Marine Corps is Switching Out Another Sniper Rifle

With deliveries scheduled to begin next month, the Marine Corps is working to replace another one of their sniper rifles with a compact version that is currently being used by the Army. Budget documents show that the Marine Corps is looking to buy 116 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems (CSASS) to replace existing M110s.

According to the documents, as reported by the Marine Corps Times, the CSASS rifle “will replace the M110 with enhanced shooter ergonomics and increased operational availability time.”

“The lighter, more capable rifle will improve the sniper’s ability to rapidly engage multiple, moving targets,” the document adds.

Made by Heckler & Koch, the CSASS fires NATO standard 7.62mm ammunition, the same round used by the M110, which has been in service since 2008 and is produced by Knight’s Armament.

The CSASS is approximately 3 inches shorter than its predecessor as well as 3 pounds lighter.

The change in size and weight is expected to allow snipers to move more effectively in confined spaces while making it easier to conceal the weapon, which may make it harder for enemies to spot.

The Army initially ordered the CSASS in 2016, and the Heckler & Koch was prepared to manufacture more than 3,600 of the rifles at that time, spread out over a 24-month period.

A single CSASS costs around $8,600, making the order placed by the Marine Corps worth just shy of $1 million.

The first deliveries are expected on May 19.

This change is coming about just as the Marine Corps decided to secure a replacement for their main sniper rifle, the M40. The MK 13 Mod 7 has been identified as the replacement, according to Capt. Christopher Harrison.

The MK 13 uses .300 Winchester Magnum rounds and has a range of over 1,000 years.