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The 16 Sniper Rifles Used by the US Military

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Used by the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, snipers fulfill a specialized role in military operations. Their primary function is to engage high-value targets across significant distances, and from concealed positions. Snipers also work to gather intelligence and track enemy movements.

Positioned several hundred meters from their targets, snipers must consider variables like gravity, temperature, humidity, wind, altitude, and Earth’s rotation before firing. Achieving precision over distance demands extensive training and a precision rifle. (Also check out: the deadliest snipers of World War II)

All U.S. military sniper rifles undergo exhaustive tests for accuracy, range, and reliability under diverse conditions. Because the requirements vary by both mission and service branch, the military has over a dozen sniper rifle variations, either actively in service or recently retired from service. 

Using data from a range of sources, including military handbooks, government press releases, and firearms publications, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 16 sniper rifles used by the American military. Some rifle models that have been recently replaced or are being replaced were also considered. Rifles are listed in the order of their estimated effective range, from lowest to highest. 

Some rifles in this roster resemble each other but are customized for specific branches. For instance, the Army’s M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle, the Marine Corps’ M40 Sniper Rifle, and the Navy’s M91A2 Sniper Rifle are derived from the Remington 700 hunting rifle but adapted for different military branch requirements.

While most of the rifles on this list are used against enemy combatants, capable of shooting targets anywhere from from 700 meters to over a mile (1,600 meters), some are also designed to be anti-material weapons. These rifles, often chambering .50 caliber ammunition, are capable of penetrating brick and concrete walls and even the engine blocks of some armored vehicles.  (Here is a look at 20 of modern warfare’s most lethal weapons.)

U.S. military sniper rifles are either semi-automatic or bolt-action, each with unique merits and constraints. Bolt-action rifles generally prioritize accuracy, while semi-automatics facilitate quicker follow-up shots. Longer-range rifles tend to be bolt-action, while semi-automatic or select fire variants are used for shorter ranges in Army and Marine squads. (Here is a look at the longest-range sniper rifles used by militaries around the world.)

Click here to see every sniper rifle currently used by the US Military.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

1. Mk12 Special Purpose Rifle (SPR)
> Action type: Semi-automatic
> Range: 700 meters
> Weight: 10 pounds (with optics and 30 round magazine)
> Length: 37.5 inches
> Chambered for: 5.56x45mm ammunition

Though withdrawn from service in 2017, the Mk12 was used throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Army Special Forces, and designated marksmen in the U.S. Marine Corps. The compact sniper rifle is based on the M16 platform and is highly customizable to suit varying mission demands. With a semi-automatic action and a 20-30 round box magazine, the Mk12 allows for rapid follow-up shots at ranges out to 700 meters.

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2. M110 Semi Automatic Sniper System (SASS)
> Action type: Semi-automatic
> Range: 800 meters
> Weight: 17.3 pounds (loaded, with suppressor)
> Length: 46.5 inches (with suppressor)
> Chambered for: 7.62x51mm ammunition

Adopted by the American military in 2005, the M110 is a semi-automatic sniper rifle manufactured by the Knight’s Armament Company. After extensive operational testing, it was first used in combat in Afghanistan by the U.S. Army’s Task Force Fury. The M110s semi-automatic action allows the shooter to shoot at multiple targets and fire rapid follow-up shots.

The rifle is based on the Mk 11 Mod 0 used by the Marine Corps and Navy SEALs. Unlike the Mk 11, however, the M110 has a modular rail system, a one-piece scope mount, and an adjustable stock. The M110 was used by Delta Force troops in the Afghanistan mountains as early as 2001.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

3. M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS)
> Action type: Semi-automatic
> Range: 800 meters
> Weight: 9.3 pounds
> Length: 42.7 inches
> Chambered for: 7.62x51mm

The M110A1 CSASS is a Squad Designated Marksman Rifle made by Heckler & Koch Defense Inc. The U.S. Army ordered 5,180 M110A1 rifles to the tune of $46.2 million in a 2019 contract, and the Marine Corps is also reportedly considering adopting the rifle. With a range of about 800 meters, the semi-automatic CSASS is intended to be used in rapid engagement scenarios by sharpshooters in combat teams.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

4. M39 Enhanced Marksman Rifle (EMR)
> Action type: Semi-automatic
> Range: 800 meters
> Weight: 16.5 pounds (with sight and bipod)
> Length: 44.2 inches
> Chambered for: 7.62x51mm

The M39 Enhanced Marksman Rifle is a long-range variant of the M14 rifle that was carried by designated marksmen in Marine squads beginning in 2008, though many have been replaced with variants of the M110 rifle.

