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USSOCOM Awards Geissele Automatics $29 Million for Mid Range Gas Gun – Sniper

This week, USSOCOM finally issued a contract for the Mid Range Gas Gun – Sniper or MRGG-S (pronounced Margie-Ess at SOCOM), a 6.5 Creedmoor gas gun. However, the barrel is user swappable to 7.62mm as per the requirement.

This photo was taken during SOF Week. The program of record rifle features everything you see here except the optic as SOCOM has several optics initiatives under way.

Below is the DoD contract announcement:

Geissele Automatics, North Wales, Pennsylvania, has been awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (H92403-23-D-0003) with a 10-year ordering period and a maximum ceiling of $29,263,029 to procure a new sniper support weapon, designated marksman, rifle taking advantage of advances in ammunition and weapons technology to improve the intermediate range sniper rifle lethality, reliability and performance when suppressed during 50-1,500 meter engagements. This effort will also provide for complete sustainment over the life cycle of the weapon system, including associated spare parts and vendor support, new equipment training, engineering, and travel. Fiscal 2023 procurement funds in the amount of $4,240,133 are being obligated at time of award on the first delivery order. This contract is a follow-on production contract stemming from a competitive prototype agreement and is being awarded in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 4022(f). U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, is the contracting activity.

Although listed on Geissele’s website, the gun is not in stock.

The commercial variant features a 20″ cold hammer forged from CRMOV steel and chrome lined barrel. The barrel is interchangeable between 6.5 Creedmoor and 7.62×51 mm NATO at the user level. The full features are available at the Geissele site.

There is still a program afoot to adopt an Assaulter version of MRGG. It features a shorter barrel and different stock as well as full-auto fire.

33 Responses to “USSOCOM Awards Geissele Automatics $29 Million for Mid Range Gas Gun – Sniper”

  1. bulldog76 says:

    6.5 Creedmoor tends to be making some more rounds in military circles .. i wonder why since the 6.8 x51 is supposed to be the superior cartridge

    • SneakyNerd says:

      I haven’t seen anything that indicates 6.8×51 being the better round. What I’ve seen shows 6.5cm being better. But performance aside, I’d speculate the availability and the varying projectiles as being a big selling point.

    • SSD says:

      Yeah, 6.8×51 is better, and yes, there’s data to show it but the Army isn’t publishing it. But 6.8×51 wasn’t available when SOCOM selected 6.5 CM. And really, it wasn’t the best choice out there but it was convenient.

    • Cuvie says:

      It’s because there’s a lot of companies producing match grade 6.5 CM ammo right NOW while match grade 6.8×51 is still in development.

      I think this will ultimately be an interim/stop-gap measure until 6.8 is fully online

      • SSD says:

        Match grade isn’t the issue. Across the board 6.8 delivers more energy on target than 6.5 CM.

        • Cuvie says:

          I don’t doubt that 6.8 has better terminal effect potential than 6.5 CM, but I’m not sure if the current 6.8 ammo currently being tested for the XM7/XM250 is optimized for the kind of marksman/sniper support weapon that they’re looking for with the MRGG-S.

          Hence why the Army Marksmanship Unit is issued the RFQ for match grade 6.8 ammo last week.

          • NTX says:

            I think that largely depends on what projectile you’re talking about.

            The higher pressure of mil spec 6.8×51, combined with the fact that it will be fielded with an EPM (M855A1) style projectile, means it will definitely have a leg up on a lot, if not most, 6.5 CM loadings. EPM projectiles have gnarly low fragmentation thresholds, XM1186 will have a longer effective range (as far as frag) than most 6.5CM due to its pressure, and it will also dump more energy.

            What I don’t know is if the pressure (and velocity) increase of XM1186 is enough to make up for the fact that it’s less efficient than 6.5CM. That’s the big question, but my hunch is the answer is yes.

            Assuming that the AMU gets its match loading of 6.8 (and more so if that match loading is at XM1186/84 pressures), I don’t see how 6.5CM could be more lethal, from a terminal perspective, than 6.8×51. 6.5CM will probably always be more accurate than 6.8, but not by much.

        • William says:

          Is it too much energy? Quite a few online reviewers who have shot the rifle say it is overpowered.

          • SSD says:

            Considering very few people have fired the weapon and military ammo, I’m curious who these people are.

    • Tarfu6 says:

      It may be something as simple as changing a barrel on rifle chambered in 7.62×51. If that IS the reason, there will be thousands of rifles available for the cost of a couple hundred 6.8×51 rifles.

