Country of origin
12.7x99 (.50 BMG)
Weight (unloaded, without scope)
1 448 mm
15 582 Joules
Range of effective fire
1 000 m
Maximum effective range
1 800 m
1.5 - 2 MOA
identical to the preceding
Barrett M82A1, the M107 is the standard anti-material rifle of
the US Armed Forces. It is also referred to as the Long-Range Sniper
Rifle (LRSR), although it is not as accurate as most rifles
developed expressly for precision fire against personnel. The full
US Army designation for this weapon is "Long Range Sniper Rifle,
Caliber .50, M107", and it is also sometimes referred-to as the M107
Special Application Sniper Rifle (or SASR).
US Army had previously rejected the Barrett M82 and the subsequent
M82A1 for large-scale service, the M82A1 was quickly adopted in
quantity by the US Navy and Marine Corps in 1990. The M82A1's
performance in the Persian Gulf War that soon followed greatly
impressed the Army, and some were adopted by that branch of the US
military as well. By the late 1990s, the Army decided to adopt its
own .50 BMG anti-material rifle, rather than acquiring more M82A1s;
this resulted in the XM107 program.
designation was not originally applied to a specific weapon, but
rather was reserved for any weapon submitted to the Army that met
the requirements and was officially adopted. The Army placed a much
higher premium on accuracy than the M82A1 allowed for, and it was
originally intended that the XM107 would be a bolt-action rifle.
This inevitably made the
Barrett M95 rifle the preferred weapon, but
while it demonstrated satisfactory performance during trials, the
Army reversed their previous policy and finally decided to adopt the
M82A1 after all. The revised XM107 program then evaluated the M82A1,
and decided that it was suitable for the required anti-material and
counter-sniper missions the Army had in mind.
Much the same as the Marines had hurriedly adopted the M82A1 in
1990, the US Army quickly type-classified the XM107 as the "M107"
in 2002, and began taking deliveries later in the same year. This
was likely due to the Army's sudden commitments in Afghanistan,
especially given that the Taliban and Al Qaeda were known to be in
possession of some 50 M82A1s (which had been supplied to the
Mujaheddin resistance in the 1980s through the CIA). Though even
given the urgency of the situation, the M107 wasn't approved for
full-scale field use until 2005. By that time, a total of 1 998
rifles had been delivered to the Army, at a cumulative acquisition
cost of $29.2 Million (resulting in a median unit cost of
As few changes were made to the M107, it is difficult to distinguish
from an M82A1, but there are subtle "giveaways". The M82A1 had a
relatively short scope mount, while the M107 boasts a long, ridged
Picatinny rail that covers nearly the entire front half of the
furniture. The rear grip on the underside of the buttstock has been
lengthened as well, to improve handling. The bipod now has cleated
shoes to allow better traction on soft ground, and a retractable
monopod was incorporated into the base of the buttstock. The M107A1
also has a composite thermal cheek guard, side rails for carrying
additional accessories, additional ventilation in the forward
furniture, and a new cylindrical muzzle brake with four baffles. The
muzzle brake on the M107A1 will also accept a suppressor.
The composition of the M107 is essentially the same as the M82A1,
with stamped and heavily-ventilated tubular sheet steel furniture,
and a forged steel barrel. In the M107A1, some steel components have
been replaced by titanium equivalents, resulting in appreciable
weight savings. The magazine used in the M107 is the same as that of
the M82A1, and is composed of stamped 1018 cold-rolled steel with a
moly titanium Teflon self-lubricating finish, while the springs are
composed of chrome silicone. It also goes without saying, but the
M107 is very bulky by sniper rifle standards --- at 12.9 kg unloaded
and without scope,
its heavier than some general purpose machine guns. The operation of
the M107 is unchanged from the M82A1, and employs a short recoil
operation with a rotating bolt.
Several special precautions must be taken when operating the M107.
