I’d be willing to bet that when you hear the name Barrett mentioned in any firearms-centric conversation, your mind goes immediately to the world-famous .50-caliber semi-auto that’s fielded by 75 countries for their fighting men and women. While its original designation is the Model 82, military fans and aficionados know its official designation as the M107. This rifle is immediately recognizable without any close facsimiles; and it was created by, of all people, a professional photographer with a penchant for serious firearms who wanted an affordable way to shoot a .50.

The Barrett Apple and Tree

While many enthusiasts know that Barrett’s .50 caliber is in use by several militaries, many will be surprised to hear that the company has yet another rifle that’s been adopted by the U.S. government. It’s not a .50, and it’s not a semi-auto. And it wasn’t developed by Ronnie Barrett, the CEO of Barrett Firearms. This multi-caliber rifle can be set up to surgically fire seven different chamberings toward the intended target. It’s a bolt action created by Chris Barrett, the son of Ronnie Barrett and president of Barrett Firearms.

The continuation of any family business by the next generation is nothing out of the ordinary. However, continuing a legacy such as this, by innovating and designing highly capable and competitive firearms fielded by militaries and civilians alike, is no easy task. In fact, it’s a first that a father and son each have a weapon design that was adopted by Uncle Sam. There is no denying this historical significance.

It would be easy to focus entirely on the guns of Barrett, but in doing so, we could miss the bigger picture and possibly commit a great disservice. We are witnessing the coexistence of past, present and future of weapons evolution—simultaneously, under one roof, bearing one name. Therefore, it’s important to understand how this all came to be.

The Big Picture at Barrett Firearms

Want to read the entire feature on Ronnie and Chris Barrett? Pick up the June/July 2019 issue of Ballistic Magazine. Both digital and physical copies are available now at In the meantime, watch the video above for an exclusive interview with the Barretts.

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