In this Barrett MRAD review, we’ll explore the key features of this military grade sniper rifle. You’ll learn about the key features found in the MRAD, not to mention the extra information you need to help you decide if this is the right sniper rifle for you.
MRAD Review Content
In this Barrett MRAD Review, we’re going to cover:
- MRAD Background
- Barrett MRAD Features
- Our Take on the Barrett MRAD Rifle
- Pros and Cons of the MRAD
- Our Report Card
- MRAD Rifle Configurations
- Conversion Kits for the MRAD rifle
- Extra Resources (accessories, ammo, manuals, etc.)
Barrett MRAD Specs
- Barell Length 20 – 27
- Caliber .300, .308, .338
- Sights Rail mounted
- Action Bolt Action
- Overall Length 42, 4-49, 4
Barrett MRAD Background
Barrett, perhaps best known for their 50 Caliber sniper rifles, developed the MRAD in December of 2009 as their submission to the SOCOM Precision Rifle Contract competition.
SOCOM Selected another rifle for the 2009 PSR contract and also for the next SOCOM MSR contract.
Interestingly, each subsequent contract/contest by SOCOM for a new sniper rifle system was created because the results of the previous two contest did not provide SOCOM with suitable systems – it may have taken three contests, but SOCOM finally selected the MRAD. Who knows how much money and time could have been saved if the MRAD was selected in the first go-round.
The MRAD, designed by Chris Barrett, was created to meet the needs of the contract specs for SOCOM – this, and Chris Barrett’s imagination, is why the MRAD looks so unique.
Most sniper rifles, even those with changeable barrels and detachable magazines in chassis systems are not much more than a standard rifle action and barrel bolted into a chassis that takes detachable magazines in lieu of a standard rifle stock.
The Barrett MRAD is an entire departure from the status quo. It looks like this ingenuity paid off with this most recent contract win. As with EVERY military contract we’ve ever seen, this will surely cause a significant increase in commercial and foreign military sales for this rifle. Often manufacturers will make little to no money winning an American military contract because every other country’s military will come running for the product and American citizens will want what the military uses.
Barrett MRAD Features
The Barrett MRAD is a heavy-duty precision bolt-action rifle that can easily change calibers from 6.5 Creedmoor up to 338 Lapua.
Unlike most other barrel change systems on bolt action rifles, the barrels are already headspaced with a barrel extension! This means that the user loosens two torx bolts, slide out the old barrel, slides in the new barrel, changes the bolt face, closes the bolt into the barrel’s extension, and then retightens the torx bolts.
This system is very similar to an AR-15’s barrel/bolt system wherein head-space is already set and the rifle is merely assembled instead of requiring gunsmith assistance or chamber gauges to ensure the correct tolerances.
Other notable features of the MRAD are the folding stock with adjustable comb (cheek piece), the adjustable trigger pack that can easily be removed and replaced, and a feature that contributes a lot to the MRAD’s unique look, a bolt that travels inside the upper receiver (again, much like an AR-15).
1 Folding and Adjustable Buttstock
Helps to make the rifle shorter for easy storage and maneuverability and allows shooter to have a precise fit to their body size/position.
2 Changeable Barrels/Calibers
Users can easily change barrels and calibers by losing two Torx screws. Headpsace is already built in to barrel/bolt combinations.
3 Detachable Magazines
10 round, drop-free, polymer magazines make it easy to keep the gun up and running in whichever caliber you’re shooting: special magazines for different calibers (e.g. 308 Win vs 338 Lapua Mag).
Barrett MRAD – Our Take
We LOVE the MRAD!
I’ll admit, it took me a while to warm up to it. Maybe I just wasn’t ready for what Chris Barrett is quoted as saying will be how future sniper rifles look.
Why? Well, it looked different. It was more of a Hummer than a Porsche. It seemed clunky, boxy, and the opposite of precision.
I was wrong.
