US Army's new sniper rifle.

This is a discussion on US Army's new sniper rifle. within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I got this in an email from military.com and thought I would share. Sounds like after the military contracts are filled a milspec civilian version ...

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Thread: US Army's new sniper rifle.

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    Senior Member Array joleary223's Avatar
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    US Army's new sniper rifle.

    I got this in an email from military.com and thought I would share. Sounds like after the military contracts are filled a milspec civilian version will be available.
    http://www.military.com/forums/0,15240,146717,00.html
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    Member Array xd.40sub's Avatar
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    i want one
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    Me WANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    BAC
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    ...It's a premium AR-10.

    The M4 will reach out to 400+ yards if you do your part, and its big brother will do even better. The M24/M40 are both sufficient for longer ranges, and though I scratch my head at the caliber they are still good for 800+ yards. The Barrett reaches out and touches at well beyond these distances, so no need for that. Even in the DMR role, we have the M14.

    What can this AR-10 variant do that these others can't?

    Color me unimpressed.


    -B

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    By way of intro - I led a Recon/Sniper platoon in Afghanistan for a year, and while they wouldn't let me as an officer, go to sniper school (grrr), I did go to sniper employment school and had my guys train me up as much as possible.

    We had M24s, M109s, and "stock" M14s in the platoon. We worked with some guys from NAVSOF fairly often, and got to play with their Mk11's a bit...here are my opinions.

    The M14s and M109s simply weren't as accurate as the M24s - the M14s not even close. The Mk11s were as accurate as the M24s in the hands of my best shooters, slightly less accurate from the more "average" shooters.

    Only the Mk11 accepted rail mounted accessories (with the exception of the top rail on the M109).

    The M109 is utterly impractical for most situations - it is HUGE and HEAVY, and a beast to maneuver with. The M14 and M24 are about the same size - tolerable, but a bit of a pain in vehicles and buildings. The Mk11 is slightly handier.

    The M24 is a fine weapon, but if you can have all the accuracy with faster follow-up shots, 4 times the ammo capacity, the same manual of arms as the M16/M4, more mounting options, easier maintenance, and so on and so on, why wouldn't you take it?

    I give the M110 a tentative thumbs up - there is no reason to stick with bolt guns these days, when the top semi-autos are just as accurate and reliable, and offer so many advantages.
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    Senior Member Array rabywk's Avatar
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    This rifle was showcased in the Rifleman or Guns & Ammo shows last night. I can't remember which
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    Senior Member Array Skygod's Avatar
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    Knights Armament won the contract, geeee imagine that .

    When are Reed Knight and the U.S. Military going to get out of their bed together ?

    As for purchasing one, dont count on purchasing any rifles from Knights Armament. At best your going to have to just clone this rifle just as many have cloned the Mk11 and Mk12.

    I see nothing about this rifle that is superior to the Mk11 SPR rifle that could not have been improved with a simple purchase of Noveske barrels and having them torqued in by the armorer.

    The suppressor, also by Knights. Imagine that again. Personally I've found that the Surefire .308 and 5.56 suppressors are by far the best in the market today. I've shot Knights suppressors until they were glowing red. Their not as quite as Surefire, and they are alway's too damn heavy.

    Yet another weapon system that the end users were not consulted on. They tend to not take to those weapons. The H&K Mk23 "Offensive Handgun" being one of those "Horses that a special committee made into a camel"

    I agree. Color me unimpressed as well.
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    BAC
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    OPFOR, I don't disagree but I think the Army is only trying to solve part of a problem with a questionable decision. Let me explain by way of questions.


    Why is the new rifle from KAC specifically?

    Why are KAC's suppressors deemed superior by the Army to others?

    Why are we modifying a weapon only?

    What is the effective range of this weapon?

    Is this designed to be a primary sniper weapon, or replace the designated marksman weapons?

    Why are we keeping a decent caliber when there are far better ones out there for long-range shooting?


    I dunno, I just don't see it. Yes a semi-auto in modern days is far more accurate, but who's to say the AR-10 they chose is better than Armalite, DPMS, etc.? I think a DMR weapon is good idea, but the Army seems to have a lot of trouble assigning roles. What are we defining as a sniper and what is a sniper's role, now? Are we making a specialized or generalist infantry? Are we staying the course because of the weight of tradition and money or are we actively trying to redirect resources to improve our soldiers' equipment?

    For example, I think it would make more sense to use a larger-caliber weapon for distance work (750m+), a DMR for moderate range (300m-800m) work, and infantry for closer (out to 400m) work. In that example, you have clearly defined goals, and with the form laid out function can follow smoothly. Keep existing infantry caliber, upgrade caliber to something better for above moderate-ranged work (6.5 Grendel seems damn fine for that), and use something meant for long-ranged work (like 30-06 or .300 WM).

    That's all speculation, and from nothing more but a student of military history and not a soldier, but you get the idea. It really does look like, from both my eyes and those within Big Army, that the US Army's having a lot of problems defining what it wants and it shows in decisions like this one.


