Barrett MRAD .338 Reliability / Accuracy

ANGLICO

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Aug 18, 2019
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Hello,

I'm looking for opinions from people who have real world experience with the Barrett MRAD .338 rifle. I'm getting ready to buy a high power rifle for both wild boar hunting and 1000+ yard steel square hunting.

I'm fairly deep into the research phase and am waffling between .300 and .338, but leaning somewhat heavily towards .338 as I've never read a bad thing about that round (aside from price) and it seems to be the up and coming round for very long range targets.

I've removed .50 cal from the list, primarily due to operation concerns (a lot of ranges don't allow them, weight, etc.), and reluctantly removed the .308 as it seems to lose power around the 800 yard mark.

So now that I've more or less decided on the .338 I need to decide on a rifle.

The Barrett MRAD looks good and has good reviews, but I always prefer hands-on experience from actual owners so I was hoping a few people could chime in.
 

Blaster7Romeo

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There is like a 18 page thread in the sticky section on the MRAD that should take you a while to work throe...

I have a 338 and 300 barrle.. the 300 is no problem at 1k.. the 300 will have less recoil as well
 

IanHusaberg

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I started the Barrett MRAD thread. I have a proof 24” carbon barrel. I wish I had the 26” fluted and or the heavy barrel. 338 is no joke. The heavier the rifle the better you are off in the accuracy department. Unless you are a large man or have your fundamentals squared away, 338 is a beast to shoot. All Barrett barrels are tier 1 in my book.

I’d look at the new 30 cal bullets Hornady atip 250 gn. .442 g7 bc will out shoot 338 cal.. Think 300 Norma or 300 prc?...

For hunting application 338 will punch a bigger hole. Check out the thread. 338 Lapua has more ft/lbs. at a 1k than 44 mag point blank.

Think reloading if your going to get into this deep end of the pool.
 

kthomas

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Well, @TheGerman thinks they are the bestest rifle ever made, so there's that.

A shooting buddy of mine has one, and it's decent. Decent trigger, decent ergo's, decent accuracy. Overall there's nothing really overly impressive about the rifle, but it works. If it checks all the boxes for you, then go for it.

I personally prefer custom rifles - that way you can build a rifle that fits you exactly and is built to your specs. I would take any one of my custom rifles over my buddies MRAD any day of the week, but that's me.

You don't need a .338LM for 1,000+ yard shooting. I'm going out on a limb and assuming this is your first precision rifle. Lots of first timers think they need a .338LM, but they end up for sale as the owners realize they don't need the recoil nor expensive ammo for their pedestrian shooting. Stick with a short action cartridge - those will be more than enough for 1,000+ yard shooting. If you don't reload, then a 6.5 creedmoor is always a decent choice.
 

ANGLICO

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Aug 18, 2019
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@kthomas thank you for your feedback. This is exactly what I was looking for.

I'd like to build a custom rifle, it seems like fun, but I don't have enough experience to do so, yet, so I'm looking for something that is really good from the factory that doesn't require a lot of tinkering.

I shot .50 cals in the Marines, and of course the M16. I owned a Remington 700P .30-06 for a few years. and shot that quite a bit.

Kick never really bothered me much, even on the .50 cal so I'm not terribly worried about that, but watching $5 turn into fire and smoke every time I pull the trigger isn't terribly appealing :)

I've had a crush on the .338 for years and it just seems like round that leaves you wanting for nothing, aside from deeper pockets.

I'm also looking at the AI AXMC as I've heard nothing but good things about it.
 
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kthomas

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@kthomas thank you for your feedback. This is exactly what I was looking for.

I'd like to build a custom rifle, it seems like fun, but I don't have enough experience to do so, yet, so I'm looking for something that is really good from the factory that doesn't require a lot of tinkering.

I shot .50 cals in the Marines, and of course the M16. I owned a Remington 700P .30-06 for a few years. and shot that quite a bit.

Kick never really bothered me much, even on the .50 cal so I'm not terribly worried about that, but watching $5 turn into fire and smoke every time I pull the trigger isn't terribly appealing :)

I've had a crush on the .338 for years and it just seems like round that leaves you wanting for nothing, aside from deeper pockets.

I'm also looking at the AI AXMC as I've heard nothing but good things about it.
If you know you want a .338LM and want a factory rifle, then neither the Barrett or the AI is a bad choice.

I can appreciate not wanting to build a custom until you absolutely know what you want in a rifle.
 
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ANGLICO

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@IanHusaberg thanks. I read all 18 pages and it answered most of my questions.

I would go with the longer, heavier barrel. I'm fairly large, and humping extra gear never bothered me in the Marines so a few extra pounds to take the edge off the recoil might be nice - though recoil never bothered me much, either, even with .50 cals

I'm definitely considering buying reloading gear if I got the .338LM route as the cost of shooting would quickly surpass the cost of the rifle.
 

candyx

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If it good enough for SOCOM to use it should be outstanding for civilian use. Building a custom isn't as hard as you think, just pick out an action and barrel and a decent gunsmith and your set. The only problem is the waiting for all the pieces coming together where as a MRAD is instance . The 338 extends your perimeter if using it for home defense or if light skirmish flares up. I haven't found any military 338 ammo like you can get for the 5.56 and 7.62.

Anglico Thank You for your service !
 

Blaster7Romeo

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I have been thinking about this... just want to bring up you can buy a Ruger precision rifle in 338 and 300 win mag and 6.5 Creed and 308 win for the price of a MRAD... lol and the cal conversions are about the price of a Ruger..

Just if you are picking up a first precision rifle you don't have to shell out the money for an MRAD or AI..

The MRAD and AI are better guns hands down... but you may be able to get what you are looking for for less money.. and spend more on $5 round ammo lol

Just some food for thought for the OP
 

ANGLICO

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@Blaster7Romeo thanks for the suggestion. My ultimate goal is to be able to reliably hit targets at the 1+ mile mark. I don't know much about Ruger's Precision series, but I basically want to skip the entire "buy a series of cheaper rifles and work your way up to a premium one" phase and just jump right to the expensive one, assuming there is an actual benefit to the more expensive models.

I owned a 700P 30-06 for several years, so I already know I enjoy distance shooting. I'm not worried about buying a really expensive toy then finding out I didn't actually want it. What I don't want to buy is a rifle that is accurate to 1000 yards but then has trouble hitting the mark at 1500+ yards.

I'm (perhaps falsely) assuming there is a reason that AI and Barrett cost 3x more than other rifles, and presumably that reason is accuracy and reliability. Again, I don't know, which is why I started the thread in the first place. I don't want to buy a $6k rifle only to find out it has the exact same capabilities as a $2k rifle, which is why I came here to ask.
 

Blaster7Romeo

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@ANGLICO you may be better posing that general 1500 vs 1000yd gun question rather that focusing on just the MRAD in your title.. The MRAD dose not get much love here so this thread may not be getting the love it deserves

I am sure some searching my find you a few threads that already cover that...

I am not trying to talk you out of am MRAD I have one... but want to make sure it is the right thing for your needs.
 

IanHusaberg

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Well....., the Mrad got me a first round hit(12” plate) in conjunction with the sig 2400 applied ballistics @ 1200 y. With a lot of hard reloading work and a solid zero!

I have shot a AI and owned a RPR. AI is solid. RPR is better than a savage. I bought the mrad as a change barrel system, it hasn’t disappointed. If you want to buy the AI mXC system you won’t be disappointed either. Barrett was the route I choose. No regrets, zero.

Barrett equals simplicity. Period. Clean design, execution, accuracy. What more could you ask for?