The U.S. Army’s PEO Soldier has awarded Remington Arms Company a contract for the modification of 250 M24 sniper rifles, a first batch of up to 3,600 M-24s to be modified into the XM2010 weapon systems – what the Army calls the M24E1 “reconfigured Sniper Weapon System”. The modified rifle is chambered for .300 Winchester Magnum cartridges, (originally the M-24 was designed for 7.62mm NATO .308 Winchester) significantly extending the weapon’s maximum effective range from 800 to 1,200 meters. The Army expects to begin fielding the upgraded weapons to deployed U.S. Army Snipers by the end of December 2010. The current upgrade is expected to sustain the XM2010 weapon system in service for at least 10 years and will serve as a precursor to future sniper systems. The value of the current award is $192,000 while the potential value of the entire program could reach $28.2 million
According to LTC Chris Lehner, Product Manager Individual Weapons at PEO Soldier, the program has matured within less than a year, through close cooperation between the Army and industry. “The XM2010 had pinpoint precision,” said SFC Robert Roof, NCOIC/Chief Instructor, United States Army Sniper School. “We were able to achieve shots well within the weapon’s capabilities both during limited visibility and during the day. The optics were clear and easy to use and the ergonomics of the weapon made it very comfortable to shoot.”
Besides the chambering to match the .300 Winchester Magnum cartridge, The M24 Sniper Weapon Systems upgrade comprises a Leupold Mark 4 6.5-20x50mm Extended Range / Tactical riflescope with advanced scalable ranging and targeting reticlel fielded with the AN/PVS-29 Clip-on Sniper Night Sight, and quick attach/detach suppressor to reduce audible and visible signature with an available thermal sleeve that reduces mirage effect on heated suppressors. The weapon uses a five-round box magazine, offering easier load and reload with the additional option to change out ammunition quickly. Each modified M-24 rifle has also gets rail endowed chassis and free floating barrel that allow for easier mounting of weapon accessories and greater accuracy, a folding and adjustable stock that includes comb and length-of-pull adjustments.