Using .50 BMG with the Total Containment Trap

Action Target’s Total Containment Trap (TCT) is the most advanced and safest bullet containment system in the world. 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

  • Upon completion of testing, Action Target has determined that a LIMITED quantity of .50 BMG ammunition may be used with the TCT.
  • IMPORTANT! .50 BMG is a high energy ammunition (approximately 11,070 foot-pounds). Use of .50 BMG rounds on the TCT will shorten the life expectancy of trap components and may void the warranty.
  • If .50 BMG rounds are fired onto a concentrated area, damage to the TCT may occur after as few as 50 rounds.

Damage from .50 BMG

  • Damage to or significant lifetime reduction of the deceleration chamber’s mouths (top and bottom).
  • Breaking of the welds on the deceleration chamber’s mouths and/or ribs.
  • Significant lifetime reduction of the deceleration chamber’s rear shell. IMPORTANT! In concentrated areas of fired rounds, failure of the rear shell may occur, resulting in rounds escaping the deceleration chamber.
  • Loosening of cams due to impact shock forces.
  • Damage to or significant lifetime reduction of side impact plates.

Restrictions for Shooting .50 BMG

  • DO NOT shoot .50 BMG rounds into the TCT 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 have a steel or solid brass core into the TCT (use of any solid core or “armor piercing” rounds will void the TCT warranty).
  • DO NOT shoot tracer, incendiary, or armor piercing rounds into the TCT.
  • DO NOT shoot .50 BMG less than 25 yards away from the TCT.

.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

  • Vary the placement of .50 BMG rounds so they are not fired onto a concentrated area of the TCT.
  • Try to ensure .50 BMG rounds contact the impact plates of the TCT. This will allow for maximum deceleration of the rounds with minimal damage to the impact surfaces.
  • Designate specific lanes for use with .50 BMG ammunition.

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.