Barrett M82-A1, .416 Barrett

Same as M82-A1, except chambered in .416 Barrett

weapon (ranged)

This entry is to reflect in GURPS terms the differences between the standard M82-A1 in .50BMG and the same weapon chambered in .416 Barrett.

Weapon Name Damage Accuracy Range Weight Rate of Fire Capacity Minimum Strength vs. Recoil Bulk Recoil Cost Tech Level
Barrett M82-A1, .416 Barrett 14D 10 2200/7400 30.9 2~ 10+1 10B -7 2 $8900.00 7

The accuracy rating above will assume that the shooter is using match-grade (high-quality) ammo.

The .416 Barrett cartridge is a direct descendent of the .50BMG, and improves upon its long-range performance characteristics in almost every meaningful way. This is due to two basic facts: First, the .416 was designed for the purposes of being a long-distance accuracy cartridge, whereas the fifty was designed to be sprayed out of a large machine gun and hit with a lot of power at medium ranges. Second, the fifty harkens aback to the days of the earliest smokeless powders. The .416 was designed with the newest powders, making it more efficient for its purpose.

In many ways, the .416 Barrett performs almost identically to the .408 Chytac, but if one cares to split hairs, the .416 Barrett is the winner. Each of these cartridges have the best of what the .50BMG and the .338 Lapua can do.

The .416 Barrett is a smaller caliber cartridge than the fifty, (the projectiles are smaller in diameter,) and the projectiles all have smaller masses. In terms of total developed energy at the muzzle, the .50BMG produces significantly more energy than the .416 Barrett. Considering only these things, it would make sense that the .50BMG should do more damage in GURPS terms. The problem is that bullet diameter, bullet mass, and total energy developed at the muzzle are only part of the equation. Bullets still must fly from their points of origin to their targets in order to be effective.

Based on the information that I could find, the .50BMG does indeed have more energy, from muzzle to about 650 yards. At about that point, though, something interesting happens in comparison between the two. The .416 begins to have more energy at that range than the fifty. From that point onward, the .416 Barrett has significantly more energy than the .50BMG, all the way to the furthest point that a well-trained shooter could hit with either cartridge. This is due to the fact that the .416 has much better energy retention over distance. (The projectile is more aerodynamic at supersonic speeds, and, as a result, has a much higher ballistic coefficient.)

The bottom line, as far as damage is concerned, is that the .416 Barret cartridge, (and also the .408 Chytac,) has more energy striking the target at distances realistic for this type of weapon system.

In terms of accuracy, I give props to the .416 Barrett because its trajectory is much flatter than .50BMG. This is important because corrections due to distance, (in essence, bullet drop,) aren’t as severe. This is caused by the same factor as mentioned above: the .416 looses less energy over distance than the 50.

In terms of recoil, the .416 Barret is also the winner. Recoil is mostly a factor of bullet mass, versus the mass of the gun. Other factors come into play, but it’s mostly that. The essence is, if you have a gun of a given weight, and shoot a heavy projectile, you will have a certain amount of recoil. If you take the same gun, (with the same mass) and shoot a lighter projectile, you will have less recoil than before. That comes into play in this comparison. The .50BMG typically shoots projectiles that weigh in the area of 750 grains. The .416 Barrett standard load calls for a 400 grain projectile. The difference is obvious, (at least to a seasoned shooter.)

Barrett M82-A1, .416 Barrett

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