408 CheyTac vs 50 BMG? What is the Most Powerful Sniper?

408 CheyTac vs 50 BMG – In the world of long-range shooting, the .408 CheyTac and the .50 Caliber BMG have dominated the conversation for years. They’re the giants, the titans, and the heavyweights of long-range ballistics. But how do they compare to each other? This article delves into a comprehensive comparison of these two behemoths, considering factors like ballistics, accuracy, recoil, and ammunition availability.

The .408 CheyTac

408 CheyTac


The .408 CheyTac (Cheyenne Tactical) is a relatively new player in the long-range shooting scene. It was designed for accuracy at extreme ranges and has delivered this promise remarkably well. The round was developed by CheyTac LLC, primarily for use in their M200 Intervention rifle.

Key Features

  • It has a lower recoil than the .50 Cal, making shooting easier for extended periods.
  • Its superior ballistic coefficient gives it excellent performance at extreme ranges.
  • The .408 CheyTac is lighter and more compact than the .50 Cal, making it more manageable and mobile.


The .408 CheyTac was designed with a specific objective: superior performance at extreme ranges. It uses a unique combination of bullet weight, powder load, and barrel length to achieve this. The round has an exceptional ballistic coefficient, so it maintains its velocity better over long distances.

“The .408 CheyTac has an incredible ability to remain supersonic beyond 2,000 yards. This characteristic is largely due to its superior ballistic coefficient.”

The .50 Caliber BMG

50 BMG


The .50 Caliber BMG (Browning Machine Gun) has been in service for over a century. It was initially developed in the Browning M2 machine gun during World War I. Today, it is used in various applications, from anti-material rifles to heavy machine guns.

Key Features

  • The .50 Cal BMG has enormous stopping power, making it ideal for anti-material applications.
  • It has various ammunition types, ranging from armor-piercing to incendiary rounds.
  • The .50 Cal BMG is loud and has a significant recoil, making it less than ideal for extended shooting sessions.


The .50 Cal BMG is known for its sheer power and destructive force. It can send a 660-grain bullet downrange at speeds approaching 3,000 feet per second. This results in enormous kinetic energy, making it ideal for applications where stopping power is paramount.

“The .50 Cal BMG is a force to be reckoned with. Its sheer power and stopping ability are unrivaled in the world of long-range shooting.”

Comparison: 408 CheyTac vs 50 BMG

When comparing these two long-range titans, several factors come into play.

  1. Accuracy: The .408 CheyTac has a superior ballistic coefficient, which gives it an edge in accuracy at extreme ranges.
  2. Recoil: The .408 CheyTac has less recoil than the .50 Cal, making it more comfortable to shoot for extended periods.
  3. Stopping Power: The .50 Cal BMG has significantly more stopping power due to its larger bullet size and higher muzzle velocity.
  4. Ammunition Availability: The .50 Cal BMG ammunition is widely available, whereas the .408 CheyTac ammo is less common and more expensive.

Here’s a tabular comparison between the two:

Feature .408 CheyTac .50 Cal BMG
Origin United States, 2001 United States, the 1910s
Bullet Diameter 10.36mm 12.7mm
Muzzle Velocity (305gr/290gr bullet) 3,590 ft/s Varies (up to 3,000 ft/s)
Energy Up to 11,352 joules Between 14,000 and 20,000 joules
Rifling Twist 330.2mm 380mm
Ballistic Coefficient High (low bullet drop) High (less wind drift)
Ammunition Availability Less common, more expensive Widely available
Recoil Less More
Stopping Power Lower Higher
Ideal Use Extreme long-range shooting High-powered sniper rifles, anti-material roles​.

.408 Cheytac vs .50 BMG Comparison Video by ClassicFirearms Channel

Both the .408 CheyTac and the .50 Cal BMG are impressive rounds that have earned their places in long-range shooting. The choice between them often comes down to the specific needs and constraints of the shooter.

The .408 CheyTac, with its superior ballistic coefficient and lower recoil, is an excellent choice for those who need to make precise shots at extreme ranges. Its performance is commendable, but it comes at a cost, both in terms of ammunition price and availability.

On the other hand, the .50 Cal BMG is a tried and true round that delivers immense stopping power. It’s been around for over a century, and its performance in various military and civilian roles is a testament to its design. It offers various ammunition types and is easily available, but its significant recoil and loud report make it less than ideal for extended shooting sessions.

Ultimately, the .408 CheyTac and the .50 Cal BMG are remarkable in their own right. The choice between them boils down to the shooter’s specific needs and mission. It’s a testament to the advancements in ballistic technology that shooters today have such powerful and capable options to choose from.