Barrett M82: Large-caliber sniper rifle

Despite the fact that since the end of the last century many “specialists” have predicted the future as the main weapon of military snipers, large-caliber sniper rifles, the CWS does not become such. However, the popularity of such weapons is growing by leaps and bounds; He is credited with incredible opportunities such as confidently hitting the enemy precisely in the head at a distance of more than 2000 thousand meters, and there are even such bikes in which heavy tanks appear as victims of these rifles.

But we will not multiply the folklore, but we will try to clarify certain points and understand the large-caliber sniper rifles of only one manufacturer, but which one! This article will be the first of a whole series in which we will focus on Barrett large-caliber sniper rifles. Let’s start with a small history of the creation of this weapon and go through the whole family of rifles Barrett m82.

The history of the creation of the first rifle really makes you think about the possibilities of people in different countries. So the creator of weapons, Ronnie Barrett, did not work at any weapon enterprise, was not a certified specialist and, although he had minimal relation to weapons, being a former law enforcement officer, but at the time, rank him as a person directly related to the weapons industry. obviously not.

However, at the age of 28 in 1982, he designed the first rifle in his basement garage. M82. I do not know how anyone, but I have only one question on this fact, how many years I would get for the same development, no matter how unique it would be. Not to mention trying to buy ammunition for it, because the creation of weapons is not limited to calculations on paper, you need to bring the design “to mind” when it is already made in hardware. But let’s leave the question of opportunities for people in different countries, especially since it turned out that the availability of opportunities does not always determine the presence of success. This happened at the initial stage with Barrett’s weapon.

Apparently, the pension of the former police officers in the United States is not the greatest, since initially Ronnie Barrett didn’t even plan to manufacture the weapon itself, but decided to take a simpler path. Having received a patent for his development, he decided to sell the right to manufacture and further develop these weapons to one of the large weapon companies, but none of them became interested in the new large-caliber rifle. It was rather strange, since among the companies that were invited to make such an acquisition were such far-sighted giants as Winchester and Fabrique National. However, the time of such a weapon is really just not yet at that time.

Nevertheless, despite his failure to sell the rights to weapons, Barrett did not give up, got into debt, but opened his own small company, which was engaged in the production of large-caliber sniper rifle. Among the customers of Ronnie Barrett, there was initially neither military nor athletes; there were only amateurs who, from a few sources, found out about the weapons and the small company that produces it. For this reason, it is not surprising that the first years of its activities the company Barrett Firearms Manufacturing balanced on the verge of bankruptcy.

It is also noteworthy that at the same time M82 was upgraded to M82A1, which completely replaced the original version of the weapon, which was never permanent and constantly developed. When it was necessary to think about closing the company and burying the very idea of ​​developing, producing and selling large-caliber sniper rifles, an unexpected rescue came. The rescue of the company was in the form of the army of Sweden in 1989, which immediately ordered 100 weapons. This not only pushed the company up, but also forced the US Army to pay attention to this rifle, especially since at that time it needed just such a weapon.

To begin the countdown of the relevance of large-caliber sniper rifles can be different, many even quite convincingly uphold the position that the beginning of the spread of CWS can be considered the time of the spread of anti-tank guns. In my humble opinion, the main starting point for the development of such weapons was the time of the operations “Desert Shield” and “Desert Storm”. It was there that one of the largest armies of the world urgently needed a long-range and accurate weapon, capable of striking not only the enemy’s living force in open terrain, but also for light shelters, as well as for the destruction of lightly armored vehicles and vehicles. Well, the demand naturally spawned a supply, or rather, revived, since the supply was already very long time ago.

Moving a little further away from the topic of Barrett’s large-caliber sniper rifles, it should be noted that these hostilities had already more seriously raised the issue of deactivating the 5.56 cartridge, which was much less effective than the Soviet 7.62. So, according to the recollections of the participants in these events, they were often under AKM fire, which they simply could not respond effectively due to the smaller effective range of the ammunition. For example, in certain situations, US soldiers fired at the sighting targets, but they could respond more quickly with disturbing than with aimed fire.

But, as we know, “it’s still there,” and although the question of replacing 5.56 with something 6-7 millimeters is a very relevant and interesting topic, let’s return to our sheep, that is, “Barrettas.” Initially, 125 units of weapons were purchased for the Marine Corps, after it was tested in a short time, what kind of beast “Barrett M82A1“, Literally everything was connected to the purchases. Even the US Air Force did not stand aside, and, in addition to the army, the police decided to buy these weapons too, however, why these rifles for law enforcement officers can only be guessed.

The exact number of rifles that were ordered is unknown, but Barrett himself marks this time as the hardest in his life, since there was no end of orders and he had to work day and night, while solving issues about the expansion of the enterprise and entering into new and new contracts for supply of weapons. But naturally, this could not go on forever.

