US Marine Corp changing sniper rifle/calibers

Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior MemberPosts: 1,286 Senior Member
The US Marine corp is changing from the M40 .308 sniper rifle to the new Mark 13 Mod 7 .300 Win Mag based on a Stiller action.  I'm scratching my head on this one.  Should be interesting switch.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a19685486/us-marines-are-finally-getting-a-new-sniper-rifle/
 
Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

John 3: 1-21
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Replies

  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,114 Senior Member
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    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
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  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,132 Senior Member
    I can see a need for the .300 Mag, but I think they should keep the M-40 also. I would guess that it would be more useful for 75% of sniping duties. Depends on the distances.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,286 Senior Member
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,132 Senior Member
    edited April 16 #5
    Whatever the perceived challenge, distance will exacerbate it. Distance increases time to target. Higher velocity decreases time to target. So a magnum will decrease the affects of wind on a bullet. Of course, the main reason most people want a magnum is greater energy at greater distance, but reducing the affects of wind(and Gravity) at greater distance, is actually a very good reason for using a magnum.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Moderator Posts: 27,066 Senior Member
    I think Zee might disagree with the following:

    Despite the upgrades, the M40 series was limited by the ballistics of the .308 Winchester round. Although an effective hunting and military round, a.308 round rapidly loses energyafter 700 yards. At 600 yards, a sniper armed with a M40 can expect a bullet to drop 105 inches short of the target, requiring upward compensation of 105 inches to remain on target. At 800 yards the drop balloons to 228 inches, and at 1,000 yards the drop is 421 inches. This loss of energy also affects wind drift, with .308 requiring 53 inches of wind correction in a five mile-per-hour wind to hit a target at 1,000 yards. The M40 series’ maximum effective range is about 1,000 yards.

    In the right hands the .308 will da
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 1,732 Senior Member
    I have to believe that they know what they're doing.

    Some years ago I read an article penned by a former military sniper predicting a change from single action to auto loader. If I thought I could find it I'd look for it. Maybe this weekend.
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 993 Senior Member
    I have to believe that they know what they're doing.

    Some years ago I read an article penned by a former military sniper predicting a change from single action to auto loader. If I thought I could find it I'd look for it. Maybe this weekend.

    1) They know what they are doing:  they are paying north of $12k per rifle for a custom M700?  Even with the expensive scope, they seem to be overpaying.

    2)  I suspect the limited number of rifles purchased (346) reflects a trend toward more semi/auto sniper rifles.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,723 Senior Member
    edited April 16 #9
    They spend way more on the training and inserting/exfiltrating the rifle user for a single mission than they will on the rifle...

    Cost is also probably on a package-rifle, spare parts, accessories, etc.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 1,732 Senior Member
    I have to believe that they know what they're doing.

    Some years ago I read an article penned by a former military sniper predicting a change from single action to auto loader. If I thought I could find it I'd look for it. Maybe this weekend.

    1) They know what they are doing:  they are paying north of $12k per rifle for a custom M700?  Even with the expensive scope, they seem to be overpaying.

    2)  I suspect the limited number of rifles purchased (346) reflects a trend toward more semi/auto sniper rifles.
    In the interest of clarity, I could rephrase. They most certainly are more qualified than I am in making these decisions.👓
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,697 Senior Member
    Darn good call, IMO.

    The .308 wasn't the greatest idea for a military sniper weapon when the Marines first cooked up the notion back in the 1960's.  It sort of played along with the prior .30-06 game plan of sniping with the same stuff the riflemen or machinegunners were using, but it WAS a step backwards in top-end capability, and as long as you're ferrying in your own match grade stuff anyway, the supposed logistics bonus vanishes.  The selection of the .308 was doubtless part of that military - or maybe simply human - fascination with what I call the "Swiss Army Knife Principle" of one tool doing many things.. . .and it ends up doing most of those things less well than the dedicated tool.  The M14 was supposed to replace the Garand, the BAR, the M1 Carbine, and the Thompson.  In reality, it replaced only the Garand, and one could argue not well enough to be worth the fuss and bother.  Those of us who have read Marine Sniper know Carlos Hathcock won his Wimbledon trophy with a .300 before his first tour, and that he and his fellows were doing most of their early work in Vietnam with tuned .30-06 Model 70's, Springfields and M1C's and D's firing abundant match ammo for the Garands that were still the primary choice for Highpower at the time.  There was no REAL need for the .308 in a bolt gun at the time - only a notion to tinker with the blade combinations on the Swiss Army Knife.

