For the June/July 2019 issue of Ballistic Magazine, we sat down with father-son firearms powerhouse Ronnie and Chris Barrett. They gave us a quick four-minute rundown on how Barrett Firearms evolved to today. But that wasn’t enough. We needed more. So we went back to Barrett for our new “Sweat, Lead, and Steel” series.

Sweat, Lead … and the Original Barrett 50 Cal

What the hell is “Sweat, Lead and Steel”? It’s an Athlon Outdoors original series profiling the history and passion of companies in the shooting sports industry. We take an intimate and cinematically powerful look into the history and current state of manufacturers.

Episode No. 1 focused on POF-USA founder Frank DeSomma. Episode No. 2 brings us the Barrett boys and their incredible innovation. Here, Ronnie and Chris take us much deeper into the foundations of Barrett, which is utterly remarkable.

For us, the episode peaks when Ronnie and Harry Watson, a long-time Barrett Maintenance Engineer, talk about original Barrett 50 Cal. We get tingly in places we can’t talk about in this forum.

“It weighs 40 pounds-plus. It’s very heavy,” Watson says, talking about the original Barrett 50 Cal. “Everything’s handmade on this; put together by hand. No machines except for the bolt section. The magazine was handmade. … We put a lot of time into making this gun and it is totally different than what’s on the market today. But it still shoots just as well.”

Watch the entire 20-minute episode above. For more information, please visit

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