The U.S. Marine Corps has officially begun fielding the M38 Squad Designated Marksman rifle.
For context, earlier this year at the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA)’s 2017 Armament Systems Forum, the United States Marine Corps said it planned on equipping a certain number of M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles—which is based on the Heckler & Koch HK 416 5.56mm—with 3-9x optics for use as Squad Designated Marksman Rifles (SDM-R) beginning in Fiscal Year 2018.
We’re now in Fiscal Year 2018 and the Corps has made good on that claim. The above three photos show Marines with 3rd Battalion 8th Marine Regiment operating the M27, now designated the M38, during a live-fire weapons exercise which took place at range F-18 on Camp Lejeune, N.C., Dec. 8, 2017.
The good folks over at Soldier Systems have identified the optic being used in these photos as the Leupold TS-30A2 Mark 4 MR/T 2.5-8x36mm.