    It's interesting to contemplate - had we gone to the M16 or some other more AK-like platform sooner, we might STILL be running the .30-06 as the sniper and MG cartridge.

    Today, we've turned the lowly .223 into something you can legitimately compete with at 600+ yards, and EVERYBODY is sporting optics.  If the whole intent is to be able to outrange the other guy, the .308 isn't necessarily the round to do it with these days.  (Yes, Zedrick has proven that he can I-Phone it out to a mile plus, but then, his Kung Fu is strong enough to launch paper clips that far with a rubber band - this doesn't make .308 the ideal.)
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,723 Senior Member
    346 rifles? This ain't gonna be general issue to all the snipers. More of a special-purpose thing, I think. 
    Overkill is underrated.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,252 Senior Member
    I think Zee might disagree with the following:

    Despite the upgrades, the M40 series was limited by the ballistics of the .308 Winchester round. Although an effective hunting and military round, a.308 round rapidly loses energyafter 700 yards. At 600 yards, a sniper armed with a M40 can expect a bullet to drop 105 inches short of the target, requiring upward compensation of 105 inches to remain on target. At 800 yards the drop balloons to 228 inches, and at 1,000 yards the drop is 421 inches. This loss of energy also affects wind drift, with .308 requiring 53 inches of wind correction in a five mile-per-hour wind to hit a target at 1,000 yards. The M40 series’ maximum effective range is about 1,000 yards.

    In the right hands the .308 will da

    Hitting a plate at a great distance and having some energy at that distance has some gap in it. While the .308 is no slouch and is my favorite round, there is no denying that the 300mag shoots flatter and carries more energy farther.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,311 Senior Member
    I will say say they know far more than me! Like many do.

    The 300 Winchester Magnum is maybe the most versatile cartridge developed.  Big bullets, little bullets, all high velocity, with major knock down power. The 300 is considered the top end of manageable recoil for most people, so not an issue.  Cases not that much bigger than 308's, so ammo not issue. Why not go a little bigger!?
    JMHO
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 1,732 Senior Member
    I read the book about Hathcock, and I've read Chris Kyle's first book. One thing apparent to me is that these men were highly intelligent and dealing with complexed circumstances that influenced their decisions and preferences. And that those circumstances aren't always readily apparent to the uninitiated. Could be reasons for choices made that we can't fathom.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,620 Senior Member
    edited April 17 #16
    Of the current cartridges in standard military armory usage, if I can’t do it with the .308 Winchester..........piss on the .300 WM..........I want a .338 Lapua. 

    The .300 is a relative resounding “Meh” for me. It’s a fast .308. So what?  If you are gonna make me carry a long action and long action rounds........give me one with balls that actually does more than just give me speed and distance. 

    It’s a Special Purpose Rifle for them. The .300 WM is a dumb choice. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,697 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Of the current cartridges in standard military armory usage, if I can’t do it with the .308 Winchester..........piss on the .300 WM..........I want a .338 Lapua. 

    The .300 is a relative resounding “Meh” for me. It’s a fast .308. So what?  If you are gonna make me carry a long action and long action rounds........give me one with balls that actually does more than just give me speed and distance. 

    It’s a Special Purpose Rifle for them. The .300 WM is a dumb choice. 
    Yeah. . .I can't disagree with any of that.  I ain't really a fan of the .300 either, it being a very slightly faster, much less efficient .30-06.

    Refusing to wade through ad-blocker hurdles on the O.P.'s link, I can only figure that the Marines determined they needed more than a .308 (and they probably do), but that the Lapua was too much of a good thing in some regard, be it recoil, costs, or whatever.  The parent cartridge dimensions (.416 Rigby) and the actions to fit it are the real price tag booster for the .338 on the commercial market, but when you're spending Uncle Sugar's money, who cares?  They were somewhat fixated - by necessity - on commercial availability when they made the choice for the 700 back in the mid-'60's - maybe elements of that still linger?????? 

    So they get an incremental creep up from the performance of the primary WWII battle rifle rounds.  Better off than they were, not as well off as they could be.  Meh.  If it's a dumb small arms choice, the U.S. military is REALLY GOOD at making those - this one at least will set no records.  Hopefully, a smaller quantity of Lapuas will be in the golf bag for when the need arises.


