Bushmaster BA50: The Tale of a Chunky .50 Cal BMG Carbine

Bushmaster BA50 with a factory 22-inch barrel


With roots in Kennesaw, Georgia, the Bushmaster BA50 has an interesting backstory that provides familiar AR-15 styling in a .50-caliber BMG rifle.

In early 2003, Georgia-based Cobb Manufacturing teased the market with a rifle, dubbed the Model 50A1, that used an AR-15 type gas operating system to shoot the 50 BMG round.  By that Fall, the gun had morphed to a bolt-action as the Cobb FA50(T) that kept many AR-style features.

Put into limited production, the final version of the gun produced by Cobb was the $7,000 BA50 which, as noted by the company in early 2007, was on the cover of tactical mags and in service with both law enforcement customers and “U.S. allies overseas.”

In August 2007, Bushmaster purchased Cobb and moved the company’s plant from Georgia to Maine and two years later the company put the upgraded BA50 into their catalog in both a rifle and carbine variant.

Bushmaster BA50 rifle

The standard BA50, shown here at SHOT Show earlier this year with an AAC Cyclops suppressor, uses a 30-inch barrel. Contrast it with the carbine version at the top. (Photo: Chris Eger/Guns.com)

Using a Lothar Walther free-floating barrel with 1-in-15-inch rifling, the standard Bushmaster BA50 rifle carried a 30-inch example while the shorter carbine went just 22-inches. This 8-inch difference in barrel length trimmed 3-pounds from the 30-pound rifle when in the carbine configuration. Both models used an M1913 Picatinny top rail for optics and came standard with a 10-round magazine and bipod. The bolt is left-handed in operation but ejected to the right, allowing the user to keep their right hand on the pistol grip during the cycling process.

Like the AR-15, the BA-50 features an upper and lower receiver that opens on a forward pivot pin and includes a modified bolt carrier group while using a familiar AR-style safety with a manual thumb lever on the left side. The easy takedown also allowed the gun to be carried in two smaller components.

Bushmaster BA50 Carbine

There is a certain AR-15ish resemblance there, only on steroids.

Bushmaster BA50 rifle.

The overall length of the Bushmaster BA50 rifle is 58-inches, while the carbine is a downright compact 50-inches. The perfect squirrel gun at just 27-pounds! This gun is available in the Guns.com Vault complete with a Pelican hard case and two 10-round magazines.


With its Magpul PRS adjustable buttstock, multi-chamber muzzle brake, ErgoGrip pistol grip, and LimbSavr recoil pad, Bushmaster says felt the recoil of the BA50 is on par with a 12 gauge shotgun.

While Bushmaster still makes the BA50 rifle, the carbine version was only produced for three years, going out of production in 2011. That makes the shorter BMG-chambered example shown above something of a collector’s item for less than a third of what a Barrett M107 semi-auto .50 will set you back.

Latest Reviews

revolver barrel loading graphic