When most shooters think of Barrett, the first thing that comes to mind is their .50-caliber rifle and that makes sense considering all the attention it has gotten in military use. This year, Barrett parlayed what they learned from making battle-proven rifles into the company’s first hunting-specific rifle, the 98B LW. Barrett president Chris Barrett tells me the reason they made this gun is because they’re big-time hunters at Barrett, and he just hated making great guns all week and then having to pick up some other manufacturer’s gun to hunt on weekends.
I know it looks a little futuristic, but this is a basic box magazine-fed bolt-action rifle. Chamberings range from .260 Rem. to .338 Lapua. It has several unique features including a polymer bolt guide that not only essentially makes operating the bolt effortless because of its low coefficient of friction, but when you close the bolt it cams over the bolt body protecting it from dust, dirt and even droppings from your peanut butter sandwich you might eat while waiting in your stand.
When it comes time to take this gun down for cleaning, it’s as easy as pushing a button. Just behind the pistol grip is a take-down button and when you push it, the 98B LW breaks open like a single-barrel shotgun so you can lift out the bolt and bolt guide. If you want to go even further, put the safety button half-way between safe and fire and it comes out freeing the entire adjustable trigger assembly as a single unit.
These guns come with a sub-MOA guarantee, and rightly so for the $4,000+ suggested retail price. Though the gun looks very linear, and it is, it’s comfortable to shoot from field positions including prone. Recoil is straight back with pretty much no muzzle rise. I didn’t find the kick of a .300 Win. Mag. gun that bad, but if you’re recoil sensitive, the Barrett 98B LW comes threaded for a muzzlebrake or suppressor.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”
In 2008, Mayer returned to the editorial side of publishing, this time in the digital field, as Editorial Director for Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Handguns and Rifleshooter online magazines. After a brief stint in 2011 as the Digital Media Director for an ABC TV affiliate, Mayer returned to the outdoors industry and Safari Club International where he is currently Assistant Publisher and Multi-Media Communications Editor.