When you think of the name “Barrett” what usually pops to mind is a firearm that is closer to field artillery than your grandfather’s hunting gun. Barrett is looking to change that this year, launching a line of fine sporting shotguns at SHOT Show. Now at NRA they’re showing a lightweight bolt action hunting rifle specifically designed for the civilian sporting market dubbed the “Fieldcraft” line . . .
On paper the gun looks pretty good. The stainless steel receiver is hand bedded into every lightweight carbon fiber stock, making for a strong and durable rifle that should do extremely well in any environment. The fluted bolt not only reduces the overall weight but also looks amazing. And the bolt handle is a finely polished stainless steel work of art that is visually striking.
In the hand, the gun is a little different. The bolt is difficult to work, feeling heavier than many of the other competitors in this market. The action is somewhat smooth but definitely not smooth enough — it needs some additional polishing in my opinion. Finally the trigger is set a bit heavy for my taste.
Barrett has set the MSRP for the Fieldcraft rifle at $1,799. For that money I expect a damn fine gun, and the final production version of this rifle might fit that description. The problem for Barrett is that companies like Tikka and Sauer keep raising the bar, cranking out remarkably good rifles at a fraction of the MSRP that Barrett is asking. We’ll have to see if the final product is worth the money in its own right or if you’re just paying extra for the Barrett brand.