Earlier this year we reported on the Army awarding a five-year, $49.9 million contract to Barrett for their MRAD MK22. Now, as they take on the final hurdle in its evaluation, the U.S. Marines also consider adopting the MK22 sniper rifle.
Marines Consider MK22 Sniper Rifle
Currently under evaluation at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the MK22 reaches its final hurdle. Following the Army’s replacement of the M107 sniper rifle and M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle, the MK22 may replace all bolt-action sniper rifles for the Marines.
Before testing began, Snipers from across the airborne and special operations community took part in new equipment training. The training included familiarization with the system, maintenance, target engagement, system configuration and zeroing procedures. As a result, the MK22 received high remarks.
“The PSR is a very versatile weapon system that can be tailored to meet multiple mission requirements,” said Spec. Nathanael Keffer, a Sniper with 2nd Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment to a Army.mil report.
A point of focus during testing was the MK22’s ability to maintain zero retention during airborne insertion. In order to evaluate this, the test team applied their mobile weapons boresight collimator to the rifle following a jump. This furthermore ensures that the Sniper’s pre-mission zero experienced no degradation by shock during the jump.
Mr. Larry Harris, ABNSOTD Deputy Chief of Test told the Army.mil report, “The critical task in testing any small arms platform intended for use by airborne forces is ensuring zero retention of the primary optic subsequent to airborne insertion. This is a critical gauge of the Paratrooper’s lethality during airfield seizure and other follow-on operations.”
The ability to fire three different rounds, without higher level maintenance to reconfigure, also reduces the need for additional weapons. In particular, the MK22 can switch between 7.62mm or .300 Norma Magnum and .338 Norma Magnum in the field. Additionally, the folding stock and removable suppression system provide a more compact load during airborne infiltration operations.
The Barrett MRAD (Multi-Role Adaptive Design) is the answer to a SOCOM request in 2016 for a new sniper rifle. And now it seems it may be the answer for the Marines as well.