Don Cook, a Marine veteran who’s been maintaining M107s for more than two decades, told National Geographic in 2011 that he one day received a call to Barrett’s workshop from a harried young Marine. During maintenance of the unit’s M107, the Marine had bent the ears of the rifle’s lower receiver; the next day, after engaging the enemy, they discovered the rifle wouldn’t fire consistently.
The M107 is a long-range, shoulder fired, semi-automatic sniper rifle, manufactured by Barrett Firearms Company. It is highly prized for its manageable recoil. The M107 uses 12.7x99 mm cartridges and its effective range is around 1,800 meters, or 1968.5 Freedom Units (yards).
Despite the unit’s lack of tools and time, Cook knew exactly what to do. The armorer instructed the Marines to use the bottom of the carrier to bend the ears back down. Within 45 seconds, the weapon was firing properly. “Thank you very much,” Cook says they told him, then he heard a dial tone. They had a firefight to get back to.
“It’s probably one of the biggest highlights of my life, to be able to help a Marine unit during a firefight,” Cook told National Geographic.