M24 Sniper Weapon System
|Rifle, 7.62 mm, Sniper Weapon System, M24|
The M24 rifle
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars||Persian Gulf War
War in Afghanistan
|Produced||1988 – c. 2010|
|Variants||M24A2, M24A3, M24E1|
|Weight||5.4 kg (11.88 lbs) empty, w/. sling, without scope (M24)
7.3 kg (16 lbs) max weight with day optical sight, sling swivels, carrying strap, fully loaded magazine
5.6 kg (12.32 lbs) empty, w/sling, without scope (M24A3).
|Length||1,092 mm (43 in) (M24A1, M24A2);
(46.5 in) (M24A3)
|Barrel length||610 mm (24 in)(M24A1, M24A2);
685.8 mm (27 in) (M24A3)
|Cartridge||.338 Lapua Magnum (M24A3)|
|Rate of fire||20 rpm|
|Muzzle velocity||2,580 ft/s (790 m/s) w/M118LR Sniper load (175 gr.)|
|Effective firing range||
|Feed system||5-round internal magazine (M24),
5-round detachable box magazine (M24A2, M24A3)
|Sights||Telescopic; detachable backup iron sights|
The M24 Sniper Weapon System (SWS) is the military and police version of the Remington Model 700 rifle, M24 being the model name assigned by the United States Army after adoption as their standard sniper rifle in 1988. The M24 is referred to as a "weapon system" because it consists of not only a rifle, but also a detachable telescopic sight and other accessories.
The M24 SWS has the "long action" bolt version of the Remington 700 receiver but is chambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO "short action" cartridge that has an overall length of 2.750 inches (69.85 mm). The "long action" allows the rifle to be re-configured for dimensionally larger cartridges up to 3.340 inches (84.84 mm) in overall length.
The M24 originally came tapped for the Leupold Ultra M3A 10×42mm fixed-power scope, which came with a circle-shaped mil-dot glass-etched reticle. This was later replaced in 1998 by the cheaper Leupold Mk 4 LR/T M1 10×40mm fixed-power scope with an elongated-shaped mil-dot wire reticle.
The first number is the scope's magnification (10) and the second number in millimeters (40mm) is the diameter of the objective lens. A fixed power scope has only one magnification (e.g., 10×) and a variable power scope can be adjusted to focus between a range of magnifications (e.g., 3–9× is adjustable from a minimum power of 3× to a maximum power of 9×). The rifle itself comes with a detachable Harris 9–13" 1A2-LM or Harris 9–13" 1A2-L bipod unit.
The M24 SWS was to be replaced with the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System, a contract awarded to Knight's Armament Company. However, the Army still continued to acquire M24s from Remington until February 2010 and upgraded to the A2 and M24E1 standard in many cases, continuing to serve. The Army chose to upgrade its entire M24 rifle fleet to the M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle, with the final M24 being converted in April 2014.
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Sights: Leupold Ultra M3A 10×42mm fixed power, or Leupold Mk 4 LR/T M3 10×40mm fixed power scope. Detachable emergency Redfield-Palma International back-up iron sights, they are attached to iron sight bases that are screwed into drilled and tapped holes machined into the front of the barrel and back on the left side of the receiver. In 2001 when Remington had the second contract to the U.S. military, minor changes were done to the M24. These changes included two piece Leupold Mark 4 scope ring bases instead of the one piece on the first series rifles, and a switch from Redfield-Palma International iron sights to another manufacturer OK Weber. Redfield was out of business by then, necessitating a change.
Barrel: Made of 416R stainless steel. The bore twist is 1-turn-in-11.25 inches [1:285.75 mm] and the rifling is five radial lands and grooves (5-R) with a right-hand (RH) twist. Because of the odd number of lands, none of the lands are 180° apart, i.e. in direct opposition. This results in less bullet deformation, which (at least in theory) produces more consistent point of impact. In 5-R rifling, the "side" of the land is cut at a 65° angle, rather than 90° in conventional rifling. This results in less barrel fouling, and more consistent point of impact, compared to conventional rifling when relatively high numbers of rounds are fired between cleaning, as might be expected in military applications.
