talk more about the 444 & 45/70. They are the two most commonly available big bore lever actions. I can't speak for anyone else, but I certainly can't afford the &#361000.00 or so dollars for a big name gunsmith, or even a "lesser" named one to convert my 45/70 to .50 Alaskan. I've read up on the 50, and think it's the first significant improvement in lever actions since the 45/70 was re-introduced
(sorry 450 Marlin fans). But I cannot afford one, and to be honest, Nebraska whitetail can't tell the difference anyway.
 

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Kevin

I tend to agree with your thoughts.
The problem is that the .45-70 and the .444 are the most readily available of the "big Bore" levers.

I would like to see some of the guys with the "improved" cartridges post over on the Wildcats list.
I would like to hear about the improved .307 Winchester, 7X30 Waters, .25-35 Ackley and the Tomcat etc.

These cartridges are not really about increased velocity but rather about longer brass life and less back thrust on the bolt with maximum loads.
That really is what the .50 Alaskan is all about. Lots of brute power/penetration with less pressure.
The improveds make loading the maximum reasonable loads just a little bit easier.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I agree with you. The members of this forum certainly have a great deal of collective experiance, and I think they have an eager and receptive audiance.

I still want to hear some range experiance stories from the Marlin Outfitter shooters though. I want to compare my little Winchester's results with thiers!
 

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A little lesson in history. It's nice to wax nostalgic and think of  bigger things. The truth is the 50's won't and have never held a candle to properly set up 45 cal chamberings. It's been proven in Africa as well as the US. This hasn't kept people from wanting the 50's but those of us in the know won't be beating the drums or the doors down to obtain them. You see sometimes the answers to 'why' are very obvious and nobody is reinventing the wheel with the Alaskans in 50 or 45 Calibers. Just looking for new sales prospects. The same can be said for the 405 Winchester. Sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet and get wet. Then you discover you have holes in your new boots or a rifle that just ain't fun to shoot. Remember the 45-70 replaced the 50-70 for a reason. The only decent 50 is a BMG in terms of accuracy. No flame , just a repitition of history.
 

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RugerNo3, have you ever read John Taylor or John Buhmiller? I never heard that a .500 or .400 could not hold a candle to a .45. The .500's in africa were considered to be some of the top performers. The .500 Jeffery's was the most powerful factory cartridge until the .460 Weatherby came on the seen. Mr. Buhmiller found that the .378 Weatherby case opened up to a .475 was a far better killer then the .460. Conversely he also found that a .378 case opened up to a .423 bullet weighing 500 grs. at 2700 fps. was also a superior killer out to 200 yrds. Mr. Buhmiller Killed a lot of Cape Buffalo and Elephants to come to these conclusions! I always read that the .50-70 was a superior killer. The .45-70 was had a reputation that if someone shot at you at a 150 yrds. you could see the puff of smoke and hit the ground and the bullet would pass over you. But you cuold not do this to a .50-110. sorry for the rambling. I think the .45-70 is a good cartridage. I beleve that the Marlen rifles are more popular because of the cost and the quality. I don't think the caliber is that superior. Well that is my TWO cents. Jack K.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Interesting!

As a historical note, I have read that the .45-70 impressed the Army as being much flatter shooting than the .50-70!  Hard to think of the .45-70 as "flat-shooting" in this day and age but at one time it was true.

Still, the Army was primarily focused on engaging an enemy at long range, not sport hunting.  And I suspect that when the .50-70 becam obsolete, a great many of the guns went west to hunt buffalo.

There is nothing wrong with the .50 or any calibers over .45, but when you put enough bullet in the case to give the required penetration for heavy game, recoil goes up a LOT.  .577 and .600 Nitro Express cartridges were without peer for elephant and dangerous game hunting, but very few people could handle 600-900 grain bullets and their recoil.

Same reason the silhouette crowd didn't embrace the .454 Casull.... delivers great long range accuracy and punch, but just too much recoil for an 80-round match.

So.... in summary, the biggest "big bores" will hold a performance advantage, to those lucky (?) people who could handle them.  This is true for both rifles and handguns.  The rest of us have to get by with the .30-06, .338 Win Mags, and .45-70s (and .44 mags and .45 Colts in handguns)!

