Created by the arms makers of the American company Big Horn Armory, the semi-automatic rifle AR-500 is the most powerful in the world. At the same time, a unique model of small arms weapons built on the basis of the well-known semi-automatic rifle AR-15, widely used by US intelligence agencies, police and actively sold in the civilian market. Today, residents of the United States can purchase an AR-500 rifle under the cartridge .500 Auto Max, having paid at least 1999 dollars.
Semi-automatic rifle AR-500
Created back in the late 1960s, the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle has become such a successful weapon platform that it still serves as an occasion for various adaptations, upgrades and modifications by manufacturers around the world. Especially a lot of models made in the style of AR-15, created in the United States. To date, the AR-15 rifle is recognized by experts as one of the most modifiable small arms in stories. In this regard, the American rifle competes with the domestic Kalashnikov assault rifle and the endless modifications of weapons built on its basis.
Big Horn Armory decided to follow the beaten path, presenting its vision of the American classic of the weapons world. At the same time, the designers of the company emphasized increasing the power of weapons, turning to the caliber, non-traditional for semi-automatic rifles. Usually in caliber .50 large-caliber machine guns or anti-material sniper rifles are created, for ordinary rifles this is a very rare caliber. However, now in the US civilian arms market, a semi-automatic rifle of the same caliber as the famous Soviet DShK machine gun is available. Perhaps more powerful than a rifle in the civilian market for small arms is impossible to find.
The rifle was specially created for the .500 Auto Max cartridge, which, in turn, is a modification of the .500 Smith & Wesson (12,7x41 mm). The cartridge received minor changes aimed at making it possible to use it in automatic weapons. This ammunition is rightly considered the most powerful pistol cartridge in the world and the most powerful cartridge available on the civilian small arms market.
According to the developers, the semi-automatic rifle AR-500 is suitable for hunting any large game. With such weapons, you can really go out if not to an elephant, then to any bear, and even to a medium-sized dinosaur, if they still lived on our planet. The Big Horn Armory claims that their rifle allows you to kill "any animal dangerous to humans on Earth," and is also effective against various vehicles. The latter attracts the attention of not only professional hunters, but also special forces soldiers who could use this weapon to solve various tactical tasks.
Technical features of the AR-500 rifle
The semi-automatic rifle AR-500 inherited a lot from its famous ancestors. Structurally, it is close to the AR-10 model, which was the predecessor of the famous AR-15. At the same time, the last rifle also has a sufficient number of solutions. There is no need to talk about the similarity of the appearance of these models. The recognizable silhouette of American AR rifles cannot be confused with anything. The AR-500 rifle is functionally identical to other popular models of the large AR family, so people who are familiar with the AR-15 rifle should not have any problems switching to the Big Horn Armory semi-automatic large-caliber rifle.
At the same time, the AR-500 is made in a non-standard caliber of 12,7 mm, and the manufacturer claims that this is the most powerful semi-automatic rifle when shooting at short and medium distances. Especially effective weapons at a distance of up to 200 meters. According to the manufacturer, at this distance the rifle is equally effective against meadow dogs, and against thick-skinned rhinos. In addition, at such a distance, she will easily deal with a classic American truck or Peterbilt truck tractor.
The AR-500 rifle received a high-strength 18-inch barrel (457 mm) made of special nitride-coated stainless steel. Such a coating gives the metal extra hardness, and also provides high corrosion resistance. There is a thread on the muzzle of the barrel, which makes it easy to install a device for silent and flameless firing on the weapon or a muzzle brake compensator. A feature of the AR-500 model is the presence of an adjustable gas unit. This solution allows the use of rifle cartridges with different bullet weights and equipment.
The designers of the AR-500 semi-automatic rifle traditionally paid great attention to ergonomics. The shooter has at his disposal a full-size Picatinny rail, which occupies the entire upper part of the weapon and switches to the forend. This strap allows you to easily install on a rifle a wide variety of sights. Designers also worked with the butt. The shooter has a telescopic adjustable six-position butt, outwardly resembling those that can be found on M4 rifles. The rifle butt is made of impact resistant polymer. Also, for the convenience of the user, the model has a rubberized pistol grip of the Ergo company, which provides the maximum level of fixation even after moisture or dirt gets on it.
The standard for the rifle is a box magazine, designed for five rounds .500 Auto Max. The store’s capacity is largely limited by the laws that apply in most US states for such weapons. At the same time, there is a version of the rifle with a magazine of increased capacity - 10 rounds.
Cartridge Power .500 Auto Max
A special feature of the AR-500 semi-automatic rifle is the .500 Auto Max cartridge, created on the basis of the .500 S&W cartridge, which has a huge stopping effect. According to the developers, with this cartridge, the AR-500 rifle will be suitable for hunting the largest game, including the "big African five" (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard). And in this regard, the transition to a more powerful caliber is quite justified and obvious.
Numerous 5,56 mm cartridges of the AR rifle family are poorly suited for hunters, as they do not allow them to confidently, and, most importantly, quickly cope with a medium-sized deer. No less important is the fact that 5,56 mm cartridges are ineffective against vehicles. Cartridges of this caliber are often not able to pierce and damage the engine, which means they are poorly suited to stop various vehicles. Switching to 12,7 mm ammunition solves these problems. In addition, according to the arrows, who have already managed to test the AR-500 in action, the return on the rifle is not as great as it might seem. With the correct and reliable fixation of the rifle, it does not exceed the sensation of the return on firing from a weapon with .300 Winchester Magnum cartridges (7,62x67 mm).
At the same time, the differences between the .500 Auto Max cartridge and the traditional ammunition of 5,56 and 7,62 mm caliber are quite obvious. Such a bullet does not have a high speed, its maximum flight speed does not exceed 660 m / s (for a bullet weighing 25,9 g). As they say, you will feel the difference. A standard .223 Remington cartridge weighs an average of 4 grams. And although the 5,56-mm munition can accelerate to a speed of more than 1000 m / s, the energy of such a bullet does not even come close to .500 Auto Max, which demonstrates truly colossal values. The AR-500 rifle, depending on the .500 Auto Max cartridges used, shows a muzzle energy of 4000 to 6000 J. This is approximately three times the muzzle energy of a standard NATO 5,56x45 mm munition.
Of course, the AR-500 is a niche weapon. The model was not created as a weapon for everyone. The same numerous AR-15 clones in the popular 5,56 and 7,62 mm calibers are much more in demand on the market. But if you are going to hunt big game or you need to be guaranteed to stop any vehicle, even a light armored car, then the AR-500 is what the doctor ordered. The rest of the model will be scared off by a relatively small effective range, small capacity of a standard store and a lot of weight. By the way, the rifle itself weighs more than 4,5 kg, and with a magazine for five rounds .500 Auto Max can add another half a kilo, which also becomes a problem: after all, the shooter usually has to carry more than five rounds.