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American COP March/April 2011 Digital Edition - Page 36

! P V M n o i s s i M i t a Mul lap on iron sights, a reflex or red dot and you’ve got a premier patrol carbine. Mount a variable-power scope with a tactical reticle, and it’s a great perimeter containment or site security weapon. Add a light, a laser and perhaps an adjunct mini red dot, and you have a superb SWAT search, entry, street-sweeping, alleycleaning, room-clearing firearm. The Barrett REC7 carbine is a true multi-mission platform. Why the REC7? Since we’re scattered across the country, “bull sessions” by COP staff are few. During a recent exchange, we were discussing some of the innovative methods used or considered by LE agencies in equipping their officers. One interesting method involves establishing certain parameters and restrictions on calibers, operating controls and safety features, but in effect “subsidizing” purchase of the officers’ personal choice, with them making up any difference between the allowance and the price, and ultimately allowing them to “buy-out” the weapon. When the conversation inevitably led to “What would you buy?” maybe a half-second lapsed before one voice rang out, “Barrett REC7! It’s prime, it’s choice! And, well, it’s a Barrett!” Okay, let’s take a look at it. The origin and intent of the REC7 is expressed in its model designation. The “REC” stands for “Reliability Enhanced Carbine.” With his highly regarded .50 BMG rifles in global use by the military, Ronnie Barrett hears from a lot of serious end users. While praising Barrett’s .50s, they frequently registered their complaints about the malfunction-plagued M4 carbine. At the time, the Department of Defense seemed re- John Morrison The Barrett S REC7 Carbine Reloading the REC7 is fast and certain thanks to the beveled magazine well. All magazines tested locked up firm and dropped free without glitches. ceptive to new designs to correct those problems, and even appeared interested in a then-new cartridge conceived by special operations personnel: the 6.8x43mm SPC (Special Purpose Cartridge). DoD’s interests have since gone astray, but not Barrett’s. Barrett’s goal was to produce a cleaner and cooler running, utterly reliable “soldier-proof” system which would be operationally consistent with the as-issued AR platform, but exceed its performance in virtually every regard. That’s what Ronnie Barrett and his team set out to achieve, and they nailed it. The first REC7s were chambered in 6.8 SPC, and additional models chambered in 5.56mm NATO soon followed. Now both chamberings are available in several forms ranging from an 8" barreled PDW (Personal Defense Weapon) to our 16" 5.56mm test model designated the 12257, which we selected as the most appropriate all-around choice for LE application. Features The heart of the REC7 system is its one-piece hardened 17-4 stainless steel gas piston, reputed to be the most robust in the industry. It’s the first single-piece operating rod/gas piston I’ve seen, and it looks indestructible. The gas block itself is chrome lined, with a 1913 rail section on top, and the 2-position gas regulator is nitride treated for maximum durability. Switching from “normal” to “suppressed” mode and back is done by simply pressing a spring-loaded detent, which is protected from incidental movement, and slightly rotating the gas plug to a positive stop. The 16" barrel is magnetic particle tested for absolute consistency and stout; what you might call a “mediumheavy” profile, chrome-lined with a 1-in-7" twist and an M4 ramp for slick feeding. An A2-style flash suppressor tops it off. It is free-floated in a 9" Daniel Defense Omega X quad-rail fore end; an item which would cost you $315 plus ‘smithing charges if purchased separately. The Omega X provides a smooth interface with the WWW.AMERICANCOPMAGAZINE.COM • MARCH/APRIL 2011 Add iron sights like these Diamondheads, or a combat-proven day/ night reflex like the Meprolight M21, and the REC7 is ready to rock. 36

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