  2. Chuck says:

    So how is the barrel changed? Looks like the rail is similar to the mk16.

    • Yawnz says:

      I mean, it’s an AR…so the same way every other AR barrel is changed.

      • Chuck says:

        So not exactly at the user level?

        • Mark M says:

          It user-level with some very basic tools and common sense.

          • Wake27 says:

            That’s not user level for the mil, stop making assumptions and posting fake news.

            • C247 says:

              6.5 CM is proprietary to Hornady. The year it came out the maximum loads for 260 Rem were reduced…go figure. 6.5×51 is PMMAS proprietary…! CM is available in mass at the moment. I would not be surprised to see 6.5×51 cresting in the not so distant future.

    • NTX says:

      I’ve got 2 guesses…

      Option 1: They’re providing a second upper with each rifle. I don’t know if there was any text in the solicitation that forbid this kind of a “change” but it’s obviously the best way to punt on that requirement.

      Option 2: They came up with a short throw barrel nut and are providing a torque wrench and spare barrel/gas tube assembly with each rifle. The SMR rail uses a dovetail for anti rotation, so handguard removal should be doable in seconds. Assuming that they could make a barrel nut/receiver threads that can get tight enough in under a 360 degree rotation (and if they’re using a straight gas tube), you could theoretically pull one barrel assembly and install a new one easily in under 5 min (which I believe was the threshold req for MRGG).

      • Ian says:

        LMT has had a user-level barrel attachment/swap at the user-level, via a two-bolt attachment scheme on their monolithic rail upper, for 2 decades now. This was introduced at SHOT Show way back in 2004.

        Whether that’s the approach Geissele took, and TACOM/whomever deems that to be a -10 user-level operation is another thing, though. Broadly, attaching/removing anything beyond a sling, sighting/lighting system or buttstock is beyond end-user authorization.

        The British adopted the LMT mono-rail carbine as the L129A1 with this feature, and I don’t know what their guidance is for their folks, but maybe our mil will take the same approach for this procedure. Not that TACOM is beholden to them or will follow suit, but I’m curious how they went about directing their folks for the barrel change.

  3. James says:

    Just wanted to go ahead and dubb it – Large Marge. All you want and more!

  4. Paul says:

    What does this rifle do, that the M110/M110A1 can’t do, with an additional 6.5 upper?

    • TKS says:

      My thoughts too. Please anyone who knows, educate me what this has over a M110 in 6.5CM? Price? Availability?

      • NTX says:

        I’d imagine the main differences are a more stringent accuracy requirement (especially vs SASS M110’s), modern features/accessories (like suppressors), and the barrel change requirement…which I’m unsure of how Geissele accomplished. That’s either “we’ve provided you with a second upper” or they came up with some kind of unique short throw barrel nut and are throwing a torque wrench in with the guns.

        The bigger issue, I’d guess, is support. MRGG is primarily for NSW, who never really used M110’s as far as I know. They went from Mk11’s to SCARs. M110 support contracts are limited and they Army is using the existing one to provide A2/A3 M110’s to big Army and USASOC, while SOCOM support for SCARs is getting more and more limited (and the platform is very limited in general). So NSW had to go for a new platform to A) get something new and B) have adequate numbers/platform support.

        • TKS says:

          Thanks! Good points. Having been involved with military procurement (not weapons) I know first hand that there are too many rules, limitations, bureaucracies with even the smallest acquisition. (many which make no sense or seem in complete opposition to efficiency and affordability)

      • Vet says:

        The main thing is cool guy factor as it’s reserved for SOCOM.

  5. whitby says:

    beyond the rqmt for a caliber change, what was wrong with NSW’s SCARs?

  6. Joe says:

    Feels like just yesterday Geissele was a small shop churning out triggers. Crazy to see them winning contracts to fulfill entire rifle systems.

    • Bill G. says:

      Yeah, that is pretty nuts. It seems like yesterday I was in my basement making triggers. Kudos to my great teammates who made this all happen. The only way to make a sub moa 6.5C semi-auto with a 6000 round barrel life is with teamwork.

  7. Pepper says:

    What do you think will happen to LICC?
    Looks like the Army really wants 6.8mm.

  8. not SSD says:

    Despite the posts from ANY “source” here, we should’t lose sight of the fact that none of us would stand in front a 6.5 or this new 6.8 stuff.