Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

.416 Barrett

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Neck diameter
.465 in (11.8 mm)

Place of origin
Bullet diameter
.416 in (10.6 mm)

Chris Barrett and Pete Forras

The .416 Barrett or 10.6×83mm centerfire rifle cartridge is a proprietary bottlenecked centrefire rifle cartridge designed in 2005. It is an alternative to the .50 BMG in long-range high-power rifles. It was designed in response to a request for a medium/heavy rifle/cartridge combination that was issued from Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division in late 2004. Its metric size is 10.6×83mm.



The Barrett .416 cartridge was designed by Chris Barrett, son of Ronnie Barrett, with the help of Pete Forras. The bullet was designed using some NACA low-supersonic-drag equations to design the shape.

The cartridge was designed as an improvement to the .50 BMG cartridge, a common machine-gun and rifle cartridge. It is similar to a wildcatted .50 BMG case, shortened to 3.27 inches (83 mm) and necked down to accept a .416 caliber, 398-grain (25.8 g) projectile; it is however of proprietary dimension. Because the two cartridges, the .50 BMG and .416 Barrett, have identical base dimensions, all that is needed to convert a rifle to use one or the other cartridge is a relatively quick barrel swap.

The Barrett Model 99 was initially the only commercially available rifle using the cartridge. In 2009, Zel Custom Manufacturing released the Tactilite .416 Barrett upper for AR-style rifles and there is now a range of options available from several manufacturers: Bohica Arms now have a bolt-action, single-shot AR-15 upper receiver conversion available in .416 Barrett, Noreen rifles makes a rifle in .416 Barrett, as does Desert Tactical Arms - and Barrett themselves now also has a .416 Barrett option for its semi-automatic M82A1.

Barrett 398 gr solid brass boattail spitzer bullet

The use of a lighter, narrower bullet results in a significantly higher muzzle velocity and superior ballistic performance to the .50 BMG, and the .416 Barrett is claimed to retain more energy than the .50 BMG at distances over 1,000 yards. Barrett claims that this cartridge is capable of propelling a 398 gr solid brass boattail spitzer bullet out of the 32-inch (810 mm) barrel of a Model 99 single-shot rifle at 960 m/s (3150 ft/s), giving it a ballistic coefficient of .720, and keeping the projectile supersonic out to 1,737 metres (1,900 yards).

In a second-season episode of Future Weapons the host (Richard Machowicz, a former Navy SEAL) engaged in a shooting competition with another sniper. Machowicz achieved a cold-bore first-shot "kill" at 2,500 yards (2,286 m) using a .416 Barrett Model 99 rifle while his competition, using a .50 BMG, required three shots to achieve a "kill". The .416 Barrett Model 99 rifle Mr. Machowicz used during this competition was equipped with a Barrett Optical Ranging System (BORS) module attached to the telescopic sight.

.416 Barrett MSG bullet

Improvement beyond this standard while still using standard .416 Barrett brass seems possible, but the bullets have to be specially designed. An example of such a special .416 Barrett very low drag extreme range bullet is the German CNC manufactured mono-metal 27.5 gram (424 gr) .416 Barrett MSG (G1 BC ≈ 1.103 – this ballistic coefficient (BC) is calculated by its designer, Mr. Lutz Möller, and not proven by Doppler radar measurements). The solid brass .416 Barrett MSG bullet has an overall length of 56 mm (2.2 in) and derives its exceptional low drag from a radical LD Haack or Sears-Haack profile in the bullet's nose area. Rifles chambered for this cartridge bullet combination, with a cartridge overall length of 116 mm (4.6 in), have to be equipped with custom made 1,016 mm (40.0 in) long 279 mm (1:11 in) twist rate barrels to stabilize the .416 Barrett MSG projectiles and attain a projected 1032 m/s (3385 ft/s) muzzle velocity.

Muzzle velocity

  • 25.8 g (398 gr) solid brass projectile: 960 m/s (3150 ft/s); 8767.4 ft·lbf (~11,887 J).
  • Legality

    A few jurisdictions in the United States, most notably California as well as a few nations such as Austria [1], Belgium, Italy, Lithuania and Netherlands restrict or prohibit civilian ownership of rifles chambered to use the .50 BMG cartridge, but not the .416 Barrett.


    .416 Barrett Wikipedia