Massif Rocks!

Soldiers Test Squad Designated Marksman Rifle At Fort Bliss

Manufacturer of the new Squad Designated Marksman Rifle, Heckler & Koch began delivering weapons last fall. This rifle is based on the HK 417 (German Army designation G28) which was selected by the US Army in 2016 as the M110A1 Compact Semi Auto Sniper System. It fires the 7.62mm NATO cartridge.

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Last week, 16 Soldiers assigned to Alpha Company, 4-17 Infantry Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, took to the ranges on Fort Bliss, Texas to provide feedback to Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO Soldier). This information will be analyzed and used to make any changes to the SDM-R, accessories and ammunition before full fielding commences.

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While the maximum effective distance of the new optic (SIG Optics TANGO6T) hasn’t been fully verified yet, Soldiers were able to positively engage targets at a distance of 800 meters. Other than the optic, both CSASS and SDM-R are the same configuration. The SDM-R also includes a Suppressor by OSS and an Image Intensifier Night Vision Sight (AN/PVS-3) and bipod. The rail is MLOK compatible.

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Eventually, over 6000 SDM-Rs are expected to be fielded as part of the Directed Requirement, validated last year. This is a separate purchase than the M110A1 CSASS buy and this is an important distinction as this version is sometimes referred to as the M110A1 DMR.

Photos by US Army SSG Kimberly Jenkins and SGT Brian Micheliche, 1st Stryker Brigade, 1st Armored Division, Public Affairs.

13 Responses to “Soldiers Test Squad Designated Marksman Rifle At Fort Bliss”

  1. Kris says:

    How is this an “A1” upgrade to the M110? It is a completely different operating system with nearly zero parts commonality.

    • SSD says:

      That has been brought up. It’s about requirements and mainly about funding.

      You may remember the Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System. What the Army has today is nothing like what it replaced. Not one common item.

      • Stefan S. says:

        Thank God! That brown 1st gen Fleece top and bibs were awful. But back then the Gore-Tex jacket leaked anyway.

  2. PJ Coffey says:

    At $14k each, this system is way too expensive for what we are getting. I can spec a similar set up from LaRue (retail) for a little over half the amount.

  3. Marcus says:

    Serious question, no a criticism. What did we gain in the move to HK that we could not have gotten by upgrading the M110’s we already had in the armory?

    • Hodge175 says:

      Maybe more weight because, I am not sure what the gun offers so much better.

      • Marcus says:

        Yeah, thanks. I thought it was just me. It seemed like KAC was doing a pretty good job of addressing any concerns. I know a lot of those rifles are still in inventory. It just smells like another acquisition for the sake of acquisition.

  4. Patrick Sweeney says:

    Because upgrading the existing M110 is work, and adopting the HK earns someone cool-guy creds, and shows they are “thinking out of the box”?

  5. TominVA says:

    Watch caps with no helmets on?!?!? Don’t believe what I’m seeing!

  6. P.J. says:

    I remember reading that the M110 had durability issues but don’t know if those were addressed. Regardless adopting the 417 as an SDM-R is a different issue than replacing the M110 as a sniper rifle. I’m more curious about the decision to change the SDM-R from a 5.56 to a 7.62. There’s a move away from 7.62 to a .338 caliber for belt fed weapons. I get that the .338 squad weapons are a ways out. But was this decision made taking a future .338 adoption into account? Is there a plan to adopt an SDM-R in the .338 round?

    • ThatBlueFalcon says:

      M110 issues are (according to KAC) entirely a result of Army requirements.

      FWIW, I tend to believe that as new production SR25s run like sewing machines but I’ve seen more than a few deadlined M110s.

      I concur with the above that an upgrade to the SR25K3 standard would have made much more sense…

      • P.J. says:

        That was my understanding on the M110 issues vs the SR25. I don’t see how 7.62 SDM-Rs are anything but a stopgap until new chamberings are developed. So revamping existing rifles may well have been a better use of resources. Of course that probably wasn’t the case with the M14 based systems.

  7. BigDrillParaVictor says:

    Stop complaining and get smart how to employ the system, train the humans who will carry, run, jump and engage targets for the squad and platoon with this system. I love my brands as well, but once Big Mil selects something and it’s issued, it’s time to work. This isn’t a pouch or sling, you can’t buy a replacement Program of Record item like this. The dudes from Benning say all you smart dudes aren’t even interested in using it according to all the units they’ve issued the weapons to already. Not a one have had all this interest that you speak of on the internet, which means you’re all couch wannabes or former dudes who can’t influence a soldier anyway. Bottom line, help the squad, stop complaining and help them.

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