The Army’s M24 “Upgrade”

I have read through solicitation request for the Army’s M24 Sniper Weapon System upgrade. I am struggling to see how it can be considered an upgrade. The original M24 is going to have little in common with an upgraded version. As I read the solicitation request only the original receiver must remain after the upgrade. Maybe some of the bolt’s internal components will be used, but that is about it. Barrel, bolt face, stock, optics, sights, suppressor, flash hider, iron sights, rail system, magazine, bipod and trigger group are all likely to be replaced.

It looks like the Army is trying to get a new rifle in a roundabout way, much like how the USMC is procuring a new rifle under the guise of a machine gun. What do you think?

Remington’s M24A2 (a product name, not a military designation) is a possible candiate for the M24 upgrade.

Here are a few interesting specifications for the new M24 …

  • Trigger pull must be between 3 – 5 lbs. Operators must not be able to adjust the trigger.

  • Magazine must have a minimum capacity of 5 rounds. It must not touch the ground when the bipod legs are at their shortest setting.

  • The rifle, with minimum length of pull set and with suppressor attached, cannot be longer than 48″.

  • It cannot weigh more than 17 lbs with magazine full and with day optic and suppressor attached.

  • MRBS (Mean rounds between stoppage) must be at least 1200. The MRBEFF (The mean round between essential function failure) must be at least 2300.

  • The minimum accuracy must be 1 MOA (at 100m), although they are hoping for at least 0.8 MOA. These days 0.8 should be easily achieved.

  • The rifle and optics must survive a 5 foot drop test.

  • Iron sights that mound on the rail system must be included.

  • The day scope must have variable magnification. The minimum magnification must be from 3.5-6.5x. The maximum magnification must be from 14-25x.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Carl

    How about the 32″ RFB?
    http://www.kel-tec-cnc.com/images/downloads/RFB_Flyer_SHOT_2007_web.pdf
    I haven’t seen any accuracy tests, but it’ll launch a 7.62×51 bullet faster than most.

    The 5′ drop test: If it lands upside down, will any scope survive this?

  • Matt Groom

    “Operators must not be able to adjust the trigger.” Isn’t that just like the military? We trust you to use it, but we don’t trust you to know what the hell you’re doing with it.

  • SpudGun

    By happy coincedence –

    http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2009/06/23/remington-modular-sniper-rifle-msr/

    I do love the look and tacticool features of the Remmy MSR, but in terms of reliability, accuracy, etc., there is such an overwhelming choice of bolt guns available on the market (including my own personal fave, the Sako TRG-22), that I’m not sure how they’re going to find a winner.

  • Ed

    It looks like the rail on top is mounted directly to the barrel. That can’t be good, can it?

    • Ed, it does look like that. I suppose they just need to exceed 0.8 MOA and they are good.

  • Lance

    The M-24A2 shares the action and most of the Bolt componts as the oringal M-24. And Steve I dont think this a backdoor grab. The M-24 has been in service since 1988 and is over 20 years old now. It needs to be updated since the action is still a good enuough aginst any forigen design. The Marines I aslo think will not replace the M-4 and M-16A4 any time soon. I think the IAR program has stopped after the army has made a carbine upgrade compation. The only way the HK 416 wil enter service is if the army went to a new design which now seems wont happen. I think the Marines will wait to see what type of M-4A2 will the Army adopted.

    What do you think Steve?

    • Lance, I don’t think the IAR program has been stopped. The Marines are not dependent on the Army.

  • Jesse

    Matt the fact that they don’t want the operate to be able to adjust the trigger is so every gun is exactly the same. The theory being a sniper trained on a M24 can pick up any M24 and it will be exactly what he’s used to.

  • When I was at SHOT I visited with some buddies of mine who work security at the NTS (Nuclear Test Site) north of Vegas. Apparently it looks like Wackenhut is going to be replacing their M4s with M24s and they expect the guys to qualify with and utilize them in CQB situations (no, really, I’m not kidding.) Nobody seems to understand WHY they want to do this and ALL of the operators are 100% against it…apparently they have some appropriations money laying around they have to “use or lose”. Maybe that’s where all the used parts are going to end up from the Army’s refit program! Then again, I worked for Wackenhut in the mid-80s and nothing they did made much sense back then either…

    • Gregory, LOL, I wonder if the bureaucrats thought the M24 was better than an M4 because it has a “2”

  • Erik

    I know virtually nothing about suppressors- do they alter accuracy or change POI at all?

  • Raymond

    Back up iron sights? Really? I haven’t seen a military sniper rifle equipped with irons since Vietnam (with the exception of the ones on the Barrett that I’ve never once seen anyone use)

  • aeronathan

    Getting a new rifle in a roundabout way is very likely exactly what they’re doing.

    Working in DoD procurement myself, if I had to venture a guess, they have no pots of money for new rifles but they have plenty of money to upgrade rifles so their plan re-uses just enough of the old rifles to meet the definition of “upgrade” laid out in their budget.

    It happens all the time all across DoD for just about everything DoD buys.

  • Maigo

    Why not change the receiver then? Or why bother changing anything, just polish the parts a bit better.

  • Regardless of the chambering, barrels have to be changed anyway over time due to wear. The other upgrades were simply good ideas for the basic rifle, whether or not a cartridge change was ever made. That said, some shooters wanted the M24 to be chambered in .300 Win Mag back when the original specifications were drawn up in the 1980s. That’s why the M24 uses a long-action receiver when a short-action receiver would have been more appropriate for the 7.62mm NATO cartridge.

