(U.S. Marine Corpss/Staff Sgt. Bryan Nygaard)

The wait is over: the Marine Corps's brand new sniper is officially ready for action.

The Mk13 Mod 7 sniper rifle reached full operational capacity earlier this year after extensive testing, Marine Corps Systems Command announced on Wednesday. Now, the new rifle is finally available in both scout snipers and recon Marine arsenals.

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The M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS) (Heckler and Koch)

A handful of lucky Army units apparently picked up an early Christmas present this fall: A shiny new rifle for designated marksmen assigned to infantry, scout, and engineer squads.

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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.

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The Marine Corps confirmed in early April that its snipers would get the Mk13 Mod 7 sniper rifle to replace the M40 rifle, versions of which the Corps' snipers have been carrying since the early days of the Vietnam War.

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The Marine Corps plans on adopting the Mk 13 Mod 7 sniper rifle for Marine scout snipers, officials confirmed to Marine Corps Times on April 2, a much-needed and long-overdue replacement for the M40 system that Marines have wielded since the Vietnam War.

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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.

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