Task and Purpose, Jared Keller
A real killer or paper tiger?
How and when the service plans on fielding its new suite of precision weapons, like every other new piece of gear in the U.S. armed forces, remains to be seen. But no matter when it reaches Marine scout snipers, the new rifle represents a major, long-awaited breakthrough for the Corps — and certain doom for their adversaries downrange.
The Marine Corps plans on adopting the Mk 13 Mod 7 sniper rifle for Marine scout snipers, officials confirmed to Marine Corps Times on April 2, a much-needed and long-overdue replacement for the M40 system that Marines have wielded since the Vietnam War.
Since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, the M40’s 1000-yard range has proved limiting for U.S. combat troops engaging militants in sprawling fightings in the mountains and desert of Afghanistan and Iraq. But according to Marine Corps Times, the Mk 13 “pushes beyond 1,000 yards” offered with a .300 Winchester Magnum round.
That range is nowhere near that of the Army’s 1,300-yard M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle and U.S. Special Operations Command’s 1,600-yard Precision Sniper Rifle. But it’s a major boost to both range and lethality over the M40, improvements that infantry weapons planners have sought for years.
The announcement comes amid a major makeover for the Corps’ precision weapon capabilities. In January, the Corps was testing the M38 variant of the beloved M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle for potential fielding in a squad designated marksman role.