Guns Barrett Firearms at SOFIC David Reeder May 22, 2014 0 COMMENT I’ve been down at the Special Operations Forces Industry Forces (SOFIC) this week and have seen some interesting things. Today I finally got the chance to get by the Barrett Firearms booth to see what they had going on. I specifically wanted to check out the REC7 Generation II, since I hadn’t had my hands on one yet. If you were wondering – it really does feel as nice as you’ve heard, and it’s definitely not just another AR. The piston driven REC 7 Gen 2 (Barrett’s version of the AR15) hasn’t much changed from its predecessor – just a difference in the forearm and how the gas block mounts, but they feel significant. It’s very nice and it’s sleek, largely because the new forearm is so streamlined. The anti-rotation QD sling swivel is integrated flush with the handguard for both lefties and righties and the shape is, for lack of a better term ergonomic. It’s still available in .556 and 6.8 and uses a Bravo Company charging handle, single piece 17-4 stainless piston, chromed-lined gas block with two position gas plug, cold hammer forged chrome-lined barrel and Geissele trigger. Currently it’s available in black, grey, OD and tan. Note that you can access the piston in this rifle without taking the handguard off, which is nice, but of course you can strip it down to an exposed barrel if you’re just bound and determined to do so (few shooters would need to do that, especially with KeyMod). If you do decide to strip it down and reassemble it, it’s a fairly intuitive system. You attach the barrel to the upper receiver, then the barrel nut, then slide the handguard over it and screw it down. The gas block and flash hider follow. (It actually resembles their MRAD.) We will take a more in depth look at the REC7 Gen II later. I did not shoot the weapon, obviously – I’m guessing all the guests there at the Tampa Convention Center would have taken exception to that – but hopefully at some point soon I will. You can read more on the REC7 here. I should also mention the 98B. The 98 B was released recently at the NRA show and it sounds like something you long range precision shooters will want to take a look at. The 98B is a more affordable, single caliber version of the Barrett MRAD. The MRAD is definitely a nice rifle, but you pay for the ability to interchange calibers –and not everyone wants to feed a .338 in the first place. To address those who prefer a specific caliber or who just don’t need (or want to pay for) the versatility of the MRAD Barrett began making precision rifles in not just .338 Lapua Magnum, but also in .300 Win Mag, .308 Win and 7mm Rem Mag individually, possibly with additional calibers coming soon. Though it seems self-evident, the barrels on the 98B are not interchangeable. Each one is for someone who wants to run a single caliber only. Barrett’s training division has a lot going on as well, but that will have to be the subject of a follow up piece. You can read up on that here in the meantime. More to follow on Barrett, if only because I like them (though admittedly there are plenty more reasons than that). Like my 1973 Challenger in JF8 metallic dark green, I haven’t actually owned a Barrett yet – but that day is coming.