.416 Barrett

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.416 Barrett
Place of originUnited States
Production history
DesignerChris Barrett and Pete Forras
Parent case.50 BMG
Case typeRimless, bottlenecked
Bullet diameter.416 in (10.6 mm)
Land diameter.408 in (10.4 mm)[1]
Neck diameter.458 in (11.6 mm)[1]
Shoulder diameter.730 in (18.5 mm)[1]
Base diameter.803 in (20.4 mm)[1]
Rim diameter.804 in (20.4 mm)[1]
Rim thickness.083 in (2.1 mm)[1]
Case length3.27 in (83 mm)
Overall length4.65 in (118 mm)[1]
Case capacity200 gr H2O (13 cm3)
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy
398 gr (26 g) Solid Brass 3,150 ft/s (960 m/s) 8,767.4 ft⋅lbf (11,887.0 J)

The .416 Barrett or 10.4×83mm[1] centerfire rifle cartridge is a proprietary bottlenecked centrefire rifle cartridge designed in 2005. It is an alternative to the large-caliber .50 BMG in long-range high-power rifles. It was designed in response to a request for a medium/heavy rifle cartridge combination that was issued from Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division in late 2004.


The Barrett .416 cartridge was designed by Chris Barrett,[2] son of Ronnie Barrett, with the help of Pete Forras. The bullet was designed using some NACA low-supersonic-drag equations to design the shape.

The cartridge was designed as an improvement to the .50 BMG cartridge, a common machine gun and rifle cartridge. It is a wildcatted .50 BMG case, shortened to 3.27 inches (83 mm) from its original length of 3.91 inches (99 mm) and necked down to accept a .416 caliber, 398-grain (25.8 g) projectile;[3][4] however, the case dimensions are proprietary.[5] Because the two cartridges, the .50 BMG and .416 Barrett, have identical base dimensions, all that is needed to convert a rifle to use one or the other cartridge is a relatively quick barrel swap.

The Barrett Model 99 was initially the only commercially available rifle using the cartridge. In 2009, Zel Custom Manufacturing released the Tactilite .416 Barrett upper for AR-style rifles[6] Zel Custom Manufacturing curtailed operations in 2018 which was subsumed by another manufacturer, McCutchen Firearms, after the BATFE classified barreled upper assemblies in .50 caliber to be firearms in and of themselves on July 17, 2018.[7] There is now a range of options available from several manufacturers: Noreen Firearms makes a rifle in .416 Barrett, as does Desert Tech,[8] and Barrett now also has a .416 Barrett option for its semi-automatic M82A1.


Barrett 398 gr solid brass boattail spitzer bullet[edit]

The use of a lighter, narrower bullet results in a significantly higher muzzle velocity and superior ballistic performance to the .50 BMG, and the .416 Barrett is claimed to retain more energy than the .50 BMG at distances over 1,000 yards.[9] Barrett claims that this cartridge is capable of propelling a 398 gr solid brass boattail spitzer bullet out of the 32-inch (810 mm) barrel of a Model 99 single-shot rifle at 960 m/s (3,150 ft/s), giving it a ballistic coefficient of .720, and keeping the projectile supersonic out to 1,737 meters (1,900 yards, ~1.2 miles).[citation needed]

.416 Barrett MSG bullet[edit]

Improvement beyond this standard while still using standard .416 Barrett brass seems possible, but the bullets have to be specially designed. An example of such a special .416 Barrett very low drag extreme range bullet is the German CNC manufactured mono-metal 27.5 gram (424 gr) .416 Barrett MSG (G1 BC ≈ 1.103 – this ballistic coefficient (BC) is calculated by its designer, Mr. Lutz Möller, and not proven by Doppler radar measurements). The solid brass .416 Barrett MSG bullet has an overall length of 56 mm (2.2 in) and derives its exceptional low drag from a radical LD Haack or Sears-Haack profile in the bullet's nose area. Rifles chambered for this cartridge bullet combination, with a cartridge overall length of 116 mm (4.6 in), have to be equipped with custom made 1,016 mm (40.0 in) long 279 mm (1:11 in) twist rate barrels to stabilize the .416 Barrett MSG projectiles and attain a projected 1,032 m/s (3,385 ft/s) muzzle velocity.[10]

Muzzle velocity[edit]

.416 Barrett ballistic comparison with other long-range sniper cartridges
Cartridge Bullet weight gr (g) Muzzle velocity ft/s (m/s) Muzzle energy ft·lbf (J)
.338 Lapua Magnum 250 (16.2) 2,970 (905.2) 4,893 (6,634.0)[11]
.338 Lapua Magnum 300 (19.44) 2,717 (828.1) 4,919 (6,669.2)[12]
.375 Chey Tac 375 (24.3) 3,050 (929.6) 7,744 (10,500)
.408 Chey Tac 305 (19.8) 3,500 (1,066.8) 8,298 (11,250.5)[13]
.408 Chey Tac 419 (27.2) 3,000 (914.4) 8,376 (11,356.3)[13]
.416 Barrett 398 (25.8) 3,150 (960.1) 8,767 (11,887.0)
.50 BMG 700 (45) 2,978 (907.7) 13,971 (18,942.1)


A few jurisdictions in the United States, most notably California, New Jersey, as well as a few nations such as Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, and Denmark, as well as the Australian state of Western Australia,[14] restrict or prohibit civilian ownership of rifles chambered to use the .50 BMG cartridge, but not other calibers (e.g., .416 Barrett).[15]

For California, Section 30905 of the California Penal Code governs exceptions/exclusions to the law:

You hold a valid permit to possess an assault weapon specifically (not just a general concealed carry permit),

You lawfully possessed the rifle before it was made illegal (i.e., before January 1, 2005), You are the executor or administrator of an estate that lawfully holds such firearms, You engage in lawful target shooting and/or police-approved firearm exhibitions, or

You are a non-California resident traveling who is traveling to or from an organized competitive match or league competition that lawfully uses assault weapons.[16]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "C.I.P. TDCC sheet 416 Barrett" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-02-14.
  2. ^ "Shooting Times". Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  3. ^ "cartridge picture". Archived from the original on 2007-03-17. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
  4. ^ "Barrett FAQ". Archived from the original on 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  5. ^ "Barrett FAQ Archived 2007-08-28 at the Wayback Machine"
  6. ^ "Zel Custom Mfg. website". Archived from the original on 2018-10-22. Retrieved 2019-02-08.
  7. ^ C, Nicholas (July 30, 2018). "Breaking News: ATF Is Classifying .50 Cal Bolt Action AR Uppers As Firearm". The Firearm Blog.
  8. ^ DT HTI Rifle – Desert Tech
  9. ^ "Airborne Combat Engineer's article on the .416 Barrett". Archived from the original on 2007-03-23. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
  10. ^ .416 Barrett MSG Loads by Lutz Möller (including images)
  11. ^ Lapua product brochure .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ VihtaVuori Reloading Guide, 2006 Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ a b Cartridges of the World 11th Edition, by Frank C. Barnes, edited by Stan Skinner, Gun Digest Books, 2006, ISBN 0-89689-297-2, pp. 265, 541.
  14. ^ https://www.ssaa.org.au/?ss_news=what-firearms-and-ammunition-are-affected-by-the-wa-police-ban
  15. ^ "2007 Dangerous Weapons Control Law: 12275 thru 12290 Assault Weapons Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine". California Penal Code at the State Attorney General web site.
  16. ^ "Relevant California Penal Code".

External links[edit]