Barrett’s MRAD-(Multi-Role Adaptive Design) Rifle Brings a .338 Punch to the Party
By Scott Wagner
We’ve all heard the saying “it’s time to bring in the big guns”. Well the Barrett MRAD in .338 Lapua Magnum is one of those big guns, and the .338 Lapua Magnum cartridge seems to be an ideal round for those times in American civilian law enforcement when the .308 Winchester may not be enough (heavy barriers or reinforced homes or vehicles) and a .50 BMG weapon is way too much.
With 4352 ft/lbs of energy at 100 yards using a 285-grain Hornady BTHP Match Bullet, the .338 Lapua Magnum sits nicely at the lower end of the scale between the .308 Winchester — which has 2355 ft/lbs of energy using a 168-grain Hornady TAP bullet — and the .50 BMG which has an almost unbelievable 12,388 ft/lbs of energy using the Hornady 750-grain A-MAX bullet.
If you, my fellow law enforcement snipers, really stop and think about it, for urban or suburban police snipers whose shots average a distance of about 64 yards, the 50 BMG has way too much power for even the toughest law enforcement situations.
In fact, I bet that most agencies that have purchased the big .50 have found that it is rarely, if ever, actually deployed.
You can bet that the 5.56 SDMR, 6.8 SPC, .308 Winchester and even the .300 Win Mag do the yeoman’s share of work in stateside situations.
Speaking of the .300 Winchester Magnum it too is eclipsed by the .338 Lapua by more than 1000 ft/lbs at 100 yards even when loaded with a .30 caliber heavyweight bullet like the 180-grain. And yet, it is still about 1/3 as powerful as the .50 BMG, giving it a much higher level of general utility than that blockbuster round.
About the Author: Scott Wagner is a 32-year law enforcement veteran. Currently a police sergeant in Baltimore, Ohio, he spent 20 years with the Union County Ohio Sheriff's Office as a Reserve Deputy where he worked patrol, training and SWAT, and was the assistant SWAT team leader and a team sniper. Wagner has been a state-certified police firearms, fitness and defensive tactics instructor for 26 years, and has been a criminal justice professor and police academy commander for 20 years at a community college in the Midwest.He is the author of the Gun Digest books, "Tactical Shotguns,", "Own the Night—A Guide to Tactical Lights and Laser Sights," and Survival Guns.
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