Why The Marines Need A New Sniper Rifle

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Photo by Staff Sgt. Ezekiel R. Kitandwe

For the last 14 years, Marine snipers have suffered setbacks on the battlefield due to outdated equipment, specifically their sniper rifle: the M40A1. The Washington Post’s Thomas Gibbons-Neff, himself a former Marine sniper, writes about the weapon’s limited range compared to friendly, and more significant, enemy forces.


The M40A1 came into existence after the Vietnam war, and maxes out at 1,000 yards, which is 300 yards behind the Army’s standard sniper rifle, and 600 yards behind the systems used by the British, Chinese and Special Operations Command forces.

“...the next time we see combat, the Marine Corps is going to learn the hard way what happens when you bring a knife to a gunfight,” a Marine sniper instructor told Gibbons-Neff anonymously.

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