The M24 Sniper’s Weapon System (SWS) represents a return to bolt action sniper rifles by the US Army. As in the USMC M40A1, the M24 uses the Remington 700 action, although the receiver is a long action made for adaptation to take the .300 Winchester Magnum round. The stock (HS Precision) is made of a composite of Kevlar, graphite and fiberglass bound together with epoxy resins, and features an aluminum bedding block and adjustable butt plate. A detachable bipod (Harris) can be attached to the stocks fore-end and is provided as part of the Sniper Weapon System (SWS). The metal finish is powder coated for extreme durability

The rifle had a very quick development cycle as the US Army had decided it wanted to get snipers back into the US Army and was in the process of developing the B4 identifier and the school to award it. There was a major short fall of M21’s which was the standard sniper rifle at that point of time and the Army figured it would need 10,000 sniper rifles of which they didn’t have nearly that many M21’s. So a new sniper rifle was developed at the same time and it was done in a record 22 months. The Weapon System Matrix Manager for the M24 was Major John Mende and he explains that the long action actually had nothing to do with the ability to convert to a .300 Win Mag but was a product of that quick development time. The rifle was intended to be chambered in the .30-06 as the -06 was a type classified munition for the Army unlike the .300 WM at the time. They wanted to have a high power load for the .30-06 eventually developed. As development of the system was moving forward they discovered that there was not enough .30-06 ammo in a single lot in the Army’s inventory to test and develop the system so they quickly changed to the 7.62x51mm NATO (308 Win) and left the action the same as there was not enough time for the manufacturers of the stock and floorplate to make the change to short action. They also fully believed they would later do a product improvement update and convert all the M24’s to .30-06. It is said that whe fact that they could convert them to .300 Win Mag was an unexpected benefit to the SF groups and was never actually designed into the system.

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US Army File Photo of the complete System

The actual rifle requirements for accuracy were .35 MOA from a machine rest and according to Major John Mende (ret.) this accuracy had to be maintained to 10,000 rounds. He stated, “Interesting side note was there was a 10,000 round requirement for the barrel to maintain the original accuracy. In fact after some 10,000 round tests we discovered the accuracy improved. A few barrels were tested past 20,000 and accuracy never went below the original accuracy requirement.” I would have to say that is very impressive! The US Army barrel life states 5000 rounds and that sounds like they are being conservative. Based off of the experience I have, the rifles do shoot quite well if the shooter does his part. Apparently there were several other rifle makers who said they could build a better rifle for the required price, but they were not interested once they heard it would be 10,000 rifles and that they would be required to provide maintenance on those rifles for at least 5 years and with an Army option for 2 additional procurements. Remington was able to do it.

This is the one that I have a lot of experience with. I have used the M24 SWS extensively while a sniper in the US Army National Guard and find the rifle to be of very good quality. The entire system as a whole is very functional. I do NOT like the fact that it has a long action (even if it is adaptable to .300 Win), it causes feeding problems with the M118 & M118LR (7.62x51mm) if the rounds are not pushed all the way to the rear of the magazine. Throughout all of my use of this system, I have consistently maintained 1 MOA with M118 special ball (Pre M118LR), which is saying a lot. The M118LR (175gr BTHP) performs considerably better and shoots about .5 MOA in the M24. I whole-heartedly believe that we have one of the best sniping SYSTEMS in the world.

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100 Meter sub .5 NOA group

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.25 MOA 500 yard group

Above is a nice 100m group shot with ‘KATE’, one of my issued M24 SWS’s when in the Guard, during a laser-filter rezero using standard M118 Special Ball. While sub .5 MOA groups like this are uncommon with M118, it shows the excellent accuracy potential of the M24. M118LR does produce more groups along these lines than we would see with M118. Also pictured above is an excellent 500 yard group we shot while training with the local police department SWAT snipers. This was shot using standard M118 Special Ball, which attests to the excellent accuracy potential of the M24 SWS at long range. That is a .254 MOA group for those of you who are wondering.

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UPDATE (03/11/06)
The M24 & M118LR combination has proven itself very effective during OIF and Afghanistan. There have been kills made beyond 1100 meters, though those are not standard fair. But under 800 meters the system has proven everything that was hoped for. The US Army has accepted a new sniper rifle known as the XM110 which is a 308 semi auto built by Knights Armament. It is unclear whether this rifle is intended to replace the M24 or not, as there have been conflicting reports. One thing is clear, the field reports on the M24 have been very good and there was a strong outpouring of support for the M24 from field snipers when news of the XM110 was spread.

A second contract for the M24 was issued to Remington around 2001 (give or take a year) for some more systems with some minor changes. These changes included two piece Leupold mk4 bases instead of the one piece on the first series rifles, and a switch from Redfield international palma aux sights to another manufacturer (perhaps OK Webber?). Redfield was out of business by then, so a change had to happen. One important thing that happened when Remington redid this contract, and that was that there was no exclusion clause and Remington was and is now able to sell the M24 to others without US Army approval. So, the M24 can now be purchased by Law Enforcement agencies, and even civilians. They are expensive, but they are available. It is also worth noting that in the 1990’s, Israel purchased and used M24’s. I believe they are still in Israeli use today.

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“KATE”, my issued M24

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M144 spotting scope, part of the original M24 SWS

30 Comments

Mel Ewing

You bet, just send me an email or use the contact form and let me know what information you are looking for.

