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December 1st, 2018

$8,000,000 More Barrett 50s for U.S. Army

Barrett Firearms .50 BMG 50 Cal M82A1M M107 browning machine gun Dept. defense Army U.S.
M107 on duty in Afghanistan with Company F, 2nd Aviation Assault Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade’s Pathfinders. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cody Barber, 11th PAD.

Christmas came early for Barrett Firearms Mfg. Inc. — the company was awarded an $8,000,000 U.S. Army contract for .50 BMG rifles, plus a $3.3 million maintenance support contract for M107s in service. Under the $8 million contract, Barrett will deliver new M107A1, M107, and M82A1M, Caliber .50 Cal Long Range Sniper Rifle systems with scopes, suppressors and spare parts kits. The work is expected to be completed by November 26, 2023, the United States Department of Defense reported this week.

Barrett Firearms .50 BMG 50 Cal M82A1M M107 browning machine gun Dept. defense Army U.S.

The M107A1 was made “leaner and meaner” back in 2014, with a six-pound weight savings. That’s important to soldiers charged with carrying the big rig in the field. The M107A1 model comes with Lightweight aluminum upper receiver with integral 23″ (58.4 cm) 27 MOA M1913 optics rail, 20″ (50.8 cm) or 29″ (73.7 cm) barrel with fully chrome-lined chamber and bore, 10-round steel magazine with cartridge witness indicators, and anti-corrosive coating.

M107A1 with Quick Detach Large (QDL) Suppressor
Barrett Firearms .50 BMG 50 Cal M82A1M M107 browning machine gun Dept. defense Army U.S.

$3.3 Million Maintenance Contract for M107s in Service
Barret Firearms Manufacturing, Inc. has also won a $3.3 million maintenance contract for the U.S. Army-issued M107, Caliber .50 Long Range Sniper Rifle system. The 5-year ID/IQ contract was awarded November 27, 2018 and will be available through November 26, 2023. The M107 Rifle System has been fielded by the U.S. Armed Forces for over 15 years.

Barrett Firearms .50 BMG 50 Cal M82A1M M107 browning machine gun Dept. defense Army U.S.

The Official Rifle of Tennessee
Believe it or not, the Barrett Model 82/M107 is Tennessee’s official state rifle. Barrett’s plant and headquarters are situated in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The Barrett rifle is a true Tennessee success story — a rifle born from sketches drawn at a dining room table by 26-year-old Ronnie Barrett, who was born, raised, and educated in Tennessee. Using sketches of his design, Barrett worked in a one-bay garage with a tool-and-die maker to build the first prototype.

Barrett Firearms .50 BMG 50 Cal M82A1M M107 browning machine gun Dept. defense Army U.S.

Watch Jerry Miculek Shoot .50 BMG Offhand. Action Starts at 1:20:

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October 6th, 2011

Surprising Results in Dept. of Defense Lead-Free Primer Tests

The Weapons System Technology Analysis Center (WSTIAC), part of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), recently conducted a comparison test between standard primers and lead-free primers. The test procedure, along with the surprising test results, are discussed in the WSTIAC Journal (Vol. 11, No. 2).

Key Findings of the WSTIAC Primer Study Were:

1. Lead-Free primers suffered from significant delays in ignition.

2. Lead-Free large rifle primers had a “a much larger variation in peak blast pressure” than did lead-based large rifle primers.

3. Field tests showed 7.62×51 rounds loaded with lead-free primers to be less accurate than rounds loaded with lead-based primers.

4. So-called “match-grade” primers were NOT always more consistent in pressure than standard primers.

Russian Lead-Free Primers Tested
WSTIAC scientists did some pretty sophisticated testing, measuring the blast waves of lead free primers vs. standard primers. The lead-free primers, denoted as DDNP for their “Diazodinitrophenol” active ingredients, were matched up against commercially-available primers containing lead. Eight models of widely-used, lead-based primers were tested along with two DDNP-based Russian-made primers, a large rifle primer (model KVB-7E) and a small pistol primer (model KVB-9E). Brief field tests were also conducted with large rifle primers in loaded ammunition. Testers measured primer ignition times, bullet muzzle velocities, and accuracy on 200m targets.

Lead-Free Primers Were Less Reliable, with Less Uniform Pressure
While you’ll need to read the study to understand the full results, in a nutshell, the DDNP (lead-free) primers proved somewhat less reliable than standard primers. The study observed: “The most obvious difference between the lead-based and DDNP-based primers was a perceptible delay between firing pin strike and ignition in 15 of 19 shots with the DDNP-based primers (and one misfire); in contrast, there were no misfires or perceptible delays in ignition with the lead-based primer.” The scientists theorized that: “The delay in ignition in 6 of the 10 shots with the DDNP-based primer suggests that this primer is at the low end of strength needed to reliably ignite 46 grains of an extruded powder.” The study also noted that: “DDNP-based KVB-7E has a much larger variation in peak blast pressure than other primers.”