Ear protection must always be work when firing the weapon, as it is
significantly louder than standard-caliber rifles. Adequate eye
relief behind the scope is required, as on all rifles, but more care
must be taken as the considerably stronger recoil could result in
serious brow injuries; even more eye relief may be required when
shooting uphill. The weapon must never be fired when any personnel
are alongside the baffles of the muzzle brake, as the heat and
velocity of the muzzle blast can cause serious injuries. The M107
must also never be fired without its muzzle brake fitted, as the
resulting increase of recoil could overstress and seriously damage
the weapon's parts (to say nothing of whomever is shooting it). The
use of a recoil operation required the user to be positioned in a
proper shooting stance, with the buttpad seated firmly against their
shoulder; improper shooting technique not only could cause the
action to fail to cycle properly, but could also result in
discomfort or injury to the user as well. It must also be noted that
the bolt does not automatically remain in a fully-open position
after the weapon or magazine are empty.
Ammunition is fed into the action via the same detachable box
magazine used in the M82 series. This magazine holds 10 rounds, and
reflecting the enormity of almost all the features in the weapon, it
weighs 1.87 kg even without any rounds loaded (twice the weight of a
pistol!). A 12-round magazine was also
developed and fielded for the M82A1 (and is thus likely compatible
with the M107) just prior to the Persian Gulf War, but it was a rare
and seldom-issued item.
The M107 has not been approved to fire all .50BMG rounds and the
user should never attempt to load a non-approved munition. Those
that have been approved by the US Army include the MK211 Mod 0
Armor-Piercing Incendiary (API),
the M33 ball, the M17 tracer, the M8 API, the M20 Armor-Piercing
Incendiary Tracer (APIT), and the M1A1
blank. The use of Saboted Light Armor Penetrator (SLAP) rounds and
all ammunition manufactured prior to 1965 is specifically
prohibited, as attempting to chamber and fire this ammunition could
cause damage to the weapon and injury to the user and any
immediately adjacent bystanders.
The manufacturer claims the M107 has 1 MOA accuracy using
match-grade ammunition, but as noted by Mel Ewing on the
Central page for the M82A1, this claim is somewhat misleading;
match-grade ammunition was not available for military use at the
time Barrett made that claim, and the numerous, large, and heavy
moving parts in the M107 are a significant hurdle to accuracy as
well. Even with no oscillation, 1 MOA accuracy would be virtually
impossible to achieve without match-grade rounds, and nearly all of
the .50 BMG ammunition employed by the US military is machine gun
grade. It should nevertheless be noted that the M107 is fully
capable of hitting a human-sized target consistently with the first
round fired at 1 000 m (and has done so on an almost daily basis in
some instances), and even out to 2 000 m. During the recent wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan two long-range sniper kills were made by
American snipers at ranges of over 2 000 meters, with their Barrett
M82 series rifles.
The firepower of the .50 BMG round is superfluous compared to most
other small arms rounds, as it is able to penetrate thin steel armor
plates even with an all-lead "ball" projectile (though only at
relatively short ranges with this type of round), and the wounds it
inflicts on a human target can be tremendous; and while the
effective range is up to 1 800 m, the projectile is lethal out to a distance
of several times that. With special ammunition such as API rounds,
the damage inflicted can easily be far greater. It is typically used
in the M107 to engage "soft" targets at long distances, which
traditionally would have required rocket launchers, recoilless
rifles, anti-tank missiles, mortars, or even artillery to engage
from a distance; these include lightly-armored vehicles, pillboxes,
fuel silos, parked aircraft, radar antennae, and cargo trucks. While
the .50 BMG round is much more expensive than most other small arms
ammunition, it is far less so than the ammunition for the
aforementioned heavy weapons. These make the M107 ideal for raids,
special forces applications, harassment of enemy forces, and
interdiction missions. The range and overall accuracy of the M107
are also adequate for counter-sniper operations, in which enemy
snipers armed with more conventional rifles either lack the reach to
shoot back, or can't compete with the M107's ability to fire through
cover (such as brick walls or sandbags).
