M40A6s operational in USMC Scout Sniper Platoons

Corporal Ryan Salacinski, a native of Laurel, Montana, and a guest member of the Marine Corps Shooting Team, shoots his weapon May 6 during the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting 2015 at the Puckapunyal Military Area, Victoria, Australia. AASAM is an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army, May 6 to 22. The MCST is comprised of 12 Marines with Marine Corps Base Quantico and Marine Rotational Force - Darwin to represent the Marine Corps in this year’s competition. Salacinski is a sniper with 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, MRF-D.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Marcin Platek/Released)

Corporal Ryan Salacinski, a native of Laurel, Montana, and a guest member of the Marine Corps Shooting Team, shoots his weapon May 6 during the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting 2015 at the Puckapunyal Military Area, Victoria, Australia. AASAM is an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army, May 6 to 22. The MCST is comprised of 12 Marines with Marine Corps Base Quantico and Marine Rotational Force - Darwin to represent the Marine Corps in this year’s competition. Salacinski is a sniper with 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, MRF-D. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Marcin Platek/Released)

We reported on the M40A6 back in November last year. Remington won the competition for the M40A6, which is the Marine Corps’s standard issue sniper rifle within the Fleet Marine Force and Reserve Forces Scout Sniper Platoons.The new rifle is essentially the same Remington 700 action but in the upgraded stock. In fact, there probably isn’t much “new” about these rifles other than the stock, as is usually the case Marine Corps Systems Command has the Fleet platoons send their M40A5s back to the Precision Weapons Shop in Quantico. Here, the older McMillion stocks are taken off, and the new modular stocks are put back on. It also looks like the rifles are coming with 10 round Accuracy International magazines instead of the older 10 round magazines. Optics are staying the same with the Schmidt & Bender M8541, and the Surefire Suppressor system.

These rifles are probably going to be the last 7.62x51mm sniper rifles to be used by the Marine Corps. The next generation of sniper rifles will most likely be among the PSR calibers of .338 Lapua, and .300 Win Mag.

This is an excellent overview of the M40A6 by 1/8 Marines on the Black Sea Rotational force during Exercise Agile Spirit 16 in the Republic of Georgia. Followed up by a review of the M40A6 by a Sergeant whom I assume is an instructor in the Scout Sniper Basic Course in MCB Quantico. Judging from the video coming from Marine Corps Systems Command and the range that isn’t Hathcock Range on Stones Bay. I think its ironic that this Chinese firearms video has more views than either of the two english language source videos it was taken from!

And here, some rapid bolt manipulation with the A6. Rapid bolt manipulation with bolt action rifles is crucial to follow up shots, especially during multiple target engagements, or reengagements of missed targets.

Sergeant Tanner Grace, a native of Troy, Pennsylvania, and an armorer for the Marine Corps Shooting Team, works on the next-generation M40 sniper rifle during sniper rifle snap-in match May 10 at the Puckapunyal Military Area, Victoria, Australia, during the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting 2015. Grace was only international armorer supporting AASAM, an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army, May 6 to 22. During the competition, he worked on number of other nation’s service pistols, rifles, sniper rifles and machine guns. AASAM competition afforded an unprecedented combined training opportunity and improved interoperability with Australian Defense Forces and other militaries present at AASAM 2015. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Marcin Platek/Released)



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Rocky Mountain 9

    Looks like it’ll get the job done, but I can’t help but think that this was 15 years obsolete by the time it was adopted. The stock looks heavy, expensive, and overcomplicated, the safety is unreachable from a shooting grip, and there are simply much better, purpose-built modern systems that are better suited for precision shooting.

  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    Correct me if im wrong but was this the xm2010 before this new designation?

    • Major Tom

      Nope, although the Marines shoulda just sucked it up and adopted the M2010 ESR. This is about as cheapie cheap a stopgap as you can get.

      • A bearded being from beyond ti

        It isn’t? They look very similar.

        • Major Tom

          Because they share a common ancestor. The M2010 is the successor to the M24 SWS. It’s built upon the M24’s action, itself built on the R700’s “long-action”.

          The M24/M2010 are built to handle higher pressure calibers than .308, originally being built to handle a magnum match grade version of .30-06. The M40 kept the R700 “short action” version, meaning it’s limited to .308 or smaller.

          Because of the potential for growth in caliber, the M2010 went whole hog and was chambered for .300 Win Mag as opposed to sticking with .308.

          The M40 series is stuck in a dead end by comparison. It can do furniture and barrel upgrades, but is still stuck to .308 when all other precision sniper weapons are at least considering moving to .300 Win Mag or .338 Lapua.

          It might’ve been cheaper to simply phone in a purchase order for some M2010’s than do more upgrade programs. It definitely would be in the long run as eventually the Marines are going to have to move to a new caliber PSR and all the new training and manuals and parts that implies. At least with the M2010, they would have had logistical commonality with the Army.