Stock: H-S Precision PST-024, the model with the fixed cheek piece, adjustable LOP and hinged floorplate. The stock secures the action via an aluminum bedding block to keep it rigid. The barrel is free floating. A twin-strut extension that pulls out of the butt allows a 2-inch [50.8mm] adjustment to length-of-pull, as well as allowing for the weapon to fit inside the M-1950 Weapon Container for Airborne Operations. This is effected by a thick wheel on a central grooved pillar for adjusting the length and a thin locking ring behind it locks the thick wheel in place. The stock is primarily made from a polymer foam reinforced with fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Kevlar to reduce weight and then painted with a heavy duty polane paint. They were rigorously tested before being approved by Remington and the military.
Accuracy: According to MIL-R-71126(AR), the M24 shall achieve the accuracy results stated below when using M118 Special Ball and fired from a Government approved machine rest. The average mean radius, calculated using 5 targets of 10 shots each, shall be less than or equal to the following values:
- 200 yards (183 m): 2.6 inches (1.242 MOA)
- 200 metres (219 yd): 2.8 inches (1.223 MOA)
- 300 yards (274 m): 3.8 inches (1.146 MOA)
If these accuracy standards are not met the barrel is considered worn out.
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."
Maximum effective range is given as 800 meters (875 yd), but record shots have been made with the M24 at over 1,000 meters (1,094 yd). Meanwhile, the standard optical sight has a maximum elevation adjustment of 1,000 meters (1,094 yd).
- 7.62 × 51mm M118 Match Grade: A 168-grain round.
- 7.62 × 51mm M118LR Long Range: A 175-grain round using Sierra MatchKing Hollow Point Boat Tail projectiles.
- 7.62mm M118 Long Range Performance Data:
- Muzzle velocity (nominal): 2,580 feet per second (786 m/s)
- Chamber pressure (typical): 52,000 psi (360 MPa)
- Action time (max): 4 ms
- Average horizontal spread at 1,000 metres (1,094 yd): 10.3 in (0.899 MOA)
- Average vertical spread at 1,000 metres (1,094 yd): 14 in (1.222 MOA)
According to JBM Ballistics, using the G7 ballistic coefficient provided by Bryan Litz, the 7.62mm M118 Long Range 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge, when fired at its nominal muzzle velocity of 786 m/s (2,580 ft/s), should have approximately 878 metres (960 yd) supersonic range under International Standard Atmosphere conditions at sea level (air density ρ = 1.225 kg/m3).
- 7.62 × 51mm MK 316 MOD 0 Special Ball, Long Range: A 175-grain round consisting of Sierra MatchKing Hollow Point Boat Tail projectiles, Federal Cartridge Company match cartridge cases and Gold Medal Match primers and an undisclosed modified extruded propellant. The 7.62 × 51mm MK 316 MOD 0 Special Ball, Long Range cartridges have an accuracy requirement based around 10-round shotgroups. The Propellant has been verified as modified version of IMR 4064 as stated in DODIC: AB39 NSN: 1305-01-567-6944.
- The average extreme spread for 10-round shotgroups shall be less than or equal to the following values:
- 600 yd: 7.0 in (first Production Lot). This equates to a ≤ 1.1 MOA requirement at 548.6 m.
- 300 yd: 3.5 in (after first Production Lot). This equates to a ≤ 1.1 MOA requirement at 274.3 m.
The maximum muzzle velocity standard deviation is set at 15 ft/s (4.57 m/s). Information published on acceptance tests regarding five MK 316 MOD 0 cartridge production lots indicated a sub 2.4 in at 300 yd performance. This equates to a sub 0.8 MOA performance at 274.3 m for the listed ammunition lots.
- IMI 7.62 × 51mm Long Range Match 175 grain: a 175-grain match grade sniping ammunition manufactured by Israeli Military Industries, and in use by the Israel Defense Forces. An M24 SWS rifle with IMI match ammo shoots groups of 12 cm at a distance of 800 meters, an accuracy that equals to 0.5 minute of arc.
An experimental variant re-chambered for the .300 Winchester Magnum (7.62×67mm) round. It was not adopted by the US Army due to concerns that operatives in the field would not be able to acquire the special ammo. Also, the available .300 Winchester Magnum ammo that was procured sometimes misfired due to incompletely-burned propellant in the longer cartridge.
Remington has developed an improved version of the M24 rifle, known as the M24A2. The A2 model features a detachable 5-round magazine, top-mounted and adjustable side-mounted Picatinny rails (advertised by Remington as "MARS", or Modular Accessory Rail System), barrel modifications designed to accommodate a sound suppressor, and an improved H-S Precision PST-25 stock with adjustable cheek height and length of pull. Existing M24s can also be converted into M24A2s, which replaces the stock and adds the new detachable magazine feed. The conversion requires a re-barreling of the weapon so it can take the OPS silencer.
