Barrett Firearms staked their name in the long-range-rifle category with their M82 (which went into production in 1989) and later M107, both .50-cal BMG heavy hitters. They have since downsized to the MRAD series of bolt guns and the REC7, the latter an AR15-style rifle in 5.56 NATO and 6.8 SPC.
Well, now they have finally entered the AR-10 (7.62x51mm NATO) game and delivered the REC10 to market.
And, as a shocker, they have already got a military contract on it, which makes sense for units that are already using M110/SR25s and looking to upgrade.
More in my column at Guns.com.
A few interesting contracts have come through the DOD in the past couple months which could mean some big news for the Army’s 3,500 snipers across active, guard and reserve units as well as those in the U.S. Special Operations Command.
The first involves the a kind of under the radar (less than $3 million) contract to Tennessee-based Barrett Firearms or an undisclosed number of MRAD rifle systems chambered in .300 PRC, but the company said “MRAD’s robust design, user modularity and unfailing accuracy combined with the new cartridge designed by Hornady, offer an unbeatable system for long-range effectiveness.”
Barrett currently lists the bolt-action MRAD precision rifle in six calibers from .260 Remington to .338 Lapua Magnum, only recently adding the option for barrel conversion kits for the new Hornady round.
The 300 PRC, along with Hornady’s 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge, earlier this year earned the approval of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute. Described as the “6.5 Creedmoor’s big brother,” the 300 PRC gives precision rifle shooters a flat-shooting, heavy bullet that still brings 2,000 foot-pounds of energy at 500-yards, while still having a manageable recoil.
The second development is the first round of testing on the Army’s next generation of sniper camouflage began its first round of testing in Florida last month.
Termed the Improved Ghillie System, or IGS, contenders for the new lightweight system designed to break up the outline of a sniper’s figure while in a shooting position or stalk was put through several days of visual tests at Eglin Air Force Base in Western Florida by snipers drawn from across the Army. The system is intended to be the service’s first new ghillie suit in a decade, replacing the legacy Flame Resistant Ghillie System first fielded in 2008.
“The current kit is thick and heavy and comes with a lot of pieces that aren’t used,” said Maj. WaiWah Ellison, with the Army’s Program Executive Office Soldier, tasked with the update. “Soldiers are creating ghillie suits with their own materials to match their personal preference. We want to make the IGS simpler and modular so the snipers will use what is issued to them instead of relying on outside resources.”
These two images, of U.S. infantrymen some 100 years apart, show just how much the basic job of a foot soldier endures throughout time. You still feel exposed no matter what the cover is. You are still there for the Joe next to you. Your uncomfortable equipment is still made by the lowest bidder. You still just want to get through the day.
A two-man team from the 75th Ranger Regiment bested a crowded field of snipers from around the world last week in the 18th Annual International Sniper Competition– for the second time in as many years.
The other 29 teams in the week-long match ranged from one from the II Jutland Dragoons from Denmark (8th lace) to one from the 890th Paratroopers if the IDF (19th place) and the Dutch Army’s 42nd Limburgse Jagers.
More detail, images and video in my column at Guns.com
Sniper teams from eight NATO countries recently visited Austria to use the Alps for some specialized training at Austria’s Hochfilzen Training Area. In such a beautiful part of Europe, the released photos from the event look like they came right from a postcard, but with a bonus sniper team inserted.
More in my column at Guns.com
The great combined Austro-Hungarian Army of Emperor Franz Josef– as well as its two national reserve forces, the Royal Hungarian Honvéd and Imperial Austrian Landwehr–fielded the enbloc clip-fed Mannlicher M1895 rifle for the last few decades of its existence.
Chambered in 8x50mmR, some 3.5 million(ish) of these were made by FEG in Hungary and Steyr in Austria as well as by CZ/Brno (the latter just starting in 1918.)
The straight-pull bolt action typically used a 30-inch barrel to produce a very hefty 50-inch rifle.
However, one of the rarer variants, sniper rifles which used telescopic sights made by Reichert, Kahles, Suss, Fuess, and Oigee, saw much lower production numbers, with just 13,000 made. Luckily Austria was home to the lion-share of optics makers at the time!
An even rarer subset of these was the M95 sniper carbine. Yes, sniper carbine.
And, as the Italians took most of these for war reparations in 1919-20, which Rome subsequently scrapped, they are one of the rarest of all sniper breeds.
My homie Ian has details on such a rifle, below.
Two pictures, about a century apart, but in the same part of the world and with the same context.
Just waiting for ET to kick up a fight somewhere past Uranus sometime around 2090, then we can put a Space Force sniper team here for a third picture follow-up.