In 1981 a 26-year old American entrepreneur named Ronnie Barrett designed a semi-automatic .50 calibre rifle, when the only thing available was a machine gun that was too complex to own and too costly to shoot. Working in his garage, he built a rifle based on the recoiling-barrel Browning short recoil cycle.
The Barrett M82A1 ‘Light Fifty’ was the first large caliber sniper rifle, and after a short time it gained worldwide popularity. First, no one wanted to accept the necessity of such a large caliber, but after Barret explained that destorying a million dollar jet/helicopter/vehicle with a one dollar cartridge really worth its price, the idea spreaded. Now a lot of country uses it.
Thanks to its unique desing and operation, it easily fires the .50 BMG (12.7x99mm) ammo, and yet claims to have the lowest recoil force of any comparable rifle. The recoiling barrel and bolt act against effective spring and buffer assemblies, this turns the sharp, sudden recoil to a longer-acting but lower recoil force. To reduce it more, it is fitted with dual chamber muzzle brake. This brake redirects the high velocity gun gas, and this lower recoil by almost 70 percent. So, firing this gun causes only as much recoil as a 12-gauge shotgun. It is equipped with an adjustable bipod too.
Though the magazine is 10 rounds, some snipers prefer to load only 8 cartridge into the clip because the fully loaded clip occasionally jams.
The Barrett M82A1
Barrett M82A1 NG in Norwegian service (Norwegian Home Guards)