Many moons ago when I was an active duty Marine we used the term “SASS” as an acronym for Special Ammunition Storage Space. For today’s military, SASS has a new meaning—that being “Semi-Automatic Sniper System.” When the US Military announced that it was actively seeking a standard issue semi-automatic sniper rifle, almost every manufacturer of self-loading .308s got on board and began to build their prototypes. As a student of military and firearms history I found this a bit amusing if not ironic.
From the end of the Vietnam conflict through the first Gulf War, the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge was relegated from its primary battle rifle status to special purpose/limited use. The equipment focus of the US Military was on hi-tech weapons such as Tomahawk missiles and smart bombs, not the individual warfighter.