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Army Signs Remington to Upgrade Sniper Rifles

by christian on October 1, 2010

The Army officially announced yesterday it has signed on with Remington Arms to upgrade at least 250 of their aging M24 bolt-action sniper rifles into a new configuration dubbed — weirdly — the XM2010.

We actually heard the rifle will officially now be known as the M24E1, but leave it to the Army to go all “XM” on us.

As was reported by our sister site Kit Up! last week, the upgrade sure as heck looks like a new rifle, with rails, new buttstock, trigger group and, oh yeah, new caliber.

The award will result in the near-term fielding of 250 XM2010 weapon systems, which will be chambered for .300 Winchester Magnum cartridges. The new chambering significantly extends the weapon’s maximum effective range. It’s expected the Army will field the upgraded weapons to deployed Army snipers by the end of December.

The upgraded weapon features a five-round box magazine to make the system easier to load and reload, with the additional option to change out ammunition quickly. The system is also equipped with a rail-endowed chassis and free floating barrel that allows for easier mounting of weapon accessories and greater accuracy.

Locked on to that new rail, the XM2010 sports a Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20x50mm extended range/tactical riflescope with advanced scalable ranging and targeting reticle. The system is also fielded with the AN/PVS-29 clip-on sniper night sight. And the system’s included quick-attach suppressor reduces audible and visible signature with an available thermal sleeve that reduces the mirage effect on heated suppressors.

The contract could go as high as 3,600 rifles, but this is a major break from the 308/7.62 mafia and into the arms of the .300 WinMag cabal. At the end of the day, though, the caliber is only as good as the shooter who throws it, right?

Christian

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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan October 1, 2010 at 10:29 am

Rifle weight will be a critical factor in whatever the new .300 WinMag rifle winds up being called – not so much for ruck humping concerns (still important) – but because the .300 WinMag puts out so much more recoil than a 7.62mm. When the SEALs switched over to .300 WinMag they found that their shooters were having a very difficult time putting the same amount of training ordnance downrange because their shoulders were black and blue.

Someone may point out that the .338 Lapua, .50 BMG, .416 Barrett and .408 Cheytac all are more powerful than .300 WinMag. However, they all are also much, much heavier, and/or used with a muzzle compensator. The idea of the .300 WinMag is that it's supposed to be pretty close to 7.62mm in terms of handling but with a heavier punch. While that is true, the heavier punch goes both ways and it might result in .300 shooters with less gun time than if they were using 7.62mm. In theory this could negate the advantage of a longer range rifle due to shooter's not being able to fully exploit the capabilities of their weapon.

The only way around this problem is to adopt the SEAL solution, shoot just as much as before and accept that your snipers are going to have chronic pain issues and will need to develop some incredible pain tolerances or become worthless marksmen due to flinching. While that approach works in elite SpecWar units, it may not go over as well in Big Army.

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AyeGuy October 1, 2010 at 11:04 am

Or, they could put a good muzzle brake on the rifle….the Armalite AR-30 in .300WM with a brake derived from the .338LM version's brake is supposed to be a pussycat…..indeed, the manual cautions against using without the brake.

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Maxn October 3, 2010 at 12:52 am

Just curious: is there any way to effectively deal with the recoil by adding some extra cushioning, either on the shoulder itself or on the rifle butt?

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Ryan October 3, 2010 at 5:38 am

You can add cushioning to either your shoulder or the buttstock. But, like anything else, it's not a free lunch. The cushier the padding, the less effective your shoulder becomes as a stabilizing point of contact. For snipers, who do things like firing between heartbeats, having a cushy recoil pad introduces too much "play" into what should be a rock solid firing platform (which the shoulder is a key component of).

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salvo October 4, 2010 at 2:01 am

Or go with the 6.5 Creedmoor which has similar trajectory of a .300 mag but has much less recoil.

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AyeGuy October 1, 2010 at 10:57 am

No, Ryan, a .338 Lapua rifle would not be THAT much heavier….after all, the Remington 700 action can be made in .338; the only weight difference is in the longer/heavier barrel needed for the larger caliber….not much of a difference at all in terms of mass, but a hell of a jump in performance.

