Barrett MRAD .338 Lapua Sniper Rifle Review by Brandon Webb


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice


My first impression of the Barrett MRAD (Multi-Role Adaptive Design) straight out of the box was that Barrett had designed a beautiful rifle. The rifle I received for my evaluation was a bolt action chambered for .338 Lapua Magnum.
The concept behind Barrett’s MRAD system, is that it provides the shooter with an adaptable modular shooting platform. The MRAD can be re-configured to a variety of different calibers depending on the mission or application.
I did quite a few sniper patrols in northern Afghanistan with my partner Chris in early 2002 with SEAL Team Three ECHO platoon. And there were quite a few enemy engagements where the .338 Lapua would have come in handy for both of us. We sighted a lot of Taliban and Al Qaeda between 1200-2000 meters along the border of Pakistan but they were just out of reach of our .300 Winmag bolt-action rifles. Chris and I had to settle for calling in close air support air on most of these instances but what I wouldn’t give to go back in time and have the MRAD on patrol back then! I don’t know of any sniper that wouldn’t want a .338 Lapua Magnum in the toolbox.

I took the rifle back to just under 800 yards and it was shooting very flat and accurate. I was punching steel silhouettes dead center and taking head shots at this distance with a 2-minute wind hold on the Mil Dot scope. I also had my female friend Sally Lyndley with me to take pictures; she’s no slouch and is one of the world’s top fashion stylists (clients include Vogue, Love, Disney, etc.). She has zero shooting experience and I had her on steel at 500 yards consistently and she was very comfortable using the rifle. This speaks highly of the MRAD system in the sense that I re-configured the rifle for a female shooter in under a minute and had a beginner holding on target consistently at 500 yards with no complaints (recoil being a common issue). I wrapped up at 800 yards out of ammo and very satisfied with the rifle.
Post shooting, the MRAD is very easy to break down and clean. Access to the trigger housing assembly and lower/upper receiver is very simple with detailed step-by-step instructions provide in the operators manual.
I recently developed a proprietary 100-point scoring system for weapons and optics that I have been using as a valuable analysis tool for consumers. My 100-point system is divided up into four major categories worth 25 points each.
1. Design/Innovation
2. Quality of Manufacturing and Materials
3. Functionality
4. Overall Professional Assessment
The Barrett MRAD system comes in at 87 points, which is a solid score. I took off for single load feeding issues that contributes to the overall functionality and gave high marks for the elegant minimalist design and quality of manufacturing and materials. These are both something that other US manufacturers should pay attention to and learn from if they want to stay competitive in the market.
The MRAD is a very well made rifle and was a pleasure to shoot. It will make a great addition to any snipers quiver as well as the long range shooting enthusiast collection.
Ravage: I have been involved with Barrett on the M98B since day one, my own Bravo is #0000XX. I have been shooting it since 2008 and I think that the MRAD is a nice step towards the PSR program attitude. It is not a better 338LM.
because I want my barrel back !!!
I want speed, I kill for speed and those tiny barrels in HTI calibers are just aberrations focused on a progrtam that will never end up well. If you go the lenght of a multidisplinary program such as PSR it is because you need a long range anti personnel capability and by long range I mean over 1K.
If you cut down the barrel for the sake of portability your are cheating the system into a deathtrap. NO matter what Todd says about how nice short barreled heavy caliber sniper rifles are.., 100 fps are a huge loss in regards of wind coping capability for the long range shooter. And that is not 800m. To shoot 800m I dont need no 338LM.
An MRAD with the old Bravo 27" inch barrel would be VERY nice.
Apart from these issues the gun handles nicely and has the typical "I dont like ....PSR specs" like the right folding stock and the like.
I have told Ronnie this same thing several times and I am sure he agrees with me.... but the main focus of all US manufactured rifles for the last years has been PSR and it shows...
I love my Bravo


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