In case you weren’t aware of it, the U.S. Marine Corps has been using the same model sniper rifle since the Vietnam War. That’s been a few years, but now, they have finally confirmed that they have found an upgrade that they are happy with.
The Marine Corps confirmed in early April that its snipers would get the Mk13 Mod 7 sniper rifle to replace the M40 rifle, versions of which the Corps’ snipers have been carrying since the early days of the Vietnam War.
The Mk13 is scheduled to be fielded in late 2018 and throughout 2019, accordingto a Marine Corps release. And after Marines from active duty, reserve, and training units tried out the new rifle at the beginning of April, they were pleased with the new addition to the arsenal.
“After the first day on the range, they were sold,” project officer Capt. Frank Coppola said in the release.
Why the upgrade? Apparently, the Marines felt that the previous sniper rifle choice, the M40, no longer had the range needed for some areas of conflict (Iraq and Afghanistan) with its firing distance of almost 1,000 yards. The Mk13 will fire 300 yards farther and use a .300 Winchester Magnum round which is “heavier and leaves the gun at a faster speed.” Upgraded day optics won’t hurt with making this a more effective weapon either.
Sgt. Randy Robles said,
With this type of weapon in the fleet, we will increase our lethality and be able to conceal our location because we are creating a buffer between us and the enemy.
When you’re on the battlefield, being able to stay concealed is a huge advantage, and, hopefully, it will allow the Marines to be more effective and to bring more of our soldiers home safely.