Letter Re: .50 BMG Rifles on AR-15 Receivers

Dear Jim:
I was reading Boston’s Gun Bible last night and he recommended purchasing a 50 BMG rifle because he believes that it is most definitely at the top of the “too be banned list.”

1.) Do you think that the .50 cal. is an intelligent purchase for a survival scenario?

2.) Boston mentioned a 50 BMG AR-15 conversion package where the .50 caliber upper is used on an AR-15 lower receiver to convert it to a [single shot] .50 BMG. (And, no FFL is required.) What is your opinion of this system? (The approximate cost is $2,000 for a single-shot bolt action. No magazines are used.)

3.) Barrett makes a .50 BMG rifle for about $8,000. And, for this price, do you like this brand? Or is there another .50 cal manufacturer that you would recommend? – B’shem Yahshua HaMoshiach, – Dr. Sidney Zweibel, Columbia P&S

JWR Replies: I do recommend buying one .50 BMG rifle for each family or group retreat, if you budget allows it. However, I’d recommend buying one only after you have bought your primary .308 rifles, your .45 ACP handguns for each adult as well as your key food storage and other logistics.

The brand that I recommend is the Spider Arms Ferret .50. It is a no-FFL .50 BMG upper kit that goes on a standard.223 AR lower. I believe that the “paperwork free AR upper” approach is preferable because it is both the most economical and low profile. It is important to use all legal means to avoid a paper trail, since “.50s” on Form 4473s might be subject to close scrutiny at a later date.) OBTW, I prefer the longer (36″) barrels. (The 18″ barrel offered with the Ferret .50 is way too short and the standard 29″ is a bit short to maximize the ballistics of the .50 BMG cartridge.)

In answer to your question on Barrett rifles, I would rather have a Ferret .50, or perhaps two of them, plus a lot of .50 BMG ammo and cash left over–all for the price of one Barrett.