“There’s a certain amount of sex appeal to a weapon. So the M107 looks good, it looks good, and it is good.”
– Ronnie Barrett, Ultimate Weapons
Barrett was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in 1954, and graduated from Murfreesboro Central High School. He started his career in 1972 as a professional photographer. In 1982, while he owned a photography studio, he got his initial inspiration to create what would become the Barrett signature product.
Since no commercially available .50 caliber rifle existed at that time, he decided to make a semi-automatic weapon. With no background in manufacturing or engineering, Barrett sketched a cross-sectioned, full-size rifle, adding different components to it. Once he decided on the concept, he approached some machine shops with his drawings. They told him that if his idea was any good, someone smarter would have already designed it.
Note the distinctive arrowhead muzzle break.
1. M82 Prototype