At the mention of the Barrett company, almost any person, even a little interested in firearms, immediately associates with large-caliber rifles. But it would be foolish to expect Ronnie Barrett to limit himself to only such weapons, when his company has earned itself market fame in record time, and its founder is on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association. In addition to the development and production of sniper rifles, the Barrett company is engaged in the production of other types of weapons, one of which is automatic rifles. Despite the small number of models, or rather, only one model, since three rifles replaced one another in production, this weapon is especially interesting, though mostly interesting because of the ammunition that is used in it.
Many believe that the adoption of low-impulse cartridges was a big mistake and for more than one year, or rather more than a decade, work is underway to replace these ammunition in automatic rifles and automatic carbines, in our own words, automatic. The main drawback of such ammunition is considered to be a small stopping effect and a low effective range, while it does not matter which cartridge we are talking about: about the domestic 5, 45 or about the NATO cartridge 5, 56, in any case, these ammunition has long been recognized as ineffective and requires replacement … The reason why everyone understands this, but no one is in a hurry to do anything, lies, no matter how trivial, in the financial issue, while even the US army, an army that is well financed, despite any problems in the world and the country itself, even before still has not completely switched to new ammunition, which has been proposed a lot. Although in this case NATO is more likely to slow down the US army. Nevertheless, new cartridges are already being produced at full speed, and weapons for these ammunition are already available. Like Barrett REC7.
I think no one will mind delaying the acquaintance with this weapon and talking about the ammunition that is used in it, because in fact the new cartridge is the main "feature" of this rifle. So, the cartridge for the automatic rifle Barrett REC7 was developed by Remington, is loaded with a bullet with a caliber of 6, 8 millimeters and has a sleeve length of 43 millimeters. This ammunition was not developed as a separate cartridge for the Barrett automatic rifle, this cartridge is positioned as a new ubiquitous ammunition, instead of the well-known 5, 56x45. The main goal in the creation of this ammunition was to create such a cartridge that would not exceed the dimensions of the one in service with 5, 56, while it was required that this ammunition had a large stopping effect and made it possible to create weapons with a greater effective range than the current models of automatic rifles and carbines.
The basis for the new ammunition was the.300 cartridge case of the same company, the neck of the cartridge case was re-pressed for a new caliber and received this ammunition. The standard bullet for this cartridge is a bullet with a hollow nose weighing 7.45 grams, however, there can be bullets without a cavity. A bullet weighing 7, 45 grams accelerates to a speed of about 800 meters per second, respectively, its kinetic energy is equal to 2390 Joules. It is easy to see that despite the lower speed of the bullet, in comparison with 5, 56 NATO, it has higher kinetic energy, due to the increase in caliber and, accordingly, weight. All this, according to the developers, increases the stopping effect of such an ammunition by one and a half times in comparison, back from 5, 56.
The most important feature of the new cartridge 6, 8x43 is that it can be used in standard, already stamped magazines for weapons, while, say, an M16 or M4, when adapting to a new ammunition, will only require replacement of the barrels and combat bolt larvae. It was this feature that brought this ammunition into the lead, leaving, albeit close, but behind the main competitor in the form of a cartridge 6, 5x38, which, with higher characteristics, cannot be used even in standard stores.
Immediately after the release of this ammunition, it was proposed for both the army and the police, and for the civilian population. At the moment, there are few weapons for this ammunition, but the main models in service are already undergoing a "run-in" with a new cartridge, we are talking about M16 and M4. In addition to them, an automatic rifle created within the walls of the Barrett factories stands out separately, the latest version of which is designed specifically for this ammunition.
The development of the automatic rifle of the Barrett company began in 2000, then it was planned to create a weapon for cartridge 5, 56, but by the actual final of development, the ammunition of the new automatic rifle was changed to 6, 8x43, which set completely different parameters for the weapon. Together with cartridge 6, 8x43, a new rifle was demonstrated, which was based on such weapons as the AR15 / M16. At that time, she had the name M468. Naturally, the sample, which was simply "rearranged" under the new cartridge, did not meet all the requirements for modern weapons. So, the most important drawback was the increased wear of parts. So, the weapon was shown, but no one gave it into their hands, in order to exclude possible complaints about the still raw sample. In the shortest possible time, a deeper adaptation for this M468A1 ammunition was created, which, although it improved its reliability indicators, still had flaws in it, it was also decided not to start mass production, limiting itself to only a few small batches. The final version of the Barrett automatic rifle was not created until 2008, in time for the competition for a new automatic rifle for the United States Marine Corps, which, by the way, she won. At the moment, only the latest version of the REC7 weapon is being produced, all the others are thrown far and away. The same rifle is also available on the civilian market, however, without the possibility of automatic fire.