    -B

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    I'm no sniper...but it would seem to me that a bolt action still has merits for specific purposes and missions. I find it interesting that they plan on replacing the bolt actions with the m110.
    As such it is slated to replace all 7.62mm NATO caliber sniper rifles in the system, both selfloading and bolt-action
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    I've shot the SR-25 and popped helium filled balloons out to 800 yards with it. At that time it had a Leupold tact.4x14 mounted on it.

    Its a capable rifle and it shoots hard and fast.

    I think that it fits the nich rather well. Its shorter than the M14 and more easily adaptable to the various "things" out there.

    I give the M110 a tentative thumbs up - there is no reason to stick with bolt guns these days, when the top semi-autos are just as accurate and reliable, and offer so many advantages.
    Agreed

    Since its so much like the M16's its a no brainer.
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    Senior Member Array joleary223's Avatar
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    I copied this from the sound off forum on military.com. I'm not a sniper, no where near that kind of shooter. I can't comment on the rifle or even the difference between bolt action and semi auto rifles, but this guy has apparently used both and has some good points. Not a bad story either.


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    Posted Wed 22 August 2007 10:37 PM Hide Post
    OK so here is what I know.
    Having served as a Sniper in Afghanistan and also having used this XM110 before the joe's in Solerno or the guys that made the "Soldier of fortune" headlines for the New Sniper System I can say this from experience.On a mountain top in North East Afghanistan while using the Prototype version of the xm110 my small team was overwatching 3 valleys, 4 mountains and an OP from 4 K away. The soldiers we overwatched needed out security and thats what they got with the XM110. When the soldiers did a test fire at sun down they surprised a group of Taliban that was trying to sneak up on them on a higher peak than they were at, roughly 800meters away. The test fire frightened them into thinking they were seen so they started shooting everywhere. Up-Down-Left Right, rpg's AK's, machine guns... Once they began getting their bearings they began delivering more accurate fire. The US soldiers below were already actively aware and engaging the ACM and were doin a fine job. The Taliban didn't see my Team though. we were close by, aprox 550 meters on a lower mountain peak but closer to them than the regular army. I used a pvs 22 night site in front of the Leupold TMR scope that is on the XM110. The adjustments on the scope are amazing and obviously Leupold makes Great Optics. Seeing the ACM was No problem in the dark, and when the Pesky RPG gunner popped up for a 3rd shot he was Hit by a 7.62 M118 Round from my XM110 and he never got that 3rd round off. The boys below never felt another tearing shock of any RPG's, following the sudden death of the ACM rpg gunner the ACM scrambled. Leaving little to shoot at accurately and while they scrammbled I shot off as many rounds as i could to drive them towards the incoming Willy Pete rounds, Very soon after the Fight was Finished off. It's said I shouldnt have shot off so many rounds in a short time. However, i say A rifle is a tool. It gets used and it can be fixed. PLus it was a prototype and the Instructors told us to give it hell. After havin shot a few mags of ammo (Which included Armor piercing Ball ammo from a 240 belt) I was Very satisfied with the performance of that Rifle. Very Very happy to have a Semi Auto Rifle as a part of the Team. HOWEVER. If i am in overwatch with an active target and theres the need for Greater accuracy I would have the man with the M24 take the shot. The M24 is a SOLID precise rifle with a bolt system that doesnt Jump forwards and Backwards to load another round in the chamber thus making it much more steady. If i want another Exact shot i will load another round at the time of my choosing and quietly, slowly.
    Someone here asked "Why Not Use a Larger Round?" Well heres my take on that. The 7.62 M118 round we use, has Kick but a Steady kick. It is not too much. With a larger round the recoil can make you lose your site picture/ take time to find the target again, over time kick your shoulders butt and it isn't needed. If you have ever shot a man with a 7.62 round centermass you will know what i mean. It's a Powerfull Fast round. an M118 round is not your everyday hunting round.
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    This is a sniper weapon, not a squad-level DM weapon, as far as I've been able to determine.

    I don't see why the manufacturer makes any differenence - if it's a good weapon then it's a good weapon. Leaving that out of it...

    The military has been using the 7.62N round for sniper work for quite a while now, with good results. It is fine for its role - killing people out to 800-1000m or so. Are there better extreme long range rounds out there? Sure (though the .30-06 is only marginally better, balistically). Is it worth introducing a new cartridge into the arsenal for shots beyond 1000m? I don't think so - these are extremely rare shots, and there aren't that many shooters out there that can make those shots, anyway. And, of course, we have the M107/M109 available for the reaaaaally long shots.

    The bottim line, IMO, is this: the M110 is a better weapon then the M24, which it is primarily designed to replace. Is it significantly better then the Mk11? Dunno, haven't gotten to play with one. Is it better then the "standard" 7.62N ARs? Based on my limited experience with the Mk11, I say that it is. KAC may have an unnaturally close relationship with the Govt., but they make very good rifles - better then the M14, better then the AR10.

