Barrett M82

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Barrett M82
A Barrett M82A1
TypeAnti-materiel rifle
Place of originUnited States
Service history
In service1989–present
Used bySee Users
WarsThe Troubles
Soviet–Afghan War
Gulf War
Kosovo War
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Mexican Drug War
War in Iraq (2013–2017)
Second Libyan Civil War
Russo-Ukrainian War[1]
Production history
DesignerRonnie Barrett
ManufacturerBarrett Firearms Manufacturing
Mass29.7 lb (13.5 kg) to 32.7 lb (14.8 kg)
Length48 in (120 cm) to 57 in (140 cm)
Barrel length20 in (51 cm) to 29 in (74 cm)
Diameter16 mm

rotating bolt
Muzzle velocity2,799 ft/s (853 m/s)
Effective firing range1,969 yd (1,800 m)
Feed system5- or 10-round detachable box magazine
SightsIron sights or various optics on MIL-STD-1913 rail

The Barrett M82 (standardized by the U.S. military as the M107) is a recoil-operated, semi-automatic anti-materiel rifle developed by the American company Barrett Firearms Manufacturing.

Also called the Light Fifty (due to its chambering of the .50 BMG 12.7×99mm NATO cartridge),[2][3] the weapon is classified in three variants: the original M82A1 (and M82A3) models, the bullpup M82A2 model, and the Barrett M107A1, with an attached muzzle brake (designed to accept a suppressor, and made out of titanium instead of steel). The M82A2 is no longer manufactured, though the XM500 can be seen as its successor.

Despite being designated as an anti-materiel rifle, the M82 can also be deployed as an anti-personnel system.[4]


Barrett Firearms Manufacturing was founded by Ronnie Barrett for the sole purpose of building semi-automatic rifles chambered for the powerful 12.7×99mm NATO (.50 BMG) ammunition, originally developed for and used in M2 Browning machine guns. The weapon was first sold to the Swedish Army in 1989. In 1990, the United States armed forces purchased the M82A1 during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Kuwait and Iraq. About 125 rifles were initially bought by the United States Marine Corps, and orders from the Army and Air Force soon followed. The M82A1 is known by the U.S. military as the SASR—"Special Applications Scoped Rifle",[5] and it was and still is used as an anti-materiel rifle and explosive ordnance disposal tool.[5]

An early model M82

In 2006, Barrett completed development of the XM500, which has a bullpup configuration similar to the M82A2.[6] Barrett M82 rifles were bought by various military and police forces from at least 30 countries, such as Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, the Netherlands,[7] and others.

The Barrett M82A1 rifle was used in 2002 as a platform for the experimental OSW (Objective Sniper Weapon) prototype. This weapon was fitted with a shorter barrel, and fired 25 mm high-explosive shells developed for the 25×59 mm OCSW (Objective Crew Served Weapon) automatic grenade launcher. The experimental OSW showed an increased effectiveness against various targets, but the recoil was beyond human limitations. This weapon, also known as the Barrett "Payload Rifle", has now been designated the XM109.

Use by the Provisional IRA[edit]

The Provisional IRA smuggled a number of M82s into Ireland from the United States in the 1980s, apparently made and sold by a gunsmith and former Barrett Firearms employee in Texas. One of the M82s was shipped from Chicago to Dublin in pieces, where it was re-assembled.[8] The IRA equipped two sniper teams with the light-fifties,[9] later reinforced with a couple of M90s bought in the United States from an arms dealer in 1995.[10] The IRA snipers killed five soldiers and a constable with .50 rifles from 1992 to 1997.[11] The snipers usually fired on their targets from a distance of less than 300 metres, despite the 1,800 metres effective range of the weapons.[12]

Use by Mexican drug cartels[edit]

In 2021, Barrett and nine other U.S. gun manufacturers were named in a lawsuit brought by the Mexican government in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, seeking $10 billion in damages.[13] The Mexican government claimed that the Barrett M82 is one of the weapons of choice for drug cartels. According to Romain Le Cour Grandmaison, an expert interviewed by Reuters, the M82 has disrupted the balance of power between criminals and poorly-equipped police forces.[14]


  • M82: 12.7×99mm Barrett M82 semi-automatic rifle.
  • M82A1: 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle. Improved variant including redesigned muzzle brake.
  • M82A1A: 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle variant. Optimized for use with the Raufoss Mk 211 .50 caliber round.
  • M82A1M: 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle variant. Improved variant including lengthened accessory rail. Includes rear grip and monopod socket.
  • M82A2: 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A2 semi-automatic bullpup rifle. Bullpup configured variant made to compensate for recoil by being shoulder-mounted.
  • M82A3: 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A3 semi-automatic rifle. New production rifles built to M82A1M specifications, featuring lengthened accessory rail which is usually, but not always, raised higher up than the M82A1M/M107. Unlike the M82A1M/M107, it does not include a rear grip and monopod socket.
  • XM107/M107: Initially used to designate 12.7×99mm Barrett M95 bolt-action rifle. Designation changed to apply to a product improved M82A1M variant. Includes lengthened accessory rail, rear grip, and monopod socket.

