The AX50 is a relatively new entry by the British concern of Accuracy International (AI) into the crowded Anti-Material Rifle (AMR) category. The AMR enjoys a prominent placement in modern army inventories, these weapons tracing their roots to the German Mauser Model 1918 Anti-Tank Rifle (ATR) of World War 1 (1914-1918). World War 2 (1939-1945) and the Cold War (1947-1991) saw a further evolution of the category to the point that the discerning shopper today has his/her choice of brand and, in some cases, caliber size (as large as 20mm!).
The AX50 is part of AI's AX Rifle System product line and is based on the earlier AW50 AMR line. It fires the powerful .50 BMG cartridge, itself based in the famous Browning heavy machine gun (detailed elsewhere on this site), which is proven against enemy infantry targets (even those behind cover) as well as soft-skinned vehicles. Additionally, such a weapon can target individual components of heavier-armored vehicles such as Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), zeroing in on imagers, vision blocks, track links and-the-like.
At the "business end" of the rifle is a triple-chamber muzzle brake intended to reduce the inherently violent recoil of firing such a large round. Its design is also meant to limit the amount of muzzle flash and dust encountered when firing in particular environments. The barrel is free-floating in the design which means that it does not touch any part of the frame of the gun along its length but rather screws directly into the action resulting in higher, more consistent shot accuracy at range.
The firing action relies on a manually-actuated bolt-action system requiring the operator to manage the bolt handle. This handle sits along the right side of the gun's body and is easily accessible by the primary hand for right-handed shooters. The bolt is engineered with six locking lugs and a single-piece extractor for maximum repeat-fire performance under any conditions.
A corrosion-resistant, spring-loaded, steel detachable box magazine inserted ahead of the trigger unit in the usual way. This contains five ready-to-fire .50 BMG cartridges in stacked order. The trigger is a two-stage adjustable design with built-in accidental discharge protection thanks to an oversized sear. It is found ahead of the pistol-grip handle which sports an ergonomic design for a firm hold. The trigger is located well-near the bolt handle for easier access without the shooter having to remove his sight from the scope. A selector switch located just aft of the bolt handle serves as another safety measure in that the mechanism, when actuated, locks the bolt in place and restricts access to the firing pin.
The gun body is rigid construction involving both heavy metals and composites for perfect balance. The shoulder stock is hinged to fold over the right side of the rifle. It contains a buttpad as well as cheekrest and both are fully adjustable by the shooter for some comfort. Folding the shoulder stock over saves some 10" of length - useful when on-the-march or transporting the weapon about. The frame also has forward and rear sling points for using a shoulder strap - again aiding in transport of this large gun. Sections of Picatinny rail are present over the receiver and around the forend allowing various optics, NightVision (NV), and thermal imagers to be fitted as well as traditional tactical accessories (such as a folding bipod).
Overall (empty) weight is 26.5lb with a 27" long barrel fitted. Overall length reaches 1,415mm. Available finishes include Dark Earth, Green, Pale Brown, Elite Sand, and Elite Midnight.