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Precision Rifle Shooters; USMC & Other Military Squad Designated Marksman Rifles

Designated Marksman (DM) at the platoon level and SDM or Squad Designated Marksman are the organic precision shooters. They serve the unit, either platoon level or at the squad level the provide accurate fire in support of their fellow troops. They don’t scout or range out from their units like snipers. Snipers are moving to larger caliber .338 Lapua Magnum and the .50 BMG cartridges. The 5.56 and 7.62 NATO calibers are the fodder fed the DM style shooters.

Designated Marksmen Range Requirements

At one time the DM was little more than an infantryman with some sort of glass (scope) on their guns, but during our commitments in the middle east range has become more relevant to the DM. Hence the DMs using the longer ranging 7.62 NATO or special 77 grain loading developed for the 5.56 NATO by Black Hills Ammunition. Also, DMs are getting the advanced marksmanship training to make them more effective. The Crazy Horse Rifle is based on the M14, has a Leupold Mk4 tactical scope with night vision added to the front of the scope all on a full length picatinny rail and a synthetic stock. Issued to the 2nd Infantry Division and the 101st Airborne division. The Marines uses a similar weapon based on the M14.

USMC & Other Military Designated Marksman Rifles

The Marines are acquiring numerous M38 a modified H&K 416 rifle as their SDM. M38 is a derivative of the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle for the Marine Corps. As mentioned above the other DM rifle is a modified M14. The Mk 12 Special Purpose Rifle developed for the Navy’s Special Operations uses that 77 grain loading. Another shooter replacing the Mk12 is the FN SCAR for SEALS is based on a short stroke piston instead of direct impingement like the M16 series of weapons and is a modular allowing switching from 5.56 to 7.62 NATO cartridges with some simple drop in components. The SCAR-H in 7.62 has the modules to convert to the 5.56 NATO if necessary. SCAR models have found themselves employed as DM, SDM and sniper weapons by west European forces. The are a lot of weapons coming and going in the DM community as these forces wrestle with the best solution to equip these troops. The Dragunov was actually developed initially as a DM rifle, though occasionally found in various military units as a sniper rifle. It fires a special version of the Russian 7.62x54R cartridge and specs call for 1.24 MOA horizontally and 1.08 MOA vertically. Many western sniper rifles shoot to 0.5 MOA. The Dragunov’s ammo would do for a DM gun, but maybe a bit lacking for a sniper rifle. The 50 BMG (12.7x99mm) is the western choice for an anti-material rifle. Russia answer is the 12.7x108mm KSVK 12.7. So as can be seen most military solutions tend to be similar to each other across the board.

Evolutionary Weapon Systems

DM rifles like sniper rifles are evolutionary in that they evolve rather than being revolutionary in design. The US with modern budget restrictions tend to use their vast quantities of M16 and M14 rifles for DM and SDM applications while their sniper units are up-gunning to the 338 Lapua Magnum, which is a popular sniper round in the UK and Canada. The 50 BMG is used against trucks, and other soft skinned vehicles and material target, though more than one Taliban has succumbed to the mighty .50 caliber.

Custom Shooting Range Design & Equipment Such as Bullet Traps, Target Retrieval Systems & More

The hunt goes on for the best medicine for long range precision military shooting, who knows what we will see. Shooting Range Industries enjoys incorporating the latest technological advances into our custom shooting ranges. Contact us today to learn more!

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