M82 to M107[edit]

Barrett M107A1
A U.S. Navy EOD Commander fires an M82A1 in Afghanistan

The XM107 was originally intended to be a bolt-action sniper rifle, and the Barrett M95 was originally selected by the U.S. Army in a competition between such weapons. However, under the trials, the decision was made that the U.S. Army did not, in fact, require such a weapon.

Then the Army decided on the Barrett M82, a semi-automatic rifle. In summer 2002, the M82 finally emerged from its Army trial phase and was approved for "full materiel release", meaning it was officially adopted as the Long Range Sniper Rifle, Caliber .50, M107. The M107 uses a Leupold 4.5–14×50 Mark 4 scope.

USMC scout sniper firing downrange with an M82A3

The Barrett M107 is a .50 caliber, shoulder-fired, semi-automatic sniper rifle. Like its predecessors, the rifle is said to have manageable recoil for a weapon of its size owing to the barrel assembly that itself absorbs force, moving inward toward the receiver against large springs with every shot. Additionally, the weapon's weight and large muzzle brake also assist in recoil reduction. Various changes were made to the original M82A1 to create the M107, with new features such as a lengthened accessory rail, rear grip, and monopod socket. Barrett has recently been asked to develop a lightweight version of the M107 under the Anti-Materiel Sniper Rifle Congressional Program and has already come up with a scheme to build important component parts such as the receiver frame and muzzle brake out of lighter-weight materials.

The Barrett M107, like previous members of the M82 line, is also referred to as the Barrett "Light Fifty". The designation has in many instances supplanted earlier ones, with the M107 being voted one of 2005's top 10 military inventions by the U.S. Army.[15]

The U.S. Army and Marine Corps plan to field another Barrett rifle, the Mk22 MRAD, in 2021 to replace the M107. The Mk22 is a bolt-action multi-caliber rifle that is powerful enough to replace the M107 when chambered in .338 Norma Magnum.[16]

Technical description[edit]

A U.S. Army sniper using an M107
A U.S. Coast Guard TACLET marksman with a Barrett M107
Barrett model M82A2

The M82 is a short-recoil semi-automatic firearm. When the gun is fired, the barrel initially recoils for a short distance (about 1 inch (25 mm)), while being securely locked by the rotating bolt. After the short travel, the lower part of the accelerator arm, held by the receiver upper part, is already hinged in the bolt carrier and the middle portion strikes it back to the barrel by a rod placed in the bolt carrier, transferring part of the recoil energy of the barrel to the bolt to achieve reliable cycling and unlock it from the barrel. The bolt is unlocked by turning in the curved cam track in the bolt carrier. Then the barrel is stopped by the combined effect of the accelerator, buffer spring, and the muzzle brake and the bolt continues back, to extract and eject a spent case.[clarification needed] On its return stroke, the bolt strips the fresh cartridge from the box magazine and feeds it into the chamber and finally locks itself to the barrel. The striker is also cocked on the return stroke of the bolt. The gun is fed from a large, detachable box magazine holding up to ten rounds, although a rare twelve-round magazine was developed for use during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

The receiver is made from two parts (upper and lower), stamped from sheet steel and connected by cross-pins. The heavy barrel is fluted to improve heat dissipation and save weight, and fitted with a large and effective reactive muzzle brake. The muzzle brakes on the earlier models had a round cross-section; later M82 rifles are equipped with two-chamber brakes of rectangular cross-section.

M82A1 rifles are fitted with scope mount and folding backup iron sights, should the glass scope break. The U.S. military M82 rifles are often equipped with Leupold Mark 4 telescopic sights. The M82A1M (USMC M82A3) rifles have long Picatinny accessory rails mounted and US Optics telescopic sights. Every M82 rifle is equipped with a folding carrying handle and a folding bipod (both are detachable on the M82A3). The M82A3 is also fitted with a detachable rear monopod under the butt. The buttpad is fitted with a soft recoil pad to further decrease the felt recoil. M82A1 and M82A3 rifles could be mounted on the M3 or M122 infantry tripods (originally intended for machine guns) or on vehicles using the special Barrett soft-mount. The M82A1 can be fitted with a carry sling, but according to those who carried it in the field, the M82 is too uncomfortable to be carried on a sling due to its excessive length and weight. It is usually carried in a special carry soft or hard case.

