Barrett to be…. State Rifle?

From a point of curiosity this has to be one of those times where we look back and say, “Never really saw that coming, or for that matter even considered the possibility…”. News is hitting the air waves over the internet about Tennessee House Joint Resolution Bill 231, which officially makes the .50 BMG Barrett M82/M107 anti-material rifle the state rifle of Tennessee. The resolution itself is actually pretty neatly written, paying homage to Ronnie Barrett, and him drawing out plans for a semi automatic .50 BMG rifle on a napkin table at a diner, making note that he spent his life and career in the state as well. From what I’ve read of Barrett, he was certainly an innovative entrepreneur, with his original career as a photographer, and having zero firearms design experience. He asked some people in the industry if his rifle idea was worthwhile and apparently one of them said something along the lines of, “If it was a viable idea at all, it would have been made already”. Regardless, he charged ahead and created one of the most iconic anti material rifles in the world. Some of the news reports on this are comical to read, as some of the Representatives were saying things to the effect why not make MoonPies the state dessert, or Beretta with its new plant in Tennessee, the state handgun. I’ve included a bit of the resolution here, but you can read it in its entirety.

WHEREAS, one such noteworthy product is the Barrett Model M82/M107, a rifle born from sketches hand-drawn at a dining room table by its then twenty-seven-year-old designer, who was born, raised, and educated in Tennessee; and

WHEREAS, the M82/M107 has been continuously manufactured in Tennessee since its inception in 1982; and

WHEREAS, the M82/M107 was the first successful .50 caliber semi-automatic rifle to be widely fielded in active military service; and

WHEREAS, in the past one hundred years, the designer of the M82/M107 is one of only four individuals who have invented rifles that were officially adopted by the United States military; and

WHEREAS, since then, the M82/M107 has been used by long-range competitive shooters and law enforcement, and has been adopted by over fifty American allied countries throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, the M82/M107 pioneered an entirely new classification of rifle, changing battlefield tactics; it is recognized as the world’s premier .50 caliber rifle


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • iksnilol

    I dunno, McMillan is more “premier” to me than a Barret.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Most people think of Barrett though if you say “.50 cal sniper.”

    • Anonymoose

      Yeah, but they’re not made in Tennessee! 😛

      They’re also about half as expensive as a Barrett.

      • CommonSense23

        And twice as accurate.

      • iksnilol

        Yeah… but the Barret is SEMI AUTOMATIC MACHINEGUN POWAAAH. + it is a SNAYPUH RAIFU!

    • milesfortis

      My squadron’s senior flight warrant had a McMillan .50 he stored in the arms room.
      From his service, I understood why he had the thing.
      When he retired, he was taking a contract overseas and it had to go.
      Like a fool, I let it get away.

      • iksnilol

        Don’t be too hard on yourself. What could you have done?

        • milesfortis

          Well, I could have bought it as he had put it up for sale.
          One of the other guys did.
          And it wasn’t like he didn’t offer it to me before he put it on the bulletin board.
          Hindsight is always 20/20.

          • iksnilol


            I thought this was some military setting. Presumed then that you couldn’t buy it.

            Yeah, definitely kick yourself for that one. Look at the bright side tho: you saved a bunch of money. McMillans aren’t cheap.

  • Iggy

    Whereas, someone,
    Whereas, really has to
    Whereas, work on their
    Whereas, legal drafting

    • Bill

      Yes, and is it for “hereinafter?”

      • CavScout

        Not whatsoever

  • Tassiebush

    “Haha Kentucky who’s got a cool rifle now” I’m guessing was the thinking in Tennessee.
    (Please note I have no knowledge of interstate parochial rivalry in the US but I just figure that’s what my mentality would be in that situation)

    • Bill

      They had to: The Long Rifle had a starring role in The Last of the Mohicans, and the Barrett in The Hurt Locker. It’s like the Oscars for guns.

      • Mike Lashewitz

        Racist! Definitely racist that is a tan “whitey” gin and we all know Black Guns Matter!!! Where is my damned Confederate flag! (It’s not supposed to make sense)

    • Patski762

      The TN Barrett would be useless without Kentucky’s windage adjustments.

      • Dan Thomas

        That’s where Jack Daniels comes into play 🙂

  • Major Tom

    That Barrett looks really funny without a scope.

    • Pllllfffft. I no-scope with Barrett’s all day long in COD!

  • Bill

    Nice, but on the same level as having your local representative have a resolution recognizing Grandmawmaw’s 101st birthday as Ida May Blorvalt Day. Or Minnesota’s official state mushroom, the morel.

