New Hampshire-based Sig Sauer recently picked up a nine-figure award from the U.S. Army Contracting Command for .300 and .338 Norma Magnum ammunition

Announced by the Pentagon on June 7, the $157.3 million firm-fixed-price contract covers production of .300 Norma Magnum 215-grain M1163 ball ammunition and .338 NM 300-grain armor-piercing M1162 cartridges for the Army. Although not a standard round for most U.S. military small arms – that's reserved for 5.56 and 7.62 NATO along with the new 6.8 NGSW Common Cartridge – the Army and Marines are both using .300 NM and .338 NM in the MK22 Advanced Sniper Rifle program
 

Mk22 Mod 0 ASR USMC photo
The MK22 is a modular system that will be fielded with three separate calibers, .338 Norma Magnum, .300 Norma Magnum, and 7.62 NATO, with the user able to swap calibers through barrel changes based on mission operating environments. Above is the Mk22 Mod 0 ASR including a Precision Day Optic. It is fed from a 10-round detachable magazine. (Photo: Tonya Smith/Marine Corps Systems Command).


In Army service, the MK22 is replacing the service's existing Remington-made M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle, as well as the M107 .50 Caliber Long Range Sniper Rifle. Meanwhile, it will replace all legacy M40A6 and Mk13 Mod 7 rifles in the Marines' inventory.

Sig Sauer told Guns.com in an email this month's ASR ammunition contract includes 4.5 million rounds for the first delivery order.

"This selection by the U.S. Army to manufacture ASR ammunition reinforces Sig Sauer as the leading manufacturer of modern sniper ammunition for the U.S. Department of Defense and demonstrates confidence in Sig’s ability to deliver the most precise ammunition in the world,” said Ron Cohen, the company's president and CEO. 

The new award is far from the first time the Army has tapped Sig to produce sniper rounds. In 2010, the Army issued a $10 million contract for the company to manufacture the Precision Sniper Rifle MK 248 MOD 1 and MOD 0 .300 Win Mag ammunition for use in sniper platforms such as the M2010 and the Mk21 MSR.

"Sniper ammunition must be manufactured to the most precise standards," said Cohen. "This award, combined with our proven success in the MK248 300WM contract, further demonstrates our most important customer’s confidence in our ability to build and deliver the most precise ammunition."

All Sig Sauer ammo, including the MK248, the ASR M1162 and M1163, and the new NGSW 6.8mm, is American-made and manufactured at the company's state-of-the-art ammunition manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

In other Sig .338 NM news, the company has been working with the U.S. Special Operation Command on a new .338-caliber light machine gun for the past several years. In comparison to the M2 .50 cal BMG, which has been in service with the U.S. military for over a century, the MG 338 is approximately one-quarter the weight, and offers a more man-portable solution with a similar effective range and higher rate of fire, albeit with a bullet half the size. 
 

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