However, the popular conception of the .50BMG round's capabilities
has also become wildly distorted by its portrayal in fiction, and
poorly-researched articles on the matter, often to the point where
it has actually affected firearms legislation. There are far to many
examples of the resulting myths to recount exhaustively in this
article, but a few are particularly notable. For example, while an
M107 can indeed penetrate a city manhole cover with an ordinary ball
round, it is only possible to do so at a very short range (perhaps
as little as 50 meters), as ball rounds distort easily when hitting
targets this solid, and thus don't retain enough structural
integrity to effectively penetrate them. One particular news report
that concerned numerous viewers was that .50 BMG weapon could be used
by terrorists to shoot-down airliners, and riddle them with holes on
airport tarmac from over a mile away; what was either unnoticed or
omitted from this report was that even a 7.62x51 mm (.308
rifle could inflict the same damage against the same aircraft on the
ground, and that to date, no one has ever managed to shoot-down any
aircraft or helicopter using a .50 BMG *rifle* (the weapons in that
chambering that have done so were all machine guns, most of them
fitted to purpose-made anti-aircraft gun platforms, such as the M16 Multiple
Gun Motor Carriage).
The iron sights of the M107 consists of a hooded front post and rear
peephole, with the rear sight being adjustable for both windage and
elevation, and both sights having a "flip-up" configuration. The
Picatinny rail (also called a MIL-STD-1913 rail) will accept a
wide range of optics, with typical examples including the Leupold
4.5x14 telescopic sight, the AN/PVS-10 Sniper Night Scope, and
the AN/PAS-13 Thermal Weapon Scope.
The furniture of the M107 is basically the same as that of the
M82A1, consisting of an octagonal tubular sheet steel casing, a
steel and composite pistol grip, and a composite butt pad. Aside
from the addition of cleats, the folding bipod remains unchanged
from that of the M82A1, and it is adjustable for height, width, and
Since its introduction, the M107 has seen extensive combat use in
conflicts across the world, including the Afghan War, the Iraq War,
the Syrian Civil War, anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean,
and numerous smaller one-off missions in places like Somalia, Yemen,
and Pakistan. As the US military continues its military campaigns, and
the M107 continues to proliferate, this list is likely to lengthen
considerably over time.
One such firefight involving an M107, which is indicative of the
weapon's ruggedness, is recounted in Michael Golembesky's March 6th
2012 SOFREP News article MARSOC Sniper and Barrett M107 in
Afghanistan. A 14-man Marine Special Operations Team (MSOT)
operating in the Bala Morghab River Valley was assigned to capture a
strategic hilltop in that area, designated “Objective Pathfinder”,
and their snipers soon realized that the ranges involved
necessitated the use of an M107 (they also had 7.62 mm rifles). Their
rifle was damaged by enemy fire in the ensuing firefight, and one
magazine was destroyed by a tracer round from a Taliban machine gun
(the enemy round actually cooked-off a .50 BMG round, but the
magazine was strong enough to contain most of the blast), but they
were able to quickly jury-rig the weapon with little effort and get
it back into the fight, using only a basic set of tools. The battle
continued for four days, but the snipers encountered no additional
problems with the M107, and were able to devastate the enemy at long
ranges, and strangle their resupply and reinforcement efforts, and
the MSOT won themselves a hilltop. This same M107 also continued to
see regular combat use for several months before receiving an
overhaul --- all despite a gaping bullet hole in the magazine well.
One of the most curious events in the M107's combat history was
recounted by Barrett firearms engineer Don Cook, in a 2011 National
Geographic interview. A retired Marine with two decades of
experience working with the M82 series of rifles at Barrett, Cook
once received a phone call from a Marine sniper caught in the middle
of a firefight, whose M107 was malfunctioning; thinking quickly, the
young Marine called him for "technical support". Cook quickly
discovered the problem, and with his advice, the sniper was able to
correct the malfunction and return to the battle.