The M82A2 differed from M82A1 mostly in its configuration; the pistol grip along with trigger was placed ahead of the magazine, and the buttpad placed below the receiver, just after the magazine. An additional forward grip was added below the receiver, and the scope mount was moved forward.[5]

The M107's maximum effective range is 1,830 m (2,000 yd), while can hit targets past 2,000 m (2,187 yd) albeit accurate to 2.5 MOA means it would hit within a 25 in (640 mm) area at 1,000 m (1,094 yd). The maximum range of this weapon (specifically the M107 variant) is 4,000 m (4,400 yd), as quoted in the owner's manual. Fifty-caliber (and larger) rounds have the potential to travel great distances if fired in an artillery-like fashion (with a high angle, which creates an indirect-fire situation), necessitating the observance of extensive safety margins when firing on a range.


A map with Barrett M82 users in blue
Norwegian M82 (foreground) in a long-range fire fight in Afghanistan

Non-state users[edit]

Awards and recognition[edit]

On February 26, 2016, the U.S. state of Tennessee named the Barrett Model M82 as its official state rifle.[46][47][48][49]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Barrett M82: the Gold Standard of Sniper Rifles and One of the Weaponry Countering Russian Forces in Ukraine". Defense Express.
  2. ^ "Model 82A1® specifications". Archived from the original on 2018-10-18. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  3. ^ "M107A1® specifications". Archived from the original on 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-10-17.
  4. ^ Suciu, Peter (2021-04-19). "MK22: The Army's New Sniper Rifle Looks Really Impressive". The National Interest. Retrieved 2021-07-22.
  5. ^ a b c McNab, Chris (24 March 2016). The Barrett Rifle: Sniping and anti-materiel rifles in the War on Terror. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-4728-1102-8. Retrieved 27 August 2023.
  6. ^ "Barret XM500". Modern Firearms. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  7. ^ The weapon is in use by Dutch marines, as part of ISAF. See van Bemmel, Noël (2009-08-11). "Met aangepaste Vikings en een reuzengeweer de Chora-vallei in" [With modified Vikings and a giant rifle into the Chora Valley]. de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  8. ^ Harnden, Toby (2000). Bandit Country: The IRA and South Armagh. London, UK: Coronet Books. pp. 372 & 392. ISBN 0-340-71737-8.
  9. ^ Harnden (2000), p. 400
  10. ^ Harnden (2000), p. 392
  11. ^ Harnden (2000), pp. 502-505
  12. ^ Harnden (2000), p. 403
  13. ^ Graham, Dave; Gottesdiener, Laura (August 4, 2021). "Mexico sues U.S. gun makers, eyes $10 billion in damages". Reuters. Retrieved August 6, 2021.
  14. ^ Oré, Diego; Jorgic, Drazen (August 6, 2021). "'Weapon of war': the U.S. rifle loved by drug cartels and feared by Mexican police". Reuters. Retrieved August 6, 2021. 'If you have a Barrett, it means that any non-special forces such as the local police and the municipal police cannot fight you,' Grandmaison said.
  15. ^ "U.S. Army Selects Barrett's M107 Rifle As One of the '2005 Top 10 Inventions'". July 28, 2005. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007.
  16. ^ Cox, Matthew (3 March 2020). "Army and Marines to Arm Snipers with Special Operations Multi-Caliber Sniper Rifle".
  17. ^ "Uruzgan Provincial Response Company and Australian Special Forces hit insurgents hard". Department of Defence. 5 November 2010. Archived from the original on 2013-07-20. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  18. ^ "50 Jahre Jagdkommando" [50 Years of the 'Jagdkommando']. (in German). 10 May 2013. Archived from the original on 2015-09-07. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak Gander, Terry, ed. (2006). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2006–2007. London, UK: Jane's Information Group. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-7106-2755-1.
  20. ^ Ruční Zbraně AČR [ACR Small Arms] (PDF) (in Czech). Ministerstvo obrany České republiky. 2007. pp. 70–73. ISBN 978-80-7278-388-5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  21. ^ "UN Register". U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Armament of the Georgian Army". Geo-Army.Ge. Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2007-06-25.
  23. ^ "Scharfschützengewehr G82" [G82 Sniper rifle]. Deutsches Heer (in German). 30 July 2007. Archived from the original on February 17, 2010. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  24. ^ Swami, Praveen (April 8, 2009). "Mumbai Police modernisation generates controversy". The Hindu. p. 1. Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2010.
