Barrett Firearms Manufacturing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Barrett Firearms Company)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Barrett Firearms Manufacturing
Founded1982; 38 years ago (1982)[1]
Key people
Ronnie Barrett (founder CEO)

Barrett Firearms Manufacturing is an American manufacturer of firearms and ammunition located in the unincorporated town of Christiana, Tennessee. It was founded in 1982 by Ronnie G. Barrett for the single purpose of building semi-automatic rifles chambered for the powerful .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO) ammunition, originally developed for and used in M2 Browning machine guns. Barrett began his work in the early 1980s and the first working rifles were available in 1982, hence the designation M82. Barrett designed every single part of the weapon personally and then went on to market the weapon and mass-produce it out of his own pocket. He continued to develop his rifle through the 1980s, and developed the improved M82A1 rifle by 1986.


Barrett introduced the M82 in 1982 but did not make any significant sales until 1989. These first large sales were to Sweden. Soon afterward, the M82 was purchased by the United States armed forces, and it was deployed in the Gulf War. Today the company has contracts with dozens of countries to supply sniper rifles.

The success of the M82A1 has led the company to develop several other models of .50 BMG rifles, including the M95, M99, and M99-1. These are lighter and lower cost bolt-action rifles.

An early customer of the M82 (or 'Barrett Light Fifty') was the IRA, which conducted a sniper campaign against the British Armed Forces in Northern Ireland.[3] An unidentified IRA volunteer, quoted by author Toby Harnden, said that:

"What's special about the Barrett is the huge kinetic energy... The bullet can just walk through a flak jacket. South Armagh was the prime place to use such weapon because of the availability of Brits. They came to dread it and that was part of its effectiveness."[4]

A U.S. Army sniper with a Barrett rifle in Baghdad, Iraq.

In current US military use is the M82A3 and a new version, the M107, as an anti-materiel rifle. It is used by explosive ordnance disposal teams with special military HEIAP ammunition.

Barrett also manufacturers the REC7 upper receiver for the AR-15 style rifle, chambered in 6.8 mm Remington SPC, which was one of the weapons the U.S. Army reviewed in 2008 while drafting requirements for a potential M4 carbine replacement.

In response to California's ban of civilian ownership of .50 BMG rifles, Barrett suspended sales and service to all law enforcement agencies in California.[5] In October 2008, Barrett introduced the new M98B. The M98B is a bolt-action rifle chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum. It went on sale in 2009.[6] On February 26, 2016, Tennessee named the Barrett M82 the official rifle of the State of Tennessee.[7]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Barrett Rifles". Archived from the original on 2 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-21.
  2. ^ Tennessee Secretary of State Business Entity Detail - BARRETT FIREARMS MANUFACTURING, INC.
  3. ^ O'Brien, pp. 354-355
  4. ^ Harnden, pp. 406-407
  5. ^ "The Gun Zone RKBA -- Ronnie Barrett". Archived from the original on 2007-04-23. Retrieved 2008-09-28.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  6. ^ "". Archived from the original on 20 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
  7. ^ Van Huss, James (Micah) (February 26, 2016). "HJR0231" (PDF). Tennessee General Assembly.

External links[edit]