The SWAT Rifle (Ultralight, Compact, Precision Rifle)


December 31, 2011, 12:03 AM
More and more, military and law enforcement agencies are arming themselves with submachine guns and carbines. This, of course, makes sense, as house to house fighting becomes more common and a focus on urban combat and CQB grows. However, if a insurgent or criminal does choose to attempt to attack from range, which is fully possible, then a force armed with close range oriented weapons is placed at a serious disadvantage. How then, do we equip our forces for a rapidly changing combat environment where combat is likely to occur at close range, but thanks to the many places where a shooter could seek cover in an urban environment may also occur at longer ranges (those outside the practical range of an automatic carbine or SMG)? Enter:

The SWAT Rifle is a weapon which complements but does not replace weapons such as the P90, MP7, MP9, and M4 CQBR. Built on any number of proven, simple and (important for government agencies) inexpensive bolt actions, The SWAT Rifle provides accurate fire at ranges up to 500 yards (depending on caliber) in a compact, soft shooting, and very light package. A package which can be carried comfortably alongside a close quarters weapon or inside a vehicle etc. and deployed quickly with minimal setup.

Basic Specifications:
Caliber: Intermediate, no larger than .30 caliber, short action a must, preferably shared with force's service rifle.
OAL: Does not exceed 35" excluding muzzle devices.
Barrel: Lightweight profile. No longer than 16" with accommodations for muzzle devices (sound and flash suppressors). Free floating.
Weight: No heavier than 5.5 pounds. (base rifle, excludes optics and attachments)
Stock: Lightweight, synthetic, preferably folding with adjustable comb and length of pull. MIL-STD-1913 Rails for bipod and or foregrip.
Sights/Optics/Mounts: MIL-STD-1913 Rails running the length of the receiver for the user's/forces choice of optics. BUIS in case the optic fails.
Req'd Accuracy: 3/4 MOA at 150 yards.
Magazine: Detachable, 10 rounds minimum capacity.

My SWAT Rifle Build:

Base: Savage 10 Precision Carbine
Caliber: 7.62x35mm BLK
Barrel: Factory Profile stainless 16" with AAC SCAR type Flash supp.
Stock: Choate Ultimate Folder
Magazines/Feeding: Modded AICS Mags (with Sharpshooter Supply kit for Savage bottom metal)
Mounts/Optics: Badger Ordnance Savage 10 Short Action One Piece Picatinny Rail Scope Mount, Leupold Mark 4 4.5-14x50mm LR/T M1 Illum. Reticle

Answers to questions I know people will ask:

Q: Why not the Scout Rifle?

A: The Scout Rifle is designed to be general purpose and fires a heftier caliber than the SWAT rifle. The SWAT Rifle is intended for Military/Law Enforcement and thus is not not designed to put meat on the table like the Scout Rifle. Also, higher magnification optics with traditional eye relief are spec'd for the SWAT Rifle. The Scout Rifle is a great idea and the SWAT Rifle is not meant to compete with it.

Q: The AR-15 platform meets the weight and length requirements nicely why not step up to an autoloader?

A: Don't get me wrong, I like the AR-15/M16, however, and there are numerous AR's capable of my accuracy requirements. However, relative inexpensiveness is part of SWAT rifle concept (so that Law Enforcement Agencies find it easier to adopt, money is always an issue when the government is involved, even when lives are on the line) and there are many highly accurate bolt action platforms that are much cheaper.

Q: What about existing military sniper rifles such as the M24 and M40A3/A5?

A: Both of those rifles have recently been redesigned to respond to the longer ranges faced in the hills and valleys of Afghanistan. (moving up to larger calibers, heavyweight barrels, etc.) The SWAT Rifle is not a "hills of Afghanistan" rifle, it is a "rooftops of Kabul" rifle. It is a tool for a specific situation, not a be all and end all, and it is certainly not a primary weapon.

What are your thoughts on The SWAT Rifle?

Veterans and Active Servicemen: Can you recall any situations where you would have found the SWAT Rifle useful?

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December 31, 2011, 12:16 AM
If anyone does try to put one together, please do post about it in this thread. I'd really appreciate if this you all kept this thread alive.

December 31, 2011, 12:51 AM
No interest, really?

