Barrett Wins $50 Million Army Sniper Rifle Contract
Tennessee-based Barrett Firearms on Wednesday pulled down a big U.S. Army contract for new MK22 Advanced Sniper Rifles.
The $49.9 million five-year firm-fixed-price contract announcement covers "procurement of Multi-Role Adaptive Rifle/MK22 Advanced Sniper Rifles, spare parts, accessories, tools, and conversion kits."
The U.S. Special Operations Command in 2019 tapped Barrett to produce ASRs, as part of an effort to continue “development of enhanced capabilities to improve performance” of “individual sniper weapons to engage out to 1500 meters.”
SOCOM’s MK22 is based on Barrett's MRAD bolt-action precision rifle in .338 Norma Mag. The MRAD uses a monolithic upper receiver with caliber conversion kits utilizing a separate barrel assembly and bolt that allows it to be swapped to .300 Norma Mag and 7.62 NATO. As such, the overall length of the MK22 can vary from 43.6-inches when fitted with the 20-inch 7.62 barrel, to 50.6-inches with the 27-inch .338NM. In its heaviest configuration, the MK22 tips the scales at just over 15-pounds, sans optics, ammo, and accessories.
When it comes to new guns for SOCOM, the command's FY21 budget justification book details that 450 new ASRs were acquired in 2020. For those curious, other new small arms deliveries listed by the book over the past two years include 1,562 MK27s (Glock 19 Gen 4s), 250 new Personal Defense Weapons, and 1,930 Upper Receiver Group-Improved (URG-Is).
As for the glass used on the system, Leupold previously announced its Mark 5HD 5-25×56 will be provided for use on the MK22 in a flat dark earth coating and utilize the Army’s Mil-Grid reticle.
Notably, the reticle was developed and patented by the military in 2018.
“Development of the Mil-Grid Reticle was primarily motivated by the lack of standardization of reticles within the sniper community, as well as the cost incurred in using vendor proprietary reticles,” said Tom Pitera, an engineer at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center who helped design the reticle.