Cobb Manufacturing FA50(t)
by John Schulze
copyright 2004 Sniper's Paradise
I and another Snipers Paradise Staff member, Rob (cmshoot) met on a private range on the outskirts of Atlanta on a hot muggy morning for a test session with Skip from Cobb Manufacturing, the driving force behind a new weapon system.
As Skip unveiled the rifle system to us, I noticed the simplicity of the design and the robustness of the system. This rifle is not a bolt action and it is not a semiautomatic. The Cobb .50 is a hybrid fast action rifle. The rifle utilizes a rotating bolt system that is made out of high grade 4340 steel.
The knob protruding from the left side of the upper receiver acts as the bolt handle. Pull back and guide forward is all one needs to do to load another round from the 10 round magazines. There is extra space built into the receiver to allow for dirt or debris in operational field environments. This helps push the grit out of the bolt carrier's way while working the action.
The Upper and Lower receivers are machined from solid billet 7075 aluminum on CNC machining centers. The system is similar to any AR15 type rifle, except much larger and stronger. Disassembly is very quick and easy requiring no special tools. Pull the receiver pins and this weapon is ready for cleaning.
Range testing of this weapon was limited to100 yards due to the range available at the time. Using Arizona Arms Moly coated Ball ammunition provided by Skip; I was able to shoot a best 3 shot group, from a prone position, right around 1.5 MOA.
The rifles tested were the standard model with suppressor as well as a carbine model with 22-inch barrel and muzzle break. The suppressor reduced the recoil of this behemoth round to that of a stout 30-06 load and the sound was that of a deep 12 gauge. This rifle weighs in at 26 to 29 lbs, depending on the model. The carbine version is the lightweight of the family.
All rifles come with a Lothar Walther Stainless steel barrel (same barrel used exclusively by HD Rifles in the SPHD Rifle Packages). All the major components are machined in-house. The forearm is machined from 6061 aluminum and is very robust and sturdy. A standard A2 butt stock is used as well as any pistol grip made for a standard AR. During the range session there was only 1 malfunction due to operator error. This malfunction and was linked to a short stroke on the bolt, which failed to eject the spent casing. This is a problem with any bolt action type weapon and is easily corrected with a little practice and getting to know the weapon system.
The system breaks down nicely to fit in a standard heavy-duty rifle case. This weapons system is unlike any other 50 cal. currently on the market due to its features. Fit and finish was very good. The magazine (10 shot) worked well. The only improvement I would like to see would be a Nomex Velcro or zipper cover for the aluminum hand-guard.
We are planning on a follow up session where we can stretch the rifle's legs and see what it can do at longer distances. We will provide followup information from these future range sessions.