Type Anti-materiel rifle
Place of origin United States
In service 1989–present
Used by See Users
Designer Ronnie Barrett
Manufacturer Barrett Firearms Manufacturing
Unit cost $8,900
Variants M82A1, M82A1A, M82A1M, M82A2, M82A3, M107
Weight 30.9 lbs (14.0 kg) (with 29 inch barrel) or 29.7 lbs (13.5 kg) (with 20 inch barrel) (M82A1)
Length 57 inches (145 cm) (with 29 inch barrel) or 48 inches (122 cm) (with 20 inch barrel) (M82A1)
Barrel length 29 inches (73.7 cm) or 20 inches (50.8 cm)
Cartridge .50 BMG (12.7x99mm NATO)
Action Recoil-operated, rotating bolt
Muzzle velocity 853 m/s (2,799 ft/s)
Effective range 1,850 m (6,070 ft)
Feed system 10-round detachable box magazine
Sights Fixed front, adjustable rear sight; MIL-STD-1913 rail provided for optics
The M82 (also more recently known as the M107) is a recoil-operated, semi-automatic anti-materiel rifle developed by the American Barrett Firearms Manufacturing. A heavy SASR (Special Application Scoped Rifle), it is used by many units and armies around the world. It is also called the "Light Fifty" for its .50 caliber BMG (12.7 mm) chambering. The weapon is found in two variants — the original M82A1 (and A3) and the bullpup M82A2. The M82A2 is no longer manufactured, though the XM500 can be seen as its successor, in that it also employs a bullpup configuration.
Barrett Firearms Manufacturing was founded by Ronnie Barrett for the single purpose of building semi-automatic rifles chambered for the powerful 12.7x99mm 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 continued to develop his rifle through the 1980s, and developed the improved M82A1 rifle by 1986.
The first conventional military success was the sale of about 100 M82A1 rifles to the Swedish Army in 1989. Major success followed in 1990, when the United States armed forces purchased significant numbers of the M82A1 during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Kuwait and Iraq. About 125 rifles were initially bought by the United States Marine Corps, and orders from Army and Air Force soon followed. 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-matériel weapon and EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) tool. The long effective range, over 1,500 metres (4,900 ft), along with high energy and availability of highly effective ammunition such as API and Raufoss Mk 211, allows for effective operations against targets like 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. However, anti-personnel use is not a major application for the M82 (or any other .50 BMG rifle, for that matter). There is a widespread misconception that a number of treaties have banned use of the .50 BMG against human targets, and recruits have been advised by generations of drill instructors to only aim a .50 BMG at an enemy soldier's web gear or other equipment worn on his body. However, the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's office has issued a legal opinion that the .50 BMG and even the Raufoss Mk 211 round are legal for use against enemy personnel.
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 the XM500, which has a bullpup configuration similar to the M82A2.
M107, almost identical to the M82A1M/A3.
The latest derivative of the M82 family is the M82A1M rifle, adopted by USMC as the M82A3 SASR and bought in large numbers. This rifle differs from M82A1 in that it has a full length Picatinny rail that allows a wide variety of scopes and sighting devices to be mounted on the rifle. Other changes are the addition of a rear monopod, slightly lightened mechanism and detachable bipod and muzzle brake.
Another variant of the original weapon is the M82A1A Special Application Scoped Rifle, an almost identical model but specifically designed to fire the Raufoss Mk 211 Mod 0 round, a type of API (Armour Piercing Incendiary) ammunition.
Barrett M82 rifles were bought by various military and police forces from at least 30 countries, such as Brazil, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Indonesia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and others. The M82 also is widely used for civilian .50 caliber long range shooting competitions, being fired accurately out to 3,000 feet (910 m) and even further.
A U.S. Navy EOD Commander in Afghanistan. For a reference frame, this sailor is 6'4" tall.
A U.S. Army sniper with Bravo Company, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division stands ready to engage targets during a mission on the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq, Dec. 28, 2005.
The United States Coast Guard uses the Barrett M82 rifle for drug interdictions. Effective interdiction requires that personnel on Coast Guard cutters be able to deliver accurate fire to stop high-speed drug runners. Similarly, Barrett M82 rifles have attracted attention from law enforcement agencies; they have been adopted by the New York City Police Department. If it becomes necessary to immobilize a vehicle, a .50 BMG round in the engine block will shut it down quickly. If it is necessary to breach barriers, a .50 BMG round will penetrate most commercial brick walls and concrete blocks.
According to the documentary The Brooklyn Connection, M82s smuggled into Kosovo by sympathizers in the United States have quickly become popular long range sniper rifles in the Kosovo Liberation Army. In Northern Ireland during the 1990s, the South Armagh Brigade of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) maintained an extremely effective and intensive sniping campaign against the British Army and the Royal Ulster Constabulary police. The Barrett rifle was in 1997 to kill the last British soldier to die during The Troubles, Stephen Restorick. Later, a top IRA sniper, Michael Caraher, was arrested and his Barrett rifle was captured by British forces. Caraher caused the death of 7 British soldiers and 2 police officers.