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John Grey January 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm

A .338 Lapua is NOT some big cumbersome round. Compare them visually (if you can't afford to shoot some). They have a MUCH better Ballistic Coefficient than a 300 win-mag. If DISTANCE is an issue a 338 Lapua simply makes more sense. Weight – same issue. The marksman will NOT be carrying a full battle-pack load; he's a sharpshooter for Heaven sake! What really needs to be done is analyze the distances in actual combat & find out if real replacement is needed or if a few hindered rifles will fill the bill. 7.62 NATO has been doing fine in actualized configuration for several decades now. Are we going to change are arsenal needs for some engagement like Afghanistan? That's one of the few places where 1000+ meters is a really used on a continuum.. &.62 NATO is darn close to a 30'06; what is needed is less drop at distance (Ballistic Coefficient) needs in special-operation & open warfare; not spending for spending sake. Put a suppressor on there and the whole issue become mute.. My goodness, you'd think our Commander in Chief wasn't as brilliant as he knows he is.

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Vitor October 1, 2010 at 11:12 am

It''s important to mention they will be using an upgraded .300 win, the mk 248 mod 1, that shoots a 220 grain projectile at 870m/s. Comes quite close to the perfomance of the lighters .338 (250 grains usually)

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RLTW October 1, 2010 at 11:17 am

Another vote for the 338 Lapua – maybe next upgrade . . .

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AyeGuy October 1, 2010 at 11:24 am

The British solution (also used by other Euro nations too):

Designated Marsksmen: .308

Snipers: .338LM

whereas we start at 5.56 for the DMs.

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Mystick October 1, 2010 at 11:47 am

Its certainly a pretty rifle, although I'm somewhat skeptical on the efficacy of the suppressor pictured for the .300WM. It appears to be a .308/7.62 suppressor. The .300WM (aka 7.62x67mm) generates greater chamber pressures than either the .308 Winchester or 7.62x51mm, as well as a greater muzzle velocity. This computes to a greater required volume for the suppressor to maintain the same effect, even with novel baffling.

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Bob October 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Of course being the US Army they never considered a 6.5 or 7mm, which with match grade high BC bullets will shoot just as far and just as accurately as a 300WM, shooting 200+ gr bullets, and do it with a heck of a lot less recoil. Funny how the people that think up and design these things, are not the ones that have to go out and shoot them.

Another alternative is a recoil reducer built into the stock, along with a good muzzle brake.

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ODA 732 February 15, 2012 at 11:35 pm

I am s special forces snipeEr with multiple tours, I have to disagree with you. My 300 win mag performce extremely well. The Army finally got it right.

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blight October 1, 2010 at 2:19 pm

So we extend the range of the sniper, and reduce the effective range of the rifle. A strange contrast.

Is there a serious problem with the 7.62 NATO rifles already in inventory that prompted the upgrade?

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fenton October 4, 2010 at 2:18 am

YES! no where near enough range with 308. I humped a barret everywhere i went because of it. Oh and the barrett is no where near accurate enough. So i was dammed if i do, dammed if i dont. 308 max effective is 800meters, SVD's are 1200meters. Thats a quarter mile of standoff for enemy personel.

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blight October 1, 2010 at 6:34 pm

XM2010 Richard Cheney? Doesn't have a ring to it…

So what happens to the M110?

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crackedlenses October 2, 2010 at 4:54 pm

The Army is happily using it…..

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blight October 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Yes, but my question is:

-Is the XM2010 going to bump off M24's in general use? Or in specialized applications? If XM2010 is going to potentially replace all 7.62mm sniper rifles, then the M110 will be making its exit, along with the regular M24, possibly any M21's and accurized M14's. If the Marines arrive at the same conclusion, they may ditch their M40's too; who knows…

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Ian James October 4, 2010 at 9:30 am

I don't see us ditching one 700 (M40s) for another 700 (XM2010). I might end up eating my words though. I don't make the decisions.

