Skip to comments.The U.S. Sniper's More Accurate, Quieter Rifle
Posted on 05/02/2010 2:03:44 AM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
Recognizing the differences between conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army is now selecting a contractor to upgrade the 22-year-old Remington bolt-action rifle to become a more effective killing machine. The Army will pour about $5.6 million into upgrades to the M24, with the new gear expected to be delivered to troops by this fall. The M24's barrel is being modified to shoot heavier .300 Winchester Magnum rounds, instead of the 7.62mm NATO ammunition, which should extend the rifle's maximum effective range by hundreds of yards to a maximum of about 1400 yards. The suppressor will reduce the noise and flash of the gun so snipers can stay in their hiding positions much longer after they fire.
The Army is also adopting a new chassis that allows for more "real estate" on the riflemeaning the ability to attach accessories, especially much-needed night-vision devices that clip on directly to the rail in front of the scope. The scope itself will be improved, adding a variable power system that can reach 16.5x to 25x magnification. The Army will also fit the rifles with a rangefinder so troops will no longer have to perform calculations on distance. "The engagement is a lot farther [in Afghanistan] than in Iraq," says Milo Afong, a former Marine Corps sniper who researched the experience of snipers in Afghanistan for his new book, Hunters: U.S. Snipers in the War on Terror. "You are looking at higher altitudes and less populated areas."
(Excerpt) Read more at popularmechanics.com ...
Back during WWII entire German towns would surrender when the first US Sniper opened up. In part that is because the US Army preferred sniper weapon was the 155mm artillery cannon.
“When the US Army is sniping with 155mm cannons, it is time to give up!”.
25x zoom is nice, but should not this kind of improvement be incremental, as a SOP with the general technology improvements, instead of being done every quarter century or in a fork lift fashion?
.300 Win Mag BANG!
That has been tried, but what ends up happening often is that the incremental improvements expose other bugs or weaknesses, which then have to be corrected with incremental improvements, which expose other bugs or weaknesses... you get the idea.
5.6 million dollars to upgrade a rifle?
Yeah, it's a part of standard R&D cycle, but I was not suggessting to subject the snipers in the field to alpha or beta-test, and a quarter century seems a bit long for the version 1.xx on a sniper rifle. The improvements described seem to be technologically fairly incremental, not 2.0...
What’s the barrel life difference between .308 and .300WM?
It's not as much money as it used to be.
In terms of a sniping rifle, probably none. Both should hold premium accuracy for more than 2,000 rounds. A rebarrel is cheap and quick.
Sounds reasonable. So they are keeping the old M-24 receivers/stocks?
Why not go to all new rifles in .338L if they want long range?
About 7,000 versus about 2,700.
I really enjoyed a TV segment featuring this rifle. When the hand held “puter” calculates, in part, the rotational spin of the earth for an exact aiming point you know you have a long range precision weapon. I recall that it’s based on a new cartridge the 408 Cheytec and others like the 338L. On target groups to 2,300 yards documented.
“.300 Win Mag BANG!”
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a ticket from Friends of NRA. They will have a drawing for one rifle, from a 10 rifle limited edition, of the Browning BLR Lightweight ‘81. I am not absolutely sure, but I think the one they had was chambered in .300 Win Mag. I AM absolutely sure it was beautiful, and I would love to be the winner!
“I really enjoyed a TV segment featuring this rifle.”
I saw that. Amazing!
Hey, it's a pretty nice rifle!
And Uncle Sugar is paying for it. I would think that the heavy barrels used on the .308's could have their chambers reamed to accomodate .300 Win. mag., but they'll brobably just buy new rifles.
Well, the other side of the equation is that (as I understand it) sniping really hasn’t changed all that much in in the last 50 years. Newer rounds, better scopes and stocks - but it still comes down to the operator and the basic bolt-action - most of which date back to the Mauser design of 1898.
Several years ago I had gone to the range at a wildlife management area. About the time we were unloaded and ready to go, a young guy shows up wearing hunting cammies carrying a rifle case. Unloads a scoped .300 Win Mag, which is serious overkill for game here in GA. “Just sighting in my rifle for deer season!”
First shot he takes, he gets a scope recoil crescent moon cut above his right eye, just this side of needing a butterfly or a stitch or two for closure. Ouch, and just damn.
Hey, I thought that the military Remmies were assembled on long actions (though the 7.62x51 usually goes in a short action) precisely with the forethought that they may be readily converted to .300 WM by field armourers just by switching barrels. What gives?
Can the M-24 receiver accept the .300 WM? Is it not a short action?
You may have answered my question below yours.
Action is too short for the .300 Win Mag.
The .338L might cull a number of potential snipers due to recoil but in reality, the.338L makes lots of sense which cancels that idea.
In Vietnam, the 90mm main gun on the M-48 tank was used in conjunction with an infrared spotlight. Tended to keep the VC at a considerable distance.
Your ‘Tag’ line brought this Out,
We are reduced to the alternative of chusing an unconditional submission to the tyranny of irritated ministers, or resistance by force.
— The latter is our choice. —
We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery.
— Honour, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us.
We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them, if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them.
Thomas Jefferson 
No doubt. Now in south ga hunting peanut fields ya need some distance, but in north ga, a 12 ga slug or a 30-30 is plenty.
I dunno. Got to thinking about it and thought maybe they meant .300 WSM. FN does a beauty sniper rifle in both 7.62 Nato and .300 WSM. Sounds like the ordinance boys are trying to reinvent the .30-06 without owning up to the possibility that maybe they should have stuck with it. I think that 90% of targets shot with a .30-06 would be just as dead as if shot with a .300 Mag. The others would probably spend a couple days in a Taliban field hospital and then die.
A .30-’06 cartridge loaded with a 190gr Sierra MatchKing bullet and 58 grains of RE-19 powder will give you a round very nearly identical to Federal Match ammo for the .300 Win Mag.
It’s amazing to think of how rapid the development was from muzzle loader, to .45-70 and the like, to the 30 ought 6. What, 40 years?
And now more than a century later, it’s still a VERY serious cartridge!
Doesn’t matter how many whiz bang gadgets you got, success will still be measured by how well the man uses his rifle.
That, and, given the environment snipers operate in; the old axiom of “when all else fails, low tech rules” would seem apropos.
The American Civil War was fought primarily with black-powder muzzle-loaders as infantry weapons.
Then there was an era of metallic cartridges, the .45-70, .577 Snider and the 577-450 Martini-Henry of Rorke's Drift fame introduced in the decades shortly after the war.
Off the top of my head, the .303 British SMLE, introduced in 1895, was the first rifle shooting a "small" (compared to all the .45-and-above) diameter, high-velocity bullet, followed in the next decade by the various 7.62/8mm Mauser and Springfield rifles.
But then, consider the development of military aircraft in the 30 years from 1920 to 1950 - Sopwith Camel to the B-36, the B-47 and the Sabrejet.
Back to the original discussion, the '06 is the basis of my collection.
Versatile, I'd say.
And anything John Moses Browning liked, is okay with me.
The M24 is built on the Model 700 Long (Sendero) action, which allows them to easily upgrade the rifle with a simple barrel swap. The Marine M40 is built on the short action, since no rebarrel was planned.
The acquisition of the M24 had always supposed a barrel swap, not a modification of the .308 barrel.
Thanks for the clarification.