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US Marine Corps to Finally Get New Mk 13 Mod 7 Sniper Rifles

Sputnik News

07:31 05.04.2018(updated 08:32 05.04.2018)

The US Marine Corps plans on adopting the new Mk 13 Mod 7 sniper rifle for Marine scout snipers, replacing the current M40 sniper system that has been in use since the Vietnam War.

Officials confirmed Monday that $5.3 million of the US Marines' $40 million request for weapons and combat vehicles will go towards the long-overdue replacement of the older sniper rifles with a more accurate alternative.

Marine spokesperson Capt. Christopher Harrison told Marine Corps Times that US Marine snipers will soon be armed with the Mark 13 Mod 7 sniper rifle, originally used by Navy SEALs, that will extend range and lethality.

For over five decades US Marine snipers have been carrying the Remington based bolt-action M40 model with heavy barrels, slapped on a Redfield 3-9x variable power scope. The M40 has gone through a number of modifications, obtaining new features such as a new Remington 700 action, fiberglass stocks, new optics, and other shooting accessories.

Despite the upgrades, the M40 series was limited by the ballistics of the.308 Winchester round which rapidly loses energy after 700 yards. The rifle requires too many corrections by a sniper to hit a long distance target: at 600 yards, a sniper can expect a bullet to drop 105 inches short of the target, and at 1,000 yards the drop is 421 inches.

The M40 series' maximum effective range of about 1,000 yards has proved limiting for US combat troops fighting militants in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Active and former Marine Corps snipers have long said their weapons are inferior to that of other American military branches, and they do not match what the Taliban and Daesh carry either.

"It doesn't matter if we have the best training," one anonymous reconnaissance sniper told the Washington Post back in 2015. "If we get picked off at a thousand yards before we can shoot, then what's the point?"

As for the Mk 13 with the bigger.300 Winchester Magnum, it is effective out to 1,300 yards and requires only 246 inches of vertical correction and 40 inches of horizontal correction at 1,000 yards in a five mile-per-hour wind. The heavier round also hits with more energy at longer ranges, making it more likely to incapacitate the target.

Marine Corps Times reported that Marines are happy with the change, citing one sniper as saying the upgrade to the Mk13 has been a "long time coming."


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