Remington developed the M24A3 SWS, a variant of the M24 chambered for the .338 Lapua Magnum round (8.58×70mm) and feeding from a 5-round detachable box magazine. It comes tapped for the Leupold Mk 4 M1LR/T 8.5–25×50mm Variable Power day scope. It can also use detachable front and rear Back-Up Iron Sights in an emergency (BUIS units are standard accessories that can be fitted to the Picatinny Rail that runs on the top of the receiver and along the barrel).
U.S. Army 2009 solicitation for an M24 reconfiguration
- Rebarreling/rechambering the SWS's barrel optimized to accommodate Mk 248 (DODIC A191) .300 Winchester Magnum ammunition.
- Replacement of existing weaver rails with a MIL-STD-1913 rail capable of accommodating both a day optic and in-line forward mounted, AN/PVS-26 (NSN 5855-01-538-8121) image intensified (I2) night vision device.
- Reconfiguring the stock with a stock that incorporates a detachable box magazine, adjustable comb and length of pull.
- Addition of a detachable sound suppressor as well as any necessary barrel modifications required for a sound suppressor interface.
- Replacement of the existing day optic sight (DOS) and rings with an Army specified variable power day optic and compatible rings.
The US government purchased MK 248 MOD 1 .300 Winchester Magnum match-grade ammunition in 2009 for use in .300 Winchester Magnum sniper rifles like the U.S. Navy Mk.13 MOD 5 rifle or reconfigured M24 SWSs. This ammunition was developed as a .300 Winchester Magnum Match Product Improvement (PIP) and uses the 14.26 g (220 gr) Sierra MatchKing Hollow Point Boat Tail (HPBT) very-low-drag bullet fired at a nominal muzzle velocity of 869 m/s (2,850 ft/s) ± 15.2 m/s (50 ft/s). According to the U.S. Navy this ammunition should increase the maximum effective range of .300 Winchester Magnum sniper rifle systems to 1,370 m (1,500 yd), decrease wind defection on bullets in flight and use a reduced muzzle flash propellant that remains temperature stable across an operational temperature range of -32 °C to 74 °C (-25 °F to 165 °F). According to JBM Ballistics, using the G7 ballistic coefficient provided by Bryan Litz, the Mk 248 MOD 1 .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge, when fired at its nominal muzzle velocity of 869 m/s (2,850 ft/s), should have approximately 1,286 m (1,406 yd) supersonic range under International Standard Atmosphere conditions at sea level (air density ρ = 1.225 kg/m3).
2010 M24E1 Enhanced Sniper Rifle reconfiguration competition
In September 2010 the United States Army’s Joint Munitions and Lethality Contracting Center awarded Remington a Firm Fixed Price Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract (W15QKN-10-R-0403) for the upgrade of up to 3,600 M24 Sniper Weapon Systems currently fielded to the Army pending type classification as the M24E1 Enhanced Sniper Rifle (ESR). Later the Enhanced Sniper Rifle was classified as the XM2010. The major configuration change for this system is the conversion from 7.62×51mm NATO to .300 Winchester Magnum ammunition exploiting the M24’s magnum length bolt action to provide additional precision and range.
The M24E1/XM2010 is considered a "total conversion upgrade", by which the barrel, stock, magazines, muzzle brake, suppressor, and even the optics will be changed. Besides the rechambering and rebarreling with a 610 mm (24 in) long, 254 mm (1 in 10 inch) twist rate (5R) hammer-forged barrel the main reconfiguration changes compared to 7.62×51mm NATO chambered M24 rifles are:
- Fitting a new chassis (stock) assembly, which maximizes the amount of physical adjustments for the sniper to provide a better user customized fit. The chassis has a folding buttstock that shortens the system for easier transport and better concealment during movement and accommodates the mounting of accessories via removable Mil Std 1913 Picatinny Rails.
- Fitting a 5-round detachable box magazine.
- Fitting a quick-attachable/detachable Advanced Armament Corp. sound suppressor with muzzle brake.
- Fitting a Leupold Mark 4 6.5–20×50mm ER/T M5 Front Focal variable power telescopic sight featuring a 30 mm tube diameter, first focal plane Horus Vision H-37 grid system range estimation reticle and Bullet Drop Compensation.
