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GUN REVIEWS : The Barrett XM-109 Sniper Rifle
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Reply
Recommend  Message 1 of 2 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameGunrockets  (Original Message)Sent: 12/09/2004 02:13
CUT THEM DOWN: The Barrett XM-109 Sniper Rifle
 

Sniping just got a whole lot more deadly with the Barrett XM-109 sniper rifle, which marries improved range with the firepower of an Apache helicopter.



Sniper Nirvana: The high-powered Barrett XM-109 rifle.

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[Have opinions on this article? Go to the Discussion Forum to sound off.]

XM-109 Rifle: The Skinny

Name:
Barrett XM-109 Sniper Rifle

Type of Equipment:
Sniper Rifle

Killer Features:
  • Fires 25mm low velocity HEDP ammunition
  • Accurate out to 2,500 meters
  • 46 inches long, weighs 33 pounds.
  • Components interchangeable with M-107 .50 caliber rifle
  • Incorporates BORS ballistic computer
Related Links:

Barrett M468
Heckler & Koch XM-8
Heckler & Koch G11
More Weapons
Equipment Guide


Hakkaa Päälle -- the term is Finnish for "Cut them down," and it's been passed down from the Finnish cavalry of Gustavus Adolphus in the 17th century to the Finnish infantry during the Russo-Finn Winter War in the 20th century.

With any luck, America's light infantry will soon be saying it as well. Already established as the world's authority and leader in the production of heavy caliber long range sniper rifles -- including the M107 .50 caliber rifle -- Barrett Arms hopes to raise the bar even higher with the introduction of its new XM-109 25mm payload rifle. Based on the existing M-107 design, the XM-109 will give infantry the ability to lethally engage light armored vehicles out to 2500 meters, with the firepower of an Apache helicopter. For Soldiers needing an edge in combat, that's a pretty good can of Hakkaa Päälle to open up on the enemy.

Deadly Combination

The XM-109 is essentially a reconfigured M-107 .50 Caliber semi-automatic rifle -- if you can imagine a .50 caliber rifle being mated with a 25 mm receiver. Thanks to the increased power, the XM-109 rifle is designated as a "payload" rifle, designed to destroy light armor, and light enough to be carried by a single sniper. Essentially, the 25mm upper receiver attaches directly to the lower receiver of the M-107 (in effect, swapping out the .50 caliber components for 25mm ones). In the process, the rifle's weight actually remains unchanged at 33 pounds, but its length has been shortened considerably, with the XM-109 (at 46 inches) being 11 inches shorter than the M-107.

Like the M-107, the XM-109 will come with a spiked bipod (to stabilize the weapon and help manage recoil), a large, multi-baffle muzzle brake, and a standard "flattop" optical sight rail, which will allow the rifle to use any existing electro-optical or thermal weapon sight currently in the US inventory. Ammunition is fed out of a detachable box magazine, though in the case of the XM-109, magazine capacity has been reduced from 10 to 5 rounds. Barrett is currently developing mounts to enable the XM-109 to be used in vehicles, helicopters, and soft-sided (rubber) watercraft.

  XM-109 rifle components
The components of the XM-109; chief among them is the 25mm receiver.

The centerpiece of the XM-109 system is the 25mm HEDP ammunition it fires. A scaled down derivative of the low velocity 30mm HEDP M789 ammunition fired by the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the MX-109's 25mm ammunition has been judged to be 2.5 times more effective at destroying targets than a .50 caliber armor-piercing round. It is expected that this ammunition can penetrate nearly 40mm (an inch and a half) of armor plating at 500 meters, or blast open doors from around the corner. In other words, it gives the Soldier breaching capability on fortified positions, while minimizing exposure to enemy fire, thanks to its effectiveness at greater distances. Also in the works are a number of specialized rounds, ranging from solid core AP ammunition to non-lethal/ crowd control munitions utilizing inert rubber balls, and RC agents.

