.50 BMG vs. .510 DTC EUROP

What's the Difference?

The .50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) and .510 DTC EUROP are both powerful rifle cartridges known for their long-range capabilities. The .50 BMG, originally developed for military use, has a larger case capacity and higher muzzle velocity compared to the .510 DTC EUROP. It is commonly used in heavy machine guns and sniper rifles, offering excellent penetration and stopping power. On the other hand, the .510 DTC EUROP is a wildcat cartridge derived from the .50 BMG, specifically designed for long-range precision shooting competitions. It offers similar ballistics to the .50 BMG but with slightly reduced recoil, making it more manageable for precision shooting applications. Both cartridges are highly effective for long-range shooting, but the .50 BMG is more widely available and commonly used in military and law enforcement applications.


Attribute.50 BMG.510 DTC EUROP
Caliber.50 BMG.510 DTC EUROP
OriginUnited StatesUnited States
Case Length99.39 mm (3.91 in)70.00 mm (2.756 in)
Overall Length138.68 mm (5.47 in)89.00 mm (3.504 in)
Bullet Diameter12.95 mm (0.510 in)12.95 mm (0.510 in)
Case Capacity292.8 gr H2O (18.99 cm3)230.0 gr H2O (14.94 cm3)
Max Pressure60,481 psi (417 MPa)65,000 psi (448 MPa)
Effective Range1,800 m (1,969 yd)1,800 m (1,969 yd)

Further Detail


The .50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) and .510 DTC EUROP are both powerful rifle cartridges known for their long-range capabilities and exceptional stopping power. While they share some similarities, they also have distinct differences that make them suitable for different applications. In this article, we will explore the attributes of both cartridges and compare their performance, ballistics, availability, and versatility.


When it comes to performance, both the .50 BMG and .510 DTC EUROP are formidable cartridges. The .50 BMG, developed in the early 20th century, was primarily designed for use in heavy machine guns. It has a bullet diameter of .510 inches and a case length of 3.91 inches. The .510 DTC EUROP, on the other hand, is a more recent development and was specifically designed for long-range precision shooting. It shares the same bullet diameter as the .50 BMG but has a slightly shorter case length of 3.35 inches.

Due to their similar bullet diameters, both cartridges offer excellent penetration and terminal ballistics. They are capable of taking down large game animals and are often used in military and law enforcement applications. However, the .50 BMG has a slight advantage in terms of muzzle energy, with some loads producing over 13,000 foot-pounds of energy compared to the .510 DTC EUROP's maximum of around 10,000 foot-pounds. This extra energy can be beneficial in certain scenarios, such as long-range shooting or armor-piercing applications.


When comparing the ballistics of the .50 BMG and .510 DTC EUROP, both cartridges excel in long-range shooting. The .50 BMG, with its larger case capacity, can launch heavier bullets at higher velocities. This results in a flatter trajectory and better resistance to wind drift, making it a popular choice for extreme long-range shooting competitions and anti-materiel applications.

On the other hand, the .510 DTC EUROP, despite having a slightly shorter case length, still offers impressive ballistics. It can achieve velocities comparable to the .50 BMG, especially with lighter bullets. While it may not have the same level of energy and long-range performance as the .50 BMG, it is still a highly capable cartridge for precision shooting and hunting.


When it comes to availability, the .50 BMG has a significant advantage. It has been in production for over a century and is widely used by military forces, law enforcement agencies, and civilian shooters around the world. This widespread adoption has led to a vast selection of rifles, ammunition, and reloading components readily available for the .50 BMG.

On the other hand, the .510 DTC EUROP, being a more niche cartridge, has limited availability compared to the .50 BMG. It is primarily used in specialized long-range shooting competitions and is not as widely adopted by military or law enforcement agencies. As a result, finding rifles chambered in .510 DTC EUROP and suitable ammunition may be more challenging.


When it comes to versatility, the .50 BMG offers a wide range of applications. Its immense power and long-range capabilities make it suitable for various purposes, including long-range target shooting, anti-materiel operations, and even long-range hunting of large game. Additionally, the .50 BMG can be used in both bolt-action and semi-automatic rifles, providing shooters with different options based on their preferences and requirements.

While the .510 DTC EUROP may not have the same level of versatility as the .50 BMG, it still has its own niche. It excels in long-range precision shooting competitions, where accuracy and consistency are paramount. The .510 DTC EUROP is often used in single-shot bolt-action rifles specifically built for long-range precision shooting, allowing shooters to achieve exceptional accuracy and consistency at extreme distances.


In conclusion, both the .50 BMG and .510 DTC EUROP are powerful cartridges with their own strengths and applications. The .50 BMG, with its long history, widespread availability, and superior energy, is a popular choice for long-range shooting, anti-materiel operations, and hunting. On the other hand, the .510 DTC EUROP, while less common and with slightly lower energy, offers excellent ballistics and precision for long-range shooting competitions.

Ultimately, the choice between the .50 BMG and .510 DTC EUROP depends on the shooter's specific needs and preferences. Whether it's extreme long-range shooting, hunting, or precision competitions, both cartridges have proven themselves capable in their respective domains. Whichever cartridge you choose, both the .50 BMG and .510 DTC EUROP will undoubtedly deliver impressive performance and satisfaction to those who wield them.

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