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  M24 7.62mm Sniper Rifle
Special Forces
M9 Pistol
SPR Rifle
Thermite Grenade

U.S. Weapons


Length: 44.14 inches (112.12 centimeters)
Length of Barrel: 22 inches (55.88 centimeters)
Empty magazine: 8.7 pounds (3.95 kilograms)
Full magazine and sling: 11.0 pounds (5.0 kilograms)
Bore diameter: 7.62mm
Maximum effective range: 1,509.26 feet (460 meters)
Muzzle velocity: 2,800 feet (853 meters) per second
Cyclic rate of fire: 750 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 20 rounds

The M24 Sniper Weapon System, fielded in 1988, represents a return to bolt action sniper rifles by the US Army. As in the US Marine M40A1, the M24 uses the Remington 700 receiver group, although the reciever has been made for adaptation to take the .300 Winchester Magnum round.

The M-24 sniper weapon system is a 7.62 mm, bolt-action, six-shot repeating rifle (one round in the chamber and five rounds in the magazine). It is used with either the M3A telescope (day optic sight, usually called the M3A scope, a 10X fixed Leupold M3 Ultra telescope) or the metallic iron sight.

The rifle weighs about 15 pounds with the scope, and about 12 pounds without it. Itís about 43 inches long, with a 24-inch barrel with one twist and five lands and grooves. Manufacturers agree itís accurate to about 800 meters, but it will hit a target up to about 1,200 meters away (given thereís one heck of a marksman behind the weapon).

The stock is made of a Kevlar, graphite and fiberglass composite bound together with epoxy resins, and features an aluminum bedding block and adjustable butt plate. A bipod can be attached to the stockís fore end.

The M-24 uses the M118 bullet, a special ball bullet consisting of a gilding metal jacket and a lead slug. Itís a boat-tailed bullet (that is, the rear of the bullet is tapered) and weighs 173 grains. The tip of the bullet is not colored. The base of the cartridge is stamped with the year of manufacture and a circle that has vertical and horizontal lines, sectioning it into quarters. Its spread for a 10-shot group is no more than 12 inches at 550 meters (fired from an accuracy barrel in a test cradle).

Regular 7.62-mm ball ammunition should be used only in an emergency situation. No damage will occur to the barrel when firing regular 7.62-mm ball ammunition. The M3A scope's bullet drop compensator is designed for M118 special ball, and there will be a significant change in zero. Therefore the rifle will not be as accurate when firing regular 7.62-mm ball ammunition. The 7.62-mm ball ammunition should be test fired and the ballistic data recorded in the data book.

The M3A scope is an optical instrument that the sniper uses to improve his ability to see a target clearly in most situations. Usually, the M3A scope presents the target at an increased size (as governed by scope magnification). The M3A scope helps the sniper to identify the target using three dials to hone in: elevation, focus and wind ranges.

The SWS must always be cleaned before firing. Firing a weapon with a dirty bore or chamber will multiply and speed up any corrosive action. Oil in the bore and chamber of a SWS will cause pressures to vary and first-round accuracy will suffer. Clean and dry the bore and chamber before departure on a mission and use extreme care to keep the SWS clean and dry en route to the objective area. Firing a SWS with oil or moisture in the bore will cause smoke that can disclose the firing position.

The SWS must be cleaned after firing since firing produces deposits of primer fouling, powder ashes, carbon, and metal fouling. Although ammunition has a noncorrosive primer that makes cleaning easier, the primer residue can still cause rust if not removed. Firing leaves two major types of fouling that require different solvents to remove carbon fouling and copper jacket fouling. The SWS must be cleaned within a reasonable time after firing. Use common sense when cleaning between rounds of firing. Repeated firing will not injure the weapon if it is properly cleaned before the first round is fired.

The draft letter requirement for the Armyís M-24 Sniper Rifle required a probability of hit (PH) at 800 meters of .95. The market research indicated the required probability of hit might be too high to attain. After evaluating the market investigation data, the acquisition team recommended that the requirement be relaxed. It was reworded to indicate a required PH of between 0.85 and 0.95 at the 800 meter range. The teamís logic was that 0.95 was the original requirement and a PH of 0.85 was at least comparable to the PH of the existing USMC M-40A1 sniper rifle. The team also recommended reducing the service life of the rifle from 15,000 to 10,000 rounds based on their market research.

The United States Army Military Police School Special Reaction Team Marksman/ Observer (SRT/MO) Course trains military police marksman/observer teams in those techniques needed for intelligence gathering and to effectively neutralize terrorist targets in special threat situations, using select long rifle fire. This is an advanced Marksman/Observer course. Students should be excellent marksmen prior to attending the course. Stringent standards will be maintained and failure to meet course standards will result in elimination from the course.