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Help the Marine Corps decide on a new caliber for their sniper rifles

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  #78  
Unread 01-30-2008, 07:06 PM
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To stir the pot up

This is a topic I have muddled over for many years so here are my thoughts:

1) Simplest cheapest UPGRADE is to turn all 308 rifles to 7-08. With a 162gr Amax, they have cut their wind drift by at least 1/3 and the bullet will stay supersonic to about 1300+yds depending on how fast it leaves the pipe. I am sure loads can be tailored to +P needs.

Bullet works great on soft targets even when subsonic so 1500yds effective range is very possible.

It fits and runs in ALL existing equipment and only a barrel change is needed. Would be quite the upgrade for the SAW's too. Oh, the Brits would have a field day with this.

Less recoil as compared to the 175gr 308 loads. 7mm will hit harder at all distances due to higher retained velocity.

I bet any sniper shooting a 7-08 will think he had bought a laser beam for how forgiving it is in the wind vs the 308. I bet that is the main reason for issues at 800yds hitting targets. You just can't dope well enough under the stress of war and you miss.

There is little issue getting at least 3000 rds of accurate fire from any pipe and this case will work in shorter barrels - min 22". Good for adding a suppressor or creepy crawly in the urban environment.

2) I strongly believe that the Russians got it right by making their sniper rifle a semi auto. From what I have read, trying to make quick multiple target hits becomes necessary in Iraq. The bolt action is the slowest platform to try and do this with.

I see that there are AR10/SR25's in 308 being fielded now. I strongly agree this is a step in the right direction. Again, easy change to the 7-08.

however, the AR10/SR25's are horridly expensive so I bet less rifles will be procured then necessary...

3) I feel the ideal sniper rifle options ISN'T a rifle at all. It is a complete upper for the M4 carbine. This is a modular firearm afterall.

A DMR or sniper would approach their desired location with a fully auto working rifle - M4. On arrival, two pins and 30 secs later, he is ready to engage targets as accurately as any bolt rifle.

The upper would have barrel lengths identical to any bolt rifle (22" is my favorite for an urban rig but even 26" is easily installed). Scope already attached and zeroed. All in a nice compact case the length of a shorty shotgun - 26" to 30". And weigh maybe 6lbs. Sure beats a 5ft 18lbs 3`drag bag.

The cartridge would need to fit in a conventional AR mag. I do not recommend the 6.5 Grendel as it doesn't have the oomph. Makes for a dandy upgrade to the 223 but just not big enough for my tastes.

I would suggest a 6.5 SOCOM (a 7mm would also work but the 6.5 has better ballistics in this small of a case). No this cartridge does not exist but the 458 SOCOM does. It would require a simple necking down and voila, you have a case that is within spitting distance of the 6.5X47L. Loaded with 123gr Scenars (2900+fps) you have an effective 1200+yd platform that can make multiple shots FASTER then a 308 semi shooter. Recoil is substantially less.

Wind drift would be about 1/2 to 1/3 less then the 308. 800yds would be easy shooting.

You could stuff a 139/142gr bullet into this case if you needed the extra mass for hitting. I think the 130gr Berger/140gr Amax might just be the ideal bullet. Should have no issue getting 2700+fps which means the bullets will stay supersonic beyond 1300yds.

I see no issue hitting man sized targets out to 1500+yds with such a rig. As to lethality, that I leave to the experts.

The SOCOM single stacks very well in any AR mag and would have center feeding into the action. You can put at least 7 rds into a 20rd AR mag so logistics for packing ammo is a no brainer. will work out of 30rds mags too.

If things get hairy, the sniper can convert back to an assault rifle instead of fighting with a platform the armies of the world gave up on over 60yrs ago. Right now the sniper cannot do much in a fire fight.

All this at NO extra weight to the soldier. an M4 about 7lbs. The upper another say 6 to 7lbs. Equal/lighter then a contemporary bolt action 5rd mag rifle.

Best part is that these uppers would cost about $200 more then a conventional M4 upper so LOTS can be fielded. That is almost 4 to 1 uppers for an AR10/SR25. Pretty good economics me thinks. Also, don't need to carry/make different mags which is a large logistics and economic cost.

