March 16th, 2019

A Beauty of a Beast — .50 BMG Falling Block Rifle (Amazing)

.50 BMG J.T. 50-caliber Smith breech block falling block custom rifle
.50 BMG J.T. 50-caliber Smith breech block falling block custom rifle

This is one amazing .50-caliber rifle. Along with the lever-actuated falling block, it has a massive swing-out breech block like you’d find on a field artillery piece. The action is so wide that the sights and scope are offset. You’ve heard of the “Beauty and the Beast”? Well here the Beast IS a Beauty….

View looking down at the action from above. Note the hinged Breech-Block.
.50 BMG J.T. 50-caliber Smith breech block falling block custom rifle

This extraordinary example of gunsmithing art was crafted by the late J.T. (Jack) Smith of Sudbury, Massachusetts. This unique .50-caliber rifle features an aircraft machine gun barrel cut down to 38-1/4″, and turned octagon to round (in the style of Schuetzen rifles). The round portion of the barrel is tapered with a heavy boss at the muzzle. The barrel is inlaid in gold on both left and right side top flats. Custom scope bases are fitted to the receiver and to the top of the barrel. These hold an externally adjusting Unertl 15X target scope in offset scope mounts.

.50 BMG J.T. 50-caliber Smith breech block falling block custom rifle

Huge Falling Block Receiver
The massive receiver (8″ long x 2-3/4″ wide x 3″ deep) is remarkable in design and construction. Machined from solid steel, the action incorporates several unique features. Note the hinged Howitzer-style breech block which swings to the right and mortises into the back of the receiver in the loading slot, providing a back-up for the falling block. We’ve never seen anything like that on any rifle. The one-piece floorplate/lever incorporates a Ruger No. 1-style latch which locks into the bottom of the trigger guard. The entire floorplate and lever retract downward. Firing is accomplished by means of a striker mounted in the hinged (swing-out) breech block. This is manually cocked with another lever on top of the breech block. Dropping the falling block activates the extractor which removes the spent case.

Offset Sights
This rifle features a custom-built, windage-adjustable offset front sight plus a custom-built vernier tang sight with aperture offset to the left side. The sights are offset to the left for a right-handed shooter, to correct for the extreme width of the receiver, allowing a more comfortable head position.

.50 BMG J.T. 50-caliber Smith breech block falling block custom rifle

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March 16th, 2019

Lady Scorpion — Marksmanship Builds Confidence and Focus

Arizona Junior Shooter Madison Rovelli Lady Scorpion black belt pilot
Madison Rovelli shoots in competition with the Arizona Scorpions Junior Team

We like to showcase young shooters — as these young people are the future of our sport. This article features a talented Arizona shooter, Madison Rovelli, a 17-year-old member of the Arizona Scorpions team. Over the last four years Madison has become one of Arizona’s top junior high power shooters. Here’s the story of how she developed in the sport. Madison says her marksmanship training has boosted her confidence and focus, with positive results for her academics and other activities.

Marksmanship Builds Confidence
Rovelli cites confidence as the primary thing she has learned from marksmanship. She states that, “believing in yourself is important when you’re on the firing [line]. Shooting is a mental game that often challenges self-confidence, and it has only made me a stronger person.”

Madison outlines the tenants of what marksmanship has taught her: safety, responsibility, patience, and confidence. Firearm safety is always of utmost importance, but Rovelli indicated that shooting has made her more situationally aware than she was previously.

Arizona Junior Feature: Madison Rovelli
Report based on sotryy Serena Juchnowski, CMP Feature Writer

Madison Rovelli of the Arizona State Junior High Power Rifle Team discovered one of her passions by asking. Madison explained: “When I was 13, I begged my parents to take me to Ben Avery Shooting Facility since I had never been, and it looked so cool. While we were there, my mother asked the Range Safety Officers if they had any junior shooter programs.”

After attending an open house hosted by the Arizona Scorpions Junior High Power squad, Rovelli received an invitation to join the team. Fast forward three years and Rovell is still “very grateful to her coaches for seeing potential in her.” Though she did not join the Arizona Scorpions until she was 13, she enjoyed casual shooting with family and friends since the age of nine.

Arizona Junior Shooter Madison Rovelli Lady Scorpion black belt pilot

Advice for New Shooters
Madison Rovelli says young shooters shouldn’t worry at the start — everyone begins as a novice: “Do not join shooting sports thinking that you do not have what it takes to be like the top shooters that you’ve seen or heard about. Every top shooter started at the bottom; you are no different. As long as you take good advice from other competitors, try different positions (when you need to), practice quite often, and believe in yourself; you can become a top shooter”.

One reason Madison loves shooting is the camaraderie: “Competitive shooters are the friendliest, tightest knit group of people that I have ever met. Shooting is the only sport, that I know of, where your competition will come to your aid when needed and help you to become a stronger, better shooter.”

Arizona Junior Shooter Madison Rovelli Lady Scorpion black belt pilotShe has taken on increased responsibilities as she has been with the Scorpions team, “loading her own ammo, cleaning and taking care of her rifle and equipment.” She admits that she is not, by nature, a patient individual, and comments, “I learned the hard way, but the wind isn’t always your friend so you need to slow down and roll with it,” referring to spending the time to read the wind and conditions rather than just shooting through it.

Madison Rovelli Is Working for Black Belt
and Private Pilot’s License

Madison keeps busy playing volleyball for her local public high school and as a Brown Belt and Student Instructor in Krav Maga self-defense, working towards her Black Belt. She also is studying for her private pilot’s license. Even with so many ambitions, Rovelli notes that “I can’t think of anything else that I want to do more than shoot”.

In return for all of the help she has received, Rovelli hopes to give back in the future by returning to the Arizona Scorpions team to coach, to “carry on this great legacy”. First, though, she plans to get her pilot’s license and attend a military academy.

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