  • me

    So Im confused. I thought the Knights Armament M-110 SASS, was going to be the Bees Knees and replace the M-24. Then IIRR, the old M-24’s were going to be re barreled to .300 WM. Am I missing something here?

  • zach

    @me the M110 was never supposed to replace the M24, it was designed to supplement it, which from what I hear it does just fine. Mainly because allot of shooters don’t think a ‘precision’ bolt action should be replaced by a semi-auto

  • Bandito762

    Snipers don’t seem like a huge group in the army. They should just get $5,000 or so to build their own gun in a specified caliber. Then they would feel more comfortable and get all the specified features they want without all the ones they don’t.

  • Matt Groom

    Jesse, no two guns are exactly alike. They could be built by the same company, with the same crew on the same shift, on the same machines, assembled at the same time, and there will be enough differences between them that the men they are issued to will be able to tell them apart after one range session. They will have different accuracy potential, different trigger pulls (hence the 3-5 lbs standards) and lest we forget, completely different paint jobs. I’ve never seen a modern US military sniper rifle that didn’t have a rattle can job applied. If a Sniper can’t pick up a bolt action rifle and figure out how it works, he should die of shame. If anyone goes into harm’s way with a weapon they are unfamiliar with they likely will die… of stupidity. They don’t just hand these things out at random to guys who don’t know what they’re doing.

  • Lance

    What do you mean about the M-110 theres many snipers with “updated” M-21s in service since before the 1980s. I think there are just some things some snipers want the M-24 to have a detachble mag is one. I dont see the M-24 going away.

    Steve I didnt mean the corps is ditching the IAR but I doubt there getting ride of M-16A4s and still buying them I think they want to have asystem redy just in case they want to upgrade the system. Remeber the HK 416 is a piston M-4 not really a whole new gun.

    With Obama bankrupting the nation we might not see all these new prototype upgrades being fielded by the military for at leat 4 years.

    Steve?

  • I don’t understand why they wouldn’t want the trigger to be adjustable.

    • Heath, it can be adjustable, but easily adjustable by the operator (in other words the stock must be removed before trigger adjustments are possible)

  • zack

    I have spoken to our HHC scouts and sniper units about this and they have mixed feeling about it. Many feel it is the worst move the army has made. The way It was explain by a friend who is a sniper is that the tool a sniper has is what separates them as a skilled craftsman then our standard grunt. Any one can shoot 30 rounds at target and get lucky.

    Very few people can master the skill necessary to do the same with one round, on a moving target 800+ meters with many things you have to take into account. Simply your taking away what has separated them as a extremely skilled marksman and they are giving “new” tools that my friends say will destroy many fundamentals that has built the the sniper community. The example I was giving is that a experienced sniper with a Remington 700 can take do more damage taking his time making each shot count using the skills he has acquired over a carrier to make this shot. Then a decent sniper using a semi-auto AR-10 making many repeat shots with a ballistic computer. They simple feel that with all this new technology to include ballistic computers will diminish their skills by becoming too reliant on “cheating” systems and in turn destroy the actually skills involved in making these difficult shots.

    Anyone who knows what is involved in making a shot like this knows the skill necessary to make the hit. Many snipers I know feel this is no upgrade what so ever, that your making them operate more like a standard infantryman verses a surgical tool. It like a person using a calculator to do all their math homework then relying on their skills to write out the problem to solve it.That when the Technology fails that they will no longer have the experience to be able to make these shots with one round, without the ballistic computer, without the gps. They feel the army is forcing them to become more and more reliant on systems like this then their skills that have become a corner stone of their community. I attend to agree, they are better off giving them a much more accurate bolt action rifle and new skill set then all the tech the army is forcing on them.

  • Lance

    I really doubt Wacken hut Corpartaion like a previous commnter here is really getting ride of smei auto carbines for a all sniper security force. Way too much money to train.

  • Kurgen99

    Why does a sniper want a big flashlight on the side of the rifle?

  • @Lance – They aren’t asking them to “become snipers”, they were asking them to do what they do (SRT) using these. During an after action meeting during a training there was some talk about the fact that they *could* end up in situations where the range of the M4 would be a liability…and some company wonk with enough power purchased several and began having guys run courses of fire with them with predictable results. I just heard from John last night and all of a sudden it has changed to SR-25s, rumor has it the guy was looking at 7.62 rifles and mixed the two up…the results of a desk jockey with no military background and no personal interest in firearms do the job apparently. Pretty amusing…

    • Gregory,

      LOL. SR-25 would be pretty sweet 🙂

  • Lance

    I agree with Steve a SR-25 beats a Remington 700 onluy a M-21 would beat a SR-25.

  • Allen

    All but the iron sights/magazine capacity (correct me if I’m wrong), doesn’t the “current” M24 meet or exceed all the criteria for the proposed “new” M24? I mean it’s already a awesome bolt action rifle. That being said just how much more can one “modify” a M24? Somebody important lobbied for this one. Tsk, tsk, shame, shame…

    • Allen, the new M24 has to be chambered in .300 Win Mag and have a fully adjustable stock.

  • zach

    I don’t see the purpose of the flashlight on a bolt action sniper rifle, like the one pictured