US Army Seeking Manufacturer for M110A1 Compact Semi Auto Sniper System


    Note the M110A1 marked lower receiver (Photo by US Army Sgt. Brian Micheliche, 1st Stryker Brigade, Public Affairs)

    On April 8th, the US Army’s Contracting Command posted a Sources Sought notice seeking manufacturers able to compete 7.62x51mm M110A1 rifles. The M110A1 was selected in early 2018 and is based on Heckler & Koch’s G28 rifle. It is currently unclear why the Army is seeking a manufacturer for the M110A1, but the notice is intended to “determine if there are potential sources capable of manufacturing new complete systems”.

    The notice lists the M110A1’s criteria:

    1. Operation: Semi-automatic
    2. Caliber: Compatible with 7.62x51mm NATO cartridges
    3. Dispersion: Capable of average mean radius of 0.75 inches at 100 meters or less with match ammunition
    4. Size: The maximum overall assembled length of the rifle shall be not greater than 38 inches with the stock at its shortest position and no suppressor mounted. The stock shall be in the unfolded position if a folding stock is present.
    5. Weight: The unloaded rifle with forward rails for concurrent mounting of required accessories (minimum 2″ rail sections at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions), but without suppressor, magazines, and accessories shall weigh no more than 10.0 pounds.
    6. Trigger: Precision trigger where total sear engagement is released in 2 distinct stages.
    7. Hand guard: A fore end that includes a fixed 12 o’ clock rail with configurable 3, 6, and 9 o’ clock rails.
    8. Suppressor: A muzzle mounted, quick detachable suppressor.
    9. Muzzle device: A compensator/muzzle break [sic] compatible with suppressor.
    10. Bipod: Tool-less detachment featuring cant and track capability.
    11. Back up sights: Iron sights offset 45 deg.
    12. Sling attachment: Quick detach sling attachment points.

    Recently the Army has been testing the M110A1 in both the Compact Semi Auto Sniper System and the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle configuration. Back in January the Army also awarded a stopgap contract for original specification M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems (SASS) to Knight’s Armament worth $16.5 Million. The FY2020 Army budget justification book state that a total of 5,851 CSASS systems are to be procured by 2021, at a cost of $9,587 per rifle giving a programme cost of just over $56 million. This package includes suppressor, optic and associated spares and equipment. The book, however, refers to the weapon as the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDMR), stating that the “SDMR provides Infantry, Scout and Engineer squads the capability to engage enemy personnel with accurate rifle fire. SDMR is a Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) weapon.”

    It is unclear if the Army are seeking a manufacturer to produce the M110A1 based on the rifle adopted from HK and its technical data package or if the Army would accept a similar system which meets the same criteria. Given the very general specifications laid out above it would seem to be the latter. It is not yet clear how this will impact on Squad Designated Marksman Rifle procurement. Manufacturers interested in producing the M110A1 have until April 23rd to submit their information to US Army Contracting Command.


    Matthew Moss

    _________________________________________________________________________ – Managing Editor – 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]