This video uploaded by FullMag features shooting a .50 caliber bullet into a bowling ball. The power of the bullet is enough to smash the bowling ball, and the moment of impact is captured using a high definition slow motion camera.
After firing a bullet at the bowling ball, Richard Ryan – the shooter – approaches the ball of assess the damage. He notes that the bullet entered through the thumb hole and cracked it, and he turns the bowling ball around to show the extent of the blowout.
The .50 BMG (also known as 12.7×99mm NATO) is a cartridge that was first developed in the late 1910s. Today, the .50 cartridge is made in different variants, including regular ball, armor-piercing, incendiary, tracer and saboted sub-caliber rounds. The .50 BMG is also used with long-range target and sniper rifles, as well as some machine guns.
The .50 BMG round can produce 10,000 to 15,000 foot-pounds of energy – around 14 to 18 kilojoules – depending on the bullet type and the weapon it was fired from. Because of the high ballistic coefficient of the.50 BMG, its trajectory suffers less “drift” from cross-winds compared to smaller and lighter calibers. This makes the .50 BMG a good choice for high-powered sniper rifles.
The .50 BMG has a capacity of 290 grains H2O (19 ml) and an average chamber pressure of 54,923 psi (378,680 kPa).
The primary military use of the .50 BMG rifles is for long-range and anti-materiel sniping. Aside from this, the military also uses the .50 weapons to detonate unexploded armaments from a safe distance. The .50 weapons are also used to disable unarmored and lightly armored vehicles.
The U.S. Coast Guard uses .50 BMG rifles to disable outboard engines from armed helicopters. These weapons are also used to breach barriers, as a .50 BMG round can penetrate most concrete cinder blocks and commercial brick walls.
For civilians, the most common use of .50 caliber rifles is for long-range target shooting.