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Knight’s Armament Company Issues Statement Regarding CSASS

For over a decade Knight’s Armament Company (KAC) has produced the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) for the U.S. Army. The M110 semi-automatic rifle was the first purpose built U.S. semi-automatic sniper rifle fielded.

The Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS) competition was driven by evolving requirements pioneered by KAC products in use by today’s warfighter. Government competition drives industry innovation. Industry’s common goal is getting the best product to the warfighter as quickly as possible. Knight’s Armament Company congratulates the winner of the CSASS program.

Knight’s Armament Company continues its long tradition of innovation, design and manufacture of premier small arms, small arms accessories and night vision for the U.S. military.


45 Responses to “Knight’s Armament Company Issues Statement Regarding CSASS”

  1. AbnMedOps says:


  2. Willis Bee says:

    Lesson 1: have a legacy plan for your company before you hand over keys to the offspring.
    Lesson 2: sell your company when you have the contract.

    • SSD says:

      KAC is hardly a flash in the pan. I was using issue KAC items back in the 90s.

      • Willis Bee says:

        SSD, thanks for making my point. I know KAC’s history…and can probably predict their future. When you make guns that only the fed govt can afford, and fed govt stops buying your guns, well…. you become a part of history too.

        • SSD says:

          I don’t see them going away anytime soon. Admittedly, I’ve been critical of their commercial pricing structure but they continue to be very strong in the government sector.

        • Joglee says:

          Because they only make make guns…..oh right, their M4 PiP rail was the best(even though it got canned) and they certainly don’t make the current AN/PVS-29.

          • DumbGrunt says:

            Joglee, you’re right and wrong.
            1: KAC does not make the current AN/PVS-29
            2: The AN/PVS-29 is a rail-mounted white-light made by SureFire
            3: The AN/PVS-26 was given the 29 designator following upgrades, but since the USMC already had the 29 designation for the above noted light the upgraded 26 was re-re-designated the AN/PVS-30
            4: KAC is the current contract holder for the AN/PVS-30

        • Brent says:

          “That only the fed govt can afford?” Not sure if serious.

  3. Chris says:

    They issued a press release to congratulate the winner? Lame. Not from a sportsmanship standpoint, but that’s just a weak ass thing for a company to do.

    • Geoff says:

      I took it as a nice short way of saying “we didn’t win and we aren’t going to sue someone over it.”

      • Ketan Chand says:

        Exactly. This was a concession of defeat. If you know anything about the DoD procurement process, they could contest, protest, sue, kick and scream and drag this government purchase out for years.

  4. John says:

    Translation: “Someone else won the competition but don’t forget we were there first. We’re the real innovators.”

    • SoloDallas says:

      That’s how I read into it

    • Geoff says:

      And “you can actually buy something very close to the contract gun, unlike the HK”

    • The Stig says:

      They weren’t even there first. HK was selling the PSG1 in the early 70s, Walther the WA2000 in the late 70s, and the M21 and M25 were around the same time frames.

      KAC was founded in 1982. The idea of a Semi-Automatic Sniper System existed before KAC ever built the first SR-25.

      • 18Derp says:

        “Walther WA2000” …. Ok, let’s never again mention a gun that there were all of 75 ever made with something like the M110.

        • The Stig says:

          These are all niche rifles. Some more than others. At least the Walther was accurate.

      • jk says:

        Read closer. It said US. In which case they are correct. They do not caim first ever

  5. Santini says:

    I can tell you first hand the sr-16 mod2 has been frought with issues. Not sure about the m110 side but quality control on manufacturing was a problem. Things in the shop need to be tightened up. I think its still a good product but unless qc increases i coukd see them losing more market share.

  6. Disco says:

    I still don’t see how a heavyass HK is better than an M110K1

    • lcpl1066 says:

      that is what the gym is for war fighter

      • kris says:

        You can not say PT will overcome heavy equipment. Look at how much more freedom to maneuver the Taliban with a rifle and a couple of mags had over U.S. forces with armor, radios, ext in Afghan mountains. Weight will slow down even the most in shape human.

      • Alex says:

        This is a very ignorant comment… the whole point of the CSASS was to reduce weight of an existing weapon system. If weight savings are the goal, the Army isn’t going to give the contract to a set of dumbells.

      • Coastie says:

        No. You shave and save weight where and when you can. There are plenty of well made, light weight yet rugged designs out there. Everything about the HK platform is heavy, even the magazines!

        • James in AZ says:


          Ergonomics, lightweight, simplicity

          3 things HK never had a clue about since forever.

          Thank god they gave us an AR variant that at least covers some bases instead of an HK original.

          • Paul J says:

            “Ergonomics, lightweight, simplicity”

            For me, that’s the definition of the mp5.

            HK is the creator of the polymer striker fire pistol, and they made it more than 40 years ago.

    • LCSO264 says:

      It came in under the required weight in the request, so perhaps not so heavy. So to that end, it has to be in the same ball park or less, regarding weight as the competitors like the M110K1. If it hadn’t met the weight requirement, it would not have been selected….

  7. Marcus says:

    I thought it took some class to write that. When’s the last time a .gov contract loser did that? I’ll get back to you later. Much.

    That aside, when you start to lose key people and the .gov contracts follow, you have to wonder what the future looks like. Especially in a highly competitive commercial market where the pricing is coming down.

    They still make a very high quality product. But in the end, it’s the math that kills you…

  8. Joe says:

    Knights Armament has one helluva classy act….I bet their receptionists wear skirts and listen to Sinatra.

