Marines and US Army will have a new sniper rifle in 2021

(To Tiziano Ciocchetti)

Snipers of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps will soon be armed with a new multi-caliber sniper rifle, already selected by the Special Operations Command of the United States.

Both Armed Forces have allocated funds in the budget for 2021, in order to acquire the Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Inc MRAD (Multi-Role Adaptive Designe, rifle) .; weapon bolt-action which can be quickly converted into the 6,5 Creedmoor (6,5x49 mm), 7.62x51mm NATO, .300 Norma Magnum (7,62x63 mm), .338 Norma Magnum (8,6x63 mm) and .338 Lapua Magnum (8,6 calibers) calibers , 70xXNUMX mm), which can therefore also be configured as an anti-material rifle.

As for the US Army, the current plan is to place an order for 536 Mk-22 systems (this will be called the MRAD) in the year 2021, based on the current funding profile, this is what was leaked by the Pentagon.

The MRAD Mk-22 will replace the M107 sniper rifle in 12,7x99 mm caliber and the Enhanced M-2010 precision weapon system. The MRAD Mk-22 will allow snipers to fire at distances of 1.500 meters, 300 meters beyond the Enhanced M-2010 sniper rifle, calibrated for the .300 Winchester Magnum, according to the US Army Budget documents.

The ballistic characteristics of the .300 Norma Magnum are superior to the .300 Winchester Magnum. With a 230 grain ball it has a mouth speed of 910 m / sec., And still has a supersonic speed at 1.500 meters. It employs the .338 cartridge case, with a length of 63,3 mm, recollected to the diameter of the .308 and has an Oal (total projectile length) of 93,5 mm.

Some doubts concern the replacement of the M-107 as the 12,7x99 mm projectile has perforation capabilities that are difficult to approach from a lower caliber; even if the heavy sniping they have a high weight and require two operators.

The Marines will adopt the MRAD to replace the current Mk-13 Mod. 7 sniper rifle (photo) calibrated for the .300 Winchester Magnum, as well as all other precision rifles with operation bolt-action supplied to the Body.

Recent operating theaters (especially in Afghanistan) have highlighted the need to have different calibers at the same time to deal with the numerous threats that arise. Having a modular weapon system therefore represents a great advantage for the front line departments.

Photo: US Marine Corps / Barrett