Marine scout snipers to get new Mk 13 Mod 7 rifles

A scout sniper candidate secures a strap to the current Marine scout sniper rifle, the M40A6. (Photo: Lance Cpl. Isabelo Tabanguil)

Marine snipers will soon retire the M40A6 in favor of a new sniper rifle system, the Mk13 Mod 7.

Marine spokesman Capt. Christopher Harrision confirmed to the Marine Corps Times on Monday that Marine snipers will soon be toting the Mk13 Mod . Chambered in .300 Win Mag, the new Mk13 Mod 7 comes after the Corps has demonstrated a need for longer ranges than the previous sniper rifle system has been able to produce.

Though it doesn’t come near the range of the Army’s M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle or U.S. Special Operations Command’s Precision Sniper Rifle, the Mk13’s range — reportedly pushing past the 1,000 yard mark — is a step up from its predecessor, the M40.

Marine snipers have been carrying the Remington-based bolt-action M40 since 1966 with modifications made over the course of the years. The latest round of upgrades in 2014 brought the system up to its current model the M40A6 model.

Marine Corps Times reported that Marines are happy with the change, citing one sniper as saying the upgrade to the Mk13 has been a “long time coming.”

In addition to the new rifle, snipers may also be seeing a new optic. Reports are that the Marines are fielding Nightforce’s ATACR scope atop the new rifle. Marine spokespersons have not confirmed this, but photographs featuring the Mk13 with the ATACR scope cropped up online and the most recent Navy budget documents released in February detail the need for “the MK 13 Rifle with associated optic.”

The Marine Corps intends to purchase over 350 rifles, with documents released to support the 2018 fiscal year annual defense legislation showcasing nearly $4.3 million in requested funding for the new rifle setup.

No word yet on when exactly the Mk13 will land in the hands of snipers.

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