The Mystery of the Missing MRAD Color Option

Some years ago, MSE contracted with Easy & Simple to produce a line of officially-licensed Barrett MRAD rifles. The 1:6 rifle was offered in four out of the five finishes available for the 1:1 rifle from Barrett: OD Green, Tungsten Gray, Multi-Role Brown, and Flat Dark Earth.

Black was suspiciously absent.

For whatever reason, MSE opted to take the opposite approach to Henry Ford’s Model T Ford strategy and offer every color BUT black.

A black MRAD and a MRAD with a finish darker than the Tungsten Gray did eventually see release with the MSE ZERT Black Jack figures…with short barrels and fugly nitride red ZERT accessories tacked all over them. I opted to pass.

Recently, I have been buying up some old E&S boxed rifles to fill gaps in my collection and decided to address the lack of a “standard” black MRAD option from E&S.

Here we see exploded views of a black and red MRAD and a Tungsten Gray MRAD. The Tungsten Gray graciously gave its life so that my needs could be sated. It’s hard to tell, but the cheek rest and butt pad on the ZERT MRAD are that dark wolf gray E&S likes to use (especially on ZERT/Doom’s Day releases), so those got removed too.

And here are the two rifles after some parts swapping! The OSS suppressor included with the ZERT rifle is actually a similar shade to the Tungsten Gray, so it’s a nice match. I opted not to fit the offset Aimpoint on the black MRAD as originally planned as it is partially obstructed by the Nightforce scope.

Here are the MRADs I have at home (more on that in a bit). I’ve had the green for a while now, the other four I just received within the past week. I don’t think I’ll get one of those dark gray MRADs (as well as another “standard” one to act as a donor) I mentioned from the special edition Black Jack release to do the normalization process for as it is a nonstandard finish.

If you were concerned that doing this swapover left me without a Tungsten Gray MRAD in the standard configuration, never fear as I have had one as part of my work display for a year or more now. That’s a picture I took of it some months back, I plan to mount it on one of the tripods from the E&S 26037 release when I am back in the office. No telling when that may be! I’ve been working remote for the past 3 1/2 months and my hobbies help me stay sane.


Wow, they look awesome. Great custom work on the ZERT MRAD.

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Now, I want to do the same. Is the short barrel of the ZERT rifle legit?

Sort of? Yes and no? I will try to walk through it.

As far as I can tell, the standard E&S MRADs have a 20” barrel, while the ZERT MRAD has a 17” barrel. These are both options offered by Barrett for the 1:1 rifle. However…

Based on the size of the rounds in the magazine, I believe they are meant to be .338 Lapua Magnum. This is reinforced by a review of Barrett’s online brochure for the MRAD, which states that the 20” barrel is ONLY available for the .338 LM option. 17” however…only available for the .308 barrel. And the rounds in the ZERT magazine are the same size as the ones in the standard mag. In other words, E&S only has one mold for MRAD magazines.

Due to the 1:1 rifle’s modular design, all magazines for it have the same external dimensions. Smaller-caliber magazines have internal spacers to ensure proper feeding. So you could pretend that the 1:6 17” MRAD is chambered in .308? Just don’t look in the magazine :man_shrugging:

As for the muzzle device and OSS suppressor…the muzzle device appears to be an OSS STS. And that particular design is stated to NOT be capable of mounting a suppressor. Whoops. The suppressor appears to be an older-model octagonal OSS Helix - but due to its length, is probably meant to be for .338 or similar rounds. You could opt to display the 17” barrel without the suppressor attached.

So let’s recap!

-17” barrel only available for .308 MRAD
-Don’t look in the magazine and pretend the rounds are .308!
-Don’t mount the suppressor on the muzzle brake to preserve 1:1 accuracy.

If you want the most accurate configuration, do the above! I will keep the suppressor on mine as I believe ZERT-style weapons are meant to be fantasy interpretations anyway. Well, that’s my headcanon. Plus the suppressor matches the Tungsten Gray.

Hey Christoph…you could do the conversion process with a green MRAD and end up with the World’s Ugliest Christmas Rifle :rofl: I finally caved and bought the Black Jack special edition 1911 handgun a few weeks ago because despite those tacky red ZERT colors…the frame and slide are green! So I have the World’s Ugliest Christmas Pistol now, hah.

Hope this helps!

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Thanks for the insight. I will go the 20" way then. Muzzle looks more appealing anyway. Yes, it helped!

Talking about Christmas, how did your green MP7 turn out? The ZERT 1911 in green and red is not in my collection, but looks somehow appealing!

Those MP7s aren’t out yet! I check eBay every now and then to see if they are out in China…nothing yet.

I saw a review on bbicn a few months ago, but nothing since then. It’s weird. Maybe that was a preview using the prototype models from the announcement pictures?

