In Her Honor….
NRA Member Bob Reynolds, owner of Templar Consulting, LLC. www.templarconsultingllc.com custom-built two AR-15s in honor of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for her staunch support of our Second Amendment rights (Tribute, 2009, p. 61).
Dubbed “Alaskan Hunter” the all-white rifle is made entirely out of custom components. It chambers the .50 Beowulf and accepts 4, 7, and 10-round magazines. Custom engraving includes the big dipper on the magazine well, and an outline of the state of Alaska on the stock. The upper receiver features inscriptions which read “In Honor of Governor Sarah Palin,” a moose, and “NRA Foundation, May 14, 2009″ along with the NRA logo (Tribute, 2009, p. 61).
The rifle will include 50 rounds, “a custom sling and a Starlight case.” It has an Eotech holographic sight mounted atop the upper receiver.
“I feel like the NRA has done a lot for my rights. And I feel the [G]overnor has too. I just wanted to do something to give back. And since the [G]overnor lives in Alaska, I thought .50 Beowulf was appropriate” (Tribute, 2009, p. 61).
One Alaskan Hunter will be presented to Governor Palin. The second one will be auctioned at the NRA Foundation Banquet on May 14, 2009.
.50 Beowulf Ballistics and Characteristics
The .50 Beowulf is made by Alexander Arms and is designed to deliver devastating power within a range of 200 yards. It is a close-quarters combat round, not a long-range round. It is similar to the .450 Marlin and a “heavily loaded” .45-70 (Anderson, 2004, p. 1). It has roughly the same dimensions as the .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum and is designed so that it can fit within the confines of a standard AR-15 magazine in terms of length and width. Obviously the magazine that holds this round has different feed lips and curvature to accommodate the round. Ten rounds take up as much space as 30 of .223 (or 5.56 x 45 mm if using the NATO designation). The round is used in the Middle East and has been used “with superb results” on wild pig, moose, elk, bear, and buffalo (50 Beowulf, 2009, Â¶3).
The .50 Beowulf comes in 300, 325, 334, and 400 grain sizes. Contrast that with the 55-grain .223. The round drops, then rises true at 100 yards, drops a foot to 15 inches 200 yards, then precipitously drops. At 500 yards, the round has already dropped 17.5 feet when shot out of a 24 inch barrel (Ballistics, 2009, p. 1-3).
Because the magazine dimensions are the same as for a standard AR-15/M-4/M-16, one could simply remove the standard .223 upper receiver and replace it with the .50 Beowulf upper and the .50 Beowulf magazines.
Recoil is similar to a 12-gauge shotgun, which Governor Palin routinely handles (Anderson, 2004, p. 2), and she can handle even stronger recoil than that. The holographic sight allows her to shoot with both eyes open, rapidly locking in and eliminating targets. Because Governor Palin has handled the M-4 previously (this bloggers’ standard avatar is of Governor Palin with an M-4), the Alaskan Hunter will be very familiar and comfortable for her.
Aside from following the myriad federal, state and city laws pertaining to firearms, Bob Reynolds, which he obviously is doing — he also needs to ensure that he will not cause Governor Palin to run afoul of any of Alaska’s ethics laws pertaining to receiving this beautiful and fitting gift for her. This obviously should be a source of joy for both giver and receiver. This author trusts that he has made this check and has made the proper arrangements, so no ethics violations will result.
A heavily customized rifle such as this is not typically a shooter, but usually is a wall hanger. Whatever arrangements are ultimately made (i.e. the rifle becomes the property of the state of Alaska, or Mr. Reynolds holds on to it until Governor Palin is out of office, or other options), it is a nonetheless a beautiful and fitting tribute to Governor Palin and her defense of the Second Amendment.
A Long Range Complement…
Since she will be presented with a a devastating short-range rifle, the next person to do something similar for Governor Palin might consider complementing Alaskan Hunter with a custom engraved Barrett 98 Bravo in .338 Lapua Magnum. With a little training and that rifle, Governor Palin can own anything within a mile of her that she locks in on.
.50 Beowulf Ballistics. (2009). 50beowulf.com. Retrieved April 26, 2009 from: http://www.50beowulf.com/PDF/beowulf_ballistics.pdf
.50 Beowulf: Legendary power. (2009). 50beowulf.com. Retrieved April 26, 2009 from: http://www.50beowulf.com/
98 Bravo. (n.d.). Barrett Rifles Retrieved April 26, 2009 from: http://www.98bravo.com/
Anderson, D. (2004, November). Fat man and little boy: a .50 caliber kick with .22 fun. Guns Magazine. Retrieved April 26, 2009 from: http://www.50beowulf.com/PDF/ai_n62.pdf
A tribute to the Governor. (2009, May). American Rifleman, p. 61. (Fairfax, VA: National Rifle Association). Retrieved April 24, 2009.