The Barrett Model 99 "Big Shot" or M99 rifle was produced and manufactured by the Barrett Firearms Company of the United States and first introduced in 1999.
Barrett is better known worldwide for its previous .50 caliber rifles, the bolt action M95 and the semi-automatic M82A1.
The M99 is well positioned on the weapons marketplace as a .50 caliber sniper / special applications rifle that is inexpensive yet extremely accurate long range. The M99 comes available in two basically similar modifications, which are the M99 and M99-1. The latter variation being fitted with a shorter barrel.
The M99 was created as a sniper rifle or long range weapon when applications where rate of fire is of far less value than the precise accuracy. The M99-1 is much better suited for urban operations (like explosive ordinance disposal or counter-sniper operations) where ranges are generally short but powerful .50 caliber bullets are still needed to do the job.
The M99 is also often used for long range competition, and the weapon was used in 2001 to set a current world record in 1000 yards .50BMG competition, with the smallest recorded group of 5 shots being only 4.09 inch (104 mm) small.
Comparison to Barrett Models M95 and M82
The M99 (msrp $3,399.00) from inception was designed to be a lower cost alternative to the popular Barrett Model 95 (msrp $5,540.00). Despite being externally similar to numerous earlier Barrett M95 rifle (sans magazine), the M99 distinctly differs from from the M95 in the following aspects:
* M99 is a solely a single-shot bolt action rifle rather than the magazine feed of its predecessors. This means that after each shot a fresh cartridge must be loaded by hand into the receiver opening (spent case is ejected automatically when the bolt is opened).
* The M99 bolt has numerous lugs instead of the conventional three lugs as with the M95 bolt.
* The one piece receiver of the latter M99 is made from an aluminum alloy, as opposed to the two-part stamped steel receivers on M82 and M95.
* The heavy fluted barrels of the M99 are equipped with large and effective muzzle brakes.
* M99 rifles do not come equipped with sights, and a M1913 Picatinny (modified Weaver) rail is consistently formed as an integral part of the receiver, this allows for wide variety of sighting devices to be easily installed.
* M99 rifles come with the detachable folding bi-pod with easily adjustable legs.
* The trigger group along with the pistol handle of the weapon is attached to the receiver by the basic push-pins and can be quickly detached for maintenance and cleaning.