The Barrett M90 was produced and designed by Barrett Firearms in 1990 as a bolt action, bullpop sniper rifle which was a more civilian friendly large caliber firearm to the Barrett M82A1. The weapon has been replaced by the Barrett M95.
The Barrett M90 firearm was produced and developed in 1990 by Barrett Firearms Co. of America to attract consumers who sought a .50 caliber rifle with a bolt action as opposed to the traditional semi-automatic design that was included in the initial model Barrett M82A1. The new rifle was lighter and shorter than the original Barrett M82A1 and far less expensive than the rifle. In 1995, after a good market run, the rifle was replaced by the upgraded M95 which is currently still in full scale production. The weapon is used by competition shooters in the civilian long range division throughout the world as well as by numerous law enforcement and military agencies. The M95 won an army competition and thus lucrative contract in the year 1999 for the Barrett XM-107 .50 sniper rifle. The United States Army then purchased a good number and further researched and tested the weapon. The M95 is also used in about fifteen other countries throughout the world. The M95's operational purpose is for anti-material, explosive ordinance disposal and counter sniper operations.
The Barrett M90 features a bullpop layout and manual operation in a bolt action rifle. The firearm's rotating bolt has three large lugs that directly lock into the barrel. The barrel on the weapon is long and fluted and very similar to the barrel used in the Barrett M82A1 rifle. The firearm also has the same two chambers reactive muzzle brake. The receiver of the weapon is forged from stamped sheet steel and is composed of two distinct parts (lower and upper). Each part is connected by stable push pins. The firearm's detachable box magazine is considerably shallower than the standard magazine on the M82A1 firearms and can hold only about 5 rounds. The trigger and the pistol handle are located just ahead of the magazine and the buttpad of the firearm is positioned directly to the receiver. The M90 features a scope mounted towards the top of the receiver. The most common positioned scope is the 10X Leupold M series sight. The weapon was not designed to be discharged from the shoulder, and comes equipped with an integral folding bipod on the front end of the lower receiver.
M95 Versus the M90
The Barrett M95 is a much improved variant of the M90. The weapon features a pistol handle and the trigger on the weapon is moved forward about 1 inch (25) for an improved clearance between the pistol grip and the magazine, therefore, the creating a more comfortable shooting and handling experience. The bolt handle of the weapon received an improved redesign and bend down towards the rear of the rifle. The barrel chamber of the weapon is chrome plate which aides in resistance to corrosion and assists extraction. The weapon also has some improvements in the firing pin mechanism and the trigger.