The U.S. may have fallen in love with the Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) bolt-action multi-caliber sniper rifle from Barrett Firearms, but that doesn't mean that U.S. Special Operations Command isn't considering its options when it comes to long-range precision fires.
According to the most recent issue of Special Operations Outlook, Barrett is furnishing "another USSOCOM element" with a single-caliber version of the MRAD that's normally chambered in 7.62×51 mm NATO, .300 Norma Magnum, and .338 Norma Magnum.
Known as the 'MRAD DOD 300 PRC,' the new MRAD variant would come chambered in .300 Precision Rifle Cartridge (PRC) and fire a 225 grain ELD-M [Extremely Low Drag – Match] bullet developed by Hornady Manufacturing, per Special Operations Outlook.
When reached by Task & Purpose, SOCOM declined to comment on whether the command was currently testing the MRAD DOD 300 PRC.
"A variety of system options are under evaluation, but we don’t publicly discuss them at this phase in the process," SOCOM spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Tim Hawkins told Task & Purpose in an email.
SOCOM had previously awarded a $49.9 million contract to Barrett to adopt the MRAD as part of the program’s Advanced Sniper Rifle program.
While intended to primarily chamber 7.62×51 mm NATO, .300 Norma Magnum, and .338 Norma Magnum, the system can also handle .300 Winchester Magnum, 6.5 Creedmoor and .300 PRC through a simple conversion method.
The Army wants to purchase 536 MRAD sniper systems for roughly $10.13 million under its own Precision Sniper Rifle program to replace both of the service’s M107 sniper rifle and M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle systems, according to budget justification documents.
The Marine Corps wants to purchase 250 MRAD sniper systems under SOCOM’s ASR program for roughly $4 million to “replace all current bolt-action sniper rifles” currently used by the service, according to budget justification documents.