By David Crane
defrev at gmail dot com
September 28, 2008
Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc., maker of the famous Model M82A1 (a.k.a. Barrett M82A1 a.k.a. Barrett Light-Fifty) semi-auto .50 BMG anti-materiel rifle, recently introduced a new .338 Lapua Magnum bolt-action anti-materiel/sniper rifle called the Barrett M98B or Barrett Model 98B. The M98B weighs 11.45 lbs (empty), has an ammo capacity of 10+1 rounds, and sports a 27-inch (27") match-grade barrel with 1:10 twist and recoil-mitigating muzzle brake at the end. The bolt-action mechanism is short-throw for fast reloading capability.
Perhaps one of the most tactically significant aspects of the Barrett M98B .338 Lapua Magnum bolt-action anti-materiel/sniper rifle is…
its adjustable trigger with straight rearward pull, which optimizes accuracy by allowing for a light trigger pull. The M98B can achieve 0.75-inch (0.75") MOA at 100 yards (3-shot group, center-to-center), and can achieve a 1.30-inch (1.30") 3-shot group at 200 yards with Hornady Custom 250-grain (250gr) BTHP (Boat Tail Hollow Point) .338 Lapua Magnum ammo. When the rifle is zeroed at 200 yards, the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge will drop approximately 32.5 inches at 500 yards. At this distance, the M98B can achieve a 3-shot group of 1.95 inches with the Hornady 250gr BTHP. And, the Barrett M98B can achieve a 4.05-inch (4.05") 3-shot group at 800 yards. Muzzle velocity is 3,100 fps (feet per second). .
Barrett also markets an electronic ballistic computer called BORS that can be integrated with, and is specifically dimensioned for non-illuminated Leupold Mark IV tactical scopes in 3.5-10, 4.5-14, 6.5-20, and 8.5-25 powers, which can be mounted on the M98B’s Mil-Std-1913 "Picatinny" rail (top rail) that runs the length of the upper receiver. BORS can be purchased by itself or factory-installed on the Leupold 4.5-14-power scope, and copes preloaded (preprogrammed) with most popular cartridges. According to the Barrett Firearms website, "the BORS kit includes the Barrett Ballistic PC Software and the BORS data cable that allows the user to program custom loads on their PC or laptop and transfer them directly to their BORS."
For breakdown and maintenance, the Barrett M98B rifle’s upper receiver pivots on a pin just forward of the trigger guard. To remove the upper receiver, just press under the receiver near the stock.
DefenseReview is a fan of the .338 Lapua magnum cartridge, as it bridges the gap between 7.62x51mm NATO (7.62mm NATO)/.308 Win. (and .300 Win. Mag) and the .50 BMG round. The .338 Lapua is versatile in that it can be used for both long-range-interdiction against enemy personnel (a.k.a. sniping applications) and, with the right ammo, anti-materiel applications against hard targets (vehicles, aircraft, missiles, etc.).
In addition to it’s potential military and law enforcement (LE) applications, if it works as advertised, the M98B tactical rifle should also make an excellent civilian tactical (citizen defense) and medium-to-large game hunting rifle.
Defense Review hasn’t tested the Barrett M98B rifle, yet, but we’ll try to run one at the earliest opportunity and report on it.
Company Contact Info:
Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc. (BFMI)
P.O. Box 1077
Murfreesboro, TN 37133
[email protected] General Email
[email protected] Training Email
Leupold & Stevens, Inc.
14400 Nw Greenbrier Parkway
Beaverton, OR 97006-5791
800-LEUPOLD (538-7653) Toll Free