By the way I've shot a .50 BMG in a 22-lb., muzzle-braked gun.... it's "fun" and amazingly accurate, but a couple of shots are plenty for me!  Some people can burn up a hundred rounds in an afternoon, though.
 

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I have to take exception with you opinions of the 50s.  The 50 Alaskan is a fantastic round capable of great accuracy within it's range, which is about the same as the 45-70.  Both are 150 to 200 yard cartridges before the trajectory starts to get a little steep, and anything the 45-70 can do the 50 AK can do with quite a bit more athority.  I own both a Contender in 45-70 (15") and an Encore in 50 AK (12") they are as different as night and day.  My 45-70 launches a 300 gr. JHP bullet at 1790 fps.  My 50 AK launches a 450 gr. SP bullet at 1727 fps.  Almost the same velocity, but with a bullet weighing half again as much.  The 50 AK far surpasses the 45-70 in terms of energy at all ranges.  While the 45-70 will push it's 300 gr. pill out to arrive on target at 100 yards with 1372 ft-lbs of energy, the 50 AK's 450 gr. bullet arrives on target at 100 yards carrying 2264 ft-lbs of energy.  My 50 AK is more accurate than any of my 45-70s, including three rifles, but this is probably in part, if not wholly due to the fact that the 50 AK is using a Shilen premium bull barrel while the others use standard factory barrels (I recently, while having an extremely good day at the range, put three 750 gr. A-Max bullets out of the 50 AK -1150 fps-into .950" at 200 yards, I was really shooting out my butt that day and most likely could not repeat that performance if I tried.  That bullet is brutal out of a handgun and I don't shoot them often, only when I feel the need to punish myself for something!).  With both shooting relatively flat nose bullets, both with a 145 yard zero, the 45-70 has dropped 9.51" at 200 yards while the 50 AK has dropped 8.28" at 200 yards, so their trajectory is for all intent and purposes the same.  Both are down exactly 25" at 250 yards.

  While you did not compare the 50 AK to the 50-70 directly, your statement about the 45-70 replacing the 50-70 seems to be equating the 50-70 to the 50 AK.  They are in no way alike any moreso than the 30-30 is the twin of the 300 Weatherby even though they are both 30 calibers.  The 50 AK is quite likely the most powerful round that can be fitted into the Marlin's short 336/1895 action and gives far superior performance to the 45-70, if one feels the need for increased power over the 45-70.  I do not mean to disparage the 45-70 in any way as it is obviously one of my favorite rounds since I own 3 rifles and one handgun chambered for this great old round.  As to your admiration of the 50 BMG, you could not be more correct.  My AR-50 is by far the most accurate rifle I own in any caliber.  Any rifle that will shoot military ball ammo into less than 1/2 MOA at 500 yards is something you just have to love.
 I know that I will buy a Marlin in 50 AK if they ever quit reinventing the wheel-450 M-and do something really exciting.  I will also spend whatever it takes to convert a 45-70 to 50 AK if Marlin decides not to cash in on sure hit, but right now, I'm doing all I can to persuade Marlin to bring out an 1895 in 50 AK.  Now if they would also bring out a longer action for both the 45-70 and the 50 AK, like the old 1895's, we would really have a couple of winners on our hands.


(Edited by Big Bore at 11<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->0 am on Dec. 22, 2001)
 

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Hey Kevin
A friend just put 2 LBT .50 cal molds on ebay at real low buy it now prices 35.00 and 45.00. I don't know if you cast or not, these are a real steal.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Hope I didn't give anyone the impression that I was putting the .50AK in the same category as the .50-70.  Clearly they are quite a bit different.  Actually, upon further thought, it seems that the .50 AK would be pretty comparable to the .50-110 (especially since the the .348 Win case shares the same head diameter).  

With smokeless powders all the .50's would be pretty formidable rounds, I would think.  I know I won't be volunteering to stand downrange with a catcher's mitt.....

Sorry to be confusing, I was just rambling....

I gotta say, you sure have my respect for being able to shoot one of these out of a handgun... OUCH!

