Four years after picking Remington as the winner of its Precision Sniper Rifle competition, the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has announced it is seeking a replacement by issuing a sources sought notice for what it’s calling the Advanced Sniper Rifle, Soldier Systems reports.
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Here’s what SOCOM is looking for in the Advanced Sniper Rifle, via the Federal Business Opportunities page:
-complete system to include all 3 caliber conversion kits
-any tools needed to complete the conversion
-a light/sound suppressor that can be attached to the system when needed
ASR System specifics: The system must be adaptable to fire the 7.62mm NATO, .300NM, and .338NM cartridges. The system must have total system weight, less suppressor and with unloaded magazine, not to exceed 17lbs (T), 13lbs (O). Length with stock extended, less suppressor, not to exceed 50″(T), 40″(O), length for transport, by means of folding or collapsing shall be 40″ (T), 36″ (O). Accuracy shall be:
7.62 mm 1.0 MOA (ES) at 328 yards (300 meters) (T) 0.5 MOA at 328 yards (300 meters) (O)
.300 NM 1.0 MOA (ES) at 328 yards (300 meters) (T) 0.5 MOA at 328 yards (300 meters) (O)
.338 NM 2.5 MOA (ES) at 328 yards (300 meters) (T) 1.5 MOA at 328 yards (300 meters) (O)
As Soldier Systems points out, T means Threshold, or the minimum performance SOCOM will accept, and O stands for Objective, meaning, obviously, the end goal they’re looking to get to.
Interested parties have until the close of business on Monday, April 24 to submit the requested information. Stay tuned, folks. It looks like the Advanced Sniper Rifle competition is just getting started.
Meanwhile, Maj. Aron Hauquitz confirmed to Military Times on Tuesday that SOCOM is considering a sniper rifle chambered in 6.5mm and testing two commercially available rounds: .260 Remington and 6.5mm Creedmoor. SOCOM officials told Military Times that both rounds will “stay supersonic longer, have less wind drift and better terminal performance than 7.62 mm ammunition.”
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Hauquitz said the primary focus right now is on popular and readily available ammo, and the benefits and drawbacks of each round.
Hauquitz also confirmed that SOCOM is trying to develop polymer ammo in 6.5mm in order to reduce the load for its operators. “Research is showing a one-third weight reduction for 7.62 mm ammunition, allowing the 6.5 mm to come in at 5.56 mm weight ranges,” Military Times reported.
Hauquitz said there’s no specific timetable for when the rifle would be fielded by operators, only stressing that they’d have a better idea when it comes to the caliber later on in the year.
“We’re purely in the exploratory phase,” Hauquitz said. “We’re trying to see if we can take a weapon that is 7.62 and give it greater range, accuracy and lethality.”