(source: www.popularmechanics.com) – Amidst a slew of new equipment coming down the pipeline for U.S. Marines is a new designated marksman rifle. The M38 scoped rifle is designed to give Marine infantry squads the ability to hit individual targets at ranges of up to 600 meters with greater precision than Marines equipped with ordinary M4 carbines. According to Marine Corps Times the rifle will be fully issued by September 2018.

After 9/11, the U.S. Army and Marines saw a need for a rifle that could reach out and hit targets at a greater distance than the typical M4 carbine or M16A2/A4 rifle could manage. Typically, such a rifle would be equipped with a long range telescopic sight bipod, and ideally have some work done by military armorers to increase accuracy. The U.S. Marines created a designated marksman position to carry the rifle and used a variety of designated marksman rifles (DMRs) including the M39 Enhanced Marksman Rifle and the Mark 12 Special Purpose Rifle.

Soldiers and Marines called designated marksmen typically earn that title by being the best shots in their squad or platoon. Designated marksmen received instruction in shooting farther than the average rifleman, particularly the means to negate the effects of gravity and wind on a 5.56-millimeter bullet. Despite this designated marksmen are still riflemen at heart and train to shoot shorter distances than snipers.

Now the Marines are preparing to field a new DMR, the M38 Squad Designated Marksman Rifle.  (…)

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Photo © USMC Lance Cpl Michaela Gregory, as published in Popular Mechanics