Hands on with Barrett Model 98B Fieldcraft

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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.

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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.

comments

  1. avatar MurrDog says:

    A ruger precision for people with lots of money.

    1. avatar Cowabunga Dude says:

      Exactly.

      1. avatar matty 9 says:

        You beat me to it. One thing though, i believe you get more rifle over all with the RPR, not just more bang for your buck!

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          Don’t you mean more bucks for your bang?

    2. avatar Rusty Owen says:

      At least Barrett did it first.

    3. avatar Yawnz says:

      I’d still take the Ruger for a .308 rifle over this anyway since magazines are probably cheaper and easier to find.

    4. avatar James in AZ says:

      At least barrett is a pro gun company

  2. avatar Mark Levation says:

    Can someone please explain to me where the last $2500.00 of those $4500 bolt guns comes from? Are they bedazzled in diamonds? Dipped in unicorn blood?

    1. avatar Rusty Owen says:

      Precise machining, low volume, and the letters “BARRETT” (insert relevant manufacturer’s name).

      1. avatar matty 9 says:

        Each of those letters add 5 horse power.

  3. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    “Craft” sure is a popular marketing word these days.

    1. avatar Royal Tony says:

      I can just imagine a couple skinny jeaned, ironic mustached hipsters discussing the latest “craft AR” you’ve never heard of, over a snifter of pineapple double IPA.

      1. avatar John P. says:

        Gun ownership is a big, inclusive tent. I’d have no problem with that–the more POTG, the better–so long as they didn’t try to force me to drink their beer.

  4. avatar Bob says:

    You don’t hunt prey with 333LM, you obliterate it.

    1. avatar Rusty Owen says:

      It’s actually pretty popular for really long range stuff on elk and mountain goats.

    2. avatar josh says:

      +1 unless such said prey is over 800 yards away

    3. avatar Will in Oregon says:

      Clearly you’ve never seen a Roosevelt elk up close

  5. avatar Gman says:

    I find articles like this fascinating. Just as I enjoy reading about the latest half million dollar supercar, yet fully understand I will never own one. Yet, how many on this site will ever lay out $4,500 dollars for one of these?

    1. avatar MurrDog says:

      Get a desert tech before one of these. Actually worth the money.

      1. avatar Gman says:

        For what reason? I have no need to hunt Rocky Mountain sasquatches while sitting on the porch of my home in Virginia. 🙂

      2. avatar Nick says:

        While I agree the DT SRS is probably a much nicer unit, it’s also more expensive, but at least it’s modular (well, for an additional $1800 per barrel kit anyway).

        Still fits in with his original comment about the fancy super cars, something that’s out of reach for most of us.

      3. avatar Defens says:

        Having shot my buddy’s Desert Tech in 338 quite a bit, I suspect I’d prefer the Barrett. The ergos on the DT bullpup are not really that great, and although the switch barrel capability is cool and all, I already have dedicated rifles in any caliber that I’m interested in shooting.

  6. avatar Big Jim says:

    Ronnie builds a hell of a firearm, But this one may be overpriced by about 2 grand. For a hunter to purchase this It would have to be Way better than anything on the market and I just don’t see that much improvement in actual machining How much better can you get I would have to spend a couple hours on the rifle to come up with that other $2,500 worth of actual bang for the buck.

  7. avatar Nick says:

    Looking at this is like strolling through a Porsche dealership. Sure it looks good, but can I really afford it and do I really have a use for it?

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Porsche? Nah, for that you need a $20,000 (or much much more) Blaser with an exotic Turkish walnut stock.

  8. avatar other Chris says:

    Guns and scopes are often bought with overkill. Here in Idaho the woods can get pretty thick. But that does not stop people from buying 3-9 scopes even thought a 100 yard shot is about as far as they’ll get. I feel like this gun gets to that point. I can do most anything I need with with the good ol bolt gun. Saw a stevens 200 on my local pawn store rack for $300. Now that gun I could dribble money into every few months and by the end of the year have an amazing tack driver with features custom fit to me and still not break the thousand dollar mark. I have a hard time with big name and cost guns.

  9. Would rather have a Mausigfield. Has that been reviewed yet Mr. Kee?

  10. avatar Paul53 says:

    Tyler, my birthday was last month and I didn’t get so much as a card……………..

  11. avatar C says:

    Pistol grips on bolt actions bug the hell out of me.

    Sure, it makes the gun harder to use, but ARs, and tacticals, and operators operating operationally, man.

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