Solicitation for new semi-auto sniper rifle


PDA






SunBear
November 18, 2004, 11:55 PM
Send it!

The U.S. Army ARDEC, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806 has a requirement for a 7.62mm semi-automatic sniper system (SASS) capable of delivering precision fire primarily on anti-personnel targets out to a range of 1,000 meters. This system must be a man portable, shoulder fired system utilizing military standard 7.62 x 51 mm caliber ammunition but optimized for the open-tip M118LR long range ammunition. Additionally, M993 Armor Piercing (AP) ammunition will be fired based on specific mission requirements. Compatibility with the existing family of military 7.62 x 51mm caliber ammunition is also required. The primary components of the system include a rifle, detachable bipod, hard transport/storage case(s), soft carrying case(s), cleaning/maintenance equipment, and manuals. The weapon will have a flash/sound suppressor, high capacity (up to 20-round) detachable box magazines; rails/mounting surfaces for mounting fire control (optics, backup iron sights and aim- light) systems; variable power optics/electro-optics (in order to engage targets between 50 and 1000 meters); and an accompanying spotting scope with range estimation reticle(s) and a night vision interface. :evil:

If you enjoyed reading about "Solicitation for new semi-auto sniper rifle" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Daniel Watters
November 19, 2004, 12:22 AM
From what I've seen, the designation XM110 is being reserved for whatever model is eventually selected.

BigG
November 19, 2004, 11:02 AM
Sounds like the time of the AR10 has arrived. Only took 50 years. ;)

F15H
November 19, 2004, 11:06 AM
+1 for the AR-10!!

Zak Smith
November 19, 2004, 01:45 PM
+1 AR-10 or SR-25.

I wonder if any SCAR-H entries will be interesting.

-z

Jonathan
November 19, 2004, 02:00 PM
I hope they don't evaluate those requirements too strictly:

"...high capacity (up to 20-round) detachable box magazines..."


The guys in the field are going to be pretty pissed if a 20-round magazine is all they receive.

Rebar
November 19, 2004, 02:14 PM
Why not just renovate the M-14 system? It's a well-proven platform, battle tested, and familiar. If they reworked it with all the fancy computer aided design, etc., I'm sure it could soldier on for a long time to come.

VG
November 19, 2004, 04:02 PM
Why not just renovate the M-14 system? It's a well-proven platform, battle tested, and familiar. If they reworked it with all the fancy computer aided design, etc., I'm sure it could soldier on for a long time to come. Because Springfield Armory is a museum.... The M14 is still in use, but there are significant shortcomings with it as a long-range sniper weapon system.

Advances in materials and manufacturing technology will likely yield a lighter, stronger, more easily maintained and more reliable system. Better integration with the latest day/night optics will yield a significant battlefield edge. The M14 versions will be a useful baseline reference, of course.

A program on the Army's five week Sniper course is showing on tv lately.

patent
November 19, 2004, 05:27 PM
The guys in the field are going to be pretty pissed if a 20-round magazine is all they receive.

Why is 20 rounds bad in a sniper rifle? I'm not sure I'd want a big magazine, and its 7.62, so it could get to be a rather large bulky magazine.

patent

Vern Humphrey
November 19, 2004, 05:36 PM
The 7.62X51mm cartridge is significantly "fatter" than the 5.56X45mm. When you get magazines with much more capacity than 20 rounds, they tend to be so large that the rifle "monopods" on the magazine when shooting from the prone position -- and that isn't conducive to the accuracy you need.

patent
November 19, 2004, 05:57 PM
When you get magazines with much more capacity than 20 rounds, they tend to be so large that the rifle "monopods" on the magazine when shooting from the prone position -- and that isn't conducive to the accuracy you need.

That's what I was thinking. I can't think of a reason that a sniper wants a 30 round magazine, just carry the extras that you need.

patent

Jonathan
November 19, 2004, 06:59 PM
http://www.fulton-armory.com/M14ServiceRifle-Adj-1-600_50.jpg (http://www.fulton-armory.com)

http://armalite.com/shared/images/ar10t_100.gif (http://armalite.com/sales/catalog/rifles/ar10t.htm)


They don't look too bad, I guess, but check this out:
http://www.gaprecision.net/gallery/1/58.jpg (http://www.gaprecision.net)

In nice range conditions, it looks very borderline, and that's with a 9-12" Harris. I'm sure they would like the 20-round for DM type work: best to just make both available.

