Salazar Discovers Monster BAT at Bruno’s
BAT .50 BMG — Now That’s an Action!, by German A. Salazar
A while back, I stopped into Bruno Shooters Supply for a jug of powder and looked into the display case where the new actions are kept. Amid the usual array of BAT Machine, Stolle and other actions, there was something unlike any action I’d seen before — all I can call it is the BIG BAT. I wasn’t too surprised at the weight (a beefy 13.7 lbs.), but until you lift it it’s hard to appreciate how solid, chunky, hefty, massive (pick your favorite adjective) this thing really is. The action is a 2.5″-diameter, 12″-long BAT for the .50 BMG cartridge. It is simply the biggest, slickest custom action on the planet. In order to give you some sense of scale, I photographed the action alongside a conventional BAT action for short-range Benchrest shooting and I put a .220 Russian case and a .30-06 case into the picture. I’ve handled and fired other .50 BMG actions/rifles before, but this BAT puts them all to shame, as far as fit and finish go.
The action is actually quite conventional in design and execution. The bolt is fluted and has two front lugs with a conventional, although super-sized, firing pin assembly. Any Remington-style trigger will mount by way of a normal trigger hanger, allowing for simplified maintenance or replacement in the field. The loading port is 5.5″ long and the barrel threads are 1.5″ x 16 tpi — nothing about this beast is small! There is a conventional rocker-type bolt release on the left side of the receiver body and a recoil lug is built into the bottom of the receiver. In reality, the action is very similar to any other BAT except for the size and it adheres to all of BAT’s high standards for quality of design, manufacture, fit, finish and just plain good looks. Slide that bolt back and it feels as tight as a small Benchrest action!
Given the BIG BAT’s $3,285.00 sticker price (2011 pricing), not many of us will ever have the opportunity to own or shoot one of these beauties (I certainly won’t). However, it is nice to know they exist and can be bought and enjoyed in many places.
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