And yeah, it sure would be nice for Marlin to come out with a longer lever gun that would handle the .45-90, .50-110, ect....

(Edited by MikeG at 11<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->9 pm on Dec. 21, 2001)
 

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MikeG, correct you are.  The 50 AK essentially gives the 50-110's performance in a smaller (shorter) cartridge.  While the recoil in a handgun is substantial, my chest is no harrier than anyone elses (my back may be now that I've found out youth does not spring eternal LOL).  The brake on this barrel does a magnificent job of taming the beast, but it is still considerably more than the 45-70 Contender.  But, with practice anyone could shoot it well.  The only thing one must do to shoot this type of round is practice, and stay on top of the gun mentally.  If you let your mind wonder, it can sneak up on you real quick!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
HI,

I am happy to hear from people about this,just wanted to add that I called Wild West Guns to ask about any feed back about the 50 Alaskan, pertaining to hunting. I ask about its use in Africa and was informed that some one was going to Africa for a elephant hunt using a 50 Alaskan and they would let me known how it went.I am interested to hear about that and if I find out I will post it up. Thanks,Kev
 

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With no desire to start a flame war... When the .45-70 can be had in a factory 18.5" carbine for &#36400 that will shoot through both shoulders of a Cape Buffalo or go end-to-end on a bull elk with cottage industry ammo and/or properly assembled handloads, why bother with the .50 Alaskan? In my opinion it is strictly a bragging gun much like the .585 Nyati or .700 H&H. The .50 is <i>very</i> expensive to build, requires a basic case of very limited supply that could be taken out of production at any time, and has few bullet options compared to the .45-70. Other than having the biggest lever gun on the block, what good reason is there for its existance?
 

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Same reason I'm awaiting delivery of a .500 Linebaugh.  Sometime ya just gotta have one... :cool:
As to the brass issues, Starline makes .50 AK brass (so there must be at least SOME demand for the stuff.)
Mark
 

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Actually Bill, it is not any more expensive to build a 50 AK than it would be to build a 450M, or any other new chamber.  The work to be done on CONVERTING is not all that great, and if done from the start instead of reworking, the work is even less.  Much of the work on the conversion is reboring or replacing the barrel, and you know it is much cheaper to start with a barrel the right size from scratch.  DRC only charges &#36200 more to upgrade to 50 AK from their "basic" packages and if memory is working right tonight, WWG charges about &#36400 to do the changover on a customer's rifle.  Of course, they want a lot more money to cover outsourcing of the reboring process, machinery set-up, and of course, the one-at-a-time hand fitting.  Much cheaper to do it as the rifle is built from the ground up.  What you said about the case USE to be true, but not any more.  Starline is making correctly headstamped brass that is available now so we are no longer dependent on limited runs of 348 Win brass from Winchester.  Now if Marlin would build the rifle, and say Hornady started producing brass for it also, there would be no worry about brass supply.  As to bullet selection, how much does one want?  There are lead bullets ranging from 300 to 680 gr. that would work through the Marlin's action and jacketed bullets from 450 to 570 gr, and these are just the one's I can think of off the top of my head without doing any research.  Not knocking the 45-70, but looks to me like the 50 AK has a pretty big selection also.  While the 45-70 can take any North American game animal, that can be said for quite a few cartridges, and we certainly do not have a paucity of those types of rounds, so why not one more?  The 50 AK can reach the same speeds as the 45-70 with a bullet weighing half again as much, and arrive on target carrying about 1000 ft-lbs more energy.  Not to mention it makes a bigger hole.  All of these are comforting benefits if you are using the rifle as a "stopper" gun.  The big difference between the 50 AK and those other rounds you mentioned is you had better have very deep pockets to shoot rounds like the 585 and 700 where the brass cases alone can cost &#3635 each, and each bullet can cost up to &#365 every time you pull the trigger.  None of this is true with the 50 AK as it is just as cheap to shoot as the 45-70 or any other conventional round.  The arguement you make about not needing the 50 AK is one that can be made for ANY of the new rounds Remington and Winchester is introducing in spaces right now.  How many more 300 magnums, 7mm magnums,...do we need?  None, but, be honest now, need very seldom enters into the picture when selecting a new rifle or handgun.  I know I certainly didn't NEED my Encore 50 AK as my Contender 45-70 has never failed me, but the 50 AK is something different, something new to me, and a whole lot of fun to play around with.  Sometimes you don't want to have the same thing every one else on the block has, and that is what keeps the firearms manufactures in business.  I have 6 10-22's in the safe, for God's sake, NOBODY needs 6 10-22's, but I do and every one of them is set up for different uses from semi-serious target work to just plain fun to shoot rifle.  Let's just say we are doing our part to spur on the economy <!--emo&:)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'><!--endemo-->  Get on board Bill, we need all the support we can muster if we are going to get Marlin to bring out the 50 AK, and we can always use a good man on our side!  Merry Christmas.    
 