The M39 comes standard with a folding bipod, a variable length stock, a pistol grip, and is fed with a 20-round detachable box magazine. It has an effective range of about 800 meters.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

5. M24
> Action type: Bolt-action
> Range: 800 meters
> Weight: 15 pounds (loaded)
> Length: 43 inches
> Chambered for: 7.62x51mm ammunition

The M24 is a bolt-action sniper rifle that is effectively a modified version of the popular civilian Remington 700 hunting rifle. The M24 was the primary sniper rifle of the U.S. Army from 1988 until the 2010s, but has been replaced by the M2010 and M110, faster firing semi-automatic sniper rifles with greater range.

While similar to the M40 sniper rifle used by the Marine Corps, the U.S. Army’s M24 features a longer action, allowing for longer rifle cartridges, and it has a 24 inch barrel, 1 inch shorter than the barrel used by the Marines.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

6. M40A6
> Action type: Bolt-action
> Range: 800 meters
> Weight: 16.5 pounds
> Length: 49.8 inches (with suppressor)
> Chambered for: 7.62×51 millimeter NATO

Like the M24 used by the U.S. Army, which is also based on the Remington 700 hunting rifle, the Marine Corps M40 is a bolt-action sniper rifle chambered for 7.62×51 millimeter NATO ammunition. However, the Marine’s M40 has a 1 inch longer barrel than the Army’s rifle and also a shorter action, meaning it cannot accept some of the longer cartridges that can be loaded in the M24.

Also like the M24, the M40 is being phased out. Initially losing favor to the Mk13 Mod 7 sniper rifle, the new Mk22 will now be replacing both rifles. The M40 first entered service during the Vietnam War, and the latest iteration, the M40A6, was introduced in 2016 and features a folding stock.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

7. Mk20 Sniper Support Rifle (SSR)
> Action type: Semi-automatic
> Range: 910 meters
> Weight: 10.7 pounds
> Length: 42.5 inches (with suppressor)
> Chambered for: 7.62x51mm ammunition

The Mk20 Sniper Support Rifle was designed as a sniper version of the Mk17 assault rifle. Designed for use by U.S. Special Operations command, and first fielded in 2011, it comes equipped with rails for mounting sights and can maintain accuracy out to 1,000 yards. The rifle is semi-automatic with a 20 round detachable box magazine and is used by spotters in two man sniper/spotter teams as well as by designated marksmen.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

8. M91A2 Sniper Rifle
> Action type: Bolt-action
> Range: 1,000 meters
> Weight: 14 pounds
> Length: 43 inches
> Chambered for: .300 Win Mag

Like the M24 used by the Army and the M40 used by the Marine Corps, the M91A1 is based on the Remington 700 hunting rifle. Developed specifically for the U.S. Navy, the M91A2 is a bolt-action sniper rifle chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum. The stock of the rifle is made from Kevlar and fiberglass and is typically fitted with 10x magnification scopes. The rifle uses a four round internal magazine and is effective out to 1,000 meters.

9. M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle (ESR)
> Action type: Bolt-action
> Range: 1,200 meters
> Weight: 18.7 pounds (loaded, with suppressor)
> Length: 52.2 inches (with suppressor)
> Chambered for: .300 Win Mag ammunition

Made by Remington Arms, the M2010 is an updated version of the M24 sniper rifle. Like the M24, it is based on the Remington Model 700 hunting rifle and has a five round capacity. But, chambered for .300 Winchester Magnum ammunition, it has an effective range of 1,200 meters – 400 meters more than the M24. The M2010 ESR was first fielded by the U.S. Army and Special Forces in Afghanistan in early 2011.

