NSWC Crane Develop Improved Takedown Precision Rifle

    protoype compact sniper rifle crane 2016

    A photo from June 2016 showing Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Senator Joe Donnelly discuss new technologies at the Naval Surface Warfare Command in Crane, being shown the compact rifle prototype (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Brigitte N. Brantley)

    The engineers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana, have developed a new takedown system for precision rifles that does not require re-zeroing after disassembly and assembly.

    NSWC Crane built a prototype of the design using a modified Mk 13 precision rifle, which are currently in use with SOCOM and soon to be fielded by the US Marine Corps as their replacement for the ageing M40. The patent application for the new takedown rifle credits the invention to Michael H. Jones but notes that it was the work of employees of the Department of the Navy – at Crane.

    New takedown MK13 disassembled

    Photo of the rifle disassembled, taken from the patent application for NSWC’s new takedown system – using a Mk 13 as the base rifle (US Patent Office)

    The rifle breaks down into three assemblies: barrel assembly, receiver assembly, and stock. The two primary assemblies are secured together by a locking pin while the bolt also acts to lock the assemblies together. Alignment is ensured by a series of guide pins and locking tabs. While this pin is not captive the patent states it can be stored in the barrel assembly. The photographs taken from the system’s patent do not show which assembly the optics would be mounted to but the patent description explains that they would be mounted on the barrel assembly to avoid the need to re-zero.

    MK13 takedown rifle

    New Takedown System Developed by NSWC Crane using a Mk 13 as the base rifle (US Patent Office)

    The patent states:

    By using this exemplary approach, it will be possible to break down a rifle so that it may be carried within a briefcase or other similarly sized container, assembled, and used to engage a target at 500M without a need to re-establish zero.

    The compact nature of the weapon system has clear advantages for transport and deployment in the field. The new design is available for licensing by private sector companies for further and new product development.


    Patent Application: Improved Takedown Precision Rifle, 18/01/18, (source)

    Matthew Moss


    TheFirearmBlog.com – Managing Editor
    OvertDefense.com – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]