50 Action Express Ammunition
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History of .50 Action Express Ammunition
The .50 Action Express cartridge was developed in 1988 by Evan Whildin, Vice President of Action Arms, Ltd. The idea behind the .50 AE was to increase the performance of the autoloading pistols to unheard of performance levels. It seems that he accomplished this as the .50 AE will launch a 325 grain JHP bullet at 1400 feet per second from a 6 inch barrel. This generates a muzzle energy of over 1400 foot pounds. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, the performance at 100 yards is respectable with 1138 feet per second and 930 foot pounds of energy. So at 100 yards, the .50 AE has more energy than most handgun cartridges have at the muzzle!
With all of this power, the hunting applications are pretty obvious. Although not quite as popular as other cartridges, the .50 AE is suitable for all North American game. It is popular for bear defense and as a backup sidearm for hunters in dangerous game country.
Due to the weight of the handguns chambered for this cartridge, the .50 AE has never gained a foothold in the action shooting sports. It has been seen among metallic silhouette shooters where the heavy bullet and high velocity are favored by these shooters.
The self defense application of the .50 AE would, at first glance, appear to be the ultimate self defense cartridge. However, the size and weight of the handgun required make this an inappropriate choice for most shooters as it is just too heavy and large to be carried and deployed in an efficient manner. To add to this, the recoil is more severe than that of the .44 Magnum, making follow up shots difficult, and engaging multiple targets an almost impossible task.
However, the .50 AE is a great choice for the shooter who wants a unique, large bore handgun cartridge that packs a huge punch. It would also make a great sidearm for anyone who is in the back country and wants the ultimate in dangerous game defense.
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