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Army Explores Sniper System Modification

The United States Army is exploring a possible reconfiguration for its M110 7.62 x 51mm Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS).

With a first unit equipped milestone in the first quarter of FY ’08, the M110 SASS is a lightweight, direct gas operated, semi-automatic, box magazine fed, anti-personnel and light materiel weapon that fires 7.62mm ammunition out to a maximum effective range of 800 meters. It is also the first U.S. Army weapon system to integrate a quick attach/detach suppressor to reduce the weapon’s firing signature.

Service descriptions add that the M110 “exceeds the rate of fire and lethality of the M24 Sniper Weapon System, the previous medium-caliber sniper rifle.”

Knight’s Armament Company manufactures the SASS with additional elements provided by Leupold & Stevens Inc. (M151 Enhanced Spotting Scope) and Ashbury International Group Inc. (M151 Tactical Tripod Kit).

The current weapon design weighs 15.3 pounds (combat ready) / 17.3 pounds (combat ready with suppressor); with a length of 40.5 inches (without suppressor) / 46.5 inches (with suppressor).

M110 SASS

M110 SASS. Photo courtesy of PEO Soldier

According to a recently-released “sources sought” announcement from the Army Contracting Command at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., the U.S. Army Project Manager Soldier Weapons (PMSW) is conducting “a market survey to identify potential sources for manufacturing a complete system or reconfiguring some or all of the existing 7.62 x 51mm M110 Semi- Automatic Sniper System (SASS) currently available in Army inventory…”

The notice seeks potential sources capable of reconfiguring existing U.S. Army M110 SASSs, or manufacturing new complete systems to meet designated criteria factors, including: semi-automatic operation; compatibility with 7.62 x 51 mm NATO cartridges; capability for 1.3 minute of angle dispersion accuracy or greater with match ammunition; length reduction (“using a shorter barrel and/or collapsible buttstock”) with new maximum length not to exceed 39 inches without suppressor and a desired minimum length less than 36 inches with stock collapsed; unloaded weight less than 9.0 pounds (without optics and accessories); a modular, adjustable pistol grip; non-adjustable match style trigger; a fore-end featuring a fixed 12 o’ clock mounting rail with configurable 3, 6, and 9 o’ clock rails; a muzzle mounted, detachable sound suppressor; a compensator / muzzle brake compatible with the sound suppressor; tool-less detachment bipod featuring cant and pan/track capability; an Army specified variable power day optic and compatible rings; back up iron sights offset 45 deg from the day optical sight; and flush cup, quick detach sling attachment points.

The announcement added that the upgraded weapon also must meet the operational and environmental requirements that were fulfilled by the original M110 SASS.

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...

    li class="comment even thread-even depth-1" id="comment-2762">

    I hope they post video of the Bin Laden action. I guess the video game will be out for Christmas!