Despite the rather large external similarity of this rifle with the M16 and the fact that, in fact, the weapon is based on the "black rifle", this is by no means the same sample, they have differences, and they are significant. First of all, it is worth noting that the REC7 automatic rifle is built on an automation system with the removal of powder gases from the bore, but a gas outlet system with a short stroke of the gas piston. The gas block has a regulator to control the pressure of the powder gases in the system, depending on the conditions of use of the weapon. Another interesting feature is that the gas block has a thread for installing a silent firing device. In general, I got the impression that this weapon is a product of the crossing of M16 and M4, of course, it has its own characteristics, but if you wish, it is easy to find similarities even in appearance. But again, this is a completely different weapon, if only because it uses a different ammunition.
The receiver of an automatic rifle consists of two parts, an upper and a lower one. The material for them was anodized aluminum, but due to the fact that the receiver is "unloaded" this does not affect the strength of the weapon in any way. When the receiver is divided into two parts, the bottom remains: the trigger mechanism, the attached butt, adjustable to 4 fixed positions, and of course the magazine receiver and the handle. A noteworthy point in this whole business is that, if you wish, you can replace the lower part of the receiver from REC7 with the same part of the M16. At the top is the bolt carrier with the bolt, the barrel and the gas outlet mechanism of the weapon.
As you can see, there is nothing supernatural in the weapon; rather, it even resembles the creation of Viktor Frankenstein, although quite “living” samples served as "donors". Nevertheless, the weapon turned out, as its short use has already shown, quite reliable and effective. The total length of the rifle with the stock folded is 823 millimeters, with the extended 902, for the variant with the barrel 406 millimeters. The weight of the weapon is 3.5 kilograms, which is a bit too much. The rifle is fed from standard magazines of various capacities. The same weapon can be with a barrel length equal to 305 millimeters. In both cases, the rifling pitch in the barrel is 10 inches. The rate of fire of the weapon is about 750 rounds per minute, while the weapon itself retains an effective range (not paper) at a distance of up to 500 meters when using open sights, while with optical sights, the effective range increases.
By the way, about the sighting devices of this rifle. The fact is that for this weapon, open sights are not the main ones. The main one is considered to be a collimator sight or an optical sight with a fixed or variable magnification up to x4. Open sighting devices are made folding, additional, or in this case the main sighting devices, are installed on a set of 50 M-CV mountings. It is possible to "plant" a lot of other devices on the same slats, starting with a miniature flashlight and ending with a night vision device. In principle, it is quite understandable why preference in this weapon is not given to open sights. The REC7 automatic rifle was nevertheless intended not as a weapon that is ubiquitous in the army, but as a tool for any specialists, although it seems to me that it would be more appropriate to use the word “snicker” here, not without envy, of course).
Summing up the description of the REC7 automatic rifle, it should be noted that it appeared in the hands of people not related to Barrett only after it was "licked" from all sides. Why this fact needs to be noted separately. Recently, novelties of domestic weapons have appeared like mushrooms after rain and, apparently driven by someone from above, manufacturers are trying to give it away for a try as soon as possible. As a result, a negative opinion is formed about the weapon, since there simply cannot be any shortcomings in it when they finished designing it last night, and already this morning they began to produce it. Naturally, all emerging problems are eliminated over time, but the opinion has already been formed, and it is very difficult to change it. As they say, the spoons were found, but the sediment remained. Barrett and his designers spent 4 years to bring his automatic rifle to a state close to ideal, made 2, so to speak, beta versions. As a result, I got a weapon, about which few can say something bad and which was almost immediately accepted in the army. Of course, we can say that already known schemes were used, and even individual nodes were copied from other models. But if you look at it, then even just assembling it from a ready-made one and making it all work flawlessly is not the easiest task. In other words, the REC7 automatic rifle is a prime example of the fools rule and half the work that isn't shown.
Well, it is also impossible to ignore the fact that the new rifle uses a new cartridge, which is recognized as more effective and suitable for mass weapons than the current "NATO" 5, 56. The fact that it has not yet been introduced everywhere does not mean that this will not happen in the near future, and even if it is not 6, 8x43, then perhaps another more effective ammunition. In view of the fact that domestic 5, 45, to put it mildly, are also clearly not the ultimate dream, it is worth considering that they are ahead of us even in this. After all, we, unfortunately, have no alternatives, as well as weapons, for these alternatives, at least in an experimental version. The only option at the moment is to return to 7, 62x39, but something is not the alternative that I would like to see.