Barrett Introduces REC 7-DI


Look another AR-15! Yes indeed, it’s another AR-15. This time from Barrett, manufacturers of big fifties and keepers of at least one LAPD .50. While well known for their big bore boomsticks, Barrett has had a good deal of success with their REC7 line of piston driven AR-15s over the last few years. Sensing that not everyone is sold on the idea of a long stroke gas gun, Barrett has introduced a direct impingement version for 2016 . . .


The new REC7-DI comes chambered in either 5.56 NATO, 6.8 SPC, or .300 BLK. Both the 5.56 and the .300 sport 1:7 twist barrels in sixteen inch flavors. You can also pick up an eighteen inch 5.56 or a NFA regulated 10.25″ .300 BLK version. The 6.8 offers your choice sixteen- or eighteen-inch 1:10 twist barrels. Barrett is advertising weights from five-and-a-half to six-and-a-half pounds depending on barrel length.

All rifles will feature Magpul MOE furniture, ALG ACT triggers, nickel boron bolt carrier groups, and BCM Gunfighter charging handles. Further complementing their build is a homegrown KeyMod hand guard called the Barrett Rail System (BRS) made of aluminum. You can have it in a variety of colors including Black, FDE, Green, Grey, Brown, and Burnt Bronze.


As these guns don’t feature any whiz bangery like assisted magazine releases or ambidextrous controls, they’re firmly in the category of “cleaned up” mil spec guns of the type that were all over the 2016 SHOT Show. Where you might buy a bargain bin rifle and swap out the factory parts for name brand pieces along the way, Barrett and various other companies have come to the market with “fully sorted” rifles that should check all the boxes you’d likely go after in the first year of ownership. You’ve got the free-floated hand guard, the upgraded BCG, the Magpul furniture, and the enhanced charging handle. Add in the coating and you can see how the price tag could kinda sorta make sense if you squint just right.

The REC7-DI will retail for $1899, but street prices appear to be hovering around $1699. That’s in line with what various other manufacturers are asking for higher end, sorted out AR-15s that meet a lot of similar specs. Unlike the REC7 piston line, you’ll only be able to buy a complete gun as the uppers aren’t sold as a separate item. We’ve reached out and asked for a sample to test to see if it’s worth the scratch.


  1. The Dude Abides

    Buy a bravo for 1/2 the price.

    1. Tex300BLK

      Huh? Buy a “bravo” as in a BCM? I’m not aware of any rifle from them that would sell for $800-900, I don’t think they even sell their uppers for a whole lot less than that (last time I looked their 16″ recce upper with a KMR was something like $750). Am I missing something?

  2. Removed_californian

    But I thought DI guns we’re inherently broken and needed a pistol. They told me that my AR needed a piston…

    I just think it’s funny how LWRC, PWS, Barrett, etc. are spitting out DI guns.

    1. BDub

      It does. But it would seem stubborn DI market has not yet been fully plumbed, so why not cash in?

  3. Vhyrus

    Its funny… all of my ARs that I build come with Magpul MOE furniture, ALG ACT triggers, nickel boron bolt carrier groups, and BCM Gunfighter (or raptor) charging handles, as well as keymod hand guards, and none of mine cost over a grand. I wonder why that is…

    1. Cole

      But is that BCG as high of quality? Is the barrel as high of quality? The coating? and all of the other small parts? Probably not. And building it yourself will be slightly cheaper so you need to remember that to but a lot of people who build don’t always use top quality parts for everything where Barrett. Now of course their name probably adds a hundred to the cost too.

      1. Vhyrus

        Nitride barrel, Aim Surplus NiB BCG, Seekins keymod. No ebay specials on my gear.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if they got the BCG from the same company AIM gets them from.

  4. ActionPhysicalMan

    I am a drooling moron and even I put one together myself that functions every bit as well as the better of the big dollar ones.

    1. Mark N.

      I did too, but with an 18″ HBAR barrel, I didn’t come in anywhere close to this weight. Speaking of which, why an 18″ barrel? The .223 was designed for 20″. (I have an 18 because I couldn’t find a 20 at the time.)

      1. The Dude Abides

        55 and 62 gr military ball rounds were designed for a 20 inch barrel. Modern rounds can be used out of shorter barrels and still have great terminal performance.

  5. Ron T from KY

    My 18″ Daniel Defense S2W, FailZero bcg, Giessele SD3G trigger and mk4 mlok rail, BCG Gunfighter, Magpul UBR, etc on a matching MEGA receiver set cost less…

    Also plus one on the break / comp testing winner, the Precision Armament m4-72. It is fantastic.

  6. Corey

    Oh look, all the people out in force saying “I built XYZ for this much”. Not everyone wants to build…

    Not surprised. I build my own ARs. Can you build for less than these guns? Sure. Can you get it done and ceracoated for less than a grand? Probably not. Does your gun come with a warranty in case something breaks? Nope. Mine hover right around 1200-1300 before an optic, all top notch stuff.