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Andy Hicks

I just wanted a little more information about the .308 and price and your opinion on the gun very interested in purchasing and wanted your imput thank you very much

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Mel Ewing

The M24 SWS is available to purchase from Remington and they usually sell for about $9000 USD for the complete kit. They are an excellent rifle but do have their flaws. The buttstocks usually need to be built up so a proper cheek weld can be established and the adjustable length of pull usually slowly moves. But they are very accurate and durable.

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Jane Jones

Interested in a M24. Are civilians authorized to purchase/own one? I’m very serious about personal protection in a survival situation. Could I get info please?

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Mel Ewing

Yes, the M24’s are available on the market, but they can be hard to find. Run about $8000 for the complete package.

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Mel Ewing

Yes, the M24’s have a very thick contour barrel, what most would consider a #8 contour

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Michael

I Love this rifle! I have a 700p that is very accurate but I wish that thy made them with the M24 contour barrels rather than the varmint contour. I know that Stocky’s sells M24 contour barrels with 5R rifling. If I purchase an HS precision M24 stock, the Rock Creek M24 barrel, a Timney 510, Oberndorf steel floor plate, and Badger Ordnance recoil lug, Mark 4 rings, and the flat one piece Badger Ordnance M24 base, and finally the Leupold 10x M3A Ultra Scope can you guys put it together for me? I think that the barrels have to be crowned and threaded. But you guys have Remington 700 long actions already for the SC rifle builds correct? I’m wondering if I can purchase an SC rifle build from you guys with a Remington 700 long action, send you this stuff above and get an awesome M24 clone? Is this possible?

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Mel Ewing

Shoot me an email, we could put something together like that and could make it fairly reasonable price wise. It wouldnt have the aux sight front block, but beyond that it would be pretty darn close

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Kevin Morris

I was wondering about the m24 trigger as I’m seeing them refurbished by Remington and for sell now. How does this trigger stack up against the other aftermarket Remington trigger upgrades available? I’ve got a Remington 40x . Is there alot of difference between the two triggers?

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Mel Ewing

Actually, as far as I understand it correctly, the M24 trigger is the same trigger as the 40x

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MathKnight

The M24 is still the main sniper rifle of the IDF and they are very pleased with it. Other sniper rifles include the Barak 338 (upgraded HS Precision Pro 2000 HTR), SR-25, Barrett M82A1 and in special forces: McMillan TAC-338 and TAC-50.

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Alfred von Tirpitz

So, I’ve just purchased a new M24R SWS rifle. I want to know what sort of accuracy I can expect from using LCAAP XM-118LR? What can I realistically expect to see from this ammo at 600y for long term testing.

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Mel Ewing

It is very difficult to say since there are so many variables involved. The only real way to tell is to take the rifle and ammo out to the range and get some good accuracy results at 100 yards. Then you will know the accuracy potential before the environment variables come into play at the longer distances

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Alfred von Tirpitz

I really want to do some long term testing. So, I plan on purchasing 500rnds and testing it over a 6 month period at ranges from 100-600y possible even 1000y– if I can find the correct range. I want to see exactly what a mil-spec rifle like this capable of doing. Right now, I’ve got a Leupold Mark 4 M1 TMR 8.5-25x 50mm mounted on it. However, for longer range work, I plan on putting a Vortex Razor HD Gen II 4.5-27x 56mm MRAD-1C scope on it.

So, if you any advice on how to get the most out of a M24 SWS email me. It would be great to get some pointers form a person with a lot of trigger time behind it.

Thanks

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Kevin

I’m interested in a Remington 700, .308. So far, the the 700 5R and the M24 are what I have my eye on. Are they the same just one says M24?

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Mel Ewing

No, actually they are considerably different. The only thing they really share is the rifling. The M24 uses a Rem 700 long action with 40x trigger and the M24 HS Precision stock. The contour of the barrel is much heavier than the 700 5R rifle and the M24 has a black powder coat finish while the 5R is bare stainless steel. The M24’s are much more expensive as well… though a tried and true sniper weapon system

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Russ

In 1986, my Army unit’s sniper squad had black stocked bolt action rifles. When my roommate graduated USMC Scout Sniper school, they “rewarded” him with a new “brown stock” rifle which I thought was ugly. I didn’t know much about bolt actions back then, but I would’ve recognized an M21. Do you know of any bolt action rifles that preceded the M24?
I thought perhaps they were USMC run-outs. Our unit had just been activated and we were only one battalion at the time (10th Mountain at Ft. Benning). I was just curious because when I mention this to people, they insist it must’ve M21s.

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Mel Ewing

No, there were no other officially adopted rifles between the M21 and M24. The M24 was the rifle that replaced the M21. But the individual unit could have gotten approval for a purchase for use within its own unit. The 10th has always been light and they could have known the need for snipers with light infantry and moved their own program forward.

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Bonifacio

That is not .25″ MOA at 500 yards. It’s clearly more than 1″ MOA at 500 yards. Which is still outstanding, but, still makes me wonder why he would say otherwise.

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Mel Ewing

Actually, 1 MOA at 500 yards is equal to 5.235″, remembering that the rough calculation is 1″ at 100 yards, 2″ at 200 yards, 3″ at 300 yards, etc. So this 1″ group at 500 yards is equal to 0.191 MOA, well under .25 MOA.

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MathKnight

The M24 seems to be a very accurate rifle. What is its common accuracy with M118LR and with match grade ammunition? Is it capable of consistent 0.25 MOA groups with match grade ammunition?

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Mel Ewing

No, .25 MOA is not a consistent result with M24s, but they are a solid .5 MOA rifle with match grade ammo and usually with M118LR as well. Very good rifles.

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