Barrett REC10 308 Win, REC10 review
Photo by Sean Utley
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Sometimes people just accept things as truth simply because it is what has been passed down over the years. This is especially true in the firearms arena. Where this really stands out is when we speak about the classic .308 Win round. Once the gold standard in precision shooting, it is now seen in some circles as antiquated. This could not be further from the truth. The Barrett REC10 is evidence of this myth.

The Barrett REC10 and the .308

Barrett chambered the REC10 in .308 Win for a reason. First and foremost, Barrett designed the rifle for military and law enforcement use. While it is a nice addition to the civilian market, this is a fighting rifle. The cartridge that still sits at the top of the mountain for this style gun is still the .308 Win and for a reason. The .308 is a very easy round to shoot, especially in the REC10. Contrary to Internet myth, the round is very predictable and consistent.

Another upside is that the .308 round has been fired about a trillion times and with that comes an astronomical amount of data. People have been loading and researching this classic round for decades and in turn exceptional ammo has been developed for it. The .308 is still the most popular sniping round in the world because it works. It is also a multi-application round. The REC10 is just as effective as a close in fighting rifle as it is a DMR gun. Simply choose the right ammo for the job.

Go the Distance

Regarding the rifle being used as a precision platform, it is the real deal. This is where wives’ tales begin to creep in. Some claim that a rifle chambered in .308 with a 16-inch barrel is limited to 600 yards — maybe a bit further. In my experience, it can get hits as far as 1,000 yards with the right ammo. Yes, it does take a shooter capable to making the shot, but that will always be a factor regardless of range. A qualifying statement with this is that I am talking about human sized targets. At these ranges, the REC10 is not a competition bench gun, nor was it ever intended to be that.

Can it shoot beyond 1,000 yards? Yes, but consistency begins to diminish and that goes against what we are trying to accomplish. People often refer to the bullet drop of the .308 at 1,000 yards. It is more than 246 inches using M118LR rounds, but it is a consistent drop. I have personally seen shooters get hits at 1,500 yards with this combination, but it is not the norm.

Functional and Fast

It is important to note that the REC10 isn’t just a larger version of the REC7. Barrett didn’t just add something to its product line. This rifle is a well thought out and designed piece of engineering. Barrett considered everything, like the barrel. It is a button-rifled chrome bore design with a weight optimized profile. Barrett took into consideration the fact that end users would absolutely be putting optics and other pieces of kit on this gun. This helps offset the weight of the glass and keep the gun more balanced.

The gas tube and gas block are intermediate or what I would classify as “functionally appropriate” for the gun. The benefits of this design are many, but there are two primary points. Firstly, the gun has dramatically less recoil snap and, in turn, is very accurate and fast on follow-up shots. A good description of it is a firm pulse as opposed to a hard recoil push. I inspected the ejected brass while shooting. I found no excessive pull marks on them; that’s a good indication of a smooth-shooting gun. The other benefit is the weapon’s life span. A rifle is a mechanical device and after prolonged violent cycles it will begin to lose accuracy and then even function. Barrett designed the REC10 for a long service life.

The Rest of the REC10 Build

The handguard is a BRS M-LOK design that is lightweight with sufficient room for weapon accessories such as lights or laser-aiming devices. The upper and lower are precision machined billet and have an exceptional fit. There was almost zero yaw or rattle between the upper and lower when tested.

The REC10 also uses a TB041 DLC treated bolt carrier group with a chrome lined chamber. This was an interesting choice as many companies choose other lining options. When I asked Chris Barrett about it, he said, “Nothing works better than chrome. Our guns are used in environments with silica-like sand and dust. With super-hot chamber temps this sticks to the chamber and ultimately begins to abrade it.”

That abrasion will absolutely affect accuracy and ultimately the reliability of the gun.

The gun sports a trifecta of ambidextrous functions: An ambidextrous bolt catch, an ambidextrous mag catch, and an ambidextrous reversible safety with a 45-degree throw. All of these together make the gun easy to manipulate. The back end of the gun brings us to the hydraulic buffer and ultimately the Magpul MOE SL furniture that rounds it out.

While it is a shorter barrel platform, it is absolutely capable of reaching out to serious distances and getting the job done. It won’t get you out to a mile like we reached with the Barrett MRAD in .300 PRC. However, we hit at 800 yards using the REC10 at the recent 2019 Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous. Are there cool new calibers out there? Sure, but Barrett knows that there is nothing wrong with building an exceptional rifle that fires a workhorse of a round. For more information, please visit Barrett.net.

Barrett REC10 Specs

  • Caliber: 308 WIN
  • Barrel Length: 16 inches
  • Twist: 1:10
  • Flash Hider: Barrett Flash Hider
  • Handguard: BRS M-LOK Handguard
  • Gas System: intermediate length
  • Bolt Carrier: TB-41 DLC Treated BCG
  • Trigger: QMS Trigger Group
  • Stock: Magpul MOE SL
  • Weight: 8.25 pounds
  • Overall Length: 33.6 inches
  • Back up Sights: MAGPUL MBUS
  • MSRP: $2,750

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