Barrett Fieldcraft: a high-tech, ultra-light rifle
A Barrett rifle... for hunting? Yes, with a classic design and an high-tech twist: the Barrett Fieldcraft model offers custom-grade quality and performance while cutting all the unnecessary fat for a true featherweight!
To most gun enthusiasts worldwide, the name of the Barrett Manufacturing company will immediately call to mind the Model 82-A1 .50-caliber semi-automatic long-range rifle, an anti-material and ultra-long range interdiction weapon used by over fifty militaries worldwide.
But as a matter of fact, the M82-A1 as well as many other .50- and .416-caliber rifles from Barrett have long been available for civilian consumption as well, along with other long-range rifle designs such as the Model 98-Bravo, the MRAD, and the semi-automatic variants of Barrett's own AR-15 variant – the REC-7.
In a full spirit of commitment towards the international civilian markets, in 2016 the company landed a classic design bolt-action rifle conceived specifically for hunting and related shooting disciplines.
Dubbed the Barrett Fieldcraft, the rifle was designed with one simple goal in mind: skimming the overall weight to the minimum for enhanced comfort in carry and use without compromising on durability and reliability.
And if there ever was somebody in the industry with the capability to make such a vision become reality, that was Barrett. The overall weight of the Fieldcraft rifle, unloaded and without sights, ranges from a minimum of 2,36 kilograms (5.2 lbs) to a maximum of 2,61 kilograms (5.75 lbs) depending from the configuration.
The action of the Barrett Fieldcraft is heavily inspired by the tried-and-true Remington 700 design, except for the position of the bolt release button – located on the left side – and for a larger extractor claw, much more similar to an old-style Sako model than to a Remington.
The bolt of the Barrett Fieldcraft is available in a short-action or long-action variant, is fluted for quicker throw and lighter weight, and features two locking lugs and a two-position safety switch located just behind the cocking handle.
As of today, the rifle is available in a right-hand only configuration.
The Barrett Fieldcraft rifle comes equipped with a hand-laid carbon fiber stock whose features include a small, right-handed cheekpiece, a straight comb, sling swivels, and a Pachmayr Decelerator rubber buttpad.
A full-length bedding system reduces barrel harmonics and increases stock rigidity, and is provided with aluminum pillars to prevent crushing under action-screw pressure.
Ten calibers are available, all popular hunting chamberings for big game, deer, or stalking both in north America and Europe: .243 Winchester; .22-250 Remington; 6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor; 7mm-08 Remington; .308 Winchester; .25-06 Remington; .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield; and 6,5x55 Swedish.
For all calibers, the capacity is four rounds plus one in chamber. The Barrett Fieldcraft feeds through a blind magazine with a polymer spring and without a floorplate – another measure taken to save materials and reduce the overall weight of the design – and all the calibers selected share a rim diameter that's the same as (or inferior to) that of a .308 Winchester or a .30-06 Springfield case, with no Magnum or Short Magnum chamberings available. This allows Barrett to use scaled actions for the Fieldcraft and... save weight.
No iron sight is provided with the Barrett Fieldcraft rifle, whose receiver is drilled and tapped for the installation of scopes through aftermarket rails or rings – the Company recommending Talley scope mounts. On the rifle of thse pictures you see mounted a Nightforce SHV 4-14x56 riflescope.
The riflescope you see installed on the Barrett Fieldcraft rifle in the pictures illustrating this article is a Nightforce SHV 4-14x56.
The SHV ("Shooter, Hunter, Varminter") line represents Nightforce's "affordable" package; of course "affordable" does not mean "cheap" in this case – there's no such thing as a "cheap" Nightforce scope. The SHV line offers basically the same performance of Nightforce's own NXS line of riflescopes at a slightly lower price point, cutting off all the fat just like the Barrett Fieldcraft itself does.
The Nightforce SHV scopes are built around a hard-anodized, 6061-T6 aluminum alloy scope with metal adjustment turrets protected by weatherproof caps and a diopter quick-adjust ring on the eyepiece.
The entire SHV line is available with four first or second focal plane ¼ MOA reticles, either illuminated or non-illuminated: the IHR and MOAR reticles are available worldwide, the 4A reticle is available on export-only samples, while the Forceplex reticle is available only in north America.
The Nightforce SHV riflescopes also offer a 100-MOA adjustment range for elevation and 70-MOA adjustment range for windage, a parallax adjustment system from 25 yards to infinite, and Nightforce's signature optical clarity.
It wasn’t easy to do, but with the SHV line of riflescopes, Nightforce obtained a product that outperforms many others in its price range – and even many others that cost much more! – by cutting costs and not corners.
Limiting some options, offering simpler controls, and using a less complex manufacturing process – not reducing components quality – allowed Nightforce's SHV product family to win the 2015 Award of Excellence in the Optic Product Of The Year category from Sporting Classics.
The Barrett Fieldcraft is built around a #0 profile, button-rifled 416 stainless steel barrel, available in a threaded version upon request, ranging from 18 to 21 or 24 inches in lenght and sporting various rifling profiles depending from the caliber; the maximum overall length for the Fieldcraft rifle reaches 112,52 cm (44.3").
And indeed, the vast majority of metal parts on the Barrett Fieldcraft are CNC-machined out of 416 stainless steel, exception made for some smaller parts such as the bolt shroud which are made out of aluminum.
The secret for the reduction of weight is in the painstaking engineering and high-tech manufacturing procedures, which allowed the company to use less material for the vast majority of components, including the receiver and the bolt itself – whose average diameter ranges around 1,48 cm (0.585").
An adjustable, single-stage Timney trigger is provided with each Barrett Fieldcraft rifle, offering a crisp release with no creep. The factory weight may vary depending from the configuration, but generally speaking it breaks at a convenient 1,2 kg (2.75 lb).
The Fieldcraft is a rifle designed for heavy hunting-style bullets to perform best; according to Barrett, sub-MOA accuracy is guaranteed with select ammo. Both hunters and target shooters will be most pleased.
It took Barrett's technology and know-how to come out with a rock-solid rifle that would perform just as a custom gun while remaining under acceptable weight levels even when fully kitted. Designed to be carried long distances in the most demanding terrain, the Fieldcraft rifle guarantees Barrett's proven accuracy and reliability when you’re ready to take the crucial shot.
Barrett Fieldcraft - Specifications
Manual repetition rifle
.243 Winchester; .22-250 Remington; 6mm and 6.5 Creedmoor; 7mm-08 Remington; .308 Winchester; .25-06 Remington; .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield; and 6,5x55 Swedish
Single-stage adjustable Timney trigger set
18"-21"-24", depending on caliber
Rifling twist of 1 in 7" / 8" / 9" / 10", depending on caliber
No iron sights
38.3" (96,7 cm) - 18" barrel
41.3" (104,9 cm) - 21" barrel
44.3" (112,5 cm) - 24" barrel
From 5.1 lbs (2.31 kg) to 5.6 lbs (2.54 kg), depending on caliber
Matte stainless steel; polymer stock
Ask your local dealer