  9. Vince says:

    And, in a previous SSD CSASS contract award post all of you were waiting with baited breath for the first unselected manufacturer to release a statement decrying conspiracy and wrongdoing. Someone even mentioned KAC as the most likely. Here’s to show all you naysayers and Negative Nancy’s that you have been living in the keyboard complaint department too long. Things aren’t always doom and gloom in the industry. Did you really expect them to publicly complain? That’s bad PR.

  10. Matt says:

    So now maybe the cost of the sr25 can come down since they aren’t locked into the price they give the gov…although a Seekins, Gap or Larue will still be higher on my list.

  11. Marcus says:

    As opposed to the HK statement which seems to at a minimum lack a little perspective…

    This award represents another significant achievement for Heckler & Koch,”said Wayne Weber, President of Heckler & Koch USA. “The HK CSASS rifle is a substantial upgrade over the Army’s current sniper rifles, enhancing accuracy and reliability while providing for a handier, more compact arm. It also confirms Heckler & Koch as a leader in providing small arms to the U.S. military.”

    I don’t even know what to say other than i hope our warfighters get the best platform possibile.

  12. Uniform223 says:

    I just don’t know why H&K was selected. The US military already had a cheaper and ready to go (already in use) alternative… the M110K upper receiver. Procuring the M110K upper receiver. I really don’t know why they had to procure a completely new platform when they already had something already doing it. I guess the good idea fairy won this round.

    • RJ says:

      HK has a factory in Columbus GA aka easy visibility and tie in to MCOE. I doubt the 320 and this are a coincidence.

  13. Boom says:

    I don’t understand why so many people on here support KAC. I’ve been back and forth with the SR25 and the m110 and they are both shit. 3 MOA in the 110 for a sniper system. I have legit had 14 1/2 uppers on my m4 that shot better. I’ve seen over 10 m110 butt stocks shatter. The suppressors are the absolute worst and heaviest on the market. The technology for a .308 sniper platform that is under 1 1/2 MOA and is short enough to do CQB with has existed for a decade yet knights armament gave us this shit. I’ve had long discussions with guys involved in writing the contracts and the selection process, every single one them has been upset and disappointed with what KAC submitted to win, to the product received after a won contract. I say good riddance and thank god we finally got away from a under performing and over priced product.

    • JOE says:

      HK lost blue and green with their last versions of the H&K417. Units who could have anything they want went with KAC. The M110 sucked because of stipulations put on it by the big Army. The EMC did quite well, and is still doing well in the field in its current version. If u think KAC is hard to deal with just wait for H&K.

  14. Lt. Col. David A. Lutz USMC (Ret'd) says:

    I was the Military Ops guy at KAC starting in 1994 and retired (as I said I would) after OBL was taken out. I put together and helped field the original SR-25 Special Military LW Match based Mk11 Mod 0 kit; as well as the winning Army M110 kit a decade later. This includes the Special LW Match Rifles that were clandestinely proliferated thru SF and select Ranger Units back in the day. And of course some went to my Marines as well. I was also the Armorer’s Course Instructor for those 15 or so years and thus had direct contact with the units taking advantage of this “free of charge” training. So what I am saying is I am very familiar with how and why such programs were required and how they were executed, and sometimes supported (and sometimes not) with viable logistical decisions, plans and support.
    But cutting to the quick, our M110 was exactly what the Army sniper community had spec’d out in their requirement documentation at the time—exactly. In fact, when the Army briefed us on how we had won SASS, they said it was because “…you shot the eyes out of the target…” And from that get-go, we started pointing out its size and logistical impact by showing and demonstrating (to all levels of their chain of command), a shorter, and more compact version(s) that eventually got their attention and spawned the CSASS evolution. In parallel to this evolution, select groups and units had been fielding CSASS like SR-25 based systems (and/or 16” upper receiver/carbine buttstock kits) years ahead of this latest evolution.
    Needless to say, these parallel activities make it abundantly clear that the original M110 spec had been driven by the wrong requirement (the M24), and a more compact system would have fit more tactical applications at the time. Now why the government ignored numerous (and schedule/time saving) Engineering Change Proposals (ECP’s) that were allowed in our contract, more cost effectively evolving their existing M110 fleet into a CSASS format is beyond my comprehension, but these could have already had been fielded at a much reduced life cycle cost.
    I have not seen what exactly the winning rifle looks like, but supposedly representative examples on the net do look a lot like an M110 based Compact–don’t they–and not like a G3, G36, PSG or other Germanic foreign design I have seen. And winning could have involved the data rights purchase price as well as other factors such as accuracy, reliability, etc., especially when “best value” considerations are factored. So “at best,” this new “M110-like” rifle may realistically represent only an “incremental improvement,” but only time and a couple-of-thousand actual production rifles will tell. So I suggest everyone chill-out a bit and wait to see actual program/volume execution, which will be a long time coming, and take it from me— it’s not easy, volume producing match-grade rifles by the hundred’s every month. Why? Well, being that this is a new vendor; in all probability the contract clause requiring formal First Article Test samples and testing will be exercised. So let’s go from there…

    • Marcus says:

      As usual sir, the voice of reason and experience. There are very few people who know more about this subject than you. Thanks for the wisdom and perspective.

  15. mudd says:

    The 417 series recoils much more severe than the current KAC ACC types. Recoil management blows. Noticeably impeding impact assessment.. esp on movers.

    Piston guns are noticeably louder and harder to suppress.

    417 magazines are silly size.

    Logistics .. good luck getting timely parts replacements. from MP-5’s to 416’s always a pain with HK.