          • A bearded being from beyond ti

            Alright

          • Ron

            The problem the Marines habitual run into is if they buy today a system that meets some of the requirements than it gets rid of the justification to develop and purchase the system they really want in the future. This was the original reason the UH-60 never replaced the CH46, because it would have eliminated the need to develop a greater capability in the MV22. The bottom line is SS community could have had a 300 win mag, but see it as enough of an improvement to justify the acquisition but it would prevent them from getting a 338 if and when they can convince the I-COAG to articulate the requirement for an extended range capability to PP&O for validation.

        • Cuvie

          It uses the same Remington Accessory Chassis System as the XM2010, but the M40 is based on the Remington 700 short action while the M24/XM2010 is based on the Remington 700 long action

          • Alex Larsen

            Marines uses a Hart short action, Army uses a Panda long action. Neither action is manufactured by Remington, although they are based on the original Remington action.

      • Ron

        it actually the exact opposite of the cheap solution, the Marine Corps pay more for the PWS assembled rifles than if they bought off the shelf.
        Honestly as stated, there is quite a bit of thought the M110 meets the majority of the engagement requirements, so if a bolt gun is needed it is needed for ranges well beyond 800ms, so it needs to be something larger than 308 and the SOCOM PSR is probably the answer.
        That being said, the Infantry Advisory Group (made up of the O6 infantry commanders) believe the SS community is selling a capability they can hardly achieve or for that mater hardly ever required.

  • Rogier Velting

    I’m pretty sure there are no 20 round .308 AI magazines, only 5 and 10 round ones.

  • Spencerhut

    AI does not make 20rd Rem700 mags to the best of my knowledge. They are single stack mags so they may seem a bit long. A 5 looks like a 10, a 10 looks like a doublestack 20. Might want to correct that.

  • Cuvie

    Pretty sure that channel is Japanese, not Chinese. Japan has a huge airsoft/military enthusiast audience

    • Jaehaerys Targaryen

      It’s definitely Japanese, unless the Chinese started using katakana and no one told me.

      • Tritro29

        Yeah kanji is a dead giveaway.

  • 40mmCattleDog

    Can’t say this really excites me, seems behind the curve. Semi-automatic .308’s currently (or arguably will in about 3-4 years) reign supreme and the future of bolt guns is moving up to magnum calibers. If the Marines are serious about stepping up to a PSR caliber soon, this just seems like a waste and cheaping out on a proper bolt gun for the future.

  • GD Ajax

    Still sticking with 7.62×51? You may as well issue them a semi automatic for all the good that does. Just about every other infantry branch in NATO has adopted .338 Lapua or .300 Win Mag for their bolt actions.

    This is a self-inflicted wound on the part of the Marines. They could get a better rifle AND save money, but they want to justify the existence of a precision rifle unit that refuses to change and keep up with pier advisories. Who will they pin blame on when Marine Snipers and the squads they overwatch are out gunned by enemies who have .300 /.338 caliber rifles and GPMGs.

    • Ron

      Part of the issue is that although the SS community has expressed a desire for the for a 338 rifle. Their commanders and the Commanders’ Gunner advisors cannot see a need, when the vast majority of the shots they took in OIF and OEF were within the limits of the 7.62mm.

  • terminalbrd

    Since nobody else seems to have jumped on this in the first paragraph: it’s a “McMillan” stock not “McMillion” stock.

  • USMC03Vet

    8th Marines strike again!

  • hacedeca

    I don’t get these super big rails: What are they for? Flash lights, can opener, chainsaw, radar? They are snipers, they have spotters! They need one little piece for the night optic.

    • Hem90

      PEQ/DBAL/RAPTAR, sling mounts, levels, cosine etc

  • WELLS SHANE

    rather have Winchester 70 better rifle control feed just like WHITE FEATHER

  • Budi Utomo

    The article makes a note of AASAM 2015 where US weapons were used. Considering Indonesian Special Forces KOPASSUS won the Skill At Arms 8th year consecutively, with 30 gold, 16 silver, 10 bronze medals. Australia 2nd (4, 9, 6), USA 3rd (4, 1,2)

    This is pertinent because the weapon performed poorly at the AASAM versus Accuracy International 0.300, the Chinese. QBU-88 (Type 88) and the JSDF M24 and HOWA type 64 rifles.

    2016- Indonesia won overall (23, 13, 9), but Japan won the sniper (3rd overall 4,2,3), Indonesia 2nd, China 3rd (2nd overall 9, 15, 5).

    2016 USA did not rank.
    Sorry, USA, your weapons and training need some inspection and revision.

    Indonesia used: Indonesian Pindad SS-2 V-4 Heavy Barrel and G-2 (Elite & Combat), Pindad/FN SO-Minimi rifle & GPMG and Accuracy International AWM 0.300.

    • Uniform223

      *sarcasm* Gotta love how some one always makes it into a phalec measuring contest.

      • Budi Utomo

        No- the point is US military PR hyperbole and spin does not translate into real tangible results. Everyone is capable of improvement, and all things have potential to be improved. For some strange reason the US views itself immune to this.