When you’ve tried everything you can think of to get some electronic device working, after you’ve checked everything in the troubleshooting section and an internet search yields nothing, the last resort is calling the customer support and hopefully getting some help.

When a military rifle breaks down in the field, it can be a really big deal that puts lives at risk. Luckily, Barrett provides live customer support for its M-107A .50 BMG rifle. No, seriously.

According to this story from, a Marine in Afghanistan had a problem with a M-107 and called Barrett from the field. Don Cook, a Marine vet is one of the people who answers the customer service line at Barrett and he fielded the call from the Marines in the middle of a firefight.

Marines in Firefight Call Gun Company Customer Service
The Barrett M-107A semi-auto .50 BMG sniper / anti-material rifle. photo from wikipedia

“It’s probably one of the biggest highlights in my life to be able to help a Marine unit in a firefight,” Cook said in the video above, part of a National Geographic special. Cook’s description of the phone call begins at the 9:12 mark.

Eventually, Cook determined that the malfunction was due to the a delicate piece of the receiver being bent, preventing the gun from firing. The story says that, without seeing the rifle, Cook was able to talk the Marine through how to bend the piece back into place, using the bottom of the bolt carrier, since they didn’t have the right tools.

The improvisational fix took just 30 seconds and it worked, getting the Marines back in the fight.

The Barrett M107, known to civilians as the M82, is a recoil-operated, semi-automatic sniper rifle used by many units and armies around the world. It’s officially designated as an anti-materiel rifle, but is often used as an anti-personnel sniper rifle because of the extreme range and ballistics of the .50 BMG round. It’s also referred to as a Light Fifty.