Barrett M90 – an M82A1’s successor

Barrett M90 Weapon System
Barrett M90 Weapon System used by Coalition forces in Afghanistan (Photo: XY)

Barrett M90 is a simpler weapon than the Barrett M82A1, being a bolt-action magazine rifle. This change in mechanism has been accompanied by other modifications, resulting in a weapon that is shorter and lighter than the semi-automatic M82 (Light Fifty). It was designed in 1990 and produced until 1995 when it was replaced with Barrett M95.


It is in bullpup form, with the action well back in the stock; the chamber is under the firer’s cheek, so as to accommodate the maximum length of the barrel within the minimum overall length. A very efficient muzzle brake is fitted, together with a special absorbent butt pad, reducing the felt recoil to be a manageable level.

Barrett M90 sniper rifle appeared in 1990 as a successor of the M82A1 sniper rifle produced by Barrett Firearms Inc.
Barrett M90 sniper rifle appeared in 1990 as a successor of the M82A1 sniper rifle produced by Barrett Firearms Inc. (Photo: XY)

There are no iron sights on the M90, nor is any sight provided as standard, but the top of the receiver is dovetailed to accept most types of sighting telescope or night vision sight (Picatinny Rail). In general terms, the M90 will do anything the Light Fifty will do but is a more convenient load to carry for long distances.

Barrett Firearms initially created the M90 to attract consumers who were seeking to find a bolt-action .50 caliber. It’s easier to make a bolt-action rifle to handle larger calibers, hence why the Barrett M90 series of bolt action .50s are not only lighter, but relatively inexpensive in comparison to the M82s and M107s.

For a stock scope, the Barrett M90 uses a 10x Leupold M series sight. It was used by several countries as their primary sniper rifle in .50 BMG caliber.

Technical specifications: Barrett M90

Manufacturer: Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Inc., Murfreesboro, Tennessee, United States
Type: Bolt-action repeating rifle
Caliber: .50 BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)
Barrel: 29 in (736 mm)
Weight (empty): 22 lbs (9.98 kg)
Magazine capacity: 5-round detachable box magazine
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