The Barrett M82 is a semi-automatic anti-material rifle. This powerful rifle was developed in the 80s for anti-material engagements, and was fielded in 1982. Barrett quickly made mass sales of this sniper rifle to multiple state military forces, including the Swedish Armed Forces and the U.S. Marine Corps. Currently, this anti-material rifle is in service with the military and law enforcement of nearly 60 countries around the world, often for anti-personnel engagements.
However, this rifle was primarily designed for long-range destruction of sensitive and delicate equipment, like parked aircraft, radar units, trucks and various mission-critical assets. It is also used for remote destruction of explosive ordnance.
Although it was originally designed as an anti-material rifle, this weapon is also used for long-range sniper engagements. It can neutralize enemy snipers at long ranges, well beyond rifleman distance with little loss in penetrating power, so this rifle was often used to hit enemy soldiers behind cover and walls. Its powerful ammunition can penetrate through bricks and concrete at extended range.
The Barrett M82 uses the powerful 12.7×99 mm (.50 BMG) round. This ammunition was originally developed by Browning and used in the M2 heavy machine gun. Because of this, the Barrett M82 is sometimes referred as “Light Fifty.”
The Barrett M82 has a unique mechanism for recoil reduction. The muzzle brake, in field testing, absorbs 70% of the recoil, reducing the forces that impact the shooter and act on internal mechanisms.
This rifle uses 10-round replaceable magazines.
To give the shooter the necessary sight accuracy, the Barrett M82 is usually fitted with 10x magnification scope, and can be also used with night vision scopes. In the event that the scope is damaged, it has a flip-up iron sight for emergency use. Recently, Barrett has included a Picatinny-type scope rail on top of the receiver.
Modern versions come with quick-detachable carrying handle, replacing the built-in handle that the original M82 had. This rifle also has a detachable bipod. This weapon can be fitted with a 3-point low-carry sling. However, due to its size and delicate optical attachments, the Barrett M82 is usually carried in a fortified case.