A while back, I came across an assortment of different articles about gunsmithing and different home built firearms. After digging around a bit, I read about something called "The Holmes .50", wherein a gunsmith by the name of Bill Holmes had originally made a video detailing his build of a very simple tube receiver .50 caliber rifle. He initially only made the video, but was inundated with requests for printed instructions on how to build the rifle from the video.
I found this fairly appealing for a number of reasons, not the least of which was that I don't yet own a .50 BMG chambered rifle. There have been a number of attempts to ban rifles in this caliber, but none have been successful so far, save for California's ban. What a ban on the .50 would actually accomplish, I can't fathom. As soon as a ban were enacted, I'm sure we would see the creation of a .4999 cartridge to replace it with. However, like any of the other laws and actions of the anti-gunners, not only would a ban be pointless, but would certainly follow the law of unintended consequences. With that said, I wanted to add one to the safe prior to any ban.
Yes, I know that the Heller case recently outlined my right to keep and bear arms and then the recent McDonald case enforces that right against the individual states. However, I also know that many states, municipalities, and several subsects of the federal government have misread, misused, and abused the clear intent and verbiage of the founders as it concerns the 2nd amendment and pretty much anything else that might somehow empower them. I believe that the battle for our rights is far from over, and I do not trust in the government to keep me a free man. I believe liberty is dependent on each and every one of us.
Needless to say, despite recent court rulings, I am not holding my breath when it comes to the federal government recognizing my rights. Thus, I have no problem attempting to build the big .50.
Many of the .50's on the market start out in the $2000.00 and up range, and most big name brands (Barret, Armalite, etc.) can break the 8k mark for the semi-auto models. Rolling my own has worked out to be much cheaper than any of the above.
Semi-auto is a bit beyond my reach at the moment when it comes to such a high-pressure round, so it would seem that a single shot, bolt action is good enough from a build perspective and from a cost analysis.
Another build of the Holmes .50 was outlined here. I don't know how old this website is, or if that builder got any farther with the rifle, but they sure did some very nice machine work on that rifle.
Next up, gathering parts and tooling......