Moving away from the classic M40-series, Marine Scout Snipers have a new and improved precision rifle platform that is making it out to the Fleet.
The Mk13 Mod 7 rifle is based on the Accuracy International AICS long action system. Whereas the legacy Remington 700-based M40, used and extensively upgraded since the 1960s by the Marines, is chambered in NATO-standard 7.62x51mm, the new rifle brings .300 Win Mag to the Marines’ lexicon. Army snipers have long since upgraded to chamberings that offered more room to reach out and touch someone.
“The .300 Winchester Magnum round will perform better than the current 7.62 NATO ammo in flight, increasing the Marine Sniper’s first-round probability of hit,” said CW3 Tony Palzkill, the Battalion Gunner for the Marine’s Infantry Training Battalion. “This upgrade is an incredible win and will allow snipers to engage targets at greater distances.”
First fielded with the Navy in older Mod 5 models, the Marine Special Operations units and the snipers of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines have been using the weapons for some time, with the feedback and lessons learned contributing to the more widespread adoption of the rifle.
Geissele last year was awarded a bid to provide triggers and engineering services for the rifles, a contract managed by Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Crane Division. Overall, the Marine Corps has budgeted $4.3 million to purchase 356 Mk 13 systems with a unit price of $12,042 a piece. Optics shown in recent imagery released by the Pentagon are by NightForce.
The M40A6, the most advanced version, will continue to be used in training while the semi-auto M110 and M107 platforms “will also remain as additional weapons within the scout sniper equipment set.”