U.S. Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR) program reminds me of watching Olympic sprinters. Runners line up and the starter fires his pistol. They leap from the blocks only to run a few yards and stop. If they don’t restart a race at least three times before a successful finish, it’s a rarity. A few firearms makers dash into the weapons trials and meet SOCOM’s deadlines, only to have the military bring the competition to a halt and restart.
When USSOCOM published their specs for the PSR on December 16, 2009, nine companies stepped up to the challenge to design their versions of the PSR. Since then, SOCOM halted their new sniper rifle trials. The first week of January 2012, they started all over again with rifle submissions from at least six companies. One of the companies that is sure to be a strong contender in the PSR trials is Sako with their TRG M10.
One component of the PSR trials is testing rifles in adverse conditions, and that’s exactly what I faced when I got an early look at the TRG M10. Tactical Weapons was invited to join Sako’s military sales and engineering design team and Beretta USA’s Gabriele de Plano, vice president of military marketing and sales, at the Boulder City Gun Club near Las Vegas, Nevada. As you may know, Beretta USA is Sako’s sales arm in America and part of the new Beretta Defense Technologies’ strategic alliance between Beretta, Benelli, Sako and Steiner.