    Id like to see the specifics on the barrel. Barret has always made quality stuff. Lets see how it shoots.

  7. Leo

    Why would I pay such money for AR15? Barett is great company but regular $800 AR will shot exactly the same as this one.

  8. luke

    Barrett makes their own cold hammer forged barrels in house mpi/hpt all of them not batch tested as well as their bcg just like bravo company which is why this rifle is on par with the recce from bravo. Corey is spot on in his assessment you cant build one like this for half the price period.

  9. lawrence frank

    i spent 6 years active duty ARMY INFANTRY, i have got two deployments under my belt. I know my way around an AR rifle. Owned a few $600-$700 AR’s while in the service and wished i could afford some of the shiny flashy sparkly nice ARs out there. Being a heavily flawed human being and having my own shitty opinions and points of view, I personally required a DI rifle. i have witnessed piston driven ARs fail mechanically. and the whole “but you dont have to clean it” excuse is just straight lazy IMHO. Parts wise DI parts are a dime a dozen and not difficult to acquire. Any ways i own a tungsten gray REC7 DI gen 3. This has probably been the best rifle purchase i have ever made. this rifle is stupid accurate for an AR i can consistently place 5 RDS into a half inch @ 100 yds. plus the rifle is light as hell. I believe one of the reasons the rifle is so accurate is the muzzle break that comes on it, though it does make the rifle incredibly loud.there is almost no noticeable recoil. the trigger is still short buttery smooth and crisp on the break. the coated BCG is super easy to clean. I love this thing and would recommend taking a look at one before you spend elsewhere. @ $1700 a total bargain when compared to most other high end rifles DI and Piston alike. Again all In my worthless shitty opinion.

    1. Dr Chuck Irwin

      Thank you for your service. I did 20 years, 1 month, and 2 days (but who counts) Army (11Bravo4X) In my day that indicated
      infantry drill sergeant. Been around rifles forever it seems. I made face to face contact with my first Barrett REC 7 DI today.
      In my stable I have a YHM Diamond 5.56 (factory built); an LMT Defender 5.56 (factory built); a POF Renegade 5.56 (factory
      Built); and a Ruger SR 5.56 Takedown (factory built). My wife has a Colt LE 5.56 (with the LE/Mil only roll mark). Having
      examined the Barrett pretty closely, in my hands, I found it to be an outstanding example of the breed, even in the face of my
      small collection which I believe, to be a fair representation of the “upper middle tier” of current offerings; except that the Ruger
      falls more to the middle of that tier, and gets there only because of the take down feature’s uniqueness. Fit and finish was
      excellent, Dry racking was smooth – and the whole experience said to me: Yes this entry is from a company that sells $10,000
      weapons. I do not believe a company like Barrett would put its reputation on the line with a weapon that couldn’t justify its price
      in an actual life and death situation. I would break in the barrel and take this weapon to war immediately. It is a hell of a lot
      better weapon than the one I actually did take to war! Isn’t that what it’s all about in the end? Having a rifle we can have full
      confidence in knowing it will do what we need it to do round after round, after round. Lots of us could sit down and cobble a gun
      together from high end parts, and it would probably perform fine. However, personally I hate the word probably. I learned to hate
      that word as the Infantry Advisor to the RFPF forces in Tuy Phuoc sub sector, Binh Dinh Province, II Corps, RVN in 1965 & 1966.
      I can’t wait to get my Barrett! Chuck

      1. Anthony

        Frank and chuck ,

        Thank you both for your service and the reviews.I have read ,consider building and shot AR’s. I finally purchased the Barrett Rec7 Gen2 DI and feel great about it!! Frank what iron sites did you put on yours?

        1. Lawrence Frank

          Ive got a set of Magpul Polymer flip up sights. They are “backups” so I kept em polymer to keep the weight down”. Magpul does make some “Pro series” flip ups that are steel or alloy BUT they are not Push button ready and take longer than a second to deploy. I prefer light and fast.

  10. Paul Kelly

    Can you guys do a full review on the piston version of the REC7. Very curious as to your opinions on it. Thanks

  11. Dr Chuck Irwin

    Mine is not a piston version. I have enjoyed Ruger’s piston version, however, it would not be my first choice to take to a hot place. If I have to do that again, I want something that can be repaired with all the MilSpec guns laying around.

    In answer to Anthony’s question, I always use Yankee Hill Machine (YHM) same plane sights. They deploy by hand SILENTLY. If you don’t think that’s important take a set of button deployed sights outside on a quiet night and listen to them as the spring uncoils to deploy them. In a bad situation the next thing you will hear is someone hollering “incoming” You’ll be amazed to realize it’s you. (LOL)

    Finally, I heard someone grousing about the Barrett sounding gritty, or cheap when racked. I’m old school, and believe metal to metal needs a barrier of lubricant. Grease the charging handle, then wipe all of you can off with a clean rag. Then listen.

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