Chopping Down a Tree with .50 BMG

Definitely one of the more absurd things to do with .50 BMG. But… … why not?

Have you ever wondered what it would take to cut down a tree with a rifle? Possibly all Predator style where everyone just opens up on an unseen enemy in the jungle and mows everything down? The thought has crossed my mind once or twice.

Obviously, it is possible to cut down a tree with enough ammo – the main question is how much ammo would it take?

Top shot Dustin Ellermann puts the question to the test with .50 BMG and solid brass bullets running $5.50 each.

Hats off to Dustin for spending the cash on the test because I sure wouldn’t, though I wouldn’t have minded joining him at the tree farm with his .50 BMG.

How many rounds do you think it would take to chop down a tree with a .50 BMG?

A few rounds of .50 BMG through a tree.

The damage took a while to build, but even a few rounds of .50 BMG did plenty of damage to the tree.

A fired .50 BMG with a partial jacket.

It’s pretty cool how they were able to recover so many bullets in various levels of destruction.

It took 68 rounds of .50 BMG to chop down this tree.

Honestly, I expected more after seeing how little expansion most of the rounds had. I suppose careful aim, solid marksmanship, and the massive diameter of the .50 BMG won the day.

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Brian Purkiss
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Brian Purkiss is a firearms instructor, competitive shooter, proponent for individual liberty and Second Amendment rights, and a web developer. He enjoys competing in and organizing Run and Gun Competitions, as well as shooting in USPSA, Outlaw matches, and 3 Gun.