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AfterSHOT: Serbu Arms RN50 – Party like it’s 1993

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Shooting a 50 caliber rifle is kind of a rich man's game. The rifles run anywhere from $2500 to $25,000, and with a single round costing as much as a box of 5.56mm the ammo isn't exactly cheap. As for optics, you're certainly not going to run an NC Star or Tasco on one of these guys — at least not for more than one shot. Back in the 90s though, this wasn't always the case. Single shot .50s could be had for around $1000; now Serbu Firearms is bringing back that concept with a new rifle that will (for a limited time) retail for $875.


The RN-50 is a single shot break open 50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) rifle. Loading is cannon breech style, meaning that you unscrew the rear of the chamber, load the round in the chamber, screw the cap back on and you are ready to go. It uses an AR-15 style pistol grip and the stock is an AR type as well. We were not 100% on the trigger, but assume it looked vaguely ARish.


Now cheaping off on a rifle may not sound like the best idea in the world, especially when it comes to touching off a 650 to 800 grain 50 BMG round that will hurtle downrange at 3000 feet per second, and if it was anyone but Serbu, we would definitely pass on it. However, Serbu builds quality firearms and as a company they have been doing the 50 BMG right for a long time. I asked them how they could afford to bring a rifle like this to market with such a low price.


Basically it's an introductory price for a bare bones unit. The stock, rail and bipod are not included. By the time you add the basics you are looking at at least another $500, and a decent optic and rings suitable for this rifle will set you back close to a grand if not more. After the first batch sells out we expect the price to increase somewhat, but for a 1993 price on an entry level 50 cal, we'll gamble on one from the first run.


You are probably thinking it looks like a Webley flare pistol with a 30″ Tec-9 hand guard, 50 cal barrel and assorted AR furniture. You probably figure it weighs more than your bolt gun in .338 Lapua and there is no way in hell any serious operator is going to lug that around while looking for Tangos in the hills of Afghanistan. You are right. Outside of occasional SyFy Channel appearances this rifle will more than likely never see service with a military or police unit anywhere.

That is not what it is for. This is an entry level single shot rifle chambered in 50 BMG for shooting Tannerite in the desert on a Saturday afternoon. This is a rifle made for guys who like shooting rifles, but don't want to lay down the price of a late model Honda for a .50 caliber leadslinger!


We hope to bring you a full review with a test version of the Serbu Arms RN50 in the upcoming months (assuming we luck in on this initial batch!)

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, visit Serbu on the web at



Follow us on Instagram, @RECOILmagazine and keep an eye out for these hashtags: ‪#‎recoilmagazine‬, ‪#‎recoil‬, ‪#‎shotshow2016‬, ‪#‎mediadayattherange‬ and especially ‪#‎recoilSHOT2016‬. Monitor this frequency for more SHOT Show related post in the coming days; there was way too much material to cover in just one week. Our “Constant Coverage” article can be found here — go look at a gallery of imagery from every kind of manufacturer. Likewise you should take a gander at our Media Day at the Range roundup here.

What is the NSSF SHOT Show?

The NSSF SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show) and Conference is an annual event held by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Typically attended by thousands of people from all 50 states and over a hundred countries, it is (quite rightfully) described as the “…world's premier exposition of combined firearms, ammunition, law enforcement, cutlery, outdoor apparel, optics, and related products and services.
Imagine the Worlds' Fair, but packed with everything from mini-guns and every breed of body armor, bows and boots; from eye pro and ear pro to optics and ordnance, socks to swords…you get the idea. If you'd like to see a sampling of the companies who will be showing at this year's SHOT, there's a live map right here, though it doesn't reflect the organizations set up elsewhere, in hotel suites, etc.
View imagery from our coverage of last year's SHOT Show right here.
SHOT Show is online here; check out the videos from SHOT Show TV right here.
2016 SHOT Show
January 18 — Media on the Range (numerous shooting facilities in and around Las Vegas)
January 19–22, 2016
Sands Expo and Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada
Tuesday, January 19 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 20 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 21 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Friday, January 22 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


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