Gewehr98
November 19, 2004, 11:53 PM
The ArmsTech Interdiction Rifle in .300 Win Mag, as issued to selected Army units during KFOR ops in Kosovo-Sarajevo. It reportedly worked great against the Dragunov-equipped snipers in the apartment towers:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=854028

Bigfoot
November 20, 2004, 12:51 AM
^^ Isn't that a BAR action?

Trebor
November 20, 2004, 06:05 AM
I interviewed an instructor at the Army Sniper School at Fort Benning earlier this year. We mainly discussed training and equipment issues.

The war in Iraq has shown the army that they need a "new" kind of sniper. In the past, the training and equipment has focused on the scout/sniper. The emphasis has been on very precise shooting at very long ranges. Rate of fire wasn't a concern. A lot of emphasis was placed on the stalk and on intel gathering. The weapon designed to meet that requirement, the M24 (and Marine M40) is a heavy precision bolt gun capable of very good long range accuracy. It is not good for quick engagements or quick follow up shots and suffers from low (5 round) mag capacity.

The problem is that is NOT what's needed right now in Iraq. Urban operations are different and require a different kind of "sniper". They also require a greater number of snipers then army doctrine would indicate.

The army has discovered that urban fighting requires a relatively high number of snipers who are capable of engaging multiple targets, quickly, at relatively close ranges. We're talking about shots ranging from 100 yards out to about 400 yards. The low rate of fire and low mag capacity of the bolt gun are a handicap in this kind of shooting. The level of training needed for the multi-day stalk culminating in the single, 1,000 yard shot, is also not needed.

The M-14 is being used by both the Marines and Army as a "Designated Marksmans' Rifle" (Marines) and ad-hoc sniper rifle (army). The problems are that there aren't many M-14's left in inventory. The support infrastructure is gone, spare parts are non-existent and there are NO school trained armorers on the M-14 in active duty. The M-14 is finicky and requires more maintainence (armorer level) to keep a consistent high level of accuracy. That's hard to do when parts are scarce and no one is trained to maintain the rifle.

The SASS specs were put out in an effort to address these problems. The thinking is that probably an AR-10 variant will be picked. The accuracy should be acceptable for the role and the similiarity with the current service rifle will make training and maintainence easier. (There will also be limited parts interchangability. That's always a plus, but isn't a neccessity.)

The new rifle will go hand-in-hand with new training. We're seeing the return of the "trained rifleman" in the form of the "Designated Marksman." Not everyone will be trained to this standard, but there will be more DM's than fully trained "Scout/Snipers." The training is less involved and produces trained shooters quicker than a full blown sniper school.

I am surprised to see a 1,000 yard accuracy requirement in those specs. I bet that will other be dropped or that they will de-emphasise that requirement in the end. The current bolt-guns fill that role just fine.

VG
November 20, 2004, 08:40 AM
The Army also defined a Designated Marksman role in the new Stryker units - which have over 100 snipers per Brigade - a huge increase. The designated marksman carries an AR family weapon (trending to the use of 4X optics) or an M24. Global Security (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/3-21-11/c01.htm) has an excerpt of the FM covering the IBXT's TO&E.

Squad Designated Marksman. Although normally functioning as a rifleman within one of the fire teams in a rifle squad, the squad designated marksman is also armed with the M24 7.62-mm sniper rifle. He is employed at the direction of the squad leader or reorganized with the other squad marksmen into a platoon sniper section. The designated marksman can defeat high-value enemy personnel targets, such as automatic rifle teams, antiarmor teams, and snipers, at ranges out to 800 meters.
The M24 is the sniper version of the M14.There used to be broad discussions of these issues on the USAIS forums, but a few civilian knuckleheads got in there and public access is now restricted.

cheygriz
November 20, 2004, 04:41 PM
Bushmaster, DPMS and Armalite already offer the perfect rifle right off of the shelf!

These are basically AR designs with heavy 7.62X51 barrels. They are available with 20 round mags, and more accurate than 90 percent of the sniper rifles used in today's world. And they meet all of the army's requirements except perhaps the 1,000 yard bit.

The requirement for 1,00 yard engagements is already filled by the Barrett light 50, it is not needed in a .308. This is a throwback to the old ordnance board 19th century thinking.