I’ve now spent years shooting an MRAD and it is my go-to rifle. Heck, I took it on a successful elk hunt in the mountains of New Mexico.
Why? Well, I love the new 300 PRC cartridge and the MRAD was the only rifle that came in that caliber because the Navy got tired of waiting for the MRAD to win this latest contract and just outright purchased their MRADs in 300 PRC. I think they also see the superiority of 300 PRC over the contract’s required 300 Norma and 338 Norma.
I’ve long been claiming that the MRAD was the shoe-in for this recent SOCOM contract. That’s partly because I’ve finally realized the superiority of the design and partly because I have specific knowledge of how the other rifles failed to meet SOCOM’s needs and the MRAD fixes all of those problems.
The MRAD’s accuracy is better than you’d expect out of a tank of a rifle (it’s a tank!). Even after sliding in a new barrel and tightening some bolts, you can easily shoot sub-MOA groups. It shouldn’t work that way but it does.
The old method of accuracy involved gunsmithing, lathes, tailoring loads, and lots of custom work. The MRAD is plug and play – insert new barrel, hit target!
The New Zealand military recently tested their MRADs and achieved sub MOA groups at 600 yards for 30 separate rifles! That’s insane out of a production switch barrel rifle and factory ammo.
The MRAD makes it stupid easy to change barrels and calibers (video coming soon).
You can get conversion kits for your MRAD so that you don’t have to invest in a completely separate rifle and scope to shoot another caliber.
It took some getting used to, but now I love how the bolt runs on the MRAD – it is very smooth partly due to the plastic sleeve that guides the bolt and also keeps debris out of the action. Again, it looks big and clunky, but you can easily “run” this gun!
If you like the safety on the right (I do), then all you do is press the safety out and switch it around – too easy. Don’t like the grip? change it. Want accessories? Easy – add them to the full length rail/handguard.
If you want one rifle to do it all, and don’t mind the heft/size, the MRAD is a true professional grade work-horse of a rifle that you won’t regret. Check out all of the MRAD configurations (caliber, barrel length, etc.) below.
Barrett MRAD Pros and Cons
- Obscenely Accurate
- Easy to change between Multiple Calibers/Lengths
- Adjustable and Quick-change Trigger
- Folding Buttstock
- Adjustable Comb
- Integrated 20 MOA Base
- Full Length Rail
- Long Bolt Throw for Short Calibers
The rifle is reliable (as a premium bolt action should be)
MRADs are very accurate, but I would put them into the tactical use category and not the bench-rest category.
The bolt is smooth and fast but the rifle is a bit large/heavy and I’m still not the biggest fan of pistol grips.
The MRAD’s stock is easy to adjust to fit the shooter and the safety can be flipped.
You get a great gun for the money, however, it may be out of some shooters’ budgets.
Barrett MRAD Configurations – Calibers, Barrel Lengths, and Colors
The MRAD is available in 8 calibers (6.5 Creedmoor through 338 Lapua), 4 colors (Black, Grey, Tan, OD Green), and various barrel lengths.
We’ve collected every MRAD variation and listed it below in this table for you so that you can quickly see which calibers the MRAD comes in as well as many other MRAD features – sort and filter away!
MRAD Calibers and Barrel Lengths
|Caliber||Color||Overall Length||Barrel Length||Twist||Barrel||Weight||Rifle Range||Latest Price|
MRAD Conversion Kits – Change Caliber and Barrel Length
One of the great things about the Barrett MRAD is the ability to easily change barrels to different lengths and calibers.
Barrett sells conversion kits that include a new barrel, a new bolt, and a magazine for your MRAD. See the table below for all of the conversion kits available (all MRAD calibers and barrel lengths).
Here are some examples of conversion kits available for the MRAD:
Here’s a full breakdown/list of every conversion kit available for the Barrett MRAD rifle. You can filter this table by MRAD conversion kit caliber, barrel length and barrel type and you can also sort the results in the table. Enjoy!
