My first impression of the Barrett MRAD (Multi-Role Adaptive Design) straight out of the box was that Barrett had designed a beautiful rifle. The rifle I received for my evaluation was a bolt action chambered for .338 Lapua Magnum.
The concept behind Barrett’s MRAD system, is that it provides the shooter with an adaptable modular shooting platform. The MRAD can be re-configured to a variety of different calibers depending on the mission or application [be sure to follow link to previous Kit Up! video].
I did quite a few sniper patrols in northern Afghanistan with my partner Chris in early 2002 with SEAL Team Three ECHO platoon. And there were quite a few enemy engagements where the .338 Lapua would have come in handy for both of us. We sighted a lot of Taliban and Al Qaeda between 1200-2000 meters along the border of Pakistan but they were just out of reach of our .300 Winmag bolt-action rifles. Chris and I had to settle for calling in close air support air on most of these instances but what I wouldn’t give to go back in time and have the MRAD on patrol back then! I don’t know of any sniper that wouldn’t want a .338 Lapua Magnum in the toolbox.
I took the rifle back to just under 800 yards and it was shooting very flat and accurate. I was punching steel silhouettes dead center and taking head shots at this distance with a 2-minute wind hold on the Mil Dot scope. I also had my female friend Sally Lyndley with me to take pictures; she’s no slouch and is one of the world’s top fashion stylists (clients include Vogue, Love, Disney, etc.). She has zero shooting experience and I had her on steel at 500 yards consistently and she was very comfortable using the rifle. This speaks highly of the MRAD system in the sense that I re-configured the rifle for a female shooter in under a minute and had a beginner holding on target consistently at 500 yards with no complaints (recoil being a common issue). I wrapped up at 800 yards out of ammo and very satisfied with the rifle.
Post shooting, the MRAD is very easy to break down and clean. Access to the trigger housing assembly and lower/upper receiver is very simple with detailed step-by-step instructions provide in the operators manual.
I recently developed a proprietary 60-100-point scoring system for weapons that I have been using as a valuable analysis tool for people that want an honest review. My 100-point system is divided up into four major categories worth 10 points each.
1. Design/Innovation 2. Quality of Manufacturing and Materials 3. Functionality 4. Overall Professional Assessment
The Barrett MRAD system comes in at 92 points, which is a solid score. I took off minor points for a few feeding issues, gave high marks for the elegant minimalist design and quality of manufacturing. These are both something that other US manufacturers should pay attention to and learn from if they want to stay competitive in the market. Barrett did a great job with the MRAD.
The MRAD is a very well made rifle and was a pleasure to shoot. It will make a great addition to any snipers quiver as well as the long range shooting enthusiast collection.