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Zeroing In

To enable the shooter to engage targets out to 2,500 meters, Barrett has developed an integrated ballistic computer/ riflescope system known as BORS (Barrett Optical Ranging System). Historically, long range shooting has been a highly technical endeavor in which the shooter had to make a number of calculations before the trigger could be pulled. These calculations included range to the target, the effects of barometric pressure and air temperature, and the type of ammunition loaded. BORS automatically calculates all these variables, and adjusts the sight reticule accordingly. All the shooter needs to do is enter the ammunition type into the BORS (using touch pads on the BORS console) determine the range (either mechanically or through a LRF) and crank the elevation knob on the scope until the proper range appears in the BORS display. The BORS automatically determines the temperature and barometric pressure, as well as the cant or tilt in the rifle itself, and incorporates these enviro-physical factors into its calculations. Once the proper range has been entered, the shooter need only put the target under the crosshairs and pull the trigger.

  XM-109 undergoing testing
The XM-109 undergoing testing.

The Block I version of BORS is available now, while Block II (which will include an integrated range finder) is expected to become available in '05 with Block III (new optics, Night Vision capable, wide angle, stabilized image) becoming available in '06. Lastly, Barrett believes that the BORS system will be completely compatible with the 200mm air-bursting grenade featured on the OICW and that similar ammunition could be developed for use in the XM-109, as well as adapting the BORS to the OICW, to provide ranging and environmental information to the 20mm grenade launcher.

  XM-109 rifle
The Barrett XM-109 in all its glory.

Right Weapon, Right Time

The XM-109 isn't the first rifle designed with armor-piercing capabilities in mind. One of the great anti-tank rifles (ATR) was the Finnish L39 Lahti. Firing 20mm AP ammunition, the Lahti was deadly against pre-World War II Soviet tanks. Unfortunately, it was also very rough on the shooter as well. Dubbed the "Elephant Gun" because of its savage recoil, the Lahti was rendered obsolete as an ATR by 1941, and by the conclusion of WWII, ATR itself had became a thing of the past. Too light to penetrate tank (or even modern APC) armor, too heavy to be easily transportable, and too hard on the operator to encourage active use, ATRs were simply outclassed by the emergent ATGMs and RPGs.

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Well, ATRs may be making a comeback. While anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) still reign supreme, there is a niche in today's battlefield where a weapon such as the XM-109 would do very well. Too heavy to be truly considered offensive weapons, both the M-107 and the XM-109 excel in the defense. In the environments American soldiers now find themselves (urban built up areas where the primary human threat is either dismounted infantry or modified civilian vehicles such as the Somali "technicals") a cost effective anti-vehicular weapon is just what they need. In this role, the XM-109 has several advantages over both ATGMs and RPGs. Since it is a rifle, it has no back blast, so it can be fired from within an enclosed structure, vehicle, or aircraft, without danger to the vehicle, or passengers. Firing a small DPHE warhead, the XM-109 is perfectly capable of stopping a vehicle without obliterating it and causing additional collateral damage (as would be the case if the target were hit by a TOW missile).

Finally, the XM-109 is usable throughout its entire range, unlike missiles (and at a significantly longer range than an RPG), and is capable of being employed at far shorter ranges (such as those encountered in urban block fights) than would be possible with helicopter launched ATGMs or unguided aerial rockets. The XM-109 isn't going to turn the tide in the war on terrorism by itself, but it will make it a little safer.



 Barrett XM-109 Specifications

Caliber:

25mm

Builder:

Barrett Rifles

Overall Length:

46 inches

Operation:

Short recoil operation, semi-automatic

Features:

M1913 optical rail, BORS ballistic computer, monopod socket


Weight:

33.2 lbs

Muzzle Velocity:

2600 feet per second

Magazine Capacity:

5-round detachable box magazine

Accessories:

Dual-chamber detachable muzzle brake or suppressor system; detachable bipod and carry handle




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Reply
Recommend  Message 2 of 2 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameNet-Specter1Sent: 21/10/2004 16:57
I wonder what that would do to a ground hog?!!! 

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