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Riceball October 4, 2010 at 11:28 am

I don't think that the Army will be ditching the M110 in favor the new M24E1, I can't say for certain but I think that the M110 is designed to fill a specific niche in the sniper's arsenal and was not meant as general replacement for the M24. From what I've seen of the way the Army & the Corps deploy their AR10s they're being used by snipers for overwatch of regular infantry where they need the rapid fire and target acquisition capability. I imagine that for the traditional sniper mission where they creep in the woods and take out a couple of people and then scoot they'll probably still rely on their bolt actions.

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ohwilleke October 1, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Reminds me of the hundred year old bucked, each of whose parts were replaced, one by one, over the last ten years.

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Stephen Russell October 1, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Make thus rifle for the Marine Recon Units aside Army & add magazine for 10, 15 rounds alone. Retire the old rifle types or dontate to PD forces nationwide.

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blight October 1, 2010 at 10:56 pm

?

250 rifles will not replace every M24 (and when you bring up the Marines), the M40, along with semi-auto 7.62mm rifles (starting with M21's, the M110s, etc)

Five rounds is indeed kind of low. However this all depends on context. Snipers speak of the "one shot, one kill" and in general they stick to it. However there are some situations where if you can keep putting precision fires downrange, it will matter more than whether or not it is a .300 or a .308

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Byron Skinner October 1, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Good Evening Folks,

A somewhat interesting development here. The 300 WM has been under development with both the Marines at Camp Lejeune and the Army at Ft. Benning the rap on the 300 WM is barrel life. After 500 rounds barrels start to degrade, the 7.62 round can go 2,500 rounds or more before rebarreling.

The seven point six duce has been developed about as far as it can go. Its a good 500 meter round, that has made kills in Iraq (by a Marine Major) at nearly 1,100 meters, twice in one day by the way, but that is extreme with an exceptional marksman over water, the Euphrates River. In Afghanistan clearly more range is needed.

The 338 Lapua is a great round (from Finland) and has been adopted by the UK for it’s snipers. In keeping with commonality of ammunition in NATO this should have been the American choice. My guess the reason for the 300 WM round over the 338 Lapua is the name Winchester is American.

The recoil is is real the 7.62 has about 14 lbs of felt recoil and the 300 WM has around 28 lbs. of recoil, I know somebody is going over to the Remington site and plug both rounds into the calculator and come with difference “exact” numbers, be my guest.. This will effect accuracy as well as shooter fatigue levels with marksmen. Combined with the reduced barrel life the recoil issue will indeed reduce the number of training rounds snipers will get to fire. Will it make a difference, I doubt it. The US military snipers are the most experienced in the world currently and the training and doctrine for marksmen in the US military is the best in the world.

The only ones to suffer will be targets.

ALLONS,

Byron Skinner

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Chuck October 2, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Byron,
The suppressor will reduce a lot of the recoil. I'll never get to fire the 300 WM but if I did and had to fire more than a few rounds, I'd certainly want to use a suppressor. Without it, my accuracy would drop off significantly. I'd be thinking about the recoil instead of fully concentrating on the shot. The 300 WM will pack quite a wallop in both directions. "Shooter fatigue" is a real nice way of saying that your rifle is beating you up. If you are shooting paper you feel it a lot quicker but either way, it will catch up to you. Anything that will ease up the recoil means more hits.

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Uncle Bill October 1, 2010 at 11:54 pm

What part of the M24 are we keeping?

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Moose October 3, 2010 at 1:14 am

The Budgetary line item.

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fenton October 4, 2010 at 2:25 am

the reciever was specifically designed and built for this upgrade years ago. It was a prerequiset in the original contract. Thats where the choice for 300wm came from. It was already decided years ago.

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Danmaku April 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Then why did they not just start out by building some 300Winmags to begin with?

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pedestrian October 2, 2010 at 12:17 am

The Army should get CheyTac.

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carl October 2, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Does anyone consider that a future enemy is likely to wear body armor. With a 7.62, a sniper will knock him down at 500 meters, and then he will get up and run away. Need the .338

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Byron Skinner October 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Good Morning Folks,

To Chuck. I agree. Wishing you good shooting. Bad guys, you have been warned.

To Carl. It is very unlikely that any current or future enemies can afford the luxury of body armor. It’s very expensive, very heavy and culturally among terrorists its considered kind of sissy. woman;y to wear such stuff. They are protected by the righteousness of martyrdom to their cause.