Lead-Free Primers Were Less Accurate in 7.62×51 Ammo
One very interesting finding related to accuracy. In field tests, 7.62×51 ammo loaded with lead-free primers was tested against ammo with lead-based primers (other components were identical). At 200m, the average 10-shot group size of 7.62×51 ammo with lead-free primers was 2.5 MOA vs. 1.8 MOA for ammo with lead-based primers. That 0.7 MOA difference may well be meaningful (though we’d like to see the test repeated with multiple 10-shot groups, fired from a more accurate rifle). For precision shooters, this is a provocative finding because it suggests that a change in primer type, by itself, may have a dramatic impact on accuracy. The scientists surmised that: “ignition delay is the most likely cause of the larger average group size.”

“Match” Primers Are NOT Always More Consistent
One surprising collateral finding in the study challenges the widely-held notion that “Match Primers” are better, at least when judged by pressure uniformity. “Table 1 shows average peak pressures along with standard deviations from the mean for the primers in this study…. There are significant differences in the standard deviations observed for different primer types, and it is notable that so-called ‘Match’ primers are not always more consistent than non-match primers.” Readers should look at the bottom right of Table 1 below. Note that, as a percentage (%) of total pressure, the non-match CCI 450s have a significantly lower SD than the “Match” Fed 205m primers. On the other hand, the Federal 210M and 215M “Match” primers ARE more uniform in pressure than the non-match CCI Large Rifle primers.

ABSTRACT: Comparing Blast Pressure Variations of Lead-Based and DDNP (Lead-Free) Primers
This article describes the blast pressure waves produced by detonation of both lead styphnate and diazodinitrophenol (DDNP) based firearms primers measured with a high-speed pressure transducer located at the muzzle of a rifle (without powder or bullet). These primer blast waves emerging from the muzzle have a pressure-time profile resembling free-field blast pressure waves. The lead-based primers in this study had peak blast pressure variations (standard deviations from the mean) of 5.0-11.3%.

In contrast, lead-free DDNP-based primers had standard deviations of the peak blast pressure of 8.2-25.0%. Combined with smaller blast waves, these large variations in peak blast pressure led to delayed ignition and failure to fire in brief field tests.

Story Concept and Photos by German Salazar courtesy
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March 18th, 2009

Surplus U.S. Military Brass Remains Available — Mutilation Orders Reversed

Over the past few days, there has been a storm of controversy surrounding sales of surplus U.S. military cartridge brass. The concern arose because DOD Surplus, LLC had announced to wholesale brass purchasers that future shipments of spent cartridge cases would have to be “mutilated” and sold as scrap metal. (DOD Surplus, LLC sells surplus brass under a contract with the Department of Defense.)

Shooters nationwide, fearing that surplus U.S. military brass would no longer be available, protested loudly to members of Congress and Department of Defense officials.

We are pleased to report that the “mutilation” requirement has been rescinded, and vendors such as Georgia Arms and GI Brass will continue to sell reloadable surplus cartridge cases obtained from the U.S. military.

How the Controversy Arose
The Department of Defense (DOD), on behalf of all the branches of the military, collects fired shell cases. Rather than sell surplus brass directly, the DOD has disposal contracts with DOD Surplus, LLC and Government Liquidation, LLC, two private companies. These companies aggregate and sell the brass in bulk to wholesalers, primarily through online auctions.

DOD Surplus, LLC had notified Georgia Arms that future lots of surplus brass would be subject to a NEW multilation requirement, effectively rendering the brass useless for reloading.

Where did that “mutilation” requirement come from? Was this some evil, new directive from the White House? Apparently not. Here’s what happened. Surplus brass has been handled under a “DEMIL B” product category. Prior to 11/2008, DEMIL B items required no mutilation for sale to the public. That policy changed last November, but several exemptions (waivers) were granted. Expended munitions brass was covered by a waiver.

After the new administration took office, some new manager, probably in the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), eliminated ALL exemptions for DEMIL B products. Why this was done, we don’t really know. It appears no consideration was given to the impact on the shooting industry. But this elimination of the DEMIL B brass waiver was communicated to DOD Surplus, LLC last week. DOD Surplus, LLC, in turn, told its purchasers that milsurp brass would have to be mutilated (rendered unusable) from here on out.

DOD Surplus brass

Surplus Brass Now Re-Classified DEMIL Q, so No Mutilation Required
Yesterday, March 17, at 5:15 pm a letter cosigned by Senator Tester (D-MT) and Senator Baucus (D-MT) was faxed to the Department of Defense asking DOD to reverse its new policy requiring destruction of fired military cartridge brass. That joint letter, combined with thousands of email messages sent to Washington, convinced the DOD to reverse the recent change in surplus brass policy.

At 5:30 PM on the 17th, the DOD faxed Senator Tester’s office announcing that the policy requiring multilation of surplus brass had been rescinded. Specifically, surplus military cartridge brass has been reclassified as a “DEMIL Q” product (not “DEMIL B” as before). DEMIL Q requires no product mutilation unless the item is sold to a foreign country.

BOTTOM LINE: Stocks of U.S. Military surplus cartridge brass will continue to be offered for sale, via wholesalers, to the general public. Problem solved. As announced by Georgia Arms: “DOD Surplus, LLC, has rescinded its prior directive that ALL small arms spent casings be mutilated rather than recycled. This was a huge victory for common sense and we would like to thank each and every person who made an effort and played a role in correcting this mistake.”

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