At its core, the TAC-50 is a heavy, long rifle intended for use against light armored vehicles with a secondary role In countering high value personnel. Such weapons excel in targeting and damaging key systems on armored vehicles, rendering them less of a threat on the modern battlefield. When used against enemy personnel, the .50 BMG cartridge spells certain doom for the target. The TAC-50 can also engage such personnel through walls if need be. Accurized fire is accomplished through both extensive training and specialized optics. Primary operators of the TAC-50 include the United States Navy SEALs (designated as the Mk 15), the Canadian Army (as the C15 Long Range Sniper Weapon - LRSW), French Navy commandos, Turkish Army Mountain Commandos and Israeli special forces elements. The TAC-50 is primarily marketed towards military and law enforcement agencies and has been in service/production since 2000. It has seen combat action with US forces in the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
Outwardly, the TAC-50 showcases clean lines and a smooth design approach. The detachable fiberglass shoulder stock is adjustable (with an adjustable saddle cheekpiece) and a folding steel bipod is fitted under the forend. Removal of the stock allows the operator to break down his weapon system into portable components for transport. The pistol grip is ergonomically angled and comes complete with finger grooves. The curved trigger is set within an oblong trigger guard and is adjustable, initially tuned to a 3lb pull. The forend is slab-sided and rather featureless. The bolt lever - purposely designed longer in length to help clear any mounted optics arrangement - is set to the right side of the receiver and sports the traditional ball knob for a good hand hold. An optics mount is fitted atop the receiver. The long barrel is fluted to help dissipate heat build-up in and around the assembly while also saving on weight. The barrel is further capped by a multi-baffled muzzle brake and is engineered by hand to specific measurements for excellent accuracy. There are of stainless steel in their construction and completed with a matte finish application. The proprietary muzzle brake is a requirement of such guns charged with firing a large caliber round such as the .50 BMG. The TAC-50's overall receiver and stock design assist in displacing the inherently violent recoil of the firing action.
All told, the TAC-50 weighs in at 26lbs with an overall length of 57 inches mounting a barrel 29 inches long. While optics are optional, they are essential in regards to the role of the TAC-50. The standard included sights of the rifle are adjustable while a 5-25x telescopic sight is standard in some military services - particularly with the Canadian Armed Forces. Effective range with accuracy for the TAC-50 is listed out to 2,000 meters and slightly beyond depending on training and operating conditions - nonetheless, an amazing "reach" for such a large caliber weapon. The TAC-50 is chambered for the .50 BMG cartridge (12.7x99mm) firing from a 5-round detachable box magazine. Military ammunition types include armor-piercing (AP), incendiary and explosive variants to suit mission requirements. Beyond penetration of armored targets, the TAC-50 can engage personnel hidden behind masonry walls. The firing action revolves around a manually-operated rotating bolt system, consistent with other McMillan rifle designs.
The TAC-50 was used by Canadian Army soldier Robert Furlong to set a world record when he successfully engaged a target in the Afghanistan Theater at 2,430 meters (2,657 yards). Beyond its military applications, the TAC-50 has proven equally popular for competition shooting and collectors worldwide. According to the McMillan website, the TAC-50 is sold as the individual rifle or through a complete tactical kit containing the rifle itself, the scope and a cleaning kit.
June 2017 - The Canadian military claimed that one of its Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) members killed an ISIS fighter from a distance of two miles away with his McMillan TAC-50 rifle. If this claim is corroborated, it will mark the longest sniper kill on record.