The 7.62 you have seen in the media of hitting a US Army Spc. and he stands back up, and is back in the fight was most likely fired for an AK-47 with the 7.62×39 120gr. bullet. The 7.62×51 165gr. Black Hills round that is currently being use by the Americans, US ARmy the Marines like their “home brew rounds” form Camp Lejeune, has a lot more energy upon impact, it is unlikely at the assumed distance the soldier was hit from he would be standing back up so quickly if he took the US 7.62 round in the chest.

To Chuck and his buddies body armor really doesn’t matter, they go for the head shot. No steel or Kevlar in the world is going to stop a 300WM at a 800 meters.

ALLONS,

Byron Skinner

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blight October 2, 2010 at 3:08 pm

If our enemies wear body armor we'd get more return upgrading our short-ranged assault rifles than sniper rifles.

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Joe Shmoe October 2, 2010 at 5:16 pm

And no sniper in his right mind would go for a headshot at 800 meters…

Sniper talking here.

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Southernsoldier83 October 4, 2010 at 3:06 pm

The army Spc was in my unit and was hit by a 7.62x54R.

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blight October 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Holy cow, how did he survive? I thought the SAPIs weren't supposed to protect from 7.62x54Rs…then again, maybe the answer should be kept off the public domain. If I don't know, then the opfor will have to find out in the field.

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Joe Schmoe October 5, 2010 at 1:01 am

There is a story that during Operation Cast Lead in Israel, a soldier survived a four round burst at point blank range from a M240 in the back, no penetration. It is a similar armor.

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blight October 5, 2010 at 1:17 am

Interesting tidbit (caveat: from Wikipedia)

"
A SAPI is able to stop up to three rifle bullets of a caliber up to 7.62x51mm NATO M80 ball and of a muzzle velocity up to 2,750 ft/s (840 m/s). The ceramic plate is backed with a shield made of Spectra, a material up to 40% stronger than Kevlar.[1]
The standard plates are rated as NIJ III when used alone and NIJ IV when backed by the soft armor of the OTV."

(Source [1] is given as globalsecurity.org)

If I remember correctly those NIJ tests were done from some distance away and not at close range?

Joe America October 2, 2010 at 11:59 pm

"with rails, new buttstock, trigger group and, oh yeah, new caliber."

No new caliber here,
both are 7.62 or 30 cal.

A new cartridge.

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phil October 3, 2010 at 1:17 am

Heres my view on this debate why not take the best out of the cheytec… mainly the .408 round build a frame around it light weight like the m4 frame or even a carbon fiber frame which is light weight employ the balistic palm pilot with it and you got a rifle that s light weight durable and will know your head off at ranges up to 1 1/2 miles?

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Byron Skinner October 3, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Good Morning Folks,

To Joe Shmoe. With current technology, I can’t disagree with you on head shots at 800 meters. That said, I have been informed, I’m not naming the company for what should be obvious reasons, that there is now in testing an image and barrel stabilization process that is being fitted to the M-107. My source says it’s promising technology.

If the .50 BMG round could become a personal killer at range, why not a head shot at 800 meter with the 300 WM?

ALLONS,

Byron Skinner

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Ian James October 4, 2010 at 9:44 am

Going for a headshot is ridiculous at 800 meters and has a high chance for a miss even for a sniper….they go for center of mass and a higher likelihood for a hit.

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carl October 3, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Body armor is now found everywhere, including bad guys in Afghanistan. http://exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=86

"This is a more daunting prospect than a brush with regular Taliban. Foreign fighters in the area are better trained and better armed. They have uniforms, chest rigs, body armor, and modern Russian weapons, possibly including sniper rifles."

And they can buy body armor from our Afghans allies or pull them off dead bodies.

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blight October 4, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I'm very skeptical of exile.ru. I know a few sites on the internet have put up pictures of seized weapons caches, most have AK's. I'm sure body armor has popped up at least a few times. The wikileaks war diaries might have mention of body armor in there too?

