It has been almost
a year since I reviewed the original Alexander
Arms .50 caliber "Entry Gun"
here on Gunblast.com, and by all indications, the gun has been a
rousing success. I have received correspondence from as far away
as Afghanistan and Iraq from US soldiers that are using this weapon
for serious social purposes, as well as from shooters who just enjoy
plinking with the Beowulf. The heart of the Beowulf rifle is the
cartridge, and it is a big heart indeed! The Beowulf rifle is based
on the AR-15 system, and factory ammunition specs list a fifty caliber
325 grain bullet at 1950 feet per second and a 400 grain bullet
at 1800 feet per second. This is like a hot loaded .45-70 or .450
Marlin cartridge but with a bigger bullet, in a handy AR-15 carbine!
After several months of producing the Entry Gun, Alexander Arms
is now offering the .50 Beowulf in a longer barreled model that
they call the "Overwatch", and that is the subject of
The new Overwatch
model has the same basic features as the excellent Entry Gun, with
a few changes. The Overwatch wears a twenty-four inch stainless
match-grade barrel that measures .988 inch diameter from the gas
block forward, and finishes off with a good-looking and effective
muzzle brake. The brake has thirty holes spaced around its circumference
to redirect propellant gases, effectively reducing felt recoil.
The barrel is also free-floated inside a synthetic hand guard to
deliver better practical accuracy. The Overwatch wears a standard
A2 buttstock, and has all of the features that we have come to expect
on a quality AR, such as case deflector and forward assist, plus
a handy extension on the charging handle for use with a scope sight.
The standard magazine holds seven of the fat cartridges, but a standard
thirty-round AR-15 magazine will hold twelve of the .50 Beowulfs,
with only a slight modification of the feed lips needed to function
properly with the big cartridges. As with the Entry Gun, the Overwatch
shares many components with a standard AR-15, and Alexander Arms
also sells complete upper assemblies (at surprisingly affordable
prices) to fit your existing rifle, if desired.
Shooting the new
Overwatch rifle was indeed a rewarding experience. The Overwatch
weighs in at a bit over ten pounds with scope and bipod added. The
weight, along with the effective muzzle brake makes the gun a pleasure
to shoot from the bench. The longer barrel also moves the muzzle
blast a bit further forward of the shooter, and no discomfort was
felt wearing good-quality hearing protection such as Dillon's
electronic ear muffs. Another added benefit of the extra barrel
length, is that the velocity increases about 150 feet per second,
as compared with the shorter barrel of the Entry Gun.
Mounting a Swarovski
6 to 18 power scope atop the rifle, I settled down at the bench
for accuracy testing. Using Alexander Arms factory 325 grain hollow
point ammunition, I was able to fire three-shot groups measuring
one-half of an inch at 100 yards. This is excellent accuracy, beating
most factory bolt action varmint rifles, but shooting a heavy half-inch
slug with the power to kill anything that walks, swims, or crawls!
Based on the reports that I have received from soldiers overseas,
the Beowulf also delivers excellent penetration of hard targets.
As well as the Beowulf
Overwatch performed from the Target Shooting,
Inc. rifle rest, the really fun
part of our shooting experience involved some long-range plinking
using a Harris bipod. We fired the rifle at life-size steel
targets of black bear, antelope, and mule deer at ranges of from
400 to 600 yards. After a few shots, the 400 yard targets became
easy hits, and even the mule deer at 600 yards resulted on a satisfying
clang a few seconds after pulling the trigger, if I held over properly.
After shooting over a hundred rounds from the bench, the effect
on my shoulder was insignificant. A sustained string of twelve gauge
target loads hurts worse.
Again, as I did
with the original .50 Beowulf last year, I passed the Overwatch
around at the range. Everyone who handled the gun was favorably
impressed. Everyone who shot the gun was grinning like an idiot,
and muttering phrases like "I gotta get me one of these!"
For more information
on the original Entry gun, read my article
in the Archive section of Gunblast. For a look at the entire
line of excellent firearms, ammunition, and accessories from Alexander
Arms, check them out online at: www.alexanderarms.com.
For an AR-15 with
enough power to hunt anything on the planet, or a precise target-grade
weapon for law enforcement that really packs a decisive punch, look
into the .50 Beowulf Overwatch. Also, if you just want a powerful,
long-range fun gun&&&this is your baby!
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