Among one of the cooler bolt guns I fondled at the 2016 SHOT Show was the Model 98B Fieldcraft from Barrett. I’m a sucker for a cool bolt gun and Barrett certainly has a history of making “reach out and touch it” rifles. The Fieldcraft has been out for about a year and brings a couple features to the table that are interesting and fun . . .
The Model 98B is the bare bones, magazine fed, bolt gun that rounds out a portfolio that includes auto loading, mag fed, and single shot .50’s as well as auto loading 5.56 guns. The Model 98B has traditionally been a magnum chambered gun with an eye on .338 Lapua. The Fieldcraft is specifically designed to be a lightweight gun, perfect for hunting and competition.
The Fieldcraft edition comes in .338 Lapua Mag, .300 Win Mag, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 WIN, .260 REM, and 6.5 Creedmoor. All six guns come in five different colors, black, grey, burnt bronze, brown, and OD green. The Magnums will come with a twenty-four-inch barrel while the slippery 6.5s will be fitted with a twenty-two-inch barrel. The .308 WIN will feature a stubby eighteen inch barrel.
All of the Fieldcraft guns feature a built-in 20 MOA Picatinny rail, and a magazine feeding system. Each gun ships with one ten-round magazine. Additional magazines are available from Barrett for $89.
I had the chance to play around with it in the booth a bit and I was pleasantly surprised at how nimble and handy it felt. No, it wasn’t wearing a scope, and with the sort of capability they’re advertising, you can be damn well certain that any scope that sits atop this gun is going to weigh more than a few ounces. That said, it still felt very well balanced, and while I wouldn’t exactly pick it first for walking and stalking, I think you could still sling it over your shoulder and go on a jaunt through the woods.
As I only put hands on the Fieldcraft edition in the booth, I don’t know how it shoots, but the trigger was glassy smooth, and the bolt manipulation was excellent. The adjustable cheek piece is a nice touch and the Key Mod equipped hand guard, very slim by the way, ensures that you can fit the gun to your specific wants and desires. If the length of pull isn’t right, Barrett will sell you a kit to fine tune it for $31. Speaking of money, MSRP on the Fieldcraft is $4499 for the .338, $4419 for the .300 Win Mag and 7mm Rem Mag options, and $4113 for the short action loadings.