As a side note, the Barrett M82A1 rifle was used in 2002 as a platform for the experimental OSW (Objective Sniper Weapon) prototype. This weapon was fitted with a shorter barrel of 25 mm caliber, and fired high explosive shells developed for the 25 x 59 mm OCSW automatic grenade launcher. The experimental OSW showed an increased effectiveness against various targets, but the recoil was beyond human limitations. This weapon, also known as the Barrett 'Payload Rifle', has now been designated the XM109.
 M82 to M107
The XM107 was originally intended to be a bolt-action sniper rifle, and it was selected by the U.S. Army in a competition between such weapons. However, the decision was made that the US Army did not, in fact, require such a weapon. The rifle originally selected under the trials to be the XM107 was the Barrett M95.
Then the Army decided on the Barrett M82, a semi-automatic rifle. In summer 2002, the M82 finally emerged from its Army trial phase and was approved for "full materiel release", meaning it was officially adopted as the Long Range Sniper Rifle, Caliber .50, M107. The M107 uses a Leupold 4.5x14 Mark-IV scope.
The Barrett M107 is a .50 caliber, shoulder fired, semi-automatic sniper rifle. Like its predecessors the rifle is said to have manageable recoil for a weapon of its size owing to the barrel assembly that itself absorbs force, moving inward toward the receiver against large springs with every shot. Additionally the weapon's weight and large muzzle brake also assist in recoil reduction. Various changes were made to the original M82A1 to create the M107, with new features such as a lengthened accessory rail, rear grip and monopod socket. Barrett has recently been tasked with developing a lightweight version of the M107 under the "Anti-Materiel Sniper Rifle Congressional Program," and has already come up with a scheme to build important component parts such as the receiver frame and muzzle brake out of lighter weight materials.
The Barrett M107, like previous members of the M82 line, are also referred to as the Barrett "Light Fifty". The designation has in many instances supplanted earlier ones, with the M107 being voted one of 2005's Top 10 Military Inventions by the U.S. Army.
 Barrett M107CQ
A commercial development of the "new" M107, the M107CQ is specifically designed where the firepower of a .50 caliber rifle is required, but the bulk of the M82/M107 series prevents the weapon from being used. The M107CQ is 9" shorter in overall length (all in the barrel) and 5 pounds lighter than the M107. According to the manufacturer the M107CQ is suitable for use in helicopters, force protection watercraft, tactical scout land vehicles and as an urban soldier's combat multiplier for close quarter battles.
 Technical description
Demonstration of a Barrett rifle during a training course at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
A USMC Scout Sniper with an M82A3 .50-caliber rifle.
The M82 is a short recoil semi-automatic firearm. When the gun is fired, the barrel initially recoils for a short distance (about 1 in/25 mm) being securely locked by the rotating bolt. After the short travel, a post on the bolt engaged in the curved cam track in the receiver turns the bolt to unlock it from the barrel. As soon as the bolt unlocks, the accelerator arm strikes it back, transferring part of the recoil energy of the barrel to the bolt to achieve reliable cycling. Then the barrel is stopped and the bolt continues back, to extract and eject a spent case. On its return stroke, the bolt strips the fresh cartridge from the box magazine and feeds it into the chamber and finally locks itself to the barrel. The striker also is cocked on the return stroke of the bolt. The gun is fed from a large detachable box magazine holding up to 10 rounds, although a rare 12 round magazine was developed for use in the first Gulf War.
The receiver is made from two parts (upper and lower), stamped from sheet steel and connected by cross-pins. The heavy barrel is fluted to improve heat dissipation and save weight, and fitted with a large and effective reactive muzzle brake. On the earlier models the muzzle brakes had a round cross-section; later M82 rifles are equipped with two-chamber brakes of rectangular cross-section.
M82A1 rifles are fitted with scope mount and folding backup iron sights, should the glass scope break. The US Military M82 rifles are often equipped with Leupold Mark 4 telescopic sights. The M82A1M (USMC M82A3) rifles have long Picatinny accessory rails mounted and US Optics telescopic sights. Every M82 rifle is equipped with a folding carrying handle and a folding bipod (both are detachable on the M82A3). The M82A3 is also fitted with a detachable rear monopod under the butt. The buttpad is fitted with a soft recoil pad to further decrease the felt recoil. M82A1 and M82A3 rifles could be mounted on the M3 or M122 infantry tripods (originally intended for machine guns) or on vehicles using the special Barrett soft-mount. The M82A1 can be fitted with a carry sling but according to those who carried it in the field, the M82 is much too uncomfortable to be carried on a sling due to its excessive length and heavy weight. It is usually carried in a special carry soft or hard case.
