HK Shows Off the US Army’s M110A1 CSASS Compact Sniper Rifle | SHOT 17

At the 2017 SHOT Show, Heckler & Koch was proudly displaying their victorious CSASS entrant, now designated the M110A1 by the US Army. The Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System competition was created to find a lighter weight, more compact sniper weapon system to replace the Knight’s Armament M110 SASS. The H&K rifle that reportedly won the contract was slightly different than the rifle on display at the show, the latter sporting the new Geissele M-LOK handguard which replaced HK’s proprietary “backwards Keymod” negative attachment handguard.

The M110A1 is based on H&K’s G28 rifle, which in turn is a derivative of the HK417 7.62mm counterpart to the company’s successful 5.56mm HK416 rifles. Unlike the steel-receiver G28, the M110A1 uses an aluminum upper receiver to save weight and meet the US Army’s requirement of 9.0lbs or less without optics and accessories. Without magazine or accessories, the M110A1 is listed at about 8.4 pounds unloaded, a much more competitive weight than any of HK’s previous AR-pattern 7.62mm rifles.

Interestingly, this specific example is marked “MR 762 A1”, which suggests it might not be an original CSASS rifle.


The M110A1 is advertised in H&K’s literature as coming fully equipped with a Schmidt & Bender 3-20×50 PMII Ultra Short optic, Geissele optic mount, OSS SRM6 suppressor, and 6-9 Harris bipod and mount. A little math on that setup gives us a weight of about 6.8kg for the fully loaded and equipped M110A1, which in Armstrong units is about 15 pounds. Whew! Not light, but then that’s the reason for the Army’s strict baseline weight requirement!

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • xebat

    Someone please explain to me in detail and from multiple standpoints why is this better than the SCAR Heavy that has been used by SOCOM units for many years or rather why can’t the SCAR fulfill the role the G28E is destined to do?

    • A bearded being from beyond ti

      Because this gun is in RAL8000

    • Joshua

      Because H&K was smart and used OSS, which was the #1 deciding factor at the end of the trials.

      The OSS was easily the best performing suppressor, and that was a big part of why this won the tender.

      Had KAC or FN partnered with OSS they would have most likely won.

      • MikeSmith13807

        As a big OSS fan I want this to be true, but I’m curious about the source behind your statement… Or was that just your personal opinion?

        • Joshua

          Let’s just say I know things.

          • gordon


          • Joshua

            Because I’m not going to reveal anything about myself on a public forum.

            My track record speaks for itself though.

          • gordon

            Not if one doesn’t know your track record. For some reason I don’t doubt you though. Thanks for the information. I do appreciate you sharing. what you can.

      • Stan Darsh

        Wait… the US Army and SOCOM actually LIKE to have suppressors blow up on them?

        • Joshua

          OSS rebuilt the suppressors for the CSASS.

          The one submitted didn’t have that issue.

    • Nicks87

      Who in SOCOM has been using the SCAR for “many years”? It wasn’t officially adopted until 2011? And even then, they were issued in limited numbers. Most people just prefer M16/M4 type rifles over having some new system shoved in their faces. The SCAR was never really an improvement over the HK 417 or even the KAC SR-25 IMO.

    • Steve

      The SCAR cannot fulfill this role because the requirements for this role include a 9.0 lb weight limit and the Mk 20 weighs 10.7 lb.

      • Cuvie

        A Variant of the Mk20 was submitted and was within the weight requirement. It was one of the top 3 contenders before the G28E was selected

    • SP mclaughlin

      Didn’t you just ask this?

  • Joshua

    It’s also worth noting the HK has not replaced the M110 yet.

    The first rifles won’t be delivered for another 2 years, and then they have field trials and have to prove they can continue to produce the same quality rifle without increasing cost when full production ramps up.

    There’s still a lot in the air at this point.

  • 40mmCattleDog
  • Rob

    The rifles we are seeing here are stand ins because HK does not have any CSASS rifles in country in their possession. These are just dolled up mr762a1 rifles. The final rifles will be different yet.

  • Gus Butts

    My Geissele rail doesn’t have QD cups like those… ;_;

  • SLi-Fox

    Colors remind me of a street taco Tijuana turd, but hopefully it works well somewhere sh1tty.

  • Henry Reed

    So does anyone have any concrete info why this rifle was selected over KAC?

    • MAK

      I think I remember reading on M4C from a verified source, that the KAC LE/MIL rep (now former) accidentally submitted paperwork for the wrong model and was subsequently disqualified.

  • It should have a Decepticon faction symbol for a rollmark; a gun with that many different variations of the same base color always looks like a Transformer.

  • Anonymoose

    M110A1? What gives? Are any of the parts even interchangeable with the M110?

    • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

      BULLETS?? those count as parts right …lol

      • Anonymoose

        If only 922r worked that way…the AR10B and SR25 used to have interchangeable receivers (in the AR10B’s prototype stage, at least), and DRD makes that takedown upper for the SR25/M110. Maybe someone will release HK417 lowers that take SR25 mags…

        • James Bridges

          Spuhr already does.

          • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

            but that lower isn’t compatible with the US market mr762

          • James Bridges

            True, ( is a FA lower)not sure which pattern the m110a1 follows.I believe the us mods were a matter of meeting the German laws and possibly ATF requirements. The other issue is that Spuhr may not be a “Manufacturer” according to ATF, in most EUR countries the lower is just a part.

    • Uniform223

      Noop… its H&K… everything that they create is forged by ancient gods and assembled in a mythical factory hidden deep in a forest in Germany by fairies. There for that rifle is completely proprietary and not interchangeable with the current M110 SASS in any way possible.

      • Anonymoose

        Oh, yeah, I just remembered that if they are using M80A1 ammo they will probably gouge the crap out of those new aluminum uppers. Gotta see how this turns out…

  • Ripley

    No weapon should be called A1. That’s just saying it’s flawed and soon to be replaced by A2.

    • MNOR

      uhm, what?

      so for example, the M1 Abrams was perfect in every possible way, so they shouldnt have bothered with the A1, and the improved technology in it. like sure, why have modern blue force tracking, electronics, thermal optics and rangefinders? I mean we certainatly reached the pinnacle of prossesing power and electronics in the early 1980’s….

      • Ripley

        What I meant was no new weapon should be A1, and Abrams wasn’t. But that was just me not accepting that M110 was totally replaced and called an alteration.

  • ePoch 270

    Is it California compliant?

    • Some guy

      Nothing more than a water gun is compliant with California laws now days.

      • COL Bull-sigh

        And if a water gun is black and ugly, you’ll go to jail for that in Kalifornica!

    • Secundius

      Only if it Accepts Standard Commercially Available Magazines. If it Uses HK ONLY Magazines, then NO…

  • cwolf

    I’m surprised there is not more innovation in scope selection.

    Eyeball based range estimation, especially in mountains, is tough.

  • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

    Does the actual M110A1 feature the G28e ambi controls(mag release,bolt release,safeties) that HK offers it’s international customers

  • Fabian

    How much for the jewel? Or if I have to ask then I can’t afford it!

    • Secundius

      In April 2016, the US Army bought 4,643 HK M110A1’s at ~$44.5-Million USD. Or ~$12,215.21 USD each…

      • Fabian

        Thanks, I shouldn’t have asked.

      • Bob

        that is a SHAME and a SHAM. should have the decimal moved over one place to it is $1221.15 !!
        Maybe Donald will RE-nogitate if he is made aware of this.

        • Secundius

          Probably the Reason I’m NOT wheeling my “Wheelchair” to the Nearest Gun Store to Get One…

  • Rattlerjake

    And we’re probably paying 15K for a weapon worth 5K, made by a “foreign company”, and it will take years to see the first one! Military procurement is the biggest form of waste, fraud, and abuse in government! The weapon doesn’t make the sniper!

    • Secundius

      The Last Military Rifle Competition, by a American Gun Manufacturer that WON was in 2007 by Colt’s Manufacturing. To Date NO American Rifle Company has Even Come Close to Winning a Military Rifle Contract. With the Possible Exception of Colt’s, that at LEAST Survived it Make to the First Phase of the Competition. Reason being ALL US Rifle Manufacturers are Mil-Spec and NOT Mil-Std…

      • Rattlerjake

        Bullshiite! When a weapons manufacturer submits a weapon system for competition they design the weapon according to the mil-STD. The whole system is rigged because the politicians are getting lobbied with big bucks from the BIG manufacturers (foreign and domestic), problem is that many of the domestic manufacturers are not big enough anymore to compete money wise. I saw this first hand in the 80’s when we ran a test for the replacement for the MC1-1B parachute, on the end we tested two chutes – the MC1-1C and the CET10. The CET10 far out performed the -1C yet the military went with the -1C, WHY? Because it was already decided before the test! It is all about contracts, lobbying, and kickbacks. We saw the same thing when Beretta won the contract for the M9 to replace the 1911; of course 30 years later the military is looking hard at returning to the 1911. It is ALL about money and politics!

        • Bob

          much the same policy on the adoption of the M14 vs the FN-FAL.
          Even though I LOVE my m1a springfield, I also LOVE my SAR 48

          • Rattlerjake

            I will always have a “love” for the M14. I trained on the XM21 with ART scope in the SF sniper course. What most “know-it-alls” don’t realize is the weapon is only 1/3 of the equation, the proper ammo and the individual’s ability are also essential. Compromise any of the three and you’re just another shooter.

          • Bob

            roger that. Lots of training and for the TRUE snipers, the shooting part was “easy” part . The STALKING is where the men were separated from the boys! I’d have never made it as a sniper although I have shot in Palma rifle matches with the good old 7.62 NATO loaded up with 175 Sierra Match kings.