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Big Bore,

Citing the figures you provided from Wild West Guns, one would equal the cost of a Marlin Guide Gun with just the rechambering work. That doesn't include the original price of the rifle to be modified or additional goodies. To me that's a significant increase in cost for, in my opinion, negligible increases in terminal ballistics.

After rechecking my two sources of .50 Alaskan data I must respectfully disagree with your assertion that the round can propel bullets weighing half again as much as comparable .45-70's to the same velocity. The hottest 450-grain Barnes Original load I have shows 2040 fps at the muzzle and 485-grain LBT's topping out at 2009 fps. It really isn't much of a trick to get 40,000 psi .45-70's to launch 400-grain jacketed or ~420-grain lead to 2000 fps. I sincerely doubt there would be the slightest difference in a grizzly's reaction if hit by either cartridge.

And to conclude, I will certainly agree that need plays little part in cartridge decision making. We don't need endless variations of .30 caliber magnums. But in this case, where some feel there is a significant increase in power over comparable .45-70's, I felt several points needed to be addressed. I really do think the .50 Alaskan only serves as a bragging rights rifle. In my opinion there is no improvement over the modern .45-70.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
HI,

BILL LESITER,I think as I have talk to and mention this to others is you are looking at data that juicies up the 4570to get to that fps. The data with 50AK was data that  has not really have anything done with it.I am saying there is a lot of room to work with the 50AK.In fact I am now sending my rifle out again to MR.D Clay to have a higher pressure barrel and longer,22 inches put on.Also there will be more work for strengthing the rifle.I am going to get 2100fps with a 525 grain bullet,ME 5000+ no 4570 no matter how hot will do that.I will have alot of work done on the rifle ,but the piont it is can be done with 50 Alaskan.I also am going with starline brass,which is stronger, so there are alot of things that can be done with the 50AK that has not been tried,due to the fact it was made in the 1950's .nothing really done with it.KEV     PS: also with have the breach lengthen so bullet with take less space,therefor more powder and more fps.
 

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Bill, when I made the statment of "almost the same velocity with a bullet weighing half again as much" I was referring to my actualy measured loads out of my 45-70 15" Contender loaded to max and my 12" Encore 50 AK loaded to what is published as max, but I do think I could go higher.  My 45-70 with a 300 gr. JHP bullet gives 1790 fps, the 50 AK with a 450 gr. JFN bullet gives 1727 fps.  As you pointed out, in rifles of equal strength, both loaded to max, this may not hold muster, but in my case in these two handguns it certainly holds true.
    The hottest load data for Lever Actions I have I just got from Hodgdon.  It lists the 45-70 with a 400 gr. SPR JFP bullet loaded to 40,000 CUP as 1995 fps with H335 and 2002 fps with H4198 at 39200 CUP.  In the 50 AK, my data shows that I can load a 600 gr. A-Square bullet to 1877 fps.  The heaviest bullet weight I can find loaded for the Lever Action 45-70 is a 500 gr. bullet at 1679 fps (Hodgdon data, CUP or PSI not given).  Looking at the heaviest bullet out of the 45-70, 500 gr at 1679 fps, and the 50 AK, 600 gr at 1877 fps, the bullet does not hold up to what I said about being half again as much, but it is considerably heavier, and that additional weight yields a ME of 4695 ft-bs and a 150 yard ME of 2982 ft-lbs.  The 500 gr. 45-70 round has 2983 ft-lb ME at the MUZZLE, and is down to 2036 ft-lbs at 150 yards.  The 500 gr. 45-70 when zeroed at 145 yards is down 9.01" at 200, while the 600 gr. 50 AK when zeroed at 145 yards is down 7.2".
   When comparing the 600 gr 50 AK to the 400 gr. 45-70, which is half again as much bullet weight, we find that the 45-70 is giving 2002 fps for 3561 ft-lbs ME, or almost 1000 ft-lbs Less than the 50 AK with it's 600 gr. bullet.  AT 150 yards the energy for the 45-70 is 2996 ft-lbs, which is HIGHER  than the 50 AK 600 gr. bullet at 2982 ft-lbs.  Here the 45-70 also holds a trajectory edge of being down only 6.66" at 200 yards vs the 7.17" drop for the 50 AK.  So we see here, we end up with almost the same energies past 150 yards for the 45-70 vs the 50 AK, but the 50 AK is doing it with a "bullet weighing half again as much" and starting out slower.

