Test: Barrett MRAD

Barrett MRAD
The cheekpiece on the foldable skeleton-stock with the short Picatinny rail is height-adjustable, while the shoulder support can be pulled out

The Barrett MRAD (Multi Role Adaptive Design) is a precision rifle designed just the way the US military wants it. It strongly resembles the BARRETT 2008 Model 98B, but has a folding stock and a larger selection of barrels: three lengths with 51, 62 and 69 cm, either as heavy barrel or, as for the test rifle, fluted. But always with a 238 mm twist rate (1:9.35 inch) and here via a 3⁄4-20 inch UNF-muzzle thread reinforced with double chamber brake. A locking sleeve is screwed onto the cartridge chamber. This accepts the counterpart for the locking lugs. The seating of the 3,190 gram barrel in the receiver runs over the entire surface area of the rifle. The stock is made of high-strength aluminum alloy, here anodized dark brown. The octagonal cross-sectioned fore-end has a long, ventilated hand guard and a Picatinny rail.

The MRAD proves to be very well-made in every sense and is a feast for the eyes for all fans of high-tech repeaters. Its stock offers sufficient adjustment options, and the muzzle brake operates effectively. 

The trigger characteristic may be idiosyncratic, but it produced good shooting results – also at the far more meaningful 300-meter range: cartridges 1 to 4 delivered groups of 53 to 33 mm; the best score was obtained with the Hornady cartridge. The first-choice buy is the rifle with the 26 inch barrel: magnum cartridges demand long barrels to develop their energy. A stable ground spade would have been good. 

Barrett MRAD
The bolt has nine locking cams on the head. The entire element moves in the receiver housing in two plastic cylinders, in the picture the larger of the two. It is slotted longitudinally and diagonally for the travel of the bolt handle
Barrett MRAD
On the left over the pistol grip in M-16 style sits the safety lever with "S" and "F" - if it is turned to the middle position, the lever and then the trigger module can be removed
Barrett MRAD
The plastic magazine is double-rowed. According to the specification of the US Army, it has to fall out freely at the press of the button

All in all: a very good rifle. Conceived especially for the military and services, it will probably also appeal to some sport shooters – even though the price of €7,900 hits the wallet hard.

Range of uses for the Barrett MRAD

The Barrett MRAD fulfills all the expectations of a good weapon for the military and services. It is less suited for sport and hunting.

Barrett MRAD in Overview

Barrett MRAD
€ 7.900
.338 Lapua Magnum
10 + 1 cartridges
Barrel lenght:
688 mm (twist 1:9.35")
Total lenght:
1.055 / 1.258 mm
Trigger weight:
1.370 g
6.850 g

Features: Bolt with nine locking lugs, fluted match barrel, muzzle brake, folding shaft, pistol grip, long and short Picatinny rails

Shooting test: Barrett MRAD in .338 LM

No.Factory cartridge
1250 grs Lapua Scenar GB488
21 (15) mm
2250 grs MEN Sniper Line Match
27 (19) mm
3250 grs RWS Target Elite Plus
22 mm
4285 grs Hornady Match BTHP
23 mm

Remarks: Grouping = five-shot groups, shot sitting from the bench rest support at 100 m distance, reported in millimeters, measured from the shot-hole centers. Bracketed values after subtraction of one outlier

Abbreviations / bullet codes: BTHP: Boat Tail Hollow Point 

VISIER Evaluation of the BARRETT MRAD 

VISIER Evaluation

Precision (max. 50 points)
46 points
Stock (max. 10 points)
10 points
Trigger (max. 10 points)
 8 points
Magazine/Handling (max. 5 points)
 5 points
Sight (max. 5 points)
 4 points
Receiver/Function (max. 10 points)
 8 points
Finishing (max. 10 points)
10 points
Total points (max. 100 points)
91 points
Test result
Commendations****** (6 di 6 commendations)

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