    • Laserbait

      Are you sure about that Bill? I thought Minnesota’s official state mushroom was Governor Dayton.

  • IshTheBuddha

    I like this official state firearm trend. Utah’s is the 1911. After all Mr. Browning was born here. (or so the internet tells me) Pretty awesome if you ask me.

    • Twilight sparkle

      Well he was a Mormon, probably his only bad quality… that and poor trigger discipline.

      • Bigot much?

        • iksnilol

          I dunno, mormons are more scary to me than muslims.

          Being a muslim I’ve seen soooooo many scary muslims.

          • Yes, because we Mormons are well known for our propensity for violence. We are terribly frightening… what with our Pot Luck dinners and Funeral Potatoes… and the worst… our Church Ball. So notorious, they even made a movie about Church Ball.

          • iksnilol

            I dunno, I find the whole missionary thing scary.

            They are like drones, little brainwashed drones. Granted, all religions have people like that and they all freak me out.

          • Not as scary as Muslim Missionaries.
            (See, backhanded comments can go both ways.)

          • iksnilol

            Yeah… about that…

            Muslim missionaries don’t exist. We aren’t allowed to try to convert people. We can *if* asked tell more about the religion. But we are not allowed to initiate and prowl after people to convert.

            So yeah, contrary to popular belief: Backhanded and “rude” comments actually need some thought put into them.

          • That’s right – you guys call it “Recruitment”.

          • Stanley Rabbid

            Wait a moment right there, you’re confusing him and I for the AK-toting lunatics.

          • My apologies. I will not be insulting and show respect, if it’s returned.

          • DW

            Because you have class and are toting VZ58s instead.
            OK I kid :p

          • Bill

            But we digress…

          • Komrad

            well there was the Mountain Meadows Massacre…

          • Mike Lashewitz

            OK that was a fair comment . . .

          • Mike Lashewitz

            Don’t forget all that grape juice you be swillin! . . .

          • LOVE Grape Juice. Don’t be a H8R.

          • Mike Lashewitz

            No h8tin brother. Just be careful and never trust DHS.

        • Twilight sparkle

          I literally had to move because of a Latter Day Saints church. I just have had too many bad experiences with them…

          • I am truly sorry about that.

          • Twilight sparkle

            Could be worse, I just have a sour taste left in my mouth regarding Mormons and their church.

          • Mike Lashewitz

            Mormon Mafia!

          • Twilight sparkle

            It wasn’t that bad… the church was just too close to our residential area and they had virtually no parking lot so their members pretty much made it impossible for many of us to get to our houses, plus they were just rude…

          • Mike Lashewitz

            Kind of like Sunday Christians?

          • Twilight sparkle


  • Laserbait

    I like it! Good for Tennessee!

  • John

    >He asked some people in the industry if his rifle idea was worthwhile
    and apparently one of them said something along the lines of, “If it was
    a viable idea at all, it would have been made already”. Regardless, he
    charged ahead

    You want to know how to surpass the arms plateau? This is how. Take your design, get some money, ignore the naysayers, and charge ahead. Maybe you’ll lose, maybe you’ll win.

  • Rooftop Voter

    Although Florida has no state rifle, there was an open suggestion time frame a few years ago on the design of the new FL license plate. Some entries included bullet holes and another suggested bales of MJ floating onto a sandy beach. I believe even Micky Mouse was suggested. Yeah, lived here since ’54 but I gots me an M82 and enjoy banging out rounds.

  • Ryfyle

    Should I petition Nevada’s State legislators to make the AKM the state’s Rifleor at least Clark County?

    • SirOliverHumperdink

      NY/NJ should have ‘stolen guns’ as their state rifle.

      • Ryfyle

        So one of those HiPoint Carbines.

  • Bill

    I sure hope that if this goes through your Legislature keeps all involved on 2 inch or shorter leashes. I live in Utah and have a 2015 Utah Legislature Commemorative AR-15, and the rat bastard asshat lobbyist who took my money (and that of several hundred other unsuspecting rubes) saw no problem with switching our advertised high end, factory built custom products for a batch apparently built in a garage from low bidder parts. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, this individual is still somehow walking around free. Long story short, forewarned is forearmed (or not).

  • midnitelamp

    more a statement on Tennessee’s stance on 2nd amend., mixed with a favorite son endorsement.

  • Maro Vlasic


  • Mike Lashewitz

    Loving the comments!

  • greeblie

    The Murphreesboro Five Oh? Nice!