Snipers to get new longer range rifles

#1
Snipers in the Army, Royal Marines and RAF Regiment are to get a new rifle that will give them lethal precision at even greater distances under a £4 million contract announced today, Wednesday 14 November 2007.

The British firm Accuracy International Ltd will supply 580 rifles with day telescopic sights for snipers across the Services, which will fire a larger calibre bullet than the existing weapon.

The new rifle is being supplied as part of a broader Sniper System Improvement programme to give UK snipers more power, precision and stealth than ever before. All-weather new advanced day and night sights will mean snipers can operate around the clock in difficult conditions, and laser technology will allow distant targets to be accurately located.
Baroness Taylor, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, said:
"We are committed to providing our troops on the front line with the equipment they need. Military snipers provide vital capability on operations, defeating the enemy and protecting our troops on the ground.

"In response to feedback from operations we are investing in new sniper equipment. The first contract is for the new longer range rifle and day sight, and we expect to start taking deliveries of this kit early next year."

Training units will familiarise themselves with the weapon and how it works with other parts of the sniper system. The rifle is due to be ready for operational use next spring.

Other elements of the Sniper System Improvement programme include night sights, spotting scopes, laser range finders and tripods, and will be sourced from a variety of suppliers taking the total procurement value to over £11 million.

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/D...ogistics/SnipersToGetNewLongerRangeRifles.htm
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Well that fact sheet is a load of cr@p.

I'm assuming that they are talking about .338 AI firing Lapua Magnum ammo or similar.

As for the accurate fire out to 600m?!?!?! That was on the L42. It's a lot more on the L96, and should be over twice as much on the .338 than it was with the L42.

I thought some of these had already been issued to some of the bods anyway.

Edited to add: I've got an S&B 5-25x56 (PMII) and it's the dog's gonads. Elevation from 0 to 2000m, and as clear as a clear thing with no clouds.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Probably not. The 7.62 variant is also excellent, and has a long shelf life, especially considering that all working parts (and barrel/action) are interchangeable.

The .338 is probably great for places like Iraq and Afghan with huge visible expanses, but the 7.62 will still have a very useful role in other arenas.

Not forgetting that the new rifle comes with a tan stock.
 
#7
Biped said:
Well that fact sheet is a load of cr@p.

I'm assuming that they are talking about .338 AI firing Lapua Magnum ammo or similar.

As for the accurate fire out to 600m?!?!?! That was on the L42. It's a lot more on the L96, and should be over twice as much on the .338 than it was with the L42.

I thought some of these had already been issued to some of the bods anyway.
Ah, I hadn't thought to convert it back to Imperial. I wonder why they called it 8.59mm?

Here's a wiki page on it, the range is claimed to be 1100 metres, which sounds a bit more likely.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accuracy_International_AWM#British_Army

You're right, it's been mentioned on ARRSE a few times.
 
#8
Hope it will bring the cost of 338 LM ammo down on the international market; so far, it's the main drawback of rifles chambered for that calibre.
 
#10
The .338 ammunition brought in for the LRLCR in 1999 or 2000 was called the 8.59mm to keep it in line with the NATO naming policy for ammunition calibres. It was in fact a bog standard Lapua hunting cartridge repacked in the UK, called 8.59mm and sold to the MoD. I know because I had to deliver suitable markings drawings for the packaging to the contractor, AI again IIRC.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Tartan_Terrier said:
Biped said:
Well that fact sheet is a load of cr@p.

I'm assuming that they are talking about .338 AI firing Lapua Magnum ammo or similar.

As for the accurate fire out to 600m?!?!?! That was on the L42. It's a lot more on the L96, and should be over twice as much on the .338 than it was with the L42.

I thought some of these had already been issued to some of the bods anyway.
Ah, I hadn't thought to convert it back to Imperial. I wonder why they called it 8.59mm?

Here's a wiki page on it, the range is claimed to be 1100 metres, which sounds a bit more likely.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accuracy_International_AWM#British_Army

You're right, it's been mentioned on ARRSE a few times.
Well, even wiki is wrong. Anyone who has fired the 7.62 Green Spot through te L96 knows that effective fire is 1000m. There is no way (correct me if I'm wrong) that .338 is only 100m further for effective fire; try 400m extra, minimum.
 
#13
Biped said:
Well that fact sheet is a load of cr@p.

I'm assuming that they are talking about .338 AI firing Lapua Magnum ammo or similar.

As for the accurate fire out to 600m?!?!?! That was on the L42. It's a lot more on the L96, and should be over twice as much on the .338 than it was with the L42.

I thought some of these had already been issued to some of the bods anyway.

Edited to add: I've got an S&B 5-25x56 (PMII) and it's the dog's gonads. Elevation from 0 to 2000m, and as clear as a clear thing with no clouds.
Works very well on my TRG22 out to 1000m ;)

7.62 ballistics are a bit questionable beyond that..... I just can't nail that 1300m fig 11 on F range at Sennybridge :(
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#15
Nothing new really, its been in the pipeline for a few years, a Kiwi match rifle shooter mate was showing his rig to the RM team about 6 or 7 years ago and explaining in his monotone fashion the benefits of handloading and case prepping. The round isnt really new either!
It was quoted as large calibre sniping equipment for Telic invasion I believe?
 
#16
I was involved in a part of the acceptance trials nearly seven years ago, and Inf Bns are now issued with both L96 and L115 AI rifles.

The only "new" thing about this (albeit very welcome) buy as far as I can see is the inclusion of a suppressor.

Not quite the spin the MoD website has put on it.
 
#18
Suppressor is a good idea. They give similar recoil reduction to a muzzle brake without the dust/blast signature. The reduction in muzzle report rather knocks the Crack-Thump method on the head as far as the enemy is concerned too.
 
#19
Biped said:
Probably not. The 7.62 variant is also excellent, and has a long shelf life, especially considering that all working parts (and barrel/action) are interchangeable.

The .338 is probably great for places like Iraq and Afghan with huge visible expanses, but the 7.62 will still have a very useful role in other arenas.
Training, for a start. The 7.62 rifle looks the same, works the same, and fires somewhat cheaper (beneficial) and less powerful (important, given the restrictions on some UK ranges) ammunition.

From a gravelbellying point of view, it's interesting that the stock of the new rifle in the picture doesn't appear to go forward as far as the old stock. Weight saving perhaps, but it's going to make the kneeling/sitting position a real bugger if you're using the sling; you'll run out of fore-end for the leading hand while the rifle is still pointing at the sky...

...I suspect the tradeoff between "lose half a kilo from the rifle" and "use a tripod for kneeling and not a sling" makes very good sense, particularly as kneeling with a sling takes a lot of work before you can hit things consistently at a reasonable range.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#20
Just need to find a range where its allowed to shoot it now :roll:

I here ballistically its solid out to 1600mtrs, maybe a bit more. Interestingly the Jerries bought it in win mag citing flatter trajectory/better first hit potential than 338 out to 1200. I dont have the energy figures to hand - but I guess both would be enough to spoil your day...

Anyone have any detailed insight into the respective requirements specifications for the UK/Germany calibre choices?
 

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