For rapid engagements of soft targets even at some pretty lengthy distances, I think this is an ideal compromise. Barrel life is easily 3000rds

4) I have shot and been around big 30's and 338's and there is little doubt they leave quite an impact out to 1 mile. If the need is to engage hardened assets at LR, the 338 Lapua is a very nice cartridge.

The cartridge is pretty much limited to a bolt rifle (Cobb AR I know little about) or heavy semi. It does a very good job but is it really necessary for the average mission profile in todays urban warfare?

It is horrendously expensive to shoot. About the same as a BMG with 1/3 the oomph. I am sure the costs will plummet when purchased in volume but it is pricey.

Recoil is also very stiff even in a 15lbs rifle unless a muzzle brake or better yet - suppressor is used. Not something I would want to field in an urban environment. In the Canadian prairies, sure!

Then there is issue of lugging a musket around that is of little use in a close quarter fire fight. Same handicaps of any bolt rifle.

Personally, if a big 338 is needed, I think the 338RUM makes a much easier/cheaper to utilize platform. However, the world is taking to the 338LM like bears to honey so this point is moot.

Of the big boomers, the 338LM certainly offers many advantages over a fast 30 for hitting power without the requirements of the 408/416/BMG.

I just think don't the average situation faced today warrants such a cannon. And if it did, wouldn't a BMG be a better friend?

Jerry
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  •   #79  
    Unread 01-30-2008, 08:18 PM
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    Jerry , Jerry , Jerry , that will never work non of those ideas , its way to easy and makes way to much sense , not enough of the wrong people (gun makers) would benifit from it and their woulden't be any extra weeks of school for sodiers to have to go through to learn about the new weapon.
    Its enought to make yu sick isin't it !!!!

    I had this same disscussion about the 6.8 SPC , if one simply necked up the 223 case to 6mm you would have more energy on target at all ranges , more effecient round in short 14.5" barrels , better feeding due to less shoulder space and the only thing needed to change would be the barrel but that would have been to easy.
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      #80  
    Unread 01-30-2008, 08:29 PM
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by James Jones View Post
    Jerry , Jerry , Jerry , that will never work non of those ideas , its way to easy and makes way to much sense , not enough of the wrong people (gun makers) would benifit from it and their woulden't be any extra weeks of school for sodiers to have to go through to learn about the new weapon.
    Its enought to make yu sick isin't it !!!!.


    If the US govt' really wanted to do some real world R&D/retrofit for a sniper system, they could post their requirements on this and other boards and an appropriate cartridge/system with all the bugs worked out would appear in about a week.

    Maybe two cause this is super bowl weekend.:p

    Costs zip except for maybe some recognition in the name of the cartridge/system and some photo opps. Of course, being able to go to a real military range and plink away for a few days full auto would be kind of fun.

    But then where would all those BILLIONS of dollars go????????

    Maybe something as stupid as educating our children and improving industry so our jobs can stay at home. Design more fuel effecient cars/trucks so we don't need to go fight these stupid wars in the first place.

    HERETIC :eek: BURN HIM AT THE STAKE.

    Jerry
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      #81  
    Unread 02-03-2008, 01:18 PM
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    Simple things. . .

    We all know there are cartridges that are much better suited to killing a man than the Winchester 308.

    The fundamental problem that lies here is the ability to implement this bold undertaking.

    I've been in Iraq almost two years now. I'm in Baghdad right now as I sit here typing this. The logistical hurdles to get stuff here is beyond the comprehension of most. You can't imagine how frustrating it can be at times.

    So, now you are suggesting that Lake City arsenal tear down and retool to produce a quantity large enough to support precision weapons for an entire branch of service.

    Then, a barrel maker has to spin up how many thousands of barrels?

    How many reamers does David Kiff need to make for chambering?

    Then you gotta re write all the drop and wind tables.

    Then burn up a million rounds retraining every sniper out there so they can dope for the round when on the fly.

    This war would be over and we'd all be old and gray before that happened.

    Uncle Sam has been suffering from a chronic yeast infection for some time when it comes to quick reaction.