December 31, 2011, 12:58 AM
Winchester 70 (I personally prefer the Winchester as my action of choice)
.308 Winchester
Light Palma 16.5" threaded barrel, 1-10" twist
Manners T/T3 stock (90% Carbon Fiber) with a CDI bottom metal for dbm
USO 1.5-6x24mm, JNG MIL/MIL (other optics could be substituted here for cost/weight)
BUIS (thinking globe front, peep rear, like you see on the M24's)
T.A.B. sling

This would fit your requirements besides weight, but please 5.5 pounds is a bit too demanding while keeping a high accuracy standard. I believe the rifle I have stated should come under 10 pounds easy (but an easy to carry 10 pounds).

I like the shorter, medium weight bolt concepts (though I prefer a simple bdl setup).

December 31, 2011, 01:02 AM
5.5 pounds may be a little harsh, but I'm trying to keep to really capitalize on how light a bolt action can be compared to an autoloader. Nice setup though, in a perfect world I would also go with a CRF rile. I favor the M1917 Enfield design myself, the cock-on-closing lends itself well to fast follow up shots and a smooth quick bolt throw (case in point the Lee-Enfield). Went with Savage for my build because they are cheap but good.

December 31, 2011, 01:30 AM
I'm a little confused... are you trying to sell this? I mean, you have your own graphic and a link to this thread in your sig. That doesn't seem like something you'd do for a random idea you'd like to toss around. Just a little forewarning, my entire post is on the basis that you want to market this.

First off, there is no reason for the military to buy this. Individually, those guys are carrying enough junk, they don't want to carry ANOTHER rifle and ANOTHER combat load of ammo on top of what they are already having to carry. Tactically, they have other options than outfitting everyone with a second rifle that has about the same effective range as what they are already carrying. In a combat environment (*I'll get to this later) there's no problem setting up something like an M240 and shooting at the enemy with a 7.62 machine gun that is there already. That doesn't even include all the other neat little toys like air support and artillery that they have the ability to call in.

Secondly, I flat out reject the notion that swat teams operate in a "combat environment". Yes, they are in a dangerous field of work and yes they run the risk of shooting/getting shot, but what they do is not combat. I'm also against the militarization of police and the prevalence of no knock warrants, but that's another rant.

Most swat teams put a high value on the ability to move quickly. Every officer carrying a slung rifle in addition to his/her primary weapon (M4/MP5 etc) and secondary weapon (pistol) will be that much more likely to get snagged on a doorway or exiting a vehicle or something like that. There's also the same weight issue that the soldier faces. Swat teams also usually have at least one or two snipers who, in a worst case 500 yard scenario, could fire on the enemy while the rest of the team moves to a more advantageous position.

As to your specific rifle, I think it is a solution in search of a problem. I don't know of a single instance of this long range shootout happening to a swat team while they're set up for close combat. Also, considering that most police departments use some variation of the AR rifle, you're essentially replacing a mid power cartridge that works ok at 500yd with another mid power cartridge that works slightly better at 500yd. The weight penalty isn't worth the minor ballistic advantage.

Another problem I'm seeing is that it seems like this is being promoted as a mid range battle rifle. When the enemy is firing at you from 500 yards away, lowering your collective rate of fire is not the best idea. A bolt action isn't going to cut it.

Also, your requirement of sharing a caliber with other weaponry in the departments armory isn't met by your recommendation of a .300 Blackout.

Another point on your comment "your rifle isn't designed to compete with the Scout rifle". There's direct and indirect competition. If you'll allow me to use the AR 15 to illustrate the point, an AR's direct competition is other AR manufacturers, their indirect competition is every other rifle that fits the "combat rifle" ideal (so all AKs, FALs, HK 91s, M1As etc.). In essence, you will be competing with the scout rifle no matter what you do.

I'm sorry if this seems kinda harsh, but honestly I see no up side to this rifle from a Mil/PD standpoint, and definitely not enough to make it marketable to individual police departments. It could make a fun personal rifle, especially with a suppressor though. Like I said, I don't mean to be beating you up about this, but it seems like you put a lot of work into this and have an eye to sell it. I just want to point out some obstacles that I see so you have a better idea of what you're getting into. You may not want to take out that SBA loan just yet :D

December 31, 2011, 01:31 AM
I'm not trying to sell this, I just want to make sure as many people as possible see it to give input. Even if I wanted to sell it doing so in that way would be violation the THR terms of service by advertising.

Also, the .300 BLK is how I would set it up, for myself because I fancy the .300 BLK, that build is my personal build not what I recommend for all.

