The Barrett Light Fifty M-82/M107
The predominant anti-material/sniper rifles in the world today!
Utilized by specialized units and special forces!
Power and accuracy at ranges of up to 2,300 m.
The Barrett Light Fifty (M-82/M107): 69 countries and a world record
One of the predominant anti-material/sniper rifles in the world today, the Light Fifty combines accuracy with power and relatively light weight for its calibre.
Since Ronnie Barrett designed the weapon in 1980 it is in service with at least sixty-nine countries across the globe as a sniper rifle, anti-material rifle and as an EOD tool.
Although the Light Fifty has a maximum planning range of 1,800 m the longest recorded kill with a Barrett M-82 was at a range of 2,300 m by Sgt Brian Kremer of the 2nd Ranger battalion in the Iraq war in 2004.
Although these ranges now pale in comparison to the Hail Mary (or not) shot pulled off by a Canadian sniper in Iraq in May 2017 with a McMillan Tac 50 at a distance of 3,540 m, it is still among the best weapons out there.
(c) Lukethornberry, Wikimedia
The most experienced counter terrorism units in the world
Anybody who has fired the Light Fifty will tell you it is accurate and therefore is also used as a sniper rifle although it was designed and sold by Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Company as an anti-material rifle.
BFM does not market it as a sniper rifle at all.
Because of its quality and its price it is utilized mostly by specialized units and special forces.
Except for US Special Forces the French GIGN, one of the most experienced counter terrorism units in the world, uses it.
In Israel it is used by the IDF Combat Engineering Corps where they specifically utilize it as an EOD tool.
Because of the power of the weapon its use as an EOD tool is understandable.
EOD teams can now at a safe distance dispose of IED’s and do so quickly, so that a convoy is not halted within a possible killing zone for too long.
A two-man sniper team can destroy high value targets
Let’s face it though.
If a rifle is as light (13.5 kg to 14 kg) comparatively to other rifles of its calibre with the power and versatility its ammunition provides and it can stop a vehicle in its tracks would you not rather have it instead of a sniper rifle?
Even if you know you are going to snipe an enemy combatant would you not rather have the extra power?
The Light Fifty has power and accuracy at ranges of up to 2,300 m.
Any seasoned sniper will be happy with those figures.
This means a two-man sniper team can destroy high value targets cheaply at ranges which puts them out of harm’s way.
The fact that the weapon has a muzzle velocity of 853 m/s means it is also better suited for engagements at reasonably long ranges.
(c) US Coast Guards
The Barrett M-82 and the M-107
The Light Fifty fires a powerful round, which should by all accounts and purposes have caused the marksman to have a dislocated shoulder, if the recoil was left unabsorbed.
The recoil is however lessened by the barrel assembly absorbing a large percentage of shock itself by moving inwards towards the receiver against large springs.
Further recoil reduction is assured by the weight of the weapon and the large muzzle break.
The Barrett M-82 is used by the United States Military as the M-107.
Main differences being a cheek guard added and the muzzle break changed to a V-shape in the M-107.
The 107 also has a lengthened accessory rail, monopod socket and rear grip.
The military also decided to color code the barrel, because they like nice stuff.
Rounds capable of going clean through armor plating
In the M-107 the stability of the rifle is enhanced by the addition of the monopod.
Used in conjunction with the bipod kit it gives the weapon a very stable three-way footprint in the prone position.
Small alterations to the monopod with the non-firing hand means the weapon can be adjusted to fire higher or lower with remarkable stability and accuracy.
It is as simple as turning the monopod screw in or out.
Further firepower improvement for the Light Fifty comes in the shape of various ammunition types, most notably the armor piercing and armor piercing incendiary rounds.
The armor piercing rounds are capable of going clean through the armor plating of most frontline APC’s.
The API round has the added bonus of being able to set stuff alight, theoretically.
(c) US Department of Defense
Raufoss Mk 211 round: armor piercing, explosive and incendiary abilities
Then there is the Raufoss Mk 211 round, which is a round with armor piercing, explosive and incendiary abilities all in one round.
The Raufoss can pierce the armor of an APC and then cause damage and death to the crew and infantry by means of explosive and incendiary damage.
Quite a capability to have for a two-man sniper squad.
Barrett has recently been asked to develop a lighter weight version of the weapon by the US under the Anti-Materiel Sniper Rifle Congressional Program.
Early reports suggest that the company have already been able to reduce weight significantly, which would remove the main negativity one may have about the weapon, namely its weight.
Let’s hope that does not affect its stability and recoil compensation.
Further improvements to the concept of the Light Fifty
People who have fired the Light Fifty would tell you that constant firing does kind of give you a headache because although the recoil is significantly reduced, there is still enough shock to make it a tad uncomfortable for the marksman.
For what you get with the whole package one could argue that that is a small price to pay for a sniper and his/her higher HQ.
I would also like to mention that with the rail one could fit various scopes, which may give you a reasonable advantage as well, including night scopes.
Therefore the adaptability of the Light Fifty is also noteworthy.
Further improvements to the concept of the Light Fifty has resulted in development of the XM-500, also produced by Barrett.
The XM-500 is lighter than the original Light Fifty and is a bullpup design.
It also has a stationary barrel, which should make it even more accurate.
So, if you are a weapon enthusiast or a dedicated sniper you would probably want to have this weapon in your arsenal.
It is a beautiful weapon with a serious attitude and is reliable to boot.
As far as the Barrett Light Fifty goes, it is worth every extra pound and worth its price tag of around $12,000 for the M-82A1.
(c) Bukvoed, Wikimedia
Article written by Major W.G. Klokow