The Barrett MRAD ("Multi-Role Adaptive Design") sniper rifle is a relatively new and current offering by the famous Barrett Firearms Company responsible for the classic M82 series of 0.50 caliber heavy sniper rifles (detailed elsewhere on this site). The MRAD is of more conventional design and size for infantry-level units, chambered for several widely-available rifle cartridges, and functions from a manually-actuated bolt-action system. Design of the rifle is attributed to Chris Barrett and the product was originally developed to satisfy a 2009 US SOCOM (Special Operations COMmand) requirement for a modern precision-minded rifle system (the "Precision Rifle Rifle"). However, the service elected to take on the Remington "Modular Sniper Rifle" ("MSR") instead.
Nevertheless, the MRAD is known to be used by elements of Israeli special police (Yaman), the New Zealand Army, and Norwegian special operations forces. It was also endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) in 2012 by being named "Rifle of the Year".
The MRAD is a refined form of the earlier Barrett Model 98B developed by Ronnie Barrett in 1997 and the Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Company. These entered production in 2008. The M98B was modified to required levels for the SOCOM requirement.
Modularity and customizability are at the core of the rifle's design: the MRAD sports a lightweight folding stock that allows the assembly to be folded over the receiver and decreases the rifle's overall travel length when on-the-march. At the butt-end of the rifle is an adjustable (push-button) shoulder pad/recoil pad and height-adjustable polymer cheekpiece. The bolt-action lever sits over the right side of the receiver in the usual way and its guide is constructed of polymer for smoother bolt cycling. The pistol grip can be swapped out for other M4/M16-style units. The fully-adjustable trigger is enclosed by a strong, oversized ring (to better serve a gloved hand) and a thumb safety can be swapped from the left or right side of the body.
Depending on chambering (this being user-changeable), the rifle can fire typical rifle cartridges available to the Warfighter today including (but not limited to) .338 Lapua Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, and .308 Winchester. Magazines (of 10-round count and polymer construction) are inserted into a well ahead of the trigger group and a paddle-style, ambidextrous magazine release is featured. The ejection port sits just above the magazine feed. M1913 Picatinny rail sections over the receiver (this section being of 22" length), under and to either side of the forend/hand guard offering a plethora of mounting options concerning sighting devices, hinged/folding bipod supports, and other tactical accessories. At the rifle's "business end" is a multi-slotted muzzle brake that can be replaced with a suppressor for clandestine operations.
Three barrel lengths are offered: 17", 20", 24", 26", and 27" driving overall weapon lengths to 40" to 50". Two bolts allow the weapon to be converted to multiple calibers and barrel lengths. Furthermore, barrels can be procured in fluted or unfluted forms to better serve customer interests.
Various finishes for the MRAD are offered: Grey, Dark Earth, Green, Bronze and traditional Black.
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