Also, not every officer or soldier would be carrying the SWAT Rifle, only one individual per team, squad, etc, in such an environment.

December 31, 2011, 01:43 AM
Yeh, I question the weight too. Are you sure your reference build would come in under 5.5 pounds, with that big glass on there and a 10-round mag, filled? [Oh wait, you said no glass for the weigh-in.] Still...

And the 35" total length limit? 16" barrel. What are the ballistics of .30 cal Blackout with 16" bbl? 3/4 MOA @ 150 yards? You only need human center-of-mass accuracy, right? If a situation, like a bad guy using a hostage as cover, really calls for 3/4 MOA, the Captain is going to call in a real sniper with a real sniper rifle. I would, if for liability/law suit reasons alone.

I guess I am not convinced of the desirability of such light/small format, as a make-or-break issue. Cost? What is the cost of your reference build? Including labor/build/test time at $100/hour (that's loaded with commercial overhead). Again, I am not convinced of the price point sensititivity of the market/segment. Or that your ref build will meet such a low price point when labor is added realistically.

But its a cool, agressive spec and an interesting build to reach it. Is your point that bolt action still has its place, to reduce weight and cost?

December 31, 2011, 01:46 AM
Yes, that is a key point, a bolt action for modern use. The spec is aggressive, it was meant to be hard to reach, if it was really easy to reach it has probably already been done. 3/4 MOA is called for because any greater and there is a laundry list of autoloading DMRs that can reach that (albeit not in as light of a package). Also, since any fielded version will likely be chambered for 5.56x45mm it will need human vital organ accuracy (head, heart, neck, spine) to kill swiftly.

December 31, 2011, 01:56 AM
When I read "accurate to 500 yards" and "no longer than 16" BBL", I was thinking "isn't the M4 a 14" BBL and accurate to 500 yards?" Okay, so you say the cheap AR doesn't meet the cost requirement...
1 dedicated sniper with a Remington 700 would get a lot more bang for the buck than 4 SWAT members armed with a primary weapon in addition to your rifle. Like Telekenesis said, SWAT members aren't generally going to engage targets at ranges of several football fields.

The Scout rifle, as I recall, isn't specific to hunting, but also combat. I believe they also make those in smaller calibers, the standard being .30 or 7.62mm (which is what you're looking at).

If you look at various gun manufacturers, they already have SWAT versions of their weapons, which are designed for short-to-medium range accuracy. I think what you have is specs for your own short-range sniper rifle, and not a whole new class of rifle that every SWAT team needs.

December 31, 2011, 02:02 AM
What level of accuracy can an M4 with a 14" BBL, which would likely be fitted with a low, or no magnification optic, be able to achieve at 500 yards? Accurate enough to pick off a shooter in cover on a rooftop? Also, I don't like how people assume that just by putting my idea up, I'm saying that is a revolution or anything, Its an evolution of the Squad DMR, and or urban counter sniper rifle, I was inspired after reading about soldiers who went into urban areas in Iraq with M4 Carbines and aimpoints, complaining about not be able to "reach out and touch someone" when they were faced with enemy shooters attacking from longer ranges.

December 31, 2011, 02:07 AM
What level of accuracy can an M4 with a 14" BBL, which would likely be fitted with a low, or no magnification optic, be able to achieve at 500 yards? Accurate enough to pick off a shooter in cover on a rooftop?

Marines qualify with M16A2s with iron sights at 500 yards on silhouette targets. The M4 with 14.5" barrel will be a tad bit less accurate, but not by much.

December 31, 2011, 02:10 AM
That's very impressive, I guess I do have myself a useless idea.

December 31, 2011, 02:15 AM
The stated effective range for M16 is 550 yards, M4 is 500. Also, while the complaint was that it was difficult using low-power optics, that complaint can be solved by using higher power optics. That is why weapons such as the SPR came about - basically an M-16 with a heavier barrel for accuracy, semi-auto only functionality, and a higher power scope and a bipod attached.

December 31, 2011, 02:19 AM
I don't think its completely useless, it just doesn't work for its original intended field. I hadn't thought about a bolt rifle in .300 blackout, but with a suppressor it would be a pretty cool rifle. Nice and quiet with no action noise that you'd get from a semi auto.

