The .50 BMG Thunder never got beyond the prototype stage, but it still holds honors (along with the short-barreled Maddi Griffin plans) as the most extreme handgun ever actually made and shot.
A-C-E (the big-bore place) has posted about it before, but the continuation has some additional information.
[LINK] Thread on Jesse's Hunting and Outdoors Forum
The gun itself is a fully functional prototype, a proof-of-concept developed by engineer Janos Lakatos. The firm is not a firearms company, but basically took on the project as a challenge.
I've read the company's expertise was in shock-absorbing systems, and you'll note the pistol has a nitrogen shock absorber under the barrel.
At the 2004 Shot show, Triple-Action, LLC of Logan, UT (which no longer exists, or at least can't be found) was testing interest and hoping for investors or manufacturers to help with the cost of full development. Apparently it was never found.
Here are a few of the specs provided:
- Caliber: 50 caliber Browning Machine Gun (BMG)
- Type: Handgun/ Single Shot
- Practical Purpose: Sporting, Big Game Hunting (Tyrannosaurs?), Collecting
- Action: Scissor breach/separate cocking lever/separate case ejector
- Empty Weight: 12lbs
- Barrel Length:13.2" (9.8" to bullet base)
- Overall Length: 16.9"
- Standard Options: High efficiency muzzle brake, "Nitrogen recoil controller"
- Trigger pull: 1 to 12 lbs - Factory set to specifications
With 647gr FMJ ammo, using iron sights, the posted data says they gun is capable of a 1.8" group at 25 yards (from kneeling/supported position). This bullet comes out at 2188 fps, and delivers 6875 fpe!
With a 750 bullet (showing a ballistic coefficient of .82), the gun prints as follows:
Muzzle: 2160 fps and 7767 fpe
100 yards: 2070 fps and 7133 fpe
200 yards: 1980 fps and 6526 fpe
500 yards: 1700 fps and 4811 fpe
1000 yards: 1350 fps and 3033 fpe
It's probably good that the gun was never produced, as it would send the anti-gun people into overdrive in their efforts to outlaw the .50 BMG for civilians. It would probably also result in at least certain types of .50 BMG ammo being declared illegal by the BATF.
That said, it's an interesting proof-of-concept, and what big-bore fan would not want one to carry in his/her Hummer or pickup?
If anyone knows anything about the whereabouts of the designer, the people in the company, or the prototype; PLEASE comment.