Military Awards New Contract for Sniper Rifle

  • Caleb Downing

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking to upgrade.

Sometimes those upgrades are for my coffee machine or truck, but most of the time those upgrades have to do with firearms. I’m not the only one who likes to upgrade though. You see, the U.S. military has decided to breathe some new life into their sniper rifle inventory by upgrading to a newer platform.

Introducing: the Barrett Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) MK 22.

Courtesy of Barrett

Originally developed for a new sniper rifle contract in 2013, the MRAD MK22 was passed over and put on the back shelf. It was a shame because, well, look at it. It’s gorgeous.

The U.S. military must have had buyers regret because Barrett has been awarded an almost $50 million contract to supply the MRAD, which has been in the hands of U.S. special operations forces for two years.

What is so special about the MRAD MK22 versus the other current sniper rifles out there?

Content Warning: Mild Profanity

Well, according to Barrett, it all boils down to precision and modularity. As a sniper rifle, the weapon system had to exhibit repeatable accuracy. In the articles and videos I have come across for this rifle, the accuracy has been nothing but outstanding. Groups were recorded to be well within a sub-MOA (minute of angle) — or within a one-inch group — at 100 yards. 

Being accurate is great, but other rifles out there are also accurate. So what pushed the U.S. military over the edge to adopt this system?

I believe the answer we are looking for can be found in its modularity. This system was designed to be easily converted, in the field, to different calibers.

There at least three calibers available, according to War History Online: 7.62X51 NATO, .300 Norma Magnum, and .338 Norma Magnum being the most popular. If that isn’t enough, the conversion can reportedly be done in under two minutes with only one tool.

That’s what I’d call “grunt-proof”.

The MRAD MK22 is also equipped with a folding stock that can be adjusted in multiple ways to accommodate any shooter. 

Overall, the MRAD MK22 appears to be an extremely well-suited rifle for our modern fighting forces. If you are a little jealous of the military’s new rifle, you’re in luck.

Barrett is not making these rifles exclusively for the U.S. military; they have released them to the general civilian market. So if you have about $17,000 (according to Texas Plinking) burning a hole in your pocket, then you, too can be a proud owner of the MRAD MK22.

So what do ya’ll think? Did the US Military make the right choice going with the MRAD MK22, or should they have gone another route? Share this out on Facebook and Twitter and let us know!

Editor’s Note: The featured image for this story is provided by Micheal Dorausch, via CC BY-SA 2.0

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