Saturday, July 22, 2006

New Sniper Rifle for Marines

Scout Snipers from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Bn., 2nd Marine Regiment, fired their new rifles for the first time on a range this week.

The BLT Marines will use the new MK-11 semi-automatic sniper rifle simultaneously alongside the bolt-action M40A3, a descendent of the Vietnam-era M40. The rifle resembles an M-16 on first glance, and Sgt. Gerald V. Gavin, Scout Sniper Platoon commander, said the resemblance can benefit operations on today's urban battlefields because identifying a sniper with the new MK-11 in an infantry patrol will be harder, making them less vulnerable.

Gavin said the semi-automatic action on the new rifle, as well as the addition of a suppressor system that reduces muzzle flash and report, make it a valuable addition to the inventory.
The MK-11 comes fitted with the Scout Sniper Day Scope (SSDS), which the Marine Corps also is attaching to its existing inventory of M40A3s. Gavin said the new scope improves the snipers ability to engage targets, offering enhanced sighting ability and ease of use. "It's a great piece of glass," he said.

The Mk 11 system uses match grade 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition (similar to .308 Winchester). The out-of-the-box system includes the rifle, 20 round box magazines, QD scope rings, Leupold Vari-X Mil-dot riflescope, Harris swivel-base bipod on a Knight's mount, and QD sound suppressor, which is also manufactured by Knight's Armament Co. Flip-up BUIS (Back up iron sights) are attached to the modified gas block and upper receiver.

It is currently in service with most operational components of United States Special Operations Command and also with the Israeli Special Forces. The system has also recently become available to civilian consumers at a unit price of around $7,500 USD (without the sound suppressor unit and with with assault weapons ban friendly 5-round and 10-round magazines).

The BLT and Scout Snipers will continue to train with the MEU's Aviation and Logistics Combat Elements here until the end of the month. The training at Fort A.P. Hill is the MEU's first step in a six-month pre-deployment training process designed to merge the disparate elements of the MEU into a cohesive, rapid reaction force. The 26th MEU will continue to prepare for an early 2007 deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

Picture: Maj. Gen. Douglas V. O'Dell Commanding General of the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Anti-Terrorism), shoots a 7.62mm Mk 11.

3 comments:

Bill Wayne said...

The M40A5 Sniper Rifle is best suited for missions that requires discretely and stealthy way to take out a dangerous enemy personnel. With the bipod attached to it the marksman can ensure that his firearm is steady, and is ready to hit the target head on.

cody said...

A great help for marines. The thing it in the most is its scope.

T.R Rume said...

The thing makes it more effective is its scope. It's really strong for shooting and hunting. Thanks for the informative article.