Sniper school outfitted with all new, enhanced rifles

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Army Sgt. Chauncey Reed

ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – After 25 years in service, the tried-and-trusted M24 sniper rifles has been retired, making way for new weapon technology:  the bolt action Remington XM2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle, 300 Winchester magnum (300 Win Mag).  

The Sniper school  has recently received thirty-two of the XM2010 Rifle Kits.

The value of just one full-assembled weapon system is just over $20,000, said Brandon Fraye, a Logistic Supply Specialist with the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command.

“It’s the best of the best,” said Sgt. First Class Justin M. Hitchcock, Sniper School NCOIC. “The best chassis, best bullet, and one of the best optics; put that all together and you have a very effective weapon that is relatively easy to learn and use.”

“There is a need in Afghanistan for a weapon that would reach out further than what the M24 would, which was only about 800 meters,” said Hitchcock. “ The enemy would just back up past 800 meters, setup their RPK machines guns and spray.

“The whole idea behind adopting the XM2010 is to have a weapon that we can see and reach them before they can reach us, Hitchcock said. This weapon system gives us the ability to do this accurately and consistently.  Remington states the max effective range is 1200 meters, but with a skilled shooter we are seeing the XM2010 accurately reach out as far as 1600meters. This doubles the capable engagement distance from the M24, Hitchcock added.

The Bullet, 300 Win Mag is essentially a .375 H&H magnum shortened and necked down to accept a 190grn .30 caliber (7.62mm) bullet, and they are working on a 220grn bullet.  The result of this is a heavier bullet and a higher velocity round than the old M24.

“We have chronographed the 190grn 300 Win Mag at a velocity of 3000fps; faster means shorter flight time,” said Hitchcock, “This combined with the heavier bullet equals less effect wind has on the trajectory.”   To put that in perspective the M24 round (175grn 7.62) has a velocity of  just 2600fps.

A large part of the XM2010 capabilities can be attributed to the new Leupold Mark 4 ERT 6.5-20x 50mm optic, and the Knights’s Armament 32AN/PVS-30 Sniper Night Sight (SNS), both standard in the XM2010 kit.  This Leupold optic comes with the Horus H58 reticle, which is a high point for this weapon system.  The H58 is broke up in .2mil sub-tensions to allow for more accurate hold off.  It is definitely a step up from the old mil dot reticles the M24 possessed. 

The NGMTC Sniper School initially started training students in January with only a limited number of XM2010 systems, but they now have enough for a full class set.  “Having these new kits is a big deal,” Hitchcock said, “we need to be able to train soldiers on weapons currently in use, and this shipment gives us the capability now.”