The MRAD’s primary role as a 1,500-yard-plus sniper rifle is just the beginning of its capabilities. It is a switch-barrel system that allows a five-minute change to either .300 Win Mag or 7.62mm NATO, which will be available soon.
When the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) published their Performance Specification for the Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR) on December 16, 2009, a number of companies stepped up to the challenge to design their versions of the PSR. Well versed in manufacturing a dependable sniper system for the U.S. military, Barrett has unveiled their Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) to compete for the coveted government contract.
Completing the first stage of the military firearms’ trial in April 2010 is an acknowledgement of the MRAD’s performance capabilities. Meanwhile Kyle Lynch, Barrett’s director of Sales and Marketing provided me with a tour of Barrett’s facility and allowed for testing of their MRAD.
The MRAD was specifically developed to meet the needs of the PSR program. The PSR encompasses a set of requirements by USSOCOM, which states that the current system mission of the PSR is to enable USSOCOM snipers to use one or more shots to interdict enemy personnel, positions, and non-technical vehicles mounted with crew-served weapons out to 1,500 meters or further, while being capable of defeating NIJ Level III body armor out to 900 meters.
A 21″ top rail is roomy enough for a scope and a night vision optic. The shorter rails on the bottom and sides are user adjustable. The MRAD tested for this article was was fitted with a Leupold Mark 4 mil dot scope. A B.O.R.S. range-finding device is fitted to the top of the optic shown.
Other parameters encompass length, weight, magazine capacity, penetration of the projectile, the ability to mount night vision devices and other accessories. The program also specifies thresholds and objectives, as the PSR has to meet all performance thresholds and as many of the objectives as possible to score well. To get an idea of what the MRAD is all about, a review of the USSOCOM Performance Specifications for the PSR tells the story. The major components of the PSR “shall include a rifle, ten magazines, sound suppressor including mirage mitigating device, operator manual, sling, cleaning kit, bipod, drag bag and a hard carrying case.” The PSR is specified to be no longer than 50 inches fully extended without suppressor, with the ideal set at 40 inches overall. With the stock folded, the maximum length is 40 inches, with 36 inches set as the objective of USSOCOM. The threshold weight for the weapon with a Mil-Std-1913 rail and a 10-round unloaded magazine is 18 pounds, and the objective weight is no greater than 13 pounds. The MRAD submitted for the PSR trial was fitted with a 24.5-inch barrel, and weighed 14.8 pounds without an optic. Lynch added, “the threshold was 18 pounds, so we were well below that.”