- Applying advanced corrosion resistant coatings throughout the system.
Based on the results and feedback from troops, the U.S. Army decided in May 2011 to replace its entire fleet of M24s, ordering a total of 2,558 M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifles. By September 2012, the Army had fielded more than 1,400 systems as part of an urgent material release. The M2010 achieved Type Classification-Standard in July 2013 and Full Materiel Release in September 2013, supporting procurement for the balance of the Army requirement. On 25 April 2014, the 2,558th M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle was completed.
Differences between M24 and M40
The U.S. Marine Corps also uses the Remington 700/40x action as the basis for its M40 Sniper Weapon System. The primary difference between the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marine Corps rifles is that while the U.S. Marine Corps M40 variants use the short-action version of the Remington 700/40x (which is designed for shorter cartridges such as the .308 Winchester/7.62×51 mm NATO), the U.S. Army M24 uses the Remington 700 Long Action. Despite the fact that the M24 comes fitted with a 7.62×51mm NATO barrel upon issue, retaining the longer action allows them to reconfigure the rifle in dimensionally larger cartridge chamberings if necessary (which has been the case during the longer engagement distances during Operation Enduring Freedom). The U.S. Army reconfigured their M24 rifles to M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifles rechambering the original M24 rifles to .300 Winchester Magnum. The barrels not currently fitted to the rifles are usually stored with the unit armorers. The USMC M40A3 uses a 25 inches (635 mm) Schneider barrel and the U.S. Army M24 used a 24 inches (610 mm) Rock Creek 5R barrel.
- Argentina: Used by the Argentine Army and the Argentine Navy
- Afghanistan: Afghan National Army
- Bangladesh: Used by SWADS, Black Eagle Battalion of Bangladesh Army
- Brazil: Used by Brazilian Special Operations Brigade 
- Hungary: Bercsény László Különleges Műveleti Zászlóalj.
- Iraq: Iraqi Army
- Israel: Israel Defense Forces.
- Georgia 
- Japan: Used by the JGSDF snipers, the paratroopers of the 1st Airborne Brigade, the Special Boarding Unit and the Special Forces Group as its main sniper rifle.
- Lebanon The M24 is used by the Internal Security Forces and the Lebanese Army
- Pakistan: used by the SSG
- Philippines: Philippine Army and Marine corps.
- United States: Used by the United States Army and United States Air Force. Also used by various police SWAT teams.
- List of individual weapons of the U.S. Armed Forces
- List of crew-served weapons of the U.S. Armed Forces
- MIL-R-71126(AR) at everyspec.com.
- Focal plane Leupold Mk 4 LR/T M1 10*40mm.
- DefenseLink: Contracts for Wednesday, July 16, 2008.
- Snipers Put Finishing Touches on the Last Sniper Rifle - peosoldier.armylive.dodlive.mil, 9 May 2014
- US Army M24 SWS, Sniper Central. Retrieved 22.4.2015.
- Sniper Night Sight (SNS), AN/PVS-10
- ATK - 7.62mm M118 Long Range.
- JBM Ballistics freeware online ballistic calculator.
- U.S. Navy Small Arms Ammunition Advancements - 7.62MM Special Ball, Long Range, NAVSEA Warfare Centers Crane.
- IMI 7.62 × 51mm Long Range Match 175 grain, Israeli Military Industries official website.
- An article about IDF snipers, Walla!News. See last image (in Hebrew).
- Remington M24A3 SWS.
- M24 Sniper Weapon System (SWS) Reconfiguration Solicitation Number: W15QKN-09-X-0413.
- DETAIL SPECIFICATION CARTRIDGE, .300 WINCHESTER MAGNUM MATCH, MK 248 MOD 1 DODIC AB43, NSN 1305-01-568-7504 Revision A 17 March 2009.
- U.S. Navy Small Arms Ammunition Advancements.
- $49.9M US Contract for 300 Winchester Magnum Ammo.
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- M24E1 Enhanced Sniper Rifle (ESR)
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- "New 34mm-tube Mark 4 Scope with Horus Reticle for M24E1 « Daily Bulletin". Retrieved 25 December 2014.
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- Remington Completes Its M2010 Contract - tactical-life.com, 14 May 2014
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- Senich, Peter R. (1988). Complete Book of U.S. Sniping. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-58160-610-2.
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