    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Moderator Posts: 27,066 Senior Member
    Since suppression is not an issue and recoil can be managed I can't fathom why not make a real leap to a .338 but then again they didn't call me for my opinion...  And I agree with bream.  The cost of the platform is a drop in the bucket of the total cost of the system including the human behind the trigger.
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Moderator Posts: 27,066 Senior Member
    Hey maybe they are going to coordinate and finally bore out the ARMY M24s the way the thought they would in the 60s? :wink:
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 1,732 Senior Member
    If the 300WM is too much more to carry without enough more to mail, then the special purpose must be very special.🐒
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 993 Senior Member
    edited April 17 #21
    346 rifles? This ain't gonna be general issue to all the snipers. More of a special-purpose thing, I think

    I agree.  From what I have read, our snipers are often being given options in the field (semi-auto, bolt-action and 50 cal) rather than “a rifle” they are forced to make work for all missions.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 7,990 Senior Member
    346 rifles? This ain't gonna be general issue to all the snipers. More of a special-purpose thing, I think

    I agree.  From what I have read, our snipers are often being given options in the field (semi-auto, bolt-action and 50 cal) rather than “a rifle” they are forced to make work for all missions.
    Don't believe everything you read.  Units have weapons, as troops rotate in and out they get issued what is there.  Certain positions will have specialized weapons, I have been supporting a SOC for several years now, only a handful get personalized weapons.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,723 Senior Member
    I'd imagine the mission determines the weapon more than the user..

    Personal weapons like carbines and sidearms excluded. From what I understand, those are more likely to stay with one guy.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Moderator Posts: 27,066 Senior Member
    I think some of the folks under SOCOM (MARSOC?) have options in weapons they can tailor to the mission.  That is a much smaller group than the general Marine Corps sniper population, no?
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,198 Senior Member
    I'm with Zedrick on this. .308 Win up to .300 Win Mag is a heckuva upgrade when bopping deer. But under battlefield conditions it ain't much of an upgrade when the target is protected by foot thick mud walls, and much any form of body armor . .338 Lapua would make much more sense. Sure, it recoils more, but the Marine Corps doesn't hire recoil sensitive snipers. Mike .
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 23,294 Senior Member
    Chris Kyle used a McMillan Tac .338 part of the time, and made his longest kill shot with it. It has an efficient muzzle brake on it. Recoil shouldn't be a problem with a properly set up rifle.
    I may be a Deplorable, but at least I'm not a Liberal!!!



  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 1,732 Senior Member
    He gave a brief synopses of his weapons preferences in his book. I don't recall it all now, and frankly I found it to be over my head to a degree.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 23,294 Senior Member
    He liked the .338 except when shooting from a room inside a building. Muzzle blast made his ears hurt, he said. Guessing he wasn't wearing ear plugs/hearing protection.
    I may be a Deplorable, but at least I'm not a Liberal!!!



  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 1,732 Senior Member
    I've read about past armament decisions that were made due to existing inventory of parts and ammunition. With an experienced sniper, a Marine Corps rifleman, and a SEAL sniper all having a preference for the .338, maybe the reason for the 300WM is logistical.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,286 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Of the current cartridges in standard military armory usage, if I can’t do it with the .308 Winchester..........piss on the .300 WM..........I want a .338 Lapua. 

    The .300 is a relative resounding “Meh” for me. It’s a fast .308. So what?  If you are gonna make me carry a long action and long action rounds........give me one with balls that actually does more than just give me speed and distance. 

    It’s a Special Purpose Rifle for them. The .300 WM is a dumb choice. 
    I'm with Zee on this one.  The US Army went with the Rem 700 long action SWS-M24 in .308 with the notion it could be converted to .300 Win Mag.  I don't know of any M24's being converted to .300 Win mag.  During Vietnam the marine corp chose the .308 because it offered less recoil than the 30-06.  Again not the most ideal choice but it's worked well for fifty years.  During the gulf war, the marine corp changed from the fix 10X Unertl/US Optics scope for the Schmidt and Bender variable 3x12 because of the more urban and close quarter environment.  Not sure what's changed to make the move to a .300 Win Mag.  It certainly wasn't made in a vacuum and has probably been well thought out.

    The .338 Lapua mag has been the perfect go between for the .308 and 50 cal.    
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,079 Senior Member
    I'm a huge fan of the .300 Win Mag...with a proper brake, recoil isn't an issue...However...if the military is looking to upgrade, going to a faster .30 cal. seems somewhat anticlimactic...the .338 Lapua would be a far more reasonable choice....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
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