It’s no secret that the 50BMG is a beastly round. And since it packs such a large payload there is a variety of ammunition available. One of the most common is the Armored Piercing Incendiary round or API for short.
50BMG API rounds weigh in around 647 grains and underneath the copper jacket it contains 15 grains of grey/silvery flash powder in the nose of the bullet in front of a tungsten carbide .428″ diameter AP core, followed by a lead plug in the rear. When this bullet strikes a hard surface it burns at a high temperature to assist in cutting through the target.
We were not able to make it completely through the 1″ thick AR500 plate from 300 yards, but boy was it a show! It was comparable to shooting a binary target each shot. We also took precautions against fire by shooting it on the edge of a marsh, and if these rounds strike a soft backstop they shouldn’t ignite.
API rounds would work best on softer metal and should poke right into an engine block. Great for your neighborhood watch program 😉