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Sniper rifle


The M24 was effectively the first US Army's weapon, developed specially for sniping

Country of origin United States
Entered service 1988
Caliber 7.62x51 mm NATO
Weight (empty) 5.4 kg
Length 1 092 mm
Barrel length 660 or 686 mm
Muzzle velocity 790 m/s
Magazine capacity 5 or 10 rounds
Sighting range varies depending on the scope
Range of effective fire 800 m


   Derived from the Remington Model 700 rifle, the M24 SWS (Sniper Weapon System) is the primary sniper rifle of the US Army. It was developed in the 1980s to replace the Springfield Armory M21, and was first fielded in 1988. The M24 was effectively the Army's first weapon developed specially for sniping. It is designated as a "weapon system" rather than simply a weapon, because a detachable telescopic sight and a variety of tools and accessories are issued along with it as part of a single package. It is also employed by the US Air Force.

   The M24 is a bolt action rifle, feeding from a detachable box magazine holding either 5 or 10 rounds, depending on the model. It is tapped for either a Leupold Ultra M3A 1042mm fixed power, or a Leupold Mk 4 LR/T M3 1040mm fixed power scope. Iron sights are fitted as well, as backup for the scope.

   The M24 is chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO round. It is able to fire machine gun grade ammunition, but this practice is usually avoided, as the lackluster quality of these rounds results in poor accuracy. Match grade ammunition includes the M118, M118LR, and MK 316 MOD 0 "Special Ball, Long Range", and many others. The "long action" design of the M24 also allows it to be reconfigured to fire larger rounds, and variants chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum and .338 Lapua Magnum have been developed to exploit this capability. The effective range of the M24 is 800 m, though shots have successfully been made at beyond 1 000 m. As with its accuracy, the range of the M24 also varies slightly with the ammunition used. From a machine rest, the accuracy can be as low as .35 MOA.

   The M24's barrel is made of 416R Stainless Steel. Its rifling is highly unusual in having 5 grooves, rather than a more common even number. The logic behind this decision is that with no grooves or lands directly across from one another, deformation of the bullet is greatly reduced, theoretically resulting in greater accuracy. The actual accuracy of the M24 varies with the type of ammunition used, but is close to 1 MOA with match-grade ammunition at most distances. Though designed to maintain accuracy up to 10 000 rounds fired, the barrel reportedly demonstrates increasing accuracy up to that mark, which is retained even after 20 000 rounds are fired.

   The furniture for the M24 is all composite, in the form of the H-S Precision PST-024 stock, with a fixed cheek piece, adjustable LOP and hinged floorplate. The cheekpiece is fixed, while the buttplate is extendable up to 2 inches. The standard container for the complete weapon is the M-1950 Weapon Container for Airborne Operations.

   Over 15 000 M24s were manufactured. They are presently used by the armed forces of Afghanistan, Brazil, Hungary, Iraq, Israel, Georgia, Japan, Lebanon, the Philippines, and the United States. Some law enforcement organizations also operate M24s. It is not offered for sale to civilians, but several companies manufacture similar or even nearly identical rifles for the civilian market.



   Remington Model 700, a civilian hunting rifle, and the parent design of the M24. There are tactical versions of this weapon similar to the M24, which are also used by numerous police and military organizations around the world;

   M24 is an original production model adopted by the US armed forces. It is chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition;

   XM24A1 is a cancelled variant re-chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum;

   M24A2 is an improved M24 with many new features and accessories. There is also a .300 Winchester Magnum version, which is peculiar as reliability and availability problems with that round were the basis for the XM24A1's cancellation;

   M24A3 is a long range version, re-chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum;

   M2010 ESR is a radically reconfigured M24, with a wide range of optional features;

   The M40 series is another notable range of sniper rifles derived from the Model 700, but they are otherwise unrelated.



   Article by BLACKTAIL

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