On the outside the Barrett REC7 looks similar to any other AR, but a closer look at its advanced, purpose-designed components indicates just how much it’s different. Combined with EOTech’s EXPS 3-0 and 3X Mag mounted on the top rail, the REC7 can be appreciated by any SWAT or patrol officer.

I DON’T WANT TO SOUND like I am complaining but, its getting harder and harder to write an exciting review of a new AR that is only minutely different than the last. The good news is that because of the interest in ARs, and the willingness of manufacturers to offer a different model to suit almost everyone’s needs, shooters have an almost unlimited selection of AR styles to choose from.

Barrett has made my job easier with the newest variant of its popular REC7 piston-driven AR chambered in 5.56x45mm. For starters, it comes standard with a Daniel Defense free-floating rail system and three panel covers. The handguard’s 28-slot top rail is flush with the top rail on the forged, 7075 aluminum upper receiver. The side and bottom rails have 20 slots. The forearm, without the panel covers, measures 1.9 inches rail-to-rail and is 2.43 inches thick from top to bottom.

barrett-rec7-556mm-bA minimal number of parts and a clean-running piston system add up to a low-maintenance design with increased reliability.

The upper receiver is attached to a free-floating, 16-inch, hammer-forged, chrome-lined barrel with an M4 feed ramp. At the business end of the barrel you’ll find an A2-style flash hider to reduce muzzle flash and act as a standard interface for accessories and support gear.

At the most forward portion of the top rail there is a patented, chrome-lined and fluted gas block. At the front of the gas block is a gas plug/regulator with two settings for either suppressed or unsuppressed fire. The plug/regulator can be removed to allow service and cleaning of the piston. This regulator is held in place with a plunger-type lock that will prevent any inadvertent movement of the regulator.

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On the outside the Barrett REC7 looks similar to any other AR, but a…