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January 24th, 2023

Barrett Firearms Acquired by NIOA Group of Australia

australia NIOA family Barrett firearms

Australian defense contractor NIOA has announced the 100% acquisition of the industry-leading rifle design and manufacturing company, Barrett Firearms. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The American Barrett factory will continue to operate in the USA at its Murfreesboro, Tennessee location and all workers will be retained. Ronnie Barrett and Chris Barrett will serve as executive advisers to NIOA.

NIOA Group CEO Robert Nioa said the two family-owned companies came together out of a shared commitment to quality, innovation, loyalty, and mission: “NIOA’s association with Barrett dates back to 2008. We have been inspired by the story of Barrett and admire what Ronnie, Chris and the family have built over more than four decades. Together we share the same mission – combining our expertise and family business values will ensure Barrett carries on building the finest products in the world.”

australia NIOA family Barrett firearms

Mr. Nioa confirmed the company would continue to operate under the Barrett brand as a separate division within the NIOA Group alongside NIOA Australia, NIOA New Zealand, the Australian Missile Corporation and the group’s investment in joint venture company Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions.

australia NIOA family Barrett firearms

Outdoor Wire Editor Jim Shephard interviewed Robert Nioa recently. Jim noted that Barrett’s production will remain in the USA: “There’s absolutely no intention to move Barrett anywhere. In fact, Nioa told me in no uncertain terms that he isn’t looking to move Barrett, he’s looking forward to growing it beyond what it is today. And, he says, ‘I love Murfreesboro. We’re not going anywhere’.”

All management and staff at the Murfreesboro manufacturing facility in Tennessee have been retained and production will continue as normal. Over time it is expected that manufacturing activities in Murfreesboro will be expanded. As part of the NIOA acquisition, Barrett President Sam Shallenberger has been promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer while long-serving Barrett Chief Operating Officer Bryan James becomes President. Ronnie Barrett and Chris Barrett will provide ongoing support as executive advisers to Barrett and the NIOA Group.

australia NIOA family Barrett firearms

Barrett founder Ronnie Barrett said “Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Barrett story. Rob and the NIOA team have great respect for the legacy Barrett has created as the leader in long range precision rifles. It’s reassuring to know Barrett will be in good hands with a family-owned company that is focused on manufacturing and delivering world-class firearms and munitions to a global network.”

About NIOA

NIOA is the largest Australian-owned supplier of firearms, weapons and ammunition to the Australian and New Zealand defense forces, law enforcement agencies, and commercial markets. It has long-standing trusted relationships with American companies such as Vista Outdoors, Leupold, General Dynamics, Northrup Grumman, and the Winchester-operated Lake City ammunition plant.

NIOA is a major tenant at the Australian government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) munitions facility at Benalla in Victoria. There NIOA currently manufactures 120mm munitions for the Abrams tank along with 30mm and 35mm cannon ammunition.

The company is contracted to deliver major weapons programs for the Australian and New Zealand militaries and has recently established an artillery shell forging factory in Maryborough, Queensland in a joint venture with Rheinmetall of Germany.

About Barrett Firearms

NIOA Barrett Firearms

Barrett has been a family-owned and operated company and the world leader in long-range, large-caliber, precision rifle design and manufacturing.

Barrett products are used by civilians, sport shooters, law enforcement agencies, the United States military and more than 75 U.S. DOS-approved countries around the world.

The Barrett Quality Management System (QMS) has earned the prestigious ISO 9001:2015 certification for the design and manufacture of firearms, ammunition, and accessories, and for sniper systems training.

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January 24th, 2023

Radical Hydraulic Accu-Tac Bipod Seen at SHOT Show 2023

accu-tac hydraulic piston cylinder bipod SHOT Show 2023 gunsamerica digest

Here’s a radical new product from Accu-Tac — the first-ever Hydraulic Bipod. It works via a hydraulic piston in the top center of the bipod. The upper part of the piston attaches to a rifle’s fore-arm. The piston is connected via a hydraulic hose line to a remote cylinder with a red crank handle (dial) on top. When the shooter rotates the 4-pronged red dial this raises the rifle up/down slightly by moving the piston.

