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Marine Corps Seeks M40A5 Sniper Rifle Enhancements

The United States Marine Corps Program Manager for Infantry Weapons, Marine Corps Systems Command, has released a “sources sought” announcement requesting industry input on the availability of potential materiel solutions as product improvements for that service’s M40A5 sniper rifle system [see “Marine Corps seeks M40A5 Sniper Rifle Support,” Defense Media Network, posted July 21, 2009].

The M40A5 is a Marine Corps-designed bolt-action, manually operated, magazine-fed, shoulder-fired weapon system in caliber .308 Winchester. The weapon measures 44.30 inches in length (53.37 inches with sound suppressor) and weighs 18.94 pounds with scope, bipod, sling and filled five-round box magazine (20.24 pounds with suppressor).

Commonly employed with the variable-powered M8541 Scout Sniper Day Scope (SSDS), AN/PVS-27 Scout Sniper Medium Range Night Sight (SSMRNS), Scout Sniper Urban Night Sight (SSUNS), AN/PVS-10 V2 Sniper Night Sight, and Surefire quick detach suppressor, the M40A5 is the main battle weapon of the Marine Corps Scout Sniper, and is employed to engage and destroy targets out to ranges of 1,000 yards (914 meters).

Each of the current M40A5 weapons has been custom-built at Precision Weapons Section (PWS), Weapons Training Battalion in Quantico, Va.

According to the recent announcement, the Marine Corps is exploring a Product Improvement Program (PIP) with the possibility of obtaining a product that incorporates a number of identified modifications “as a holistic, integrated solution (i.e., all components integrated as a single solution by the vendor).”

Specific improvement areas identified under the M40A5 PIP include the addition of a tripod, a modular stock, a 10-round magazine, and shorter barrel length to reduce overall system length and system weight.

In addition, overall system requirements mandate that any improvement package include: product improvements will not hinder the current 10,000 round barrel life; product improvements will not hinder or reduce precision (1 minute of angle) of the current system; compatibility with the M40 trigger assembly and current USMC M40 receiver (Remington 700 right hand, short action receiver with oversized barrel threads and modified to accept the DD Ross Optical Platform; compatibility with Surefire muzzle brake and Surefire suppressor; system weight of 18 pounds or less (including optical device and bipod but without magazine and suppressor); and overall system length no more than 40 inches with folded stock and unsuppressed (when folded the stock will not interfere with bolt manipulation).

Industry responses to the information request are desired by Aug. 18, 2011.


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