        • Secundius

          Colt’s Manufacturing LE 6920 M4 Carbine is MIL-SPEC, “NOT” MIL-STD…

          • Bdpenn

            With all do respect, both std and spec are basically hand and glove. A std usually is the process and list of materials(by spec)and a spec is the description of a physical item. May sound confusing but anything military is covered by multitudes of both mil-std’s and mil-specs. Also worth mentioning, the gov is for awhile now using industry stds / best practices and specs where there is redundancy to reduce confusion and the redundancy. So many items these days are COTS or commercial off the shelf, good reason to correlate/ adapt industry stds and spec to mil use. That’s also vice versa.

          • Secundius

            Actually the Definition of Mil-Spec is “Minimum Military Requirement”, NOT “Nearly As Good As”…

          • Bdpenn

            Technical description is what it really is. Derived by and for military use when no other specification, industry or military currently exists.
            Nice try.

          • Rattlerjake

            And your point, besides the top of your head?

          • Secundius

            I’ll leave you with the Honor of Wearing that “Pencil Sharpener”, Sir…

  • Quest

    Thank god they did go with Mlock, instead of theyr usual insanly heavy Quadrails.

    Even tough i still think theres one single, but really sicnificant point of waisted potential in this Rifle.

  • GD Ajax

    KAC fanbois are still whining about their inferior rifle losing. Just give it up already

    • Uniform223

      Please bring something intelligible to the conversation. If you can’t please go back to playing your CoD for all your tacticool Tier One Operator SOF-SOU Delta Mall-cop for all your “insights” into the military.

  • Bdpenn

    Your absolutely correct. It’s so easy for folks to criticize a program they have no earthly idea of. In the discussions for the mil pistol I tried my best to explain why and how long these things take to materialize and the processes along the way. You mentioned a few of the deliverables but in reality there will be many, many more in dealing with each of the different end users. Each branch has a different training system, multiple levels of maintenance, distribution, storage and handling; curriculum for each branch/ level and manuals for each branch/level will have to be written as well. Then there has to be first article reviews, verification and testing and etc, etc, etc…
    One thing not mentioned is the millions that the competitors spend just to compete and oh the time and money the gov spends to research and develop, publish the RFP and SOW. Then the real biggy, the selection process itself. Bringing together legal beagles, engineering, contracting, sme’s including the uniformed folks that represent the users, maintainers and the trainers. This process alone to reach a harmonious selection will in itself take at least a year after all the appeals are justified and satisfied. $50,000,000 for a complete weapons system stem to stern with an projected extended life span is not bad. Even a small arm.
    Cheap and easy, right.

  • CavScout

    This pisses me off. What does this gun offer over the current SR25 or LMT MWS. Seems like NOTHING. This is all because that former mil general is now at H&K. This contract, the Marine’s new ‘light support weapon’ joke, and the push for the Army to adopt HK’s 416. CORRUPTION

    • FactChecker90803

      It is corruption, and hopefully the Presidents new executive order on Goverment officials leaving Goverment service and becoming lobbyists, covers high ranking officers and SNCOS as well. The only reason I see HK winning all these contracts is BRIBES, there products are no better and no more ground breaking then all the others that have copied the AR platform.

  • n0truscotsman

    Ive always wanted to see a modernized version of the old M110.

  • Uniform223

    Its not that I don’t like H&K but I think the decision to get this over the M110K1 was a stupid idea…

    it was already in use and there for in inventory (granted for MARSOC from my understanding). The US Army could have saved A LOT of time and money and just piggy backed off of that.

  • NukeItFromOrbit

    So despite being a different weapon from the M110 this is being designated M110A1? WTF?

  • Ubama’sTrueLegacy

    Um… could they get the colors to match?

  • Henry Servatt

    Wow! looks pretty “compact” to me…

  • Tom Lester

    I’m probably going to be excoriated for saying this but, with all due respect, do we really need ANOTHER newest/latest/coolest – and expensive – small arms system for the US fighting forces? Don’t get me wrong, I love new and cool stuff just like the next guy but can the government please start acting like we’re $20 trillion in debt and making decisions with that fact even slightly considered? From a historical standpoint, there was a time when the US military came up with a solid design and didn’t allow itself to be swayed into shelling out big bucks only a few years later for something that basically does the same thing. Sure, this rifle may be a bit lighter than the M110 but only marginally so and at what extra cost? If it’s a question of the Knights Armament option not working out, can someone ask what went wrong during the original testing period of that rifle or, perhaps, can we the US taxpayer have a reasonable expectation that Knights would address any problems, rather like any other piece of machinery purchased by a government agency that doesn’t perform to spec.

    • Guy Slack

      I agree with you on all points but um, this is a contract to 30 rifles…

      • Tom Lester

        Those first 30 rifles are supposed to be for testing purposes before an official adoption, at which point I’ve heard as many as 3-4,000. At $10K per example, that translates into $300K for just the test examples alone and upwards of approximately $40 million to make the aforementioned full buy. Granted, that’s a small portion of the overall fed budget but how many “small portions” are out there that, if addressed realistically, we can start down the road to some level of fiscal sanity?

        Not to sound too simplistic but this reaks of a great sales team @ H&K contacting the right people at the right time and putting a bug in their ear. “Hey, I heard that M110 just isn’t quite what you were hoping for. How about I show you a little something we’ve been working on?”