Barrett MRAD Caliber Conversion Kits (Barrels, Bolts, Magazines)
Extra Resources for Barrett MRAD
Now that you know the full Gun University take on the Barrett MRAD sniper rifle, it’s time to delve deeper and check out some extra resources.
If you’re still interested in the MRAD at this point, we’re ready to provide you with the extra information you need to decide if the Barrett MRAD is the right sniper rifle for you.
No need to venture back and forth across the internet looking for the information you need. We’ve taken the time to gather together and provide for you:
- The official owner’s manual from Barrett for the MRAD. Contains all the technical information you need about the Barrett MRAD to help you decide if it’s right for you.
- A full video showing the maintenance process for the Barrett MRAD. Watching this is the best way to decide whether the ownership experience of the Barrett MRAD is right for you.
- Answers to the most frequently asked questions we hear at Gun University about the Barrett MRAD.
Let’s check it out!
Barrett MRAD FAQ
Yes, Barrett have explicitly designed this sniper rifle to be adaptable to your particular requirements. This is shown by the inclusion of the top Picatinny rail, not to mention the extra rails which can be mounted in the 3, 6, or 9 o clock position.
Yes, the MRAD has been designed specifically with military requirements in mind. Therefore, you can be sure that you are purchasing a military rifle with nothing but the best quality in terms of components, materials, and design. The Israeli special forces have chosen the Barrett MRAD as their sniper rifle of choice, and the US Military are in the process of purchasing a special order of the MRAD for their long range sniper needs.
The Barrett MRAD is customizable by anyone. How? Barrett have made sure you can adapt different barrel lengths and calibers without any specialist outside intervention or help. In order to make adjustments to the Barrett MRAD, you only need a standard Torx wrench. There is no need for extra, expensive help to customize your Barrett MRAD.
The Barrett MRAD sniper rifle is available in multiple calibers. You can purchase this particular sniper rifle in the following calibers, or adapt your existing firearm for suitability with the following calibers:
7MM Rem Mag
See the table above for a full breakdown of every option available.
Barrett have stated in their owner’s manual for the Barrett MRAD that they had 3 key hallmarks in mind when designing the Barrett M4. These are:
Complete system modularity
Reduced logistical and operational burden
Maximum operator-level sustainability
Therefore, the design of the MRAD sniper rifle and all of the components included have been chosen with these three objectives in mind.
Best Scopes for the Barrett MRAD
When I made the decision, and the purchase, of the Barrett MRAD, I knew that was just the beginning of my journey with this extremely capable firearm. I learned very quickly that my rifle is only as good as the scope I have on it. Even with the stellar firepower of the MRAD, you can only do so much with iron sights. So to maximize this caliber of rifle I wanted to make sure I had the absolute best scope I could get on it. Below are some of my recommendations for scopes that I would consider getting for this type of firearm.
With the 100 M.O.A. of internal adjustment, exceptional optical integrity, and highest grade aircraft material used this scope is an easy pick for my Editors Choice. This has fantastic clarity out to 800 yards and beyond and with the zeo stop I couldn’t ask for more. Check Price
Burris started in optics back in the early 90’s with binoculars and eventually grew into scopes very quickly. They are a long leader in creating excellent optics and are worth every penny on the quality you would come to expect. There is nothing that would hold me back from highly recommending this scope to you for your Barrett MRAD or any other rife for that matter.
How to Care for Your Barrett MRAD
The MRAD is generally regarded as one of–if not, THE–most reliable rifles available on the market today. But reliability is only as good as the care you take with your firearm. It can quickly degrade due to improper maintenance and negligence. Alans Firearms does a magnificent job at showing you exactly how to break down this gun, clean and lubricate it, and put it back together safely.
- GUN CLEANING KIT: Gloryfire Universal Cleaning Kit on Amazon
Important Links And Manuals For Your Barrett MRAD
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