The original M40 was developed in 1966 during the Vietnam war and it has gone through several iterations before reaching its current form, the M40A6. It is still a USMC manufactured high precision 7.62x51mm NATO rifle based on the Remington 700 action with the capability of reaching out to 1000 yards. That is all about to change.
With the signing of the new “omnibus” spending bill by the President last month, there was $4.3 million approved for the procurement of 356 Mk13Mod7 sniper rifles chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum. These rifles are intended to be a 1 for 1 replacement of the current M40A6 sniper rifles. The M40 has served admirably for the past 50 years in all of its configurations, but the USMC snipers have long sought more capability than the 7.62/308 cartridge could provide. This was especially true when deploying to wide open desert environments. It looks like they will finally be getting the rifle of their dreams.
The Mk13Mod7 rifle is built by the Crane Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center for USMC and Naval special operations forces. You may recognize Crane as being the ones that developed the Mk12 SPR and many other specialized weapons for US Special Operations Forces. The rifle utilizes a Stiller Mk13 action with the M16 extractor mod and a 26″ Lilja barrel with 1:10″ twist. Accuracy International has a specific Mk13Mod7 chassis that is used for this rifle and it appears they all come in pale brown, but do expect spray paint to be liberally applied by USMC snipers. A Surefire SOCOM muzzlebrake and accompanying suppressor are also a part of the package. The one area where the USMC appears to have departed from the Mk13Mod7 rifles used by MARSOC and SEALs (and others?), is in the optic. We can confirm that the Nightforce ATACR F1 5-25x56mm scope with TReMoR3 reticle was selected as the scope of choice for the USMC rifles and not the Schmidt & Bender used on the current Mk13Mod7 rifles.
This rifle combined with the Mk248 series of 300Win Mag ammo will provide a rifle with 1500+ meter capability, and we all know the USMC Scout Snipers will make the best use of it.
Sniper Central 2018