Barrett Firearms has announced the coming manufacture of a new MRAD rifle chambered in battlefield proven .338 Lapua Magnum and scheduled to hit shelves sometime in mid-2011. Though not as “kinetic” as Barrett’s .50 BMG sniper round (all the rage right now in the school of dual purpose anti-personnel/anti-materiel cartridges) this caliber has found increasing popularity among hunters, suitable for taking just about any North American land animal and arguably an acceptable choice in the hands of safari hunters.
The MRAD comes off the line with a simple rugged folding stock with all sorts of in the field adjustment capabilities (simple length adjustment, cheek rests and a latch around the bolt when folded). Clearly not a descendent of the “deer” rifle, the stock features are pretty much endemic of the whole weapon system’s design as we envision a team of engineers whispering “adaptability” under their breath.
If you’re looking for something a little more “shoulder friendly”, you also have the option to chamber the MRAD in .300 Win Magnum and .308/7.62×51 NATO. The MRAD’s totally modular design touts a user-changeable barrel system as well as an easily swappable bolt-head for near painless caliber conversions—all you’ll need is a standard Torx wrench to unscrew two bolts as evidenced in the proceeding video. Features and accessories abound (M1913 scope rail, modular trigger group, ambidextrous safety toggle) so watch the video for a thorough overview straight from Barrett. Also you can read a great tactical review of this weapon system here.
What a gun like this will set you back remains a matter of speculation. Barrett guns are known for their high quality and high prices. Perhaps a good price indicator would be the Barrett model 98B in .338 Lapua, which we’ve noticed topping out above the $6,000 mark.