Jim Watson
December 31, 2011, 07:31 AM
Granted there is a niche, the Army would not likely want another caliber in the supply chain. Let's go .223/5.56 with a magazine long enough for the target shooter's 600 yard load. When the swatter runs out of his supply of match grade, he can shoot hardball. If he is properly trained and prepared, he will have the sight setting handy.

The Choate folder weighs 3.5 lbs, the Savage action 2 lbs. There you are at 5.5 lbs with no barrel. Call back when you have a real prototype. This will be something like the Forbes Ultra Light Arms rifle which is NOT inexpensive.

December 31, 2011, 09:20 AM
5.5 lbs while a delight to carry is too light IMO for accurate shooting. A little weight helps steady the weapon, especially for off-hand work. The pencil barrel that 5.5 lbs would require would also tend to heat and likely throw shots after not a whole lot of rounds. In this type of work especially it's critical that the first shot from a cold bore be dead on with subsequent rounds, heavier barrels tend to be better at this. The carbine length though is a real winner IMO as short stiff barrels tend to be very accurate and the reduced length would be a godsend in cramped quarters.

As far as bolt over a semi, in a 300 BLK class cartridge the weight savings wouldn't tend to be that significant and to me it doesn't make sense to give up the benefit of a quick second shot for a bit less weight. In a .308 class weapon where the SA is significantly heavier than the bolt gun then I think it would make sense. Truthfully a more conventional weight AR carbine with a low power optic would seem the best choice IMO.

ETA; As as stretching the capability to 500 yards the 300 BLK is a terrible choice of a round to do so. The ballistics just aren't there for that great a distance. A 6x45 would work for what you have in mind much better.

December 31, 2011, 09:35 AM
The initial intro statements harbor "facts" which are contrary to what the majority of LEO/MIL are actually doing. 1) Submachine gun use is declining; the major supplier has to compete with the US Gov handing out M16's with just a signature; 2) the short range sniper rifle requirement was being met by the AR15 over twenty years ago, and even the Army has them fielded now, the SDM being the most noticeable.

For a second followup shot, which a tactical marksman will be confronted with, the selfloading action of the AR is superior in speed and ability. Further, 5.56 is entirely adequate for the job of incapacitating a target; it's not necessary to stop them DRT. When dealing with active participants in terrorism, it's a good thing to interview them after the fact and get information as to who else is involved, and what plans they might have.

Savage makes a nice rifle, and it does a good job hunting wild game, but it's not the best choice of action in this mission.

December 31, 2011, 10:12 AM
You have a neat set of ideals and could build yourself a fine rifle with which to play, hunt, plink, target shoot, etc. Go for it, see what you can accomplish with it, and enjoy yourself!

Don't worry with what the police and military might want with such a thing. Like the Scout rifle concept, no one really has a "need" for this. No police SWAT team is going to trade any of their arms for this, because it doesn't address needs they actually have, one iota better than several other choices they ALREADY have ... and have already paid for. If they had extra cash to buy your new rifle, they'd be FAR FAR FAR better off spending it on sending their officers out for (some/any/ more) training.

(Think about how far away a SWAT sniper is really going to be from his target in any US city. 500 yds? Think again. 100 yds. would be a very long shot. With all the vantage points and complete access to other buildings, and no possibility of other threats to force unfavorable positioning, a police rifleman will simply never have to take a precision shot longer than what an AR-15 -- or M-16, which the government will give away to LEO departments for pennies on the dollar -- can accomplish with tremendous ease.)

There is SO much overlap in the world of rifles that we're really chasing our tails trying to come up with the 'perfect' combination of features for an increasingly narrowed series of roles. So forget setting the world on fire with the perfect SWAT rifle. Build the rifle you think YOU want, shoot it, play with it, love it, change it, shoot it more, figure out what's not perfect about it (for YOU) and change it again, and shoot it more...etc.

You might indeed eventually build some combination that would appeal to a major manufacturer to sell -- or even start your own company selling that package deal yourself.

But for now, do it just for you and have some fun.

December 31, 2011, 01:54 PM
No interest in poodle shooting. Got any more info on the 1917's?

December 31, 2011, 09:06 PM
Its a nightmare, don't know where to begin... Some key equipment we need is not available among with several other things, it is not shaping up well. The joys of small business... If you want an all weather CRF Big/Dangerous game rifle why not pick up a Ruger M77 Alaskan. I hate to steer someone away but it looks like we might not have the shop set up this year. Not my full time job anyway, so I'll be fine.

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