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

10. Mk13 Mod7
> Action type: Bolt-action
> Range: 1,300 meters
> Weight: 9 pounds
> Length: 48.4 inches
> Chambered for: .300 Win Mag

The Mk13 is a bolt action sniper rifle that recently replaced the Marine Corps’ M40 sniper rifle. Adopted in 2020, the Mk13 is now used by scout snipers and Recon Marines as well as Navy SEALs and other SOCOM units. The newer rifle, chambered for .300 Winchester Magnum ammunition, adds 300 meters to its effective range over its predecessor and is issued to snipers with a suppressor to reduce muzzle flash and the acoustic signature

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

11. Mk11 MOD 0
> Action type: Semi-automatic
> Range: 1,370 meters
> Weight: 15.3 pounds
> Length: 45.5 inches
> Chambered for: 7.62x51mm

Adopted by the Navy SEALs in the 1990s, and later by the Marine Corps, the Mk11 Mod 0 is a semi-automatic sniper rifle based on the SR 25 assault rifle. The rifle features a detachable suppressor, a bi-pod, and a five, 10, or 20-round box magazine. Though replaced by the Mk20 in 2017, the Mk11 was used by Navy SEALs who rescued Capt. Richard Phillips who had been taken hostage by pirates in 2009.

Though similar to the Army’s M110, unlike the Army variation, the Mk11 has a folding front sight and a modular rail system.

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12. MK22 Multi-Role Adaptive Design Rifle (MRAD)
> Action type: Bolt-action
> Range: 1,500 meters
> Weight: 19 pounds (loaded, with suppressor)
> Length: 50 inches (with suppressor)
> Chambered for: 7.62×51mm, .300 Norma Magnum, .338 Norma Magnum ammunition

The MK22 Multi-Role Adaptive Design Rifle made by Barrett Firearms won a $50 million contract after USSOCOM announced it was looking for a multi-caliber modular sniper rifle. The new bolt-action rifle is expected to replace several existing sniper rifle systems in both the Army and Marine Corps, including the M40A6 and Mk13 Mod 7 rifles. The gun is relatively lightweight and highly adjustable and is fed with a 10-round box magazine.

Source: Courtesy of McMillan Firearms

13. McMillan TAC-338
> Action type: Bolt-action
> Range: 1,600 meters
> Weight: 11 pounds
> Length: 48 inches
> Chambered for: .338 Lapua Magnum

The TAC-338 sniper rifle is a precision anti-personnel rifle chambered for .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition. Used by the U.S. Navy SEALs, the TAC-338 has a 1,600 meter range, though there are reports of some marksmen hitting targets from over 2,000 meters out. The rifle is bolt-action and fed with a five-round detachable box magazine.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

14. Mk15 Special Applications Sniper Rifle (SASR)
> Action type: Bolt-action
> Range: 1,600 meters
> Weight: 26.9 pounds
> Length: 57 inches
> Chambered for: .50 BMG

The Mk15 is a special application sniper rifle used by the Navy SEALs primarily as an anti-material weapon. The military version of the civilian McMillan TAC-50, the Mk15 fires .50 caliber bullets, fed through a five-round detachable box magazine, powerful enough to penetrate brick and concrete, though it can also be used against armored vehicles and personnel. The Mk15 has an effective range of 1,600 meters, though a Canadian marksman is credited with a kill using a version of this rifle at a range of over 3,200 meters, the longest ever recorded for any sniper.

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15. Barrett M82
> Action type: Semi-automatic
> Range: 1,850 meters
> Weight: 30.9 pounds
> Length: 48 inches
> Chambered for: .50 BMG

Barrett M82 is a long-range sniper rifle, powerful enough to penetrate armored vehicles, body armor, and brick walls at a distance. Used by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, the M82 is similar to the Army’s M107 in that they both shoot .50 caliber ammunition, fed from a 10-round detachable box magazine. However, the M82 is shorter than its Army counterpart and a couple pounds heavier. It also has greater recoil and a different bipod.

Source: scguard / Flickr

16. M107 Long Range Sniper Rifle (LRSR)
> Action type: Semi-automatic
> Range: 1,500 meters for personnel, 2,000 meters for material
> Weight: 35 pounds (loaded, with suppressor)
> Length: 57 inches (with suppressor)
> Chambered for: .50 BMG ammunition

The Barrett M107 is a semi-automatic .50 caliber sniper rifle. While most sniper rifles used by the U.S. military are primarily anti-personnel weapons, the M107 can also target lightly-armored vehicles at ranges up to 2,000 meters. With a 10-round box magazine, the M107 can deliver rapid follow-up shots.

While similar to the Barrett M82 used by the Navy, the M107 LRSR is not identical. For example, the M82 uses a bipod with smooth feet, but the bipod on the M107 has spiked feet. Additionally, the M107 comes ready to be equipped with a suppressor, is slightly lighter, has a longer range, and features a system that reduces recoil by 50%.

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