I won't deny the inevitability of our enemies wearing body armor, but the caveat is that they will no longer be able to blend in with the population when they start wearing rucksacks, bandoliers and body armor unless they wear burkas to go with it. And with a burka, it probably has tunnel vision and will get hot really quick if you're wearing body armor underneath…

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joe October 3, 2010 at 7:27 pm

It's not the rifle people!

It's the trigger puller behind the rifle.

Live targets, a person that will be the reciepient of the round put down range, and the personal connection the person sending that round down range has with said person.

The best equipment in the world will never top the best person who will carry out their job in a military manner.

Argue all you want…it's the shooter, not the weapon thats important.

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fenton October 4, 2010 at 2:22 am

yes but no matter how hard i practice i cant make the bullet fly farther. Trust me, ive been trying.

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randy June 17, 2013 at 10:47 pm

sorry they compliment one another, the engine is the solder, the weapon the instrument

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fenton October 4, 2010 at 2:27 am

what you all seem to be forgetting is the M24's original contract specifically stated in it that it had to be easily convertable to 300wm. The decision for this upgrade was already made years ago.

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Richard October 4, 2010 at 9:47 am

Install a brake then work on wind reading. If there are threads for the suppressor then a brake is easy. The improved max range and relatively light fat bullet will put a premium on wind reading skills. It is hard to get good brass for the 300 win mag; I would expect some accuracy issues and some ammo lot rejects until that is worked out. The 6.5 to 20 x 50 is a big scope; not as "durable" as my Mark 4 10x or Mark 4 16x scopes. In my opinion, the Army should work with Sierra to make a slicker version of their 240 grain 30 cal bullet; there is room in the detachable mag and it would extend the range by 200 to 300 meters. All of these potential issues can be worked out.

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Ryan October 4, 2010 at 3:11 pm

To Skinner. The Army SPC was in my unit and was hit with a 7.62x54R.

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William C. October 4, 2010 at 4:12 pm

In my opinion it makes sense to upgrade our bolt-action sniper rifles to a heavier caliber. The semi-automatic M110 is more suitable for slightly shorter ranged work anyway.

I am guessing the XM2010 designation is another out of series number because it sounded cool.

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Mastro October 4, 2010 at 5:57 pm

What is it with the X- doesn't "X" mean experimental?

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shon October 4, 2010 at 8:55 pm

If the Army adopting a new .30 cartridge, why not go with the latest and greatest .300 WSM?

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blight October 4, 2010 at 9:05 pm

As Fenton pointed out, the M24 was intended to go to .30 Winchester Magnum early on, and they are finally getting around to it?

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Stephanie October 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Perhaps maybe with the way the butt stock is designed, looks like it might have something new to it (though it's hard to see at this angle). Maybe it takes some of the recoil action away or inside the design of it and away from the shoulder of the sniper.

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blight October 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:XM2010.jpg

Wikipedia has a list of additional parts, but it seems the accuracy enhancement is probably from the floating barrel.

Floating stock is pretty neat, which isn't easy to see from the DefTech image…

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blight October 8, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Folding stock*

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Rob March 22, 2011 at 11:48 am

.338 Lapua all the way…Saw Brit Royal Marine snipers hittin people out to 1200 and puttin them down HARD. 7.62x51mm is for pussies.

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Skysoldier173 March 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm

L115A3 is the best sniper rifle for the conditions in a-stan. Range is gold.

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John Sweet May 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm

problem with supply line to include the rounds it would have been better to stay with the .308 round which is in inventory for other weapons now they will have an issue getting them confused in the supply train, just stupid they should make it standard .50 cal or .308 and improve the rifle for those rounds instead of putting a whole new round in the supply chain

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anon May 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm

The "new round" argument would be compelling if they used standard ball. For good results, they will be using match-grade rounds to begin with, which means a specialized supply item already.

The only scenario where going 7.62mm makes sense is in a scenario when a sniper is deployed with people using 7.62mm rifle rounds, where they can use them in an emergency once they are out of ammo. In those situations it's unlikely you would be using a sniper rifle in the first place.

