Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grounds For Divorce

I'm a bit of a big dreamer when it comes to my collection. I'm also married and broke, so with that in mind, I came up with a short list of firearms that will result in divorce if your average gun nut were to purchase any one of them. If you're independently wealthy and your life-partner is into guns, go for it. There are even more expensive guns than these, but these are attainable and recognizable by people who don't spend 20 hours a day on Google.

#1 The Barrett M82A1
It's huge, it's expensive to buy at around $8000, plus you'll need a scope and rings that will stand up to the nuclear-grade recoil from a .50BMG. Oh, and surplus ammo is about $7.50 PER SHOT. You can load your own for about the same, but you'll need a special press that can accommodate the milk-jug-sized empty cases.

I've fired the M2 .50BMG machinegun many times and can attest that it is indeed a beast. You better have a 1000yd range AND one hell of a backstop. I've seen ricochets climb mountains. I mean proper mountains--Afghanistan style. You can safely fire one here in the states, but you will be hard pressed to find a rifle range in the Midwest that will allow .50BMGs to fire. You can shoot on your own land, but you better invest in a berm, or hire Matlock as your attorney. Owning a .50BMG is a serious money pit. Of course, it's a serious piece of hardware. When your life-partner kicks you out, you can pawn it and finance an apartment or a week in Vegas.

#2 An Accuracy International AW in .308 Winchester.
Why so specific? Well, the AI's in .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua are actually pretty reasonable since a heavy rifle like this one tames the recoil pretty well (so I've read). The problem is that it's pretty much the same rifle in the .308Win flavor....and it still costs $3600 without a scope or rings. Now, it's a fantastic rifle, but I'd bet that most people who aren't editors for SWAT or Guns&Ammo won't shoot this any better than they would shoot a Savage 10FCP HS-Precision or 10FCP McMillan--both of which are under $1000. But when your wife tosses you out on your ear, you can bring it to your college buddy's house and play HALO ODST with this in the room, and comment on how much it looks like the sniper rifle that your character can get.

#3. Anything Chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum.With at least 98 grains of gunpowdery fun pushing a 250 grain FMJBT, the .338 Lapua is right between a .300 Win Mag and a .50 BMG. In fact, if you're just punching paper, the .338 LM might just be the better round. But it still costs about $3.50 per round if you reload. Factory ammo--while very good--could give Congress sticker-shock. And you'll need a really good rifle like that AI pictured above. And you'll need a pretty awesome scope. And expensive scope rings. And a really good berm. And the list goes on. The .338LM gives about 33% of the .50BMG's muzzle energy* while supplying about 90% of the cost of ownership. (* 250gr .338LM=about 5000ft/lbs, 750gr .50BMG= about 13,000ft/lbs--for a frame of reference, a .308Win 168gr= about 2500ft/lbs) Enjoy living in your cardboard box. Until your wife throws you out.

#4 A Wilson Combat CQB EliteThis pistol wins at everything forever. And you pay for it....to the tune of $2600. But, thankfully, it is available in .45Auto and 10mm Auto (as well as a few other calibers that aren't .45 or 10mm, but who cares?). One day I will own one. I love 1911s, and this is pretty much the best (so I've read). Assuming I have a mid-life crisis, I'll buy one of these, jump in my Miata (the ULTIMATE mid-life crisis car), and head to Texas to become a mercen....private security contractor. Then I can brag to all of my 45-year-old, balding and fat Army buddies who have also looked into the private sector that MY sidearm cost more than ALL of theirs. Plus it will be a 10mm, which can bring down a water buffalo. Hopefully my wife won't leave me, but if I'm fat, bald, old, and broke...well, she is the practical type.

#5Too big to carry, and too small to hunt with, the Desert Eagle does a fantastic job of not doing anything particularly well. Even my large man-hands can't get a good grip on this thing. I've never shot one, but I nearly bought one after my tour in Trashcanistan, and I'm eternally grateful that I did not. I hear the .44mag (the one I'd have) doesn't like reloads, or lead bullets. So you're stuck paying for factory ammo, which is expensive. The .50AE is even more so, but you have to be 15 years old to want one. These actually aren't too expensive. I almost always see a used one or two for $1100 or so--usually in .50AE because some kid-at-heart bought one and found out how much fun it is to watch $5 fly downrange every time you pull the enormous trigger. If you buy one and your wife DOESN'T leave you, she is either a saint or plotting elaborate revenge.

So, ladies and gents, you can thank me later. Flatlandmarriagecounselor is done here.


Michael B. said...

Great post. Check out the Tactilite uppers in .50 BMG and .338 Lapua. They might be cheap enough to just keep you on the couch for a few nights.

DC Houghton, esq. said...

Thanks, Michael. I like the mag-fed model. I could justify building a dedicated lower for that and it would still cost a bit less than an AR-50! I'll have to let my friend James know about those uppers. Of course, he's probably reading your commentary right now and doing some google-fu.

James said...

You totally forgot the S&W Model 500ES. Not only can you not shoot anything but the .500 S&W magnum out of it (unlike the comparatively practical guns chambered in .460 S&W magnum) but you also have to deal with setting off a nuclear bomb with only the 2 3/4" barrel to reduce the pain.

nora said...

Great post, my friend. Looks like you have really thought things through. I particularly like that you have visualized your mid-life crisis, down to your appearance and what car you will drive. Good stuff.

James said...

Here's one problem I have with the Tactilite uppers. In the lowest-recoiling round, the .338 Lapua, you're talking about putting a light-weight AR-15 lower behind a light-weight .338 upper. I'm assuming it doesn't weigh very much based on appearances, the website doesn't specify weights.

Combine that with the relatively small fish-gill style brakes, and I think that those might be pretty unpleasant to shoot. By all accounts, the only thing that makes .50BMG rifles tolerable is huge weight and huge muzzle brakes. .416 and .338 suffer from the same problem, .338 certainly to a lesser extent, but it's still a huge round.

Anonymous said...

I have read blogs that say the Tactilite upper is the softest shooting .50 that they ever shot. including Barrett. I've also shot their .338 Lapua and it hardly kicked at all.