You can shove your post-conversion ZERTy MRAD in a drawer or something if you don’t want to display it :laughing: Which color of MRAD do you plan to sacrifice for its black 20” barrel and accessories? The brown one from your review?

I rather sell off the Christmas one :smile: Thought of buying a new one as a donor rifle as the brown color looks best in my opinion. Probably getting the 26036R scope and adding that for covers and laser mount on top.

Need to disappoint you regarding the MP7. Almost sold out in China already. Seems like no other resellers outside took the risk due to the high pricing model.

I wouldn’t use that scope. It is meant for rifles with a dedicated, raised scope rail, not a rail that runs the length of the weapon. I took a pic for you and could not even get it on the rifle, the front of the scope sits too low:

The scope that comes with the MRAD boxed sets is a better choice - it is actually the same model of Nightforce scope, just in a different scope mount.

If you did sacrifice your brown MRAD you would have to source some black magazines…the brown set only comes with cocoa brown magazines, and the ZERT ones all have a red floorplate.

Man…I never saw the MP7s on the ‘Bay. I do have a preorder open for three of them (green, black, RAL8000), I should probably confirm whether the MP7s will still be stocked.

Thank you, that’s important information.

I’m waiting for them to do a more modern version of the MRAD, given its recent adoption by SOF units as their standard rifle. It would also be great if they could implement the caliber swapping function by allowing us to change the barrel. Like what ZY Toys did with their MSR rifles. This would not only allow us to make more contemporaneous sniper bashes, eliminate the need to get multiple rifles for multiple calibers, and reduce costs for us and them.

But if I wanted to make an accurate suppressed all-black MRAD, what could they do?

Do you mean what products could E&S produce so that we consumers could display a suppressed MRAD in the proper configuration?

I am no expert on the MRAD, but I do know how to google stuff!

Barrett makes a threaded muzzle brake that is very similar to the standard brake. They also sell an AM & DC suppressor that can either mount to said muzzle brake or the rifle muzzle’s threading.

There appear to be a wide variety of 1:1 suppressors available for the MRAD platform. If you wanted to try and source a similar-looking 1:6 one and slip it over the brake of a standard MRAD (or break the muzzle brake off and glue the suppressor to the end of the barrel) that is your best bet for now.

Hell, Barrett markets a “barrel makers kit” so users can enlist a “competent gunsmith” to create their own barrel for the MRAD platform. Of course, a competent gunsmith could do pretty much anything - including chopping down a .338 barrel to 17”, or pinning a faux suppressor to a muzzle device not meant to accept said suppressor :man_shrugging:

I am going down the same route now and buy a black MRAD. Is it easy just to remove the barrel and swap them? What about the extendable shoulder piece? Easy to remove as well?

Barrett MK22 suppressor

I have removed each of the barrels by yanking them straight out from the muzzle end. Sometimes they stick, but to me that’s a good thing as it means they won’t wobble when fully seated in the receiver.

If you’re worried about breaking the flash hider/muzzle brake, especially on the shortbarreled MRAD, you could disassemble the receiver and push a metal rod or something similar into the back of the barrel to dislodge it.

Just be sure to firmly reseat the barrels in the receivers when replacing them. I have seen some complaints about MRAD barrels being crooked - some of mine certainly were crooked new out of the box, but removing each barrel and firmly reseating it straight in fixed that.

The shoulder piece is held in by friction. If you pull hard enough, you can free it from the stock. I haven’t had any of mine break, but I’d still be careful when doing so.

This looks close to what I wanted to build

Maybe you could use an E&S Schmidt and Bender scope. They’re common enough, and some have a rail mounted above the front scope ring.

GWG-002 (the L129A1 set) has that specific scope configuration.

If you’re getting the ZERT MRAD just for the black chassis, would it not be easier and cheaper to get just the MSE version and then simply spray paint it black? Because from a financial standpoint I can’t justify getting a similar version of a rifle that I already have-especially one that’s very expensive-just because it has some parts that are in a preferred color. Especially since I can easily change the colors on what what I already have.

Eh, mad props to customizers like @turkeyshot that are willing to repaint weapons and accessories, but that is not a skill that I have practiced or have confidence in. I’ll drill holes in weapons, chop them up, and glue them back together, but for now, I feel better plunking down the money to assemble something with a factory paint job. If I were to bungle the paint, I’d be out a weapon anyway.

Well I suppose that If I wait until a good discount to come along so that I can get both rifles and some extra magazines, then the overall cost of that and the cost to buy just the E&S rifle and the paint should more or less even out. Even so, I do plan to repaint certain guns and accessories that I plan to get in the future, for which I would need such materials. So perhaps it would be wiser to acquire those sooner rather than latter. All in all, the total costs would be $73.67 and $67.17 respectively. Even if I do mess up the paint job, I can just strip the paint off and try again. Besides, If I did get the suppressor that came with the zert version of the rifle I would have to repaint that anyways.