They make them in .416 as well as .50, so there are legal M82A1s for purchase in California, I saw one in a shop not too long ago. I'd say the Barrett's all shoot about the same, semi auto and bolt about even, but I'm not an expert on them. The .416 is better ballistically than the .50, but it's not the best, I believe .408 is still better. There was a time where there was some leap-frogging between Barrett, Cheytac, and others with new cartridges, where Cheytac came out with the .408, which smoked the .50, then Barrett came out with the .416 not long after, claiming it was better than .408. There was a good bit of debate over that, although I think .408 still held the title, but then .375 came along and that was the end of that.
I'd also say all of the Barrett's are harder to shoot well, as they aren't as ergonomic as other options, and therefore harder to get comfortable behind and relax. Add in a semi auto recoil pulse, and they become pretty hard to tame.
Sounds like you have enough practical guns already. Do you hunt? Take that dough and buy a world class hunting trip somewhere. That's what I'd do anyway. I don't even understand what kind of guns you are talking about anyway,
Do I hunt? Not enough but yes. In years past, I spent lots of time hunting and really enjoyed it. My plan is to get a dog (or maybe not) and join a duck club. In any event, this gun is not for hunting. Short of a 375 H&H Magnum, I have what I need for hunting.
Not really interested in a guided hunt. I like to do it myself, and I have been blessed with some amazing hunts. For now, I want a gun that I can enjoy just by pulling it out of the safe.
Another option could be something like a full custom 3-lug BAT machine action built to your specs. But if you want to be a true wartime consigliere, get the Desert Tech HTI. The HTI also gives you the ability to swap actions and barrels to shoot different cartridges with a torque wrench.
Rick although I am not a gun-guy I have read this post with interest. What I am reading is that you want a high-end. State of the art gun for the sake of appreciation of the best. You want a legal extreme weapon to appreciate its quality and precision. Accuracy, ballistics, expense of ammunition are secondary. Most of the advice appears to be in the secondary area. Am I correct?
I have quite a bit of time behind the EDM windrunner and its a great Gun!
The fire forming process is not that hard for the 510DTC. Cut to size, FL resize , load and fire form.you will have to buy some pretty expensive presses and dies to make all this happen but its just money.
Get a bolt gun not a semi auto. Its not the kind of gun you want to shoot fast anyways.
If you don't reload I'd also think about ammo. None of the rounds discussed can be purchased easily, even at even specialty shops. You'd likely have to pay someone to load up ammo. You said your max range was 600 yards. Absolutely no reason for any exotic calibers for those ranges. Then ask yourself if you have access to a place to shoot long distances regularly enough that you can become good at it and truly enjoy the rifle.
Id second the idea that if you already have rifles and hunt, spend the dough on a badass trip of a lifetime. The memories will last far longer than the cool factor of a new toy. A rifle is a tool. Take one that you already have and put it to good use. My 2 cents.
I had a Winchester Model 94 in .357 and hated it. Cool looking gun but loading rounds in it was a pain on my fingers and you could see the bullets drop like mortars down range when you shot cuz the ballistics were so bad.
If you are anywhere near Poway you should give San Diego Firearms Training Center a call. I was in there shooting a few months ago and started talking to a guy on staff who has a number of rifles in the class you are talking about - and who competes at distances of up to a mile. Unfortunately, I don't recall his hame right now. But I'm sure if you call them, they'll know exactly who you are asking about. The guy should be very helpful for you on this project. Sounds fun!
Thanks for the tip, Rob. Although I am a long way from Poway, I do get down there occasionally, and will make a point of checking them out next time I am there. As it is, I have not yet purchased anything in this category.