US most powerful sniper rifle designed and made in a garage
Fact: The most powerful sniper rifle in the U.S. Military was designed in a garage — and handmade.
The story of the M82 begins with Ronnie Barrett. Barrett, a photographer with no formal gunsmith training or experience, is said to have been inspired to design and build the M82 .50 caliber rifle while photographing a river patrol boat similar to the type used by American forces during the Vietnam war. In one of the resulting photographs, a .50 caliber machine gun is prominently silhouetted.
Realizing that there was not a rifle chambered in the .50 caliber cartridge, Ronnie got started. The original design was drawn up on Barrett’s dining room table, and from the resulting blueprints, the original Barrett .50 rifle was built in a gravel floor garage from hand-machined parts. But despite the humble beginnings, the rifle was an immediate success.
The large rifle was completed just in time for the Gulf War, where it made its combat debut with the United States Marine Corps. Since then, The M82 and other similar variants have been put into service by a number of NATO and non-NATO countries.
Chambered in the enormous .50 BMG (alternatively the 12.7×99mm NATO cartridge), the M82 benefits from very long accuracy, and is able to accurately hit targets 1,800 meters away, or over 1 mile. The rifle itself is very large, and tips the scales at around 30 pounds, making it not a particularly mobile rifle platform. It feeds from 10- or 20-round box magazines, and produces quite a bit of recoil.
In order to somewhat mitigate the rifle’s recoil and reduce shooter fatigue, the rifle is fitted with a large rectangular muzzle brake that directs propellant gasses out and to the sides. The rifle’s barrel is fluted, which shaves a bit of weight off the platform, as well as aids in heat dissipation.
The Barretts accepted into service with the United States military are designated M107, and are slightly different from the original. Changes include a longer accessory rail, as well as a rear grip.
The troops were able to make some amazing shots with this weapon during the wars against the Islamic terrorists.