Thompson and Auto Ordnance’s New TAO50 .50 BMG Rifle – NRAAM

The TAO50 .50 BMG bolt action rifle
The new TAO50 .50 BMG bolt action rifle in an attractive bronze-ish FDE finish (anodized, not Cerakoted). Dan Z. for SNW

There I was, strolling past the Kahr booth at NRAAM when this thing caught my eye. Given that it’s notably bigger than anything else in Kahr’s, Auto Ordnance’s, or Thompson’s, lineup I was compelled to check it out.

The TAO50 .50 BMG bolt action rifle
The TAO50’s designer claims that brake makes this the most comfortable shooting .50 BMG on the market. (Dan Z. for SNW)

The new TAO50 is pretty much what it looks like…a big bolt action rifle that slings .50 BMG rounds as far as a couple of thousand yards. But the rifle’s designer tells me the TAO50 is a little different.

The TAO50 .50 BMG bolt action rifle
You can see one of the eight roller bearings on which the TAO50’s bolt rides. (Dan Z. for SNW)

The TAO50’s bolt glides back and forward into battery on eight roller bearings. Cycling the patented design felt smooth as silk. The rifle takes Barrett magazines (smart) and the prototype on the floor has a Timney trigger installed, but I’m told that may change in the final production version (it will, however, be a single stage match trigger). The rifle has Magpul furniture and will ship with an ACCU-TAC bipod.

The TAO50’s designer also made the bold claim that, thanks to the muzzle brake he’s designed, the 25.5-pound TAO50 will be the most comfortable .50 cal rifle you’ll ever shoot. We can’t wait to get behind one and verify that.

Expect the TAO50 to hit the market in the fall and be priced at about $8,900.

29 Responses

  1. If SNW isn’t interested in reviewing it, I’ll happily volunteer… 🙂

  2. T. A..O. Company Thank you for letting me look at the TAO 50 caliber like to have one hope will be not too expensive.

  3. I would love to compare it side by side to my 50 in a head to head demo @ 1000 yards. Just let me know where to sign up

  4. Wow! Let me know when they are available and how much is that good looking gun is to buy Because I want one !!!

  5. This would be great at $3,500 max. There is no real reason for a .50 to be SOOO much more expensive than any other rifle! YES, there are much more materials required [percentage wise] to make a weapon heavily enough constructed to safely handle the power of a .50 – – – SO WHAT? Everything is thicker! This is all figured out via engineering and yes, the first one has a LARGE COST – – – but once the design is proved and production starts, the cost to construct a .50 is NOT that much more in real dollars than the cost to construct a .308!!! The additional materials BY WEIGHT can’t be $100! So why in the hell is the gun so damned expensive – – – – SCARCITY, it the only reason. This has NOTHING to do with the actual cost to manufacture.

    If the gun were $3,500, many more people would buy them, and the cost of the ammo would likely drop to half what it is, creating a much more vibrant market for the caliber in general.

  6. I hope they don’t make 100 then stop making them!! I want one!! It looks nice! Well made!!

  7. You got to be kidding that price is way to stupid high hope the company goes out of business and some company like Ruger buys them and starts selling them at a reasonable price

  8. I agree 100% that 8900 is way out of line for this rifle and the $3000 is more in the correct price range and would sale many more rifles

  9. When will your company Thompson ordinance will be selling the 50 caliber TAO Model and how much?

  10. At $8,900 a pop I’d much rather go upmarket for a Barrett. That said it is a nice looking bit of kit.`

  11. At sub 4k pricing, I’d get one, the the 8k+ is ludicrous. Used to shoot a 50 cal in the service some and a real mind blower when zeroed in.
    In high school, the 60’s, I used a 7.62 for target practice on my 45rpm records, what a mistake that was.

  12. You do know when Marlin was bought out the model 336 lever action almost doubled right? I’m sure it’s a lot better of a rifle than a late Marlin but dang!

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