The US Army publicly pronounced in 2005 that the M107 was one of
their top 10 inventions of that year --- though one wonders how the
Barrett corporation who developed the M82 in the 1980s, and the USMC
who adopted the M82A1 in 1990 would feel about that.
The M107 was produced from 2002 to 2010, and was superseded in
production by the improved M107A1. It is probable that the M107A1
may eventually replace the M82A1 in production and development as
well. The Barrett M82 and its variants are presently in service with Germany, India,
the US, and possibly other nations --- not including other M82-based
rifles, which are used by nearly 60 nations.
The M107A1 remains in full-scale production, and is offered for
military and law enforcement sale, and also on the civilian market.
It is tremendously expensive for a rifle, with the original price
tag exceeding $8 500, while some current models are offered for an
astonishing $12 500 (and some of the examples purchased by the US
military ended up having a unit cost of $15 000).
Private ownership of the M107 is harshly restricted or outright
banned in many nations and regions, notably the US states of
California, Hawaii, and New Jersey. It is also notable that the
Barrett Firearms Manufacturing company refuses to sell any products
or services to any government organizations in US states where
civilian purchase of .50 BMG firearms is prohibited.
developmental versions of the XM107 were converted M82A1s.
Barrett’s company designation for the M107.
basic production model, with alterations to the M82A1 design proven
in the XM107. It was produced between 2002 and 2010.
Barrett M107CQ: This
is a shorter version of the M107, intended for use in confined
spaces in which using the regular rifle is very difficult or
impossible (the "CQ" being short for "Close Quarters"). This weapon
is more compact, 2.26 kg lighter, and has a barrel 229 mm (9")
shorter than that used on the standard M107, and can safely be fired
from vehicles, helicopters, and cramped structures. The M107CQ was a
private venture by Barrett, and it is unclear if it ever entered
production, or was adopted by any military or law enforcement
second-generation M107 has sweeping improvements, including a new
cylindrical muzzle brake, a strengthened recoil buffer, a weight
reduction of 2.26 kg, and the ability to accept a suppressor. The
M107A1 replaced the basic M107 in production in 2010.
unveiled in 2006, the Barrett XM500 is a bullpup version of the
M107, weighing-in at a considerably lighter 12 kg.
M82A3: It is a US Marine Corps designation of the Barrett M82A1M. It
is also officially referred as Special Applications Scoped Rifle.
This weapon is almost identical to the US Army's M107 The US Marine
Corps obtained significant number of Barrett M82A3 rifles. This
weapon saw action during Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and
the War in Afghanistan. In 2004 the US Marine Corps' sniper Steve
Reichert made a kill in Iraq from 1 614 meters using his M82A3
Another Barrett product, the M95 has an extremely similar
configuration to the M107, but employs a bolt-action operation and
has a bullpup layout. It is a lighter and more compact weapon than
the Barrett M82. Yet it has the same barrel length and performance
as the M82. Though at one time, it would have *been* the M107. While
it demonstrated satisfactory performance during US Army trials, the
Army decided to adopt the Barrett M82A1 instead.
International AS50: Developed in the UK, the AS50 is another
self-loading .50 BMG anti-material rifle developed for military use.
Unlike the M107, it is gas-operated, and employs a pistonless
direct-impingement gas tube, much like the AR-10 or
The AS50 was devised as a weapon meant especially for use by the US
Navy SEALs, but the US Navy ultimately never adopted it.
Georgian anti-material rifle shares many distinctive design
attributes with the M107, but has a bullpup layout.
Developed in Azerbaijan, the IST-14.5 is very similar to the M107,
but much more elongated in appearance, and chambered in the more
powerful 14.5x114 mm round. It also employs the same general type of
operation; short recoil with a rotating bolt. There is also a .50
caliber version, but it fires the 12.7×108 mm round.
Russian OSV-96 has the same general layout and mission as the M107,
but its architecture is more akin to a general-purpose machine gun,
and its action is gas-operated with a rotating bolt. It is also
chambered in 12.7×108 mm, rather than .50BMG.
publish your own articles? Visit our
guidelines for more information.