Ronnie’s Inspiration

Ronnie’s Inspiration

It’s always interesting to learn what inspired a successful entrepreneur.  For Ronnie Barrett, the founder and CEO of Barrett, it was a river patrol boat in 1982 that featured two Browning .50-caliber machine guns.  At that time, Barrett was a professional photographer whose assignment was to do a photo shoot of the boat to promote a particular firearms company.

While busy snapping a series of photographs, Barrett was wowed by the amazing Browning Ma Deuce.  He wondered to himself if the incredible .50-caliber cartridge could be fired from a rifle; maybe one operated from the shooter’s shoulder.  He decided to find out.

With no manufacturing or engineering experience, Barrett hand-drew his idea for a .50-caliber, semi-automatic rifle in three-dimension to show how the rifle should function.

There is much more to the story, but the results of his creative mind, artistic drawings and “can do attitude” led to the Barrett .50-caliber rifle that morphed into the Model 82A1 – M107.

Incidentally, Barrett’s archival photograph won a first-place award from the Tennessee Professional Photographers Association.  It hangs prominently today on a wall at Barrett Firearms Manufacturing in Murfreesboro.

An observer would guess that the photo was taken on either the Mekong Delta in Vietnam or South America.  The truth is that it was made on the Stones River near Nashville.