It's official: a few lucky Marines can finally count the Mk 13 Mod 7 — the Corps' first new sniper system since the adoption of the M40 during the Vietnam War — among their arsenals, Marine Corps Times reported on Thursday.
The Marine Corps is throwing down cash to test-drive the same compact sniper rifle the Army has pursued in recent months. But while its 7.62mm rounds pack the punch required by scout snipers facing increasingly protected enemies downrange, its effective range falls well short of the sniper systems used by both foreign militaries and militants — a limitation that makes it unclear just what the Corps could do with this new weapon.
The Marine Corps may finally adopt a new sniper rifle through a stroke of luck: Army officials, continuing to develop their own brand-new sniper rifle, told Task & Purpose that both the Marines and Air Force “are committed” to purchasing the weapon once the Army signs off on the improved system.
Due to the high washout rates at its sniper school, the Marine Corps is facing a “critical gap” in its number of trained snipers and is mulling changes to the training that could reduce attrition, according to Marine Corps Times.