Top Army weapons officials told Kit Up! that they have fielded a number of the XM2010 sniper rifle rebuilds to sharpshooters in Afghanistan already and are set to have all 8 BCTs in the field popping .300 WinMag by mid-May.
Lt. Col. Chris Lehner told Kit Up! in an April 26 interview that he'd just returned from Afghanistan where he gave the XM2010 to snipers "in two different locations" and worked through a three-day course on the weapon's use, maintenance and capabilities.
We bring all the snipers into one location and within three days, they are minted XM2010 killers. They can use that weapon system like nobody's business.He also revealed that within a short time after the long-range-death-dealers took their new rifles to the outpost, they were plinking bad guys from "ridgetop to ridgetop."
We got reports that immediately within a few days after returning from our training that they were nailing fellows at 1,000 meters without a problem. ... They want to get back to their unit so quickly and whack somebody with this thing -- they're itching to get back on a helicopter [after the training] and go whack somebody. And they have...But Lehner said there's a lot more to the rifle's accuracy than it's powerful caliber.
The optic is a little bit different. It's a first focal plane reticule with a Horace reticule on it. They're able to point and shoot and don't have to do the calculations and the range estimations that they used to do with mildots out to a certain distance. So they're able to shots out very, very quickly and follow up shots very quickly. And even when they do have to go past a certain range and do some range estimation, they're about to get it out quicker than they ever have before. We're confident that they're going to be able to outgun anyone that's in their path -- even another sniper firing back at them.The service is on a path to field 250 XM2010s by mid-May. As Kit Up! readers might remember, outgoing PEO Soldier BGen Pete Fuller said he wanted to "pure fleet" the entire Army sniper community with the XM2010 rather than keep the M24 around. It's unclear where that's going to go given a new M110, (maybe) new M4, M4 upgrades and a suite of cammo uniforms, but we'll see.
One thing's for sure, some snipers in the field speak pretty highly of the new system...
“They listened to snipers when they built it, so they took