Big Buns And Big Guns: This Barrett Will Rock Your World!
The Barrett M82 .50 Cal is a beast of a gun. The recoil has been known to throw dirt in the eyes of the shooter and will leave your ears ringing but with proper protection and well-followed safety precautions shooting one can be a memorable experience.
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. Barrett began his work in the early 1980s, and the first working rifles were available in 1982, hence the designation M82.
Barrett designed every single part of the weapon personally and then went on to market the weapon and mass-produce it out of his own pocket. He continued to develop his rifle through the 1980s, and developed the improved M82A1 rifle by 1986.
The M82A1 is known by the US military as the SASR—”Special Applications Scoped Rifle”, and it was and still is used as an anti-materiel rifle and explosive ordnance disposal tool. The long effective range, over 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) (1.1 miles), along with high energy and availability of highly effective ammunition such as API and Raufoss Mk 211, allow for effective operations against targets such as radar cabins, trucks, parked aircraft, and the like. The M82 can also be used to defeat human targets from standoff range or against targets behind cover.
Further development led to the M82A2 bullpup rifle in 1987, which was a reduced-recoil design to be fired from the shoulder. It failed to make an impression on the world firearms market, and was soon dropped from production. However, in 2006, Barrett completed development of the XM500, which has a bullpup configuration similar to the M82A2.