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USSOCOM Seeks MultiCaliber, Advanced Sniper Rifle

US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has released a pre-solicitation for the Advanced Sniper Rifle, a replacment for their currently issued Precision Sniper Rifle. Additionally, SOCOM’s Directorate of Procurement, on behalf of USSOCOM PEO-SW, will be conducting a one-on-one industry day for the ASR on 5-7 December, at NSWC Crane.

The most significant requirement for this bolt action rifle requirment is that the weapon must be capable of firing 7.62 NATO, 300 Norma Mag (seen below) and 338 NM, with calibers swapped by the user.

The government has a Technical Data Package for the two NM cartridges. However, in order to provide a cost efficient option that is more conducive to industry development, the 338NM cartridge will be available with a surrogate OTM (non-AP) projectile by Black Hills Ammunition. While different than the USG’s selected projectile in construction and geometry, this surrogate configuration has been shown to closely replicate the interior and exterior ballistic performance of the USG AP 338NM configuration with the exception of barrel life. The anti-materiel configuration with the actual AP projectile will also be available to eligible parties albeit at significantly longer lead-times and costs.

Another important aspect is that the solicitation is 100% set aside for small business, as ASR has been determined to be a Commercial Off The Shelf item. Interestingly, the government reserves the right to issue more than ome award.

Interested parties should visit www.fbo.gov for additional details.

28 Responses to “USSOCOM Seeks MultiCaliber, Advanced Sniper Rifle”

  1. Strike-Hold says:

    No 7.62x54mmR? Wouldn’t that make sense, given all this recent concern about over-match, and with the easy availability of that ammunition in most conceivable AORs?

    • SSD says:

      These rounds significantly out perform 7.62 x 54R. They are like lasers.

      • Strike-Hold says:

        I don’t doubt that – I was just wondering / thinking out loud. And also thinking about the logistics of FID and coalition warfare…

        • SSD says:

          It’s not as big of an issue as you might think. For instance, Snipers have been using .300 Win Mag and .338 Lapua for years and supply has been effective.

          • Joe says:

            Why switch from Lapua to Norma?

            Is the General Dynamics M240 in .338 a possibility?

            • Daggertx says:

              300 grain bullets can be seated out further than in the Lapua resulting in slightly improved exterior ballistics due to increased muzzle velocity.

  2. joe says:

    Here’s an interesting thought: At which range does something like the Pike, Switchblade, or some sort of precision micro mortar make sense over a long range sniper rifle such as this?

    Does the switchblade produce the same psychological suppression effect as sniper fire?

    • Strike-Hold says:

      Cost vs. Benefit?

    • SSD says:

      Cost definitely, but also signature.

    • Rick says:

      Completely different scenario.

      A drone/mortar simply cannot fill the role that a SWS does. The speed/precision of a rifle far supersedes that of either system. In the time it takes to set up, launch, acquire targets, and then engage with a systems such as a switchblade, the sniper would have already been able to eliminate any and all visible targets (range/observation dependent).

      When it comes to psychological – the M107 with raufous rounds reigns supreme. We have had hits that disabled vehicles at 2400m. The amount of explosives that you can accurately and rapidly put on target cant be met even by a trained mortar team.

      • SVGC says:

        I agree that a drone/mortar can not replace a sniper’s weapon system. But I don’t think saying the Raufous from a M107 reigns supreme over, say something like Excal or Himars. Besides the weight of the thing, It’s almost an immediate compromise after firing and just straight up sucks to shoot indoors in a small room. First time I shot one inside an urban structure the entire hide fell down. Routinely we’d use excal, himars, or hellfires at extended ranges to maximize our percentage of destroying targets while still being able to stay in position to survey and engage react forces. Something we possibly couldn’t have done if we used something like the M107 initially from our pos. However to back up your assessment of using the M107, it certainly is more cost effective. I’m curious to see what payload ammunition looks like for these calibers and what they’re effects are in contrast to .50 Raufous.

        • Rick says:

          I have no idea how you made that logical jump.

          Who the fuck compares an M107 to a HIMARs?

          • SVGC says:

            My comment was in reference to supporting arms usage for a Reconnaissance element vs. employing the M107 at extended ranges. I wasn’t commenting so much as the comparison vs the thought of when and how one would employ it vs using precision guided munitions instead. You said the speed and precision of an SWS far superseded that of a drone/mortar system. I’ve had dedicated and continuous armed UAV support on various reconnaissance operations so the speed and precision aspect is debatable. It’s all about context. I see where you were going with your post and I see how my other comment was confusing.

  3. Brian says:

    This is a great opportunity for manufacturers with less than 1000 employees. It also means that companies like Remington can’t compete.

  4. Jack Boothe says:

    Maybe 35+ years of working for the government has jaded me a bit, but I suspect there is former SOCOM officer that has already produced or works for a company that has produced the required equipment and will soon get the contract: benefiting themselves and their former counterparts working in the acquisition department at SOCOM (when they retire) and come to work for the company making the weapon.

  5. This is 100% perfect for the SRS rifle from Desert Tech. Someone must have written the specs to meet their rifle (which is probably the best in the world- IMHO.)

    Tommy

  6. Matt says:

    Why not just make bolt heads and barrels that work with the current PSR? Cost effective and a proven system and could be in end users hand in no time.

    • Rob says:

      Probably not a large concern as the contract was never funded beyond the initial purchase due to performance concerns with the production guns. The military only owns about 20 systems.

  7. patrick sweeney says:

    They aren’t asking for much. Just a rifle that can handle two different rim diameters, in three bore sizes, that the end-user can switch? I see nothing but heartache in this one.

    Pick a frakkin’ caliber, tell makers the max weight, length and minimum accuracy, and let loose the designers.

    • Mac679 says:

      Haven’t heard of too many issues coming about from the AI AXMC

      • Rob says:

        Not many headaches involved on the rifle side. Off the top of my head, Sako, AI, FN/unique alpine, Barrett, Remington(if they keep quality control a priority), Ritter and Stark all have systems that can quickly be modified to meet requirements.

        • SSD says:

          Remember, it’s a small business set aside.

          • Rob says:

            What does the government define as small business? When compared to most industries, even what many would consider established firearms manufacturers would be considered small business.

        • theDude says:

          Going back to the original SOCOM PSR selection I know Remington won, then they canceled it after it failed to meet accuracy requirements. But how did AI do? i’d be curious to know what the final selection criteria was price etc. As mentioned Sako, AI, and Barrett could all fulfill this.

  8. mark says:

    Is the .338 AP load steel or tungsten core?

  9. patrick sweeney says:

    That’s in the description. There will be a standard test load, courtesy Black Hills, for anyone who wants, to use. The select makers, who are willing to wait and pay a lot more, can use the actual AP load when it is available.

    I have no doubt that rifle designs can be made (or exist) that can handle the different calibers. What I am leery of is the “end user assembly” part of the proposal. Do they really mean that the trigger-puller, in a rehabbed conex container on an FOB, is going to be swapping bolts, barrels, mag assemblies, etc?

    Or is this just a badly-described “we want it serviceable down to the lowest unit level that can handle it” instead of having to be shipped back to the maker for a parts change?

    • theDude says:

      If you have played with a AI AXMC, Sako M10, DTA SRS, or Barrett MRAD, then you wouldn’t worry too much about the end user (trigger puller) swapping parts, this is for socom snipers who will configure the rifle/caliber for whatever their mission dictates. It allows you to train and be comfortable by shooting .308 to practice then you can switch to one of the laser calibers like .300 norma and cheat the wind and really reach out and touch someone.