  25. ^ Unnithan, Sandeep (July 20, 2020). "New tools for India's special forces". India Today. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  26. ^ "Barret M82A1: Kenyang Pengalaman Tempur, Dipercaya Kopassus Sebagai Senapan Anti Material" [Barret M82A1: Full of Combat Experience, Trusted by Kopassus as an Anti-Materiel Rifle]. (in Indonesian). 15 June 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-01-30.
  27. ^ Bokor, Daniella (25 January 2011). "The Engineering Corps Prepares for 2011". IDF Spokesperson. Archived from the original on January 28, 2011.
  28. ^ Shea, Dan (2009). "SOFEX 2008". Small Arms Defense Journal: 29.
  29. ^ "Stambaus kalibro snaiperio šautuvas BARRETT 82 A-1" [Large caliber sniper rifle BARRETT 82 A-1]. Lithuanian Armed Forces (in Lithuanian). Archived from the original on 28 July 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
  30. ^ Thompson, Leroy (December 2008). "Malaysian Special Forces". Tactical Life. Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  31. ^ Cristina Mirca (4 August 2023). "SUA au donat Armatei Naționale a R. Moldova un nou lot de echipamente militare, în valoare de trei milioane de dolari, în urma unui acord între cele două țări, semnat în anul 2019". TVR Moldova (in Romanian).
  32. ^ "Defence Force buying two new weapons". New Zealand Defence Force. 18 October 2017. Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  33. ^ Machado, Miguel (29 April 2018). "Em Lamego com as Operações Especiais do Exército (I)" [In Lamego with Special Army Operations (I)]. (in European Portuguese). Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  34. ^ "Competitia dintre .50 BMG si Lapua Magnum continua" [The competition between .50 BMG and Lapua Magnum continues]. TehnoMil (in Romanian). 24 June 2017.
  35. ^ "Antimaterijalne puške "Barrett"" ["Barrett" Anti-materiel rifles]. (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-01-25.
  36. ^ Chloupek, Ireneusz (13 May 2013). "5. PSU Gabčikowcy". (in Polish).
  37. ^ Yu-Won Yoo (2014-07-14). "특수부대의 특수한 무기들" [Special Forces Special Weapons]. The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). Archived from the original on 2014-07-20. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  38. ^ Luhn, Alec (21 December 2017). "Donald Trump approves deal for US to sell sniper rifles to Ukraine, angering Russia". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2018-04-20.
  39. ^ Nilsson, Maja (2022-06-02). "Sverige skickar Robot 17 till Ukraina – regeringen håller pressträff" [Sweden sends Rb 17 to Ukraine - government holds press conference]. Retrieved 2022-06-02.
  40. ^ Smallwood, Michael (November 19, 2015). "North American anti-materiel rifles with Houthi forces in Yemen". The Hoplite. Archived from the original on September 12, 2018. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
  42. ^ Dao, James (2001-10-07). "A NATION CHALLENGED: THE WEAPONS; In 80's, Afghan Militias Used U.S. Rifles". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on February 24, 2023. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  43. ^ Unson, John (July 9, 2017). "Shooting holes in the myth of the homemade 'Barrett' sniper rifle". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on May 5, 2023.
  44. ^ The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It. pp. 99–100.
  45. ^ Makichuk, Dave (21 February 2021). "The US sniper rifle that started a revolution". Asia Times. Archived from the original on April 29, 2023.
  46. ^ Van Huss, James (Micah) (February 26, 2016). "House Joint Resolution 231: A Resolution to designate the Barrett Model M82/M107 as the official rifle of the State of Tennessee" (PDF). Tennessee General Assembly. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 12, 2016.
  47. ^ Stockard, Sam (24 February 2016). "Rutherford County home to official state firearm". The Murfreesboro Post. Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016. The Barrett .50 resolution passed the House in 2015 sponsored by Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Johnson City, a former Marine who carried it while serving in Iraq from 2006 to 2010.
  48. ^ Sher, Andy (24 February 2016). "Tennessee names the Barrett .50 caliber as the state's official rifle". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016. Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Jeff Yarbro of Nashville cast the lone dissenting vote against making the Barrett rifle the state's official gun.
  49. ^ Smith, Aaron (26 February 2016). "Tennessee names .50 caliber Barrett as the state rifle". CNNMoney. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016.

External links[edit]