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.50 BMG vs .50 AE

The .50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) and .50 AE (Action Express) are two distinct cartridges that share the same bullet diameter of .50 inches (12.7mm), but they serve different purposes and have different characteristics. Here's a comparison between the two:

1. Design and Origins:
- .50 BMG: The .50 BMG was developed for use in heavy machine guns, anti-materiel rifles, and long-range sniper rifles. It was designed by John Browning in the early 1900s for the Browning M2 machine gun and has since become a widely used and recognized cartridge in military and civilian applications.
- .50 AE: The .50 AE is a handgun cartridge developed by Action Arms for the Desert Eagle pistol. It was introduced in the late 1980s and is known for its large caliber and powerful performance in semi-automatic handguns.

2. Size and Power:
- .50 BMG: The .50 BMG is significantly larger and more powerful than the .50 AE. It has a longer case length, larger powder capacity, and is typically loaded to much higher pressures. The .50 BMG is capable of delivering immense muzzle energy and is primarily used for long-range shooting, anti-materiel purposes, and long-range target engagement.
- .50 AE: The .50 AE is designed for use in handguns and offers considerable power in that context. It generates high muzzle energy and is suitable for hunting, self-defense, and recreational shooting. However, compared to the .50 BMG, it has a much lower power level and range.

3. Applications:
- .50 BMG: The .50 BMG is commonly used in heavy machine guns, sniper rifles, and anti-materiel rifles. It is employed for long-range shooting, armor-piercing capabilities, and disabling or destroying vehicles and equipment.
- .50 AE: The .50 AE is primarily used in semi-automatic handguns, with the Desert Eagle being the most well-known firearm chambered in this cartridge. It is favored by some for its power and notable recoil in a handgun platform, and it has gained popularity among gun enthusiasts and collectors.

4. Availability and Cost:
- .50 BMG: Due to its military heritage and wide usage, .50 BMG ammunition is more readily available, but it tends to be significantly more expensive compared to most handgun cartridges.
- .50 AE: .50 AE ammunition is less common and more specialized. It may be relatively more expensive and have a narrower range of available options compared to more popular handgun cartridges.

In summary, the .50 BMG is a large-caliber rifle cartridge primarily used in heavy machine guns and long-range rifles, while the .50 AE is a handgun cartridge designed for use in semi-automatic pistols. The .50 BMG offers significantly more power, range, and versatility, while the .50 AE provides a powerful option for handgun enthusiasts but with more limited applications compared to the .50 BMG.

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