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shatto January 8, 2013 at 3:39 am

Wonder why they didn't upgrade all the way to Weatherby…

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docingram July 29, 2013 at 4:33 pm

the .338 looks better on paper but, downrange the difference is so slight in the sectional density and energy delivered to the target it is not even worth talking about. the USAR, USAR/NG and US ARMY have been shooting the .300wm. for several years and so have i. it is great for accuracy and energy at the target, body armor beware as the round at 1000 meters will give a surprise that just kills you.
i have not the slightest idea where the information about the barrel wear is coming from. i have shot in excess of 12,000 thru the .300wm without problems and the rounds were heavy hand loads. part of the reason for the .300wm choice is that they can use the same barrel for the conversion, all they had to do was open the bolt face and run the .300wm reamer in. large magazines stop you from getting a good rest to steady the rfle in all shooting positions except sitting. the high cost is all that crap that has been added on to the rifle for the upgrade. the ogive of the .338 makes the round shed velocity very fast. people need to actually shoot lots to understand that the .300 is a much better choice and will do very well with a muzzle break.

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John Grey January 27, 2014 at 6:25 pm

It's throat wear in the WSM! Not the WIN-MAG. Too much powder, design gets too hot for throat to survive for than a few thousand if that….
No ONE is saying the 300 win-mag is garbage. It;s that to do this on a large scale is a serious level of monetary expenditure to minimal returns..
We're not talking apples & oranges, we're talking about pulling one off a tree before it's ripe.

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CaptainDoc April 10, 2014 at 12:56 am

The USA has already committed and has received both caliber's not just for testing anymore, they are for field issue and have been in use for quite some time with amazing results for both rifles. The 338 Lapua was first conceived by Elmer Keith back in the 50's but the case for the 416 rigby was designed for a different powder than we could produce effectively and the bullets were of EU design. If Elmer had known a man by the name of Barnes at that time things would be quite different but, it all worked out and both are great weapons for long range shooting. Barnes custom made bullets for my 17/223, 17/ 250-3000 that I dearly loved.

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CaptainDoc April 5, 2014 at 2:03 am

I saw the 8 wheel articulating independent drive to each wheel personnel carrier perform and it is an amazing vehicle made by the Russians for 75% less cost per vehicle we could afford more of them. They did perform exceptionally well, weigh less and of course will not do the job the tracked vehicle will do, but not all landings require the tracked vehicle and there is the possibility that we would put the wheeled vehicle to some use. I am not saying to buy the Russian unit I am saying we could possibly learn from it to design something for our own use that is cost effective and will do some of the work that we perform during landings, travel over land and occupation of very difficult terrain. The unit I saw was also MRAP

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CaptainDoc April 5, 2014 at 2:19 am

The 300 WM is more than likely the round of the century for sniping. It has it's limitations just like any piece of equipment but overall it is the round I would prefer and have been using for 40 years. All of you 338 LAPUA fans can rejoice the US Army bought 5000 rifles and 5000000 rounds for this cartridge. I sure hope those who wished it in get to hump it and all the materials that support it, will you ever be in for a surprise and when you shoot it you will be in for another surprise, it does not out perform the 300WM at the 1400 meter range. It does not buck anymore wind, does not group as tight and kicks the living sh-t out of you even with the muzzle brake. I sincerely hope you get what you wish for and hope that someone does not get your wish. All I can say is good luck and happy hunting. Be prepared to move after the shot as the muzzle brake kicks up do much dirt you can be seen 2 miles away and you have to clean the lenses on every shot.

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CaptainDoc April 5, 2014 at 10:50 am

The USA purchased 5000+ rifles & 5,000,000 rounds of 338 lapua. All of you lapua fans, I hope, get to carry it, shoot it and hump the ammo, you deserve it! At 1400 meters the difference between the 300 & lapua is so insignificant that the shooter will hardly notice except the lapua does not group as well, magazine is larger in size so you have to put up extra bags for support as shooting with the magazine for a rest is less than desired, each time it is fired the glass has to be cleaned and you will end moving as the dust and dirt thrown up by the muzzle brake is awesome, the rifle & ammo is much heavier(it is only "not that much" to the person sitting at the desk and not having to hump it) so if you want it, it is there good luck. The 300 has been used for 40+ years

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blight October 6, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Huh, bullpup sniper rifle. Didn't think the military would ever really go towards bullpups.

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