An interesting note here.  All the load data that I have rates all bullet weights as topping out at about the same velocity, around 2000 fps out of the M71 Winchester.  It just does not stand to reason then that a 450 gr. bullet moving the same vel as a 600 gr. bullet is doing so at the same pressures.  It would be VERY interesting to see what kind of load data could be generated by modern pressure guns instead of old-timers doing it by dead reckoning at what they THINK was maximum loads.  My gut feeling is that if 600 at 1877 fps really is max, then one SHOULD be able to get at least 2300 from a 450 gr. when loaded to the same pressures, but that is only my dead-reckoning guess, and probably way off.
 
 While I agree that no grizz would probably know the difference, the difference is considerable at close range, were it really counts.  I'll be honest, if faced by an irritated fly ####-bent on doing harm to my hide, I want the biggest fly-swatter that I can get.  Of course, one might make the arguement "why not go all out for such-n-such gun in such-n-such caliber" but I am wanting to compare rounds in easy to carry, relatively light weight, fast as greased lightning lever action rifles, not light weight lever actions to 15 pound doubles.

Also, I think you misunderstood my positon on the custom conversions.  Yes, it is too expensive to do a rebuild, especially when adding on all the little goodies.  My point, although after rereading my post I did not make it very clear, was that Marlin could do it from the ground up and not raise the cost of the rifle much, if any at all.  Just as they had to do feed and chamber work for the 450 M, they could also do that for the 50 AK and not have to raise the price much, if any at all.  Then the 50AK would be a much more viable option and certainly more appealing to those without bottomless pockets.

Lastly, I want to thank you for allowing us to disagree without this turning into some childish flame war.  Differences of opinions is what makes life interesting.  What a boring place it would be if we were all alike, shooting bolt-action 308s.  I do not agree with your opinion that the 50 AK is just for bragging rights, but that is your opinion and as such it is quite valuable.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
HI,

I agree with Big Bore and think MR Bill Lester has a point for any where in NA the 4570 will do the job.I am just one of those guys that must have a bigger round maybe just to be different. I am going to send out my rifle to MR.D Clay and try to get as much fps out of the 50AK, and I will let you know how it went.And I also agree that there can be different opinions with respect for everyone and as grown men we do not have to get to any name calling. Thanks for all of your help and information it has help me a great deal,KEV
 

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Went to the Buffalo Bore site to do some comparisons, since they load both rounds to a pretty warm level.  For the 45/70 he lists a 430 gr. LFN-GC at 1925 fps/ 3537 ft-lbs and a 500 gr. FMJFN at 1625 fps/ 2931 ft-lbs.  For the .50 AK he lists a 450 gr. LFNGC at 2100 fps/ 4406 ft-lbs and a 525 gr WFNGC at 1850 fps/ 3989 ft-lbs.  As we can see, the .50 AK does indeed give higher velocities with heavier bullets, and KE that is a few hundred ft-lbs shy of BB's loads for the vaunted .458 Win Mag.  I would dearly love for Marlin to build one; failing that I think I know what my next custom lob will be.  :cool:
Mark
 
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