An Armalite AR-10, or the equivalent from Bushmaster or DPMS can be had ready for delivery today, for under $1200 per copy if the arse-whole bureaucratic dinosaurs would just get out of the way.

(last sentence edited out by moderator)

4v50 Gary
November 20, 2004, 07:59 PM
Better an AR based action than the M-14. The M-14 is too high maintenance and has more moving parts than the AR. With fewer moving parts, the AR is more accurate too. I'd go with the SR-25 (so long as it has the Remington barrel).

threefeathers
November 20, 2004, 10:45 PM
Joe Rustick at Arms Tech put out a great rifle built on the BAR, He had a progressive firled barrel, a really effective can, and Kelly Mac built a stock based on the A-3 stock. This is a hell of a rifle. Joe also has a heck of a rifle based on the M-14 that is really modernized, new McMillian stock and a Nightforce scope, short and effective can.

RevDisk
November 21, 2004, 12:12 AM
The ArmsTech Interdiction Rifle in .300 Win Mag, as issued to selected Army units during KFOR ops in Kosovo-Sarajevo. It reportedly worked great against the Dragunov-equipped snipers in the apartment towers:

Sarajevo is in Bosnia, which is SFOR. We didn't have too much of a problem with Dragunov snipers down in Kosovo, that I recall. Besides, we just used the Barrett in KFOR. :evil:

"Now, I'm not a good shot. But these are really big bullets." - Hellboy

Gewehr98
November 21, 2004, 12:14 AM
As Threefeathers mentioned, it was the ArmsTech contract for a long-range sniper system with ballistics superior to the 7.62x51 NATO round. Several were built and issued to select Army units, who still have them last I heard.

As for the Barrett .50 Brownings filling the 1000-yard requirement, that's a common misconception. .50 BMG rifles are specifically designated as "Anti-materiel" weapons, not anti-personnel. They're issued for use against hard targets, like vehicles, etc. The fact that they will occasionally eliminate a soft target is just a byproduct of the hard target interdiction, as far as JAG and others who work the Rules of Engagement legalese will tell you. ;)

artherd
November 21, 2004, 05:24 AM
Oh, if only they weren't limited to 7.62x51mm...

http://rndedge.com/Homepage01.jpg

Yeah, semi .338Lapua (my bolt AR-30 .338LM absolutely destroys 3/4" plate steel at 500yards. Clean through with plenty of secondary fragmentation. 'Cover' becomes mere concealment.)

Richard G
November 21, 2004, 04:04 PM
I'll take my M14 over an AR any day. The blowback that dirties an AR hampers reliability far more than any problem an M14 developes.

I can put 1000 rounds through my M1a without cleaning it. Do that with an AR and see what happens.

Vern Humphrey
November 21, 2004, 04:20 PM
My experience with the M14 has always been positive. I frankly don't think the AR series is in the same league.

Zak Smith
November 21, 2004, 04:44 PM
The blowback that dirties an AR hampers reliability far more than any problem an M14 developes.

I can put 1000 rounds through my M1a without cleaning it. Do that with an AR and see what happens.
My AR's regularly go for thousands of rounds without cleaning, and they run fine. If your don't, it's possible they are defective.

The "blowback" issue keeps coming with AR's, but it hasn't been a problem since the powder debacle in VN. The amount of fouling proper ammo produces in the action is inconsequential compared to environmental dirt/sand ingress into the weapon like it does on any rifle.

-z

Bartholomew Roberts
November 21, 2004, 05:40 PM
I can put 1000 rounds through my M1a without cleaning it. Do that with an AR and see what happens.

Already have and my experience mirrors Zak's. The M14 has better reliability than the AR is some specific environments; but it also suffers from lack of readily available parts, readily available armorers, and institutional knowledge base. Start complicating matters further by adding in rifles with tolerances more suited to matches (M21) and it becomes a difficult system to maintain.

I've heard some buzz that Mike Rock has done some pretty phenomenal things with the system though and updated a lot of the basic structure of the M14. Haven't yet had the chance to see one firsthand though.

PAC 762
November 21, 2004, 07:30 PM
The army is currently issueing suppressed SR25's in Iraq, so I'd venture to guess this is what they'll be leaning to when they need to make a final decision.

wanderinwalker
November 21, 2004, 09:56 PM
Looks like the AR-10/SR-25 might finally come of age as a military issue weapon.