    Just putting things into perspective.
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    Last edited by NesikaChad; 02-04-2008 at 01:31 AM.
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      #82  
    Unread 02-03-2008, 10:47 PM
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    I have a Sako actioned Lazzeroni Warbird that fits the bill. Brass might be a problem, but it is fast, flat, and accurate.
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      #83  
    Unread 02-04-2008, 11:35 AM
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NesikaChad View Post
    We all know there are cartridges that are much better suited to killing a man than the Winchester 308.

    The fundamental problem that lies here is the ability to implement this bold undertaking.

    I've been in Iraq almost two years now. I'm in Baghdad right now as I sit here typing this. The logistical hurdles to get stuff here is beyond the comprehension of most. You can't imagine how frustrating it can be at times.

    So, now you are suggesting that Lake City arsenal tear down and retool to produce a quantity large enough to support precision weapons for an entire branch of service.

    Then, a barrel maker has to spin up how many thousands of barrels?

    How many reamers does David Kiff need to make for chambering?

    Then you gotta re write all the drop and wind tables.

    Then burn up a million rounds retraining every sniper out there so they can dope for the round when on the fly.

    This war would be over and we'd all be old and gray before that happened.

    Uncle Sam has been suffering from a chronic yeast infection for some time when it comes to quick reaction.

    Just putting things into perspective.
    No one said this undertaking would be easy but it is something that might help the troops. Ultimately, the soldier has to lead this drive. If needed, get the word out and up the food chain.

    As for new systems and spending money, look at the new Bush budget. A rifle and support will cost a few million. That is chum change to what the big dollar programs are costing.

    One day of Iraqi operation will cover ALL costs of this new sniper system.

    As for production and tooling up, this is America the industrial might of the world, isn't it???? I bet a system can be up and running by the summer IF there was a desire to do so.

    How many snipers are there?

    As for shooting and learning, the snipers today are using the most difficult delivery system and cartridge. Going to the suggestions above will be a walk in the park. They will litterally increase hit ratios by at least 15% in a couple of range sessions. I expect up to 50% beyond 600yds when the wind blows. Compensating LESS is easy.

    new drop charts and tables happen at a push of a few buttons. I think there are still a few printers in the sandbox.

    Why bother with billions of rds of ammo when millions are plenty? Smaller manf like Black Hills and Hornady would be only too happy to provide their expertise for 'small' volume top quality ammo. They are doing it right now.

    The US forces have had system changes twice so far and are looking into another. Yes, it is not easy and costs a huge amount of money. But if it improves results which leads to saving soldiers, small price to pay...

    Jerry
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      #84  
    Unread 02-06-2008, 02:48 AM
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mysticplayer View Post
    No one said this undertaking would be easy but it is something that might help the troops. Ultimately, the soldier has to lead this drive. If needed, get the word out and up the food chain.

    As for new systems and spending money, look at the new Bush budget. A rifle and support will cost a few million. That is chum change to what the big dollar programs are costing.

    One day of Iraqi operation will cover ALL costs of this new sniper system.

    As for production and tooling up, this is America the industrial might of the world, isn't it???? I bet a system can be up and running by the summer IF there was a desire to do so.

    How many snipers are there?

    As for shooting and learning, the snipers today are using the most difficult delivery system and cartridge. Going to the suggestions above will be a walk in the park. They will litterally increase hit ratios by at least 15% in a couple of range sessions. I expect up to 50% beyond 600yds when the wind blows. Compensating LESS is easy.

    new drop charts and tables happen at a push of a few buttons. I think there are still a few printers in the sandbox.

    Why bother with billions of rds of ammo when millions are plenty? Smaller manf like Black Hills and Hornady would be only too happy to provide their expertise for 'small' volume top quality ammo. They are doing it right now.

    The US forces have had system changes twice so far and are looking into another. Yes, it is not easy and costs a huge amount of money. But if it improves results which leads to saving soldiers, small price to pay...

    Jerry

    What was I thinking. . .??

    It only took three weeks for the PX to get toothpaste.


    They had plenty of cat food though. (WTF?)
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