    And, for thhose that want one - don't hold your breath. You can't buy anything from KAC right now, and I doubt this is going to make it any easier to get them... :)
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    Sounds like a decent rifle, but the idea that it's gonna phase out all the other platforms is B.S., especially in the specwar community. There are alot of .300 winmags that I'm sure are not going anywhere in the near future in use today.

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    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joleary223 View Post
    Someone here asked "Why Not Use a Larger Round?" Well heres my take on that. The 7.62 M118 round we use, has Kick but a Steady kick. It is not too much. With a larger round the recoil can make you lose your site picture/ take time to find the target again, over time kick your shoulders butt and it isn't needed. If you have ever shot a man with a 7.62 round centermass you will know what i mean. It's a Powerfull Fast round. an M118 round is not your everyday hunting round.
    I love that statement. Truth spoken by someone who has had to use it, and repeatedly got the results he desired.

    I am getting tired of the years of hearing people think they need to have some "10,000 caliber, rocket propelled, computer guided w/ back up wire controls, laser aimed" rifle/handgun round to take out a cockroach at 3.5 meters. "Anything less just wouldn't vaporize!"

    I think its a little overdue to finally utilize the AR10 platforms a little bit. Even though, in some applications I still believe that the bolt rifles can be superior.

    I also look forward to that because it will hopefully bring more parts and platforms to the civilian market and make it a little less expensive to build a precision AR10 platform. I am not going to hold my breath about buying the actual platform though. It seems the trend for many manufacturers anymore is that once they get a military contract, they don't want to sell to civilian's because that is not PC.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

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    Senior Member Array Skygod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAC View Post
    OPFOR, I don't disagree but I think the Army is only trying to solve part of a problem with a questionable decision. Let me explain by way of questions.


    Why is the new rifle from KAC specifically?

    Why are KAC's suppressors deemed superior by the Army to others?

    Why are we modifying a weapon only?

    What is the effective range of this weapon?

    Is this designed to be a primary sniper weapon, or replace the designated marksman weapons?

    Why are we keeping a decent caliber when there are far better ones out there for long-range shooting?


    I dunno, I just don't see it. Yes a semi-auto in modern days is far more accurate, but who's to say the AR-10 they chose is better than Armalite, DPMS, etc.? I think a DMR weapon is good idea, but the Army seems to have a lot of trouble assigning roles. What are we defining as a sniper and what is a sniper's role, now? Are we making a specialized or generalist infantry? Are we staying the course because of the weight of tradition and money or are we actively trying to redirect resources to improve our soldiers' equipment?

    For example, I think it would make more sense to use a larger-caliber weapon for distance work (750m+), a DMR for moderate range (300m-800m) work, and infantry for closer (out to 400m) work. In that example, you have clearly defined goals, and with the form laid out function can follow smoothly. Keep existing infantry caliber, upgrade caliber to something better for above moderate-ranged work (6.5 Grendel seems damn fine for that), and use something meant for long-ranged work (like 30-06 or .300 WM).

    That's all speculation, and from nothing more but a student of military history and not a soldier, but you get the idea. It really does look like, from both my eyes and those within Big Army, that the US Army's having a lot of problems defining what it wants and it shows in decisions like this one.


    -B
    I dont know about OPFOR, but I too spent the better years, 21 to be exact, in the U.S. Army and I've seen an awful lot of gear and equipment come and go. Somtimes fast and somtimes slowly.

    Knights Arm and the U.S. Mililtary have had a long standing relationship that some in the know will tell you is downright sickening and others are in love with Knights stuff. Personally I'm not one of them.

    Knights Arm made their name with the SOPMOD Program and later the Mk12 and MK11 SPR rifles. Along with Crane. Once other manufacturers were able to get around patent issues their was in an influx of after market accessories available, especially to the civillian buyer looking to clone the SOPMOD and SPR series rifles.

    As to your statement in the last paragraph I can only offer to you that it's very easy, in a moments notice, to suddenly be playing one or the other roles that you might be designated for. As a soldier I do not want to be carrying 3 weapons systems at all time. A DMR is almost alway's a CQB guy and sometimes an LRS guy and so on. I want a weapon system that is capable of both my close in work and my intermediate work without the need to change anything that I run on the rail system. Optimum use of the given tool and it's accessories. This is why you see ACOG's with Doctor Optics, as an example.

    As to Knights suppressors: I personally do not think they are superior to most other suppressors, but again, the Knights and U.S. Mililtary relationship is not about to broken anytime soon. There's politics here and they are more far reaching than we have time for on this forum.

    Most suppressors now are COTS purchases of the Surefire 5.56. The Knights QD 5.56 suppressor was, for it's time, the only game in town, but not anymore. It's a heavy suppressor, durable, somewhat quite, but not the best tool available for it's intended purpose.

    As to your choice of caliber, it's clearly a NATO caliber. Until other ammo choices are considered. Hence the use of the 6.8 SPC cartridge that is seeing time down range at the moment. Thus far it's been good reporting all around from the end users.

    I wouldn't hold my breath for the military to adopt a new cartridge choice/caliber anytime soon.
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