Help the Marine Corps decide on a new caliber for their sniper rifles
I have been out of the Marine Corps for over 10 years now but still stay in contact with the sniper community. The last thing I wanted to get accomplished before I left was to get the Marines away from using the .308 for their sniper cartridge. As you can imagine it is only because of the training and weeks on the rifle range that sniper students receive are they able to make long range shots with such a cartridge.
Fast forward to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; and not surprisingly the Marine snipers are having issues making 800 yard+ shots with the .308. This is the first conflict the Marines have been involved in where long range shots are a very common occurrence and data on the .308's long range problems is not surprising
The Marines are considering going to a different cartridge. There is a lot of experience on this board with long range hunting, rifle / caliber combinations that very closely parallel what the Marine Snipers should be using.
I have my own ideas, but am not going to express them, I am really looking for other educated opinions.
Here are the basic parameters for the rifle / caliber combination
Rifle with scope preferably weigh less than 18 pounds, 16 would be better.
Magazine or typical bolt action well feed.
Supersonic to 1500 yards with the ability to shoot accurately on man size targets at that range. Also lethal on people at that range.
In short: man packable, as long range as possible, accurate and lethel
Looking for calibers, barrel length, actions, bullets, etc. What ever you can think of. I plan on building the version of the rifle I have in my head; perhaps some opinions here will sway my thoughts when I build mine and take it to the Marines to shoot and try to pursued them.
USMC Scout Sniper 88-94
Instructor 1st. Mar. Div. SS school 91-94