This is coolbert:
From StrategyPage several headlines that indicate the fifty caliber sniper rifle [12.7 mm] while NOT being done away with, rather multiplying in numbers for the anti-material mission but also being replaced for the anti-personnel mission.
"Bigger Is No Longer Better"
That fifty caliber [12.7 mm] sniper rifle firing an explosive round the mission of which originally envisioned as anti-material. Special operations troops able to destroy at long ranges enemy warplanes and missiles WHILE ON THE GROUND. One explosive round a Barrett rifle for example capable of destroying the cockpit or jet engine of an advanced combat warplane parked on the tarmac. IF a clean and clear shot could be obtained.
That Barrett rifle and others of the same caliber finding wide use in Afghan in particular, American and allied snipers able to "take out" Taliban fighters at long range with impunity.
Those fifty caliber [12.7 mm] sniper rifles in the anti-personnel role now being supplanted by the .338 caliber round [8.6 mm]. A round quite common and effective as used by African big game hunters for some time. Long range but not explosive round that is effective.
"from Five years ago the British Army began replacing most of its 3,000 7.62mm L96A1 sniper rifles with one modified to use the .338 (8.6mm) Lapua Magnum caliber round. This Accuracy International 'Super Magnum' rifle is basically an L96A1 'Arctic Warfare' rifle modified to handle the larger, 8.6mm Lapua Magnum round."
"Snipers in Iraq, and especially Afghanistan, have been calling for a longer range round but found the 12.7mm (.50 caliber) weapons too heavy. The .338 (8.6mm) Lapua Magnum round has an effective range (about 1,500 meters) about 50 percent greater than the 7.62mm standard NATO round."
This again is not to say that the .50 caliber weapon being done away with. Rather a whole host of nations manufacturing rifles analogous to the Barrett model weapon for the anti-material mission and having buyers!
Big-bore sniper rifle real world experience NOT confined to American and allied snipers in Afghan:
1. "Chinese 12.7mm Sniper Rifles Get Combat Experience"
Burmese hill tribesmen of the Wa ethnic army the Chinese .50 caliber sniper rifle [M99]and employing same as part of the never-ending and on-going Wa insurgency the adversary the central government of Burma.
"Recently reporters came back from northern Burma with pictures of tribal rebels using Chinese M99 12.7mm sniper rifles. China denied supporting the Burmese tribal militia (the UWSA or United Wa State Army) operating on its border but apparently the Wa have some kind of arrangement with the Chinese government, who allows armed Wa fighters to enter Chinese border towns to do business."
2. "Rumor Control: .50 caliber Sniper Rifle in Syria IS NOT an AS50 , it's Chinese M99"
Those rebel elements in Syria able to obtain hi-power sniper rifles the Chinese M99 having entered the fray.
The widespread use of the big-bore sniper rifle [.50 caliber] yet one more indication of a trend and phenomenon that has been observed for some time now. Military technology and weaponry ONCE only wielded by the solders of a few nations around the world now on the market and can be purchased by anyone possessing the right amount of money.
Fifty caliber [.50] sniper rifles also firing the Raufoss round [explosive] perhaps also in violation of the St. Petersburg Convention of 1868? Rounds as fired by military weaponry less than a certain weight NOT allowed to be explosive, that volatile round causing unnecessary suffering and damage to flesh beyond the humane! Raufoss if used against MATERIAL [a warplane or missile on the ground] LEGAL but not so if used against personnel!!