As far as reliability goes, I know of several ARs that have chugged through plenty of rounds without cleaning. Actually, I know of one that had to be kicked open to use it at the range once. The AR reputation for unreliablity is overblown IMO, and I used to be one of the AR-15 bashers. All it took was working with a quality example to change my mind.

FWIW, I have seen (as a percentage of the number of the type of rifles on the line) more issues with M-1/M14 based systems than AR-based systems at Highpower matches. Op-rods can and will jump at the most inopportune time, and it can be time consuming getting it back into action.

Sam Adams
November 22, 2004, 01:37 PM
Off the cuff, I'd say go with a heavy-barreled version of the AR-10. There's no new design work needed and there are several manufacturers, so Uncle (i.e. all of us taxpayers) will have the advantage of competition to lower the price. However, sometimes it pays to think about solutions to a problem with a clean (or cleaner) piece of paper. Toward that end...

Does anyone know how accurate the XM8 system is? If it is accurate enough in 5.56 mm out to 600 yards or so with the longer barrels, then adapting it to shoot 7.62x51 shouldn't be too difficult - it is supposed to be a modular system. The rifle uses an op rod instead of a gas tube, so there will be no fouling problems (I think that I saw somewhere that it has run for 15,000 rounds without cleaning and without any jams).

Further "clean sheet of paper" thinking leads one to a round firing a 6.5mm bullet. These have about the highest BC's out there, and I know that ballistics data for the 6.5 Grendel round show that it retains more energy to dump into a target than a 147 grain .308 out past about 500 yards (and about 95% of the M118's energy at that range). Take a look at the article at http://www.65grendel.com/ dealing with using the 6.5 Grendel in the M249 as a LMG cartridge. Also, with the high sectional density of the 6.5mm bullets vs. just about anything else, it makes a good round for penetrating cover (which is certainly needed on the battlefield, as opposed to punching holes in paper targets at the range).

Here are a couple more interesting articles discussing the 6.5 Grendel:

http://www.65grendel.com/faq.htm Check out the ballistics chart there (it is a downloadable .pdf), which shows that the 6.5 Grendel stays supersonic out to at least 1,000 meters in all of the 108, 123 or 147 grain loadings tested, while the M118 is only supersonic to 950 meters. You want your bullets to stay supersonic up to the target, as coming back below the barrier disturbs the flight path (i.e. it degrades accuracy, not a good thing when shooting at someone who can shoot back).

http://www.65grendel.com/art005newdevs.htm

http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=600

By the way, I'm not associated with any company or individual that makes the 6.5 Grendel rifle or ammunition. I just think it is a better round than anything out there for nearly every purpose imaginable, and if adopted for both the everyday infantryman, the designated marksmen and the sniper crowd, logistics would be enormously simplified. Further, I'd love to see the round adopted, so as to make it and the associated rifles/uppers cheaper for us in the general public to obtain.

50 Shooter
November 22, 2004, 08:17 PM
Why no one else offered up the PSG-1 I don't know but it would get my vote, other then the price.

http://www.imt.net/~mele/images/hkpsg1-2.jpg

http://www.hkpro.com/psg1.htm

mrming
November 23, 2004, 01:37 PM
What? Not a single suggestion for a FAL variant? Reliable, world combat proven, and would even have some mag compatiblity with some other NATO nations..

Zak Smith
November 23, 2004, 01:54 PM
What? Not a single suggestion for a FAL variant? Reliable, world combat proven, and would even have some mag compatiblity with some other NATO nations..
The spec is for a "precision" rifle. The FAL is the wrong platform for that.

shoobe01
November 23, 2004, 02:16 PM
Fals can be pretty darn precise. Aside from the crazy things people are building in the US today, FN built some amazing 50.00 "sniper" variants back in the day. No idea how they got the trigger to where they did.


This whole need, for company-level or better organic snipers is not at all new. Very WW2. But we like to forget things and have to rediscover them at the last moment.


I am all for a larger caliber, but to speed fielding, what about just upping the percentage of M16-based DMRs? We are buying enough ACOGs, so just designate and arm your chosen men, train them and train the line officers to use them the right way.

"Sniper front!"

If you enjoyed reading about "Solicitation for new semi-auto sniper rifle" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!