Marine Corps SR21

More lethal sniper rifle eyed by Corps

Marine officials are weighing options for a new, powerful sniper rifle that could kill enemies 1,500 meters away, and are closely watching a contract competition launched by U.S. Special Operations Command last month for a similar weapon, a top Marine acquisitions official said.

The Marine Corps’ SR21 — short for Sniper Rifle-21st Century — would allow Marine snipers to engage targets nearly a mile away, substantially farther than the 800-meter range of the bolt-action, 7.62mm M40 sniper rifle currently in use. The Corps has worked extensively with SOCom to develop specifications for a precision sniper rifle, but it hasn’t finalized what it will do, said Col. Andrew Bianca, head of infantry weapons acquisitions at Marine Corps Systems Command.

They won’t be doing it with a 7.62.

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