Using .50 BMG with the Rubber Berm Trap

Inspection Criteria

  • For .50 BMG lanes, inspect key TCT components DAILY, including:
    1. Baffle plates: Inspect baffle plates for breaches, bulging and wear.
    2. Impact plates: Inspect impact plates for breaches, bulging and wear.
    3. Chamber mouths: Inspect chamber mouths for breaches and wear. Ensure the mouth opening is between 1” and 1-3/8”.
    4. Rear shells: Inspect rear shells plates for bulging, “dimpling” and breaches.
    5. Cams: Ensure cams are tight and cam locations marks are in line.
  • If any damage is found, DO NOT shoot .50 BMG rounds in that lane.
  • Replacement parts can be purchased from Action Target.
  • Action Target’s Rubber Berm Trap (RBT) is the safest and best engineered rubber berm trap available, with industry leading Class A fire protection. Carrying an ATI Class 2 ballistic rating, the trap is certified to contain rifle ammunition at a speed of 3,388 feet/second with a maximum energy of 3,600 foot-pounds.

    Action Target’s Standpoint

    • When properly equipped with 36” of rubber (measured perpendicular to the trap deck) and appropriate side walls, back wall, and deck, the Action Target RBT is approved for .50 BMG use in limited quantities.
    • Concrete or filled CMU back walls or an AR deck plate are required for shooting .50 BMG into a RBT. 6-foot Rubber Berm Traps do not support .50 BMG.
    • IMPORTANT! Due to twist rate, rifle construction, bullet composition, and other factors, the .50 BMG round can be instable at short distances. Shooting .50 BMG less than 50 yards away may allow rounds to exit the RBT with substantial energy.
    • IMPORTANT! Certain .50 BMG rounds are designed to yaw and tumble on impact (such as “Mxx” designation rounds). These types of rounds can change trajectory drastically on impact and may allow rounds to exit the RBT with substantial energy.

    Damage from .50 BMG

    • If rubber levels aren’t maintained, .50 BMG rounds can penetrate the deck plate and/or damage side plates and fins.
    • Use of .50 BMG will break down the rubber granules faster than other rounds, requiring more frequent replacement of rubber granules to maintain rubber levels.

    Restrictions for Shooting .50 BMG

    • DO NOT shoot .50 BMG into 6-foot rubber berm traps.
    • DO NOT shoot .50 BMG rounds into the RBT from a fixed position. This includes any firing apparatus or position that will place multiple rounds in a very small area.
    • DO NOT shoot .50 BMG rounds in automatic fire or short burst rounds.
    • DO NOT shoot .50 BMG rounds that are designed to yaw or tumble on impact (such as “Mxx” designation rounds) into the RBT.
    • DO NOT shoot reloaded or unknown construction .50 BMG rounds into the RBT.
    • DO NOT shoot tracer, incendiary, or armor piercing rounds into the RBT.
    • We DO NOT recommend shooting .50 BMG less than 25 yards away from the RBT.

    .50 BMG Ammunition Recommendations

    • Hornady A-Max® Match™ .50 BMG ammunition: match grade, low yaw round.
    • Engel Ballistic Research .50 BMG frangible ammunition: reduced velocity, low ricochet frangible round.
    • Alchemist Frangible C3 ammunition: low ricochet, frangible round.

    Guidelines for Shooting .50 BMG

    • Try to direct .50 BMG rounds outside the “hot-spot (the section of the trap in the direct line of fire – approximately 60” above ground level) where other rounds are concentrated in the rubber.
    • Vary the placement of .50 BMG rounds to reduce the possibility of impact with each other.

    Inspection & Maintenance Criteria

    • Maintaining the rubber at a level of 36” is of key importance .50 BMG shooting. The RBT should be inspected daily and groomed after shooting .50 BMG to ensure the rubber level is correct across the trap.
    • Inspect .50 BMG RBT traps daily for damage to trap components.
    • If damage is found, DO NOT shoot into the trap until damage is repaired.
    • Mine .50 BMG traps regularly (every 40,000 rounds or 500 rounds of .50 BMG ammo regardless of trap size) to reduce the risk of incoming rounds impacting rounds in the trap.