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.
The 338 round was initially developed and sponsored by my community (The Navy SEALs) as an accurate long distance round. I’ve fired half a dozen different platforms and I’m personally a big fan of the 338 Lapua round. At speeds up to 2900 feet per second it’s a flat flying killer out to distances of 1500 meters.
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.