Marine Snipers are Getting New Mk 13 Rifles & Possibly New Optics

Originally posted on Marine Corps Times

Marine snipers will soon be carrying the Mk 13 Mod 7 sniper rifle
Marine snipers will soon be carrying the Mk 13 Mod 7 sniper rifle

U.S.A.-( Marine snipers have been carrying some version of the M40 rifle since the Vietnam War, but now the Corps is about to arm its snipers with a new weapon system. Marine snipers will soon be carrying the Mk 13 Mod 7 sniper rifle, Marine spokesperson Capt. Christopher Harrison confirmed to Marine Corps Times Monday.

The selection of the Mk 13 Mod 7 closes a chapter in the Corps’ journey to upgrade its sniper teams with a new rifle that will extend range and lethality.

The Mk 13 fires a .300 Winchester Magnum, or Win Mag round, and has a range that pushes beyond 1,000 yards, former snipers told Marine Corps Times.

Since 1966, Marine snipers have been carrying the Remington based bolt-action M40 as the preferred rifle. That rifle has gone through multiple modifications, including changes in 2014 that produced the M40A6. Former snipers who spoke to Marine Corps Times said they have long complained that the M40 simply didn’t have the range to contend with conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. And the M40’s nearly 1,000-yard range is behind other sniper rifles in the U.S. military’s arsenal. The Army’s M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle can engage targets at 1,300 yards.

One sniper hailed the decision to equip the Corps’ snipers with the Mk 13 as a “long time coming.”

However, the rifle isn’t the only piece of gear the Corps may be interested in. Pictures have appeared online from Josaphat Orozco photography that show Marines firing the Mk 13 with the Nightforce ATACR scope. The Navy’s recent budget documents released in February sought money to buy “the MK 13 Rifle with associated optic.” But Marine Corps officials would not confirm whether the Nightforce optic will be fielded with the Mk 13 at this time. However, one former sniper said that, if fielded, the new scope is even more exciting than the Mk 13.

Nightforce ATACR scope
Nightforce ATACR scope

The new scope comes with the Horus Tremor3 Reticle. The reticle allows an operator to rapidly engage targets at long ranges. It features special wind dots that aid a shooter in quick wind estimations.

The documents for justification of the fiscal year 2018 annual defense legislation included nearly $4.3 million in funding for the rifle. The Corps plans to purchase 356 rifles, which will kit out the Corps’ sniper teams with the Mk 13.

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane division out of Crane, Indiana, holds the contract for the Mk 13 Mod 7. It falls under Naval Sea Systems Command.

  • 7 thoughts on “Marine Snipers are Getting New Mk 13 Rifles & Possibly New Optics

    1. The Mk13 Mod 7 isn’t an AR10-based rifle. It’s a Remington 700-based bolt-action built on a Stiller action and set in an Accuracy International AX folding aluminum and polymer chassis. It’s being built at NSW Crane by USMC armorers. It’s similar to the Army’s newer M2010 .300 Win Mag, which is a true Remington 700 action set in a Remington folding chassis with a Leopold Mk 4 6x20x50 M5 scope.

    2. John you are correct this is a bolt action rifle. At first glance it looks like an AR, its a bit difficult to see the bolt in the photo above. I still think they ( The US Marine Corps) should engineer a sniper Rifle using an AR platform extended to accommodate the Remmington 300 Ultra Mag. PS My hopes were dashed when I read your reply and realized you were right . Ha Ha!

    3. This comment is directed to the armorers of the US Marine Corps Take some wisdom from an old hunter and remember. If you cant see it you cant kill it, If you cant reach it you cant kill it. The Nightforce ATACR rifle scope is one of the finest pieces of optical equipment ever made and solves the problem of seeing your target. The MK 13 model 7 is a state of the art AR type platform . A good choice for any sniper or hunter. The venerable 300 win.mag is a good cartridge however it is out dated . We have been shooting the 300 remmington Ultra mag for about ten years now and find it quite capable of extending engagement range another 400 yards over the 300 Win Mag . PS we use 185 grain berger bullets and keep the velocity at or slightly over 3300 fps semperfi.

      1. Doesn’t take genius to know the Ultra-mag’s potential. Just do a Youtube search…

        And did I miss the info? The M40 was based on the Remington 700; what is the Mk 13 Mod 7 based on?

          1. The Mk 13 is not an AR variant. The photo is this article is of the M110 SASS, something the USMC already has. The Mk13 is a bolt action rifle chambered in 300 win mag.

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