Sooner or later the hype with large-caliber rifles Barrett subsided, and there was another lull. In order for Barrett’s company not to begin to live again, it was necessary to continue to develop their weapons, creating new modifications and realizing something new.

In general, the history of modifications of Barrett’s large-caliber sniper rifles is quite interesting and diverse. In spite of the fact that Barrett had implemented a new automatic system for his weapon, but it was close to the ideal one for a large-caliber rifle. Nevertheless, the question of fairly strong recoil of the weapon remained open. Realizing that various barrel dampers would significantly affect the reliability and accuracy of the weapon, Barrett began experimenting with muzzle retardation brake compensators, trying to find in their design a compromise between reducing recoil and minimal impact on the ballistic of bullets.

Among the designs of muzzle brakes, recoil compensators of the original versions of sniper rifles Barrett met a variety of their device. Although the principle of action for all of them is the same, but the results of their application are different. We will not consider all variants of muzzle brakes, recoil compensators, it is only necessary to note that the one by which one can unmistakably recognize a sniper rifle Barrett, in the form of an arrowhead, appeared in 1986.

After the army and all those who wished were “fed up” M82A1, Something unimaginable appeared on the market – a large-caliber sniper rifle, the main targets of which were air guns. In fact M82A2 It was designed long before it entered the market, back in 1987 it was already ready to be launched into production. But as the company experienced not the best times, it remained in the form of a prototype. It’s impossible to argue that such a weapon is interesting, but apparently Ronnie Barrett forgot that air targets fly at several different speeds than, say, during World War I and get into a jet fighter when it’s in the air with a rifle unless it’s possible by chance.

Thus, the only possible targets for this weapon remained helicopters, but even with them, despite a higher probability, it was not at all clever and effective to fire such weapons. For this reason, this rifle, assembled in a bullpup layout and actually laying on the shoulder of the arrow, did not receive any distribution, except that a small number of enthusiasts drew attention to this model of weapon.

The next model from the sniper rifle family Barrett has become M82A1M. The fact is that in view of the urgent need for a large-caliber sniper rifle in the US Army, it seems they have forgotten that they have their own requirements for weapons, so they took what they have. Apparently, recalling them, Barrett’s company was ordered to develop a rifle already fully compliant with the requirements. So there was an upgrade M82A1. Unlike its predecessor, this model has three bipods, removable open sights in case of failure of an optical sight, a removable handle for carrying weapons and a long Picatinny-type guide almost half the length of the receiver.

The Marines, as usual, decided to stand out and presented their requirements for the new rifle, so it appeared M82A3. So, the open sights of this rifle were made fixed, it was decided to leave the fixing bar long, with an optical sight attached to it, as well as a handle for carrying the weapon. Bipods butt no. The rifle itself is made lightweight, by reducing to the possible minimum the thickness of the parts. Also, some changes were made to the muzzle brake-recoil compensator.

The following rifles are usually isolated into a separate family, but you can’t catch us. M107 and M107CQ constitute nothing more than recycled M82A1M. Modernization was to change the materials from which the weapon was made, which reduced the weight of the rifle and increased its durability. The technology of manufacturing the trunk has also been changed, but how exactly it is changed, naturally, no one says. Between themselves, the models differ only in the length of the barrel. The shorter one is intended for use on armored vehicles, as well as for armament during landing from the air. It is also impossible to pass by OSW, under grenade launchers with a caliber of 25 millimeters, which is also made on the basis of a rifle. M82A1M.

Automatics sniper rifles Barrett families M82 built on the principle of a short barrel stroke. In the normal position, the bolt locks the barrel bore for 3 combat stops. When fired due to the pressure of the powder gases on the bottom of the liner, the bolt and barrel bounded together begin to move backwards. After passing a distance of 25 millimeters, the shutter begins to turn, unlocking the barrel. The shutter rotates due to the interaction of the tide on its surface and the notch in the bolt carrier.

At the same time, the main “trick” of the entire automation system is that when uncoupling, the barrel is not simply hampered by striking the frame or slowly stops due to the return spring, but transfers the remaining energy to the bolt through the lever, accelerating it. The bolt continues its movement back, removing the cartridge case from the chamber. Having reached its extreme rear point, the shutter stops, and the drummer is fixed with a sear. Under the action of two of their own return springs, both the barrel and the bolt begin to move forward, with the bolt delivering a new cartridge into the chamber and turning to lock the barrel bore, but because of the tide’s interaction on its surface, you have a figured cutout in the frame.

Well, now a fly in the ointment for all fans of large-caliber sniper rifles. Shooting accuracy of M82 Depending on the model, using match class cartridges is 1.5-2 angular minutes. Speaking in our opinion, the deviation from the aiming point will be approximately 20-30 centimeters at a distance of 500 meters. In general, for a weapon that was originally designed to destroy lightly armored vehicles, the result is quite satisfactory, but how such a rifle fits for everything else, decide for yourself, remembering to make an amendment to the automation.


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