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From a rough prototype to a precision weapon – the Ferret large-caliber rifles

PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – American David Moore, who was born into a family of hereditary inventors and mechanics, started his arms business from the humble position of a sales consultant in a trading company selling parts for racing cars.

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Affected by his childhood hobby – cars: he did not have a higher specialized education, but completed a number of courses in the automotive industry and the basics of mechanics. In the same store, David Moore and his friends built a racing car.

Then Moore worked for some time in the famous car manufacturers General Motors and Chrysler, improving his education along the way. Soon, however, the automotive industry for Moore, in his words, “ceased to be a challenge,” and it was time to find another application.

The engineer was engaged in amateur shooting from adolescence, his father also loved this business. David Moore was literally mesmerized by the power that emerged in the early 1980s. large-caliber rifles “Barrett“, two semi-automatic from this company were the pride of his collection of weapons. After several years of using “Barrett” Moore decided that he was ripe to create something like that, moreover, creating with his own hands, and not assembling from the now popular “constructors”.

One familiar arms dealer suggested to Moore the idea (also very popular today) to use parts from the AR-15 rifle, which is very common in the civilian market, in his rifle.

By February 2001, David Moore had a rather crudely made prototype, which he demonstrated to friends and just fans of shooting in the next weekend at the shooting range. The weapon, to the surprise of the author himself, was greeted quite well, which forced Moore to modify the prototype and, under the designation “Ferret 50”, once again demonstrate to the grateful public. In fact, the designation of this weapon is translated from English as “Ferret .50 caliber” – it is difficult to say what the designer wanted to express by this.

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When David Moore had amassed enough orders (initially from closest friends) for his guns, he “packed his toolbox, waved a pen to the auto industry, and headed off to build a Ferret 50 for the shooting community,” organizing in Santa Cloud, Florida , Spider Firearms.

Testing the improved model showed that the rifle had an accuracy of 0.8 MOA at 300 yards (273 m), the best shooters were able to issue 0.5 MOA using standard military ammunition (not differing in accuracy) and a standard barrel. The elongation of the barrel and the use of composite materials in its creation made it possible to achieve an accuracy of 0.2 MOA at the same distance, provided that special cartridges were used.

Currently, the company offers for sale several samples of large-caliber rifles, differing in barrel length:

  • rifle “Ferret 50” with 18-inch standard chrome-plated barrel, easy to operate and transport and has the smallest recoil;
  • rifle “Ferret 50” with 29-inch chrome-plated barrel, currently the best-selling model;
  • rifle “Ferret 50” with a 36-inch chrome-plated barrel, with the highest muzzle velocity and intended for use by experienced shooters in competitions at the greatest distances.

The last two types of weapons can be equipped with special composite barrels, which significantly increases the accuracy of shooting. The company does not sell “constructors” for self-assembly of weapons by customers, however, shooting enthusiasts can create large-caliber rifles with different characteristics for different type of competition.

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Moreover, the rifles are of a very decent quality, which is proved by the experience of the participation of the Spider Firearms in the competitions under the auspices of the Fifty Caliber Shooting Association (FCSA).

In June 2004, David Moore took part in the FCSA for the first time with his Ferret 50, finishing 3rd in the Hunter class. Such a promising start allowed Moore to participate in the international FCSA tournament on July 4 of the same year. For this, he slightly modified his weapon and used ammunition equipped with his own hands. Then he took 10th place among 58 world-class shooters in his favorite class “Hunter”, showing the results better than in June.

In the same year, a friend of David Moore, a shooter more experienced than the designer himself, took 1st place with his Ferret 50 (naturally, in the Hunter class) in the Quantico competition with a score of 287 points out of 300 possible, which is a total one point short of the world record. At the competition in May 2005 in Pasadena, shooters [including David Moore himself] with various modifications of the Ferret 50 rifle “occupied” almost the entire podium, taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the Hunter, 1st 1st place in the “Light weapons” class and 3rd place in the “Heavy weapons” class. At the same time, David Moore “put” at a distance of 1000 yards (914 m) a group of 4 shots in a circle with a diameter of 5 inches (12.7 cm).

However, quality comes at a price. Spider Firearms are not cheap. The base weapon will cost $ 2,700 for the 18 “barrel, $ 2,850 for the 29” barrel, and $ 2,910 for the 36 “barrel. Ordering a composite barrel will cost around $ 3,400 per rifle. There are also modifications for the increasingly popular .408 “CheyTac” and one of the most common long-range cartridges .338 “Lapua” – they cost $ 3170.

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