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Palin to be honored by NRA with special M4-like assault rifle

By Jimmy Orr / May 4, 2009

The National Rifle Association will feature a custom made AR-15 produced in honor of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

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With Mother's Day right around the corner, nothing quite says "I love you" like a military-styled assault weapon.

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Luckily for Sarah Palin's family, they won't have to spend that type of money for such a gift. They can just get Alaska's First Mom some wimpy flowers or something. The NRA is taking care of the rest.

Special gift

According to American Rifleman, the National Rifle Association will feature a custom made AR-15 made specifically for Governor Palin at its upcoming annual banquet.

The all-white "Alaskan Hunter" is modeled after an M-4 and its .50 caliber Beowulf chamber leaves one former Special Forces veteran impressed.

"Wow, that's sweet," US military weapons specialist Jack Hancock told The Vote. "The fact that they actually got a .50 caliber on an AR-15 frame is remarkable."

Huh?

What does that mean for people who don't know anything about guns or calibers (like us)?

A few years ago on 60 Minutes, an NYPD sharpshooter using a Barrett .50 caliber rifle pierced a half-inch steel target from 300 yards away.

"Went right through [the target]," said New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly on the program. "It is clearly a weapon of war, a round to be used in a wartime situation. It’s appropriate for the military. The effective range is about 2,000 yards. It’s a very formidable weapon."

Difference

Hancock was quick to caution, however, that there is a difference between the one used on 60 minutes and the one being presented to Palin.

"The NYPD was using a military weapon whereas this version is a civilian model," he said. "Although they look very similar the M-4 is considered an automatic weapon whereas this one is considered a semi-automatic."

"I would disagree that is clearly a weapon of war though because you can purchase the same caliber weapon in black powder and also in handguns. There are semi-automatic handguns that fire a .50 caliber round and every day citizens can purchase them.

"It is not the round or the gun that is dangerous it is the person that has control of both at the same time that is dangerous," he added.

Bring it on

So that's great news for Palin but not so much for Alaskan wildlife, right?

Although we can see a rambo-esque Palin stalking her prey with the amped up semi-automatic, it's probably not going to happen. Hancock says an AR-15 is a lightweight weapon and adding the 50 caliber firepower to it makes it difficult to use.

"I don't think anyone will shoot it because of the recoil," Hancock said. "It would bruise you pretty bad."

Reindeer games

But if she took it out hunting anyway?

It would "easily take down" an elephant or a polar bear he said. And despite the abundance of caribous in Alaska, Hancock advised against it.

"I wouldn't hunt caribou with it," he advised. "There really wouldn't be a lot left to eat off of it but then again you wouldn't have to worry about gutting it either."

Hallmark moment

Although Palin isn't scheduled to attend the banquet, it's the thought that counts.

"I feel like the NRA has done a lot for my rights and I felt the governor has too," said gun-maker Bob Reynolds. "I just wanted to give something back."

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