The Barrett M82A1 has a cool backstory that not a lot of people are familiar with.
The mastermind behind the Barrett M82A1, Ronnie Barrett, worked as a photographer in the late 1970’s. It was around this time that he developed a slight obsession with the idea of a semiauto .5o caliber rifle.
In Barrett’s day the only civilian .50 BMG cartridges were conversion of WWII antitank rifles.
Take quick look at this video review of the Barrett M82A1 and then continue reading to get the rest of the scoop on this famous .50 cal.
Barrett approached some machine shops for some advice and assistance on a design sketch that he had been working on. He originally began work on the rifle in his garage and was able to create a functioning prototype after only a few years.
Sales came mostly from gun shows and publications until he made his first military sale to the swedish government in 1989. This obviously sparked some interest by the US military who shortly placed an order as well.
Despite popular opinion, the rifle is not really a “sniper rifle”. Due to the rifle’s design the accuracy is much less than that of typical bolt action sniper rifles used by use military and police departments. The weapon is used primarily as an EOD rifle to detonate heavy-walled unexploded shells at a safe distance.