The M82A2 differed from M82A1 mostly in its configuration—that the pistol grip along with trigger had been placed ahead of the magazine, and the buttpad has been placed below the receiver, just after the magazine. An additional forward grip was added below the receiver, and the scope mount has been moved forward too.
It has been erroneously cited that the maximum range of this weapon (specifically the M107 variant) is 6,800m. This is, in fact, the distance as quoted in the owners manual that should be allowed downrange for bullet travel. .50 calibre rounds and above have the potential to travel great distances if fired in an artillery-like fashion, necessitating the observance of large safety margins when firing on a range.
The Barrett M82 has been seen in a number of Hollywood action films (e.g. Navy SEALs, RoboCop, Miami Vice, Smokin' Aces, Shooter, Rambo), often depicted with exaggerated capabilities. Misconceptions include being able to shoot down airliners; while the M82 was designed to disable parked aircraft, it is extremely unlikely that even the most highly trained marksman would be able to bring down a flying airplane firing the entire 10-round magazine, let alone one shot. After the advent of the autocannon and its highly successful use in World War II, the .50 BMG was phased out of first line air-to-air use. In spite of clear disadvantages, it persisted in US use through the 1950s, most notably as the primary armament of the F-86 Sabre.
The Barrett M82A1 being fired.
Non-Armor-Penetrating .50 BMG Ball in steel plate, 360 ft/110 m.
Like most full powered rifle rounds, especially those firing full metal jacketed bullets, the M82 easily penetrates Type IV body armor and most common building materials. With its added power due to its scale, the M82 is among those rifles that can additionally pierce hard armors and level 8 ballistic glass (considered the strongest available). Due to these capabilities, the M82 is used as an example of big bore rifles whose public sale is opposed by gun control proponents; the Violence Policy Center lists more than thirty incidents (five involving Barrett-made weapons) in which criminals have used .50 caliber rifles. The banning of .50 caliber rifles to non-governmental owners in California and discussion of similar legislation in other states has led Barrett to offer rifles in a proprietary caliber of similar performance, the .416 Barrett that is smaller in diameter, faster, and has an improved ballistic coefficient that could penetrate better.
In response to California's ban of civilian ownership of .50 caliber rifles, Barrett suspended sales and service to all law enforcement agencies in California.
 Official designations
 U.S. designation summary
M82 12.7×99mm Barrett M82 semi-automatic rifle.
M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle. Improved variant including redesigned muzzle brake.
M82A1A 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle variant. Optimized for use with the Mk 211 Mod 0 .50 caliber round.
M82A1M 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle variant. Improved variant including lengthened accessory rail. Includes rear grip and monopod socket.
M82A2 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A2 semi-automatic bullpup rifle. Shoulder-mounted.
M82A3 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A3 semi-automatic rifle. New production rifles built to M82A1M specifications, featuring lengthened accessory rail which is usually, but not always, raised higher up than the M82A1M/M107. Unlike the M82A1M/M107, it does not include rear grip and monopod socket.
XM107/M107 Initially used to designate 12.7×99mm Barrett M95 bolt-action rifle. Designation changed to apply to a product improved M82A1M variant. Includes lengthened accessory rail, rear grip, and monopod socket.
 Selected foreign designations
German Army M107 (designated G82) with Zeiss 6-24x72 scope.
An M82A1 of the Israel Defence Forces
Country/Region NATO Member Designation Description
Austria - M82A3 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A3 semi-automatic rifle.
Brazil - M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Bulgaria Check markY M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Chile - M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Denmark Check markY Mrg M/95 12.7×99mm Barrett M95 bolt-action rifle.
Finland - 12.7 TKIV 2000 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Georgia - M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Germany Check markY G82 12.7×99mm Barrett M107 semi-automatic rifle.
Greece Check markY M82A1M 12.7×99mm Barrett M107 semi-automatic rifle.
Israel - M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Italy Check markY M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Lithuania Check markY M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Malaysia - M82A2 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A2 bullpup rifle.
Mexico - M82A1M / M82A2 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Netherlands Check markY M99/M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M99 bolt-action rifle and M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Norway Check markY 12,7 MØR 12.7×99mm M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Pakistan - 12.7×99mm Barrett M107 semi-automatic rifle.
Portugal Check markY M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Philippines - M82A1/M107 12.7×99mm Barrett M107 semi-automatic rifle.
Republic of China - M82A1反物資重型狙擊槍 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
Sweden - Ag 90 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A3 semi-automatic rifle.
Turkey Check markY M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
United Kingdom Check markY M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle.
United States Check markY M82A1 12.7×99mm Barrett M82A1 semi-automatic rifle