There is a full write-up GunsAmerica Digest (GAD) with more photos. GAD Reviewer Levi Sim explains:

“The big deal about this bipod is that red column under the rifle mount. It’s a piston that moves up and down with a dial that sits on the table.

This dial uses hydraulic pressure with oil in the hose to raise the rifle mount. Each 180° turn of the dial raises the piston 19mm. This precise adjustment should allow a shooter to make minute adjustments to the rifle’s elevation without shrugging their bodies around and should lead to greater precision.”

The new Accu-Tac Bipod has an adjustable leg spread which can extend to 27″. At the end of the legs are F-TR type skids that allow the rifle to slide back during recoil. These skids are bolted in place so it appears they do not rotate. This new bipod should be available for sale later in 2023 with an anticipated price around $800.00. SEE Other Accu-Tac Bipods.

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January 24th, 2023

Quick History of Silhouette Shooting — the Origins in Mexico

Silhouette Centerfire high power history formation Mexico Ram Pig Chicken livestock

The NRA Blog ran an feature on Silhouette shooting by NRA Silhouette Program Coordinator Jonathan Leighton. Here are selections from Leighton’s story:

NRA Silhouette Shooting
The loud crack from the bullet exiting the muzzle followed by an even louder ‘clang’ as you watch your target fly off the railing is really a true addiction for most Silhouette shooters. There is nothing better than shooting a game where you actually get to see your target react to the bullet. In my opinion, this is truly what makes this game so much fun.

Metallic Silhouette — A Mexican Import
Silhouette shooting came to this country from Mexico in the 1960s. It is speculated that sport had its origins in shooting contests between Pancho Villa’s men around 1914. After the Mexican Revolution the sport spread quickly throughout Mexico. ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ uses steel silhouettes shaped like game animals. Chickens up front followed by rows of pigs, turkeys, and furthest away, rams. Being that ‘Siluetas Metalicas’ was originally a Mexican sport, it is common to hear the targets referred to by their Spanish names Gallina (chicken), Javelina (pig), Guajalote (turkey) and Borrego (ram). Depending on the discipline one is shooting, these animals are set at different distances from the firing line, but always in the same order.

Before Steel There Was… Barbeque
In the very beginnings of the sport, live farm animals were used as targets, and afterwards, the shooters would have a barbeque with all the livestock and/or game that was shot during the match. The first Silhouette match that used steel targets instead of livestock was conducted in 1948 in Mexico City, Mexico by Don Gonzalo Aguilar. [Some matches hosted by wealthy Mexicans included high-ranking politicians and military leaders].

As the sport spread and gained popularity during the 1950s, shooters from the Southwestern USA started crossing the Mexican border to compete. Silhouette shooting came into the US in 1968 at the Tucson Rifle Club in Arizona. The rules have stayed pretty much the same since the sport has been shot in the US. NRA officially recognized Silhouette as a shooting discipline in 1972, and conducted its first NRA Silhouette Nationals in November of 1972.

Great Video of Silhouette Shooting in Canada with Drone Footage

Now There Are Multiple Disciplines
The actual sport of Silhouette is broken into several different disciplines. High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Cowboy Lever Action Rifle, Black Powder Cartridge Rifle, Air Rifle, Air Pistol, and Hunter’s Pistol are the basic disciplines. Cowboy Lever Action is broken into three sub-categories to include Smallbore Cowboy Rifle, Pistol Cartridge Cowboy Lever Action, and regular Cowboy Lever Action. Black Powder Cartridge Rifle also has a ‘Scope’ class, and Hunter’s Pistol is broken into four sub-categories. Some clubs also offer Military Rifle Silhouette comps.

Here is a rimfire silhouette match conducted by the Sporting Shooters’ Assn. of Australia.
Silhouette Centerfire high power history formation Mexico Ram Pig Chicken livestock

Where to Shoot Silhouette
NRA-Sanctioned matches are found at gun clubs nation-wide. There are also many State, Regional, and National matches across the country as well. You can find match listings on the Shooting Sports USA website or contact the NRA Silhouette Department at (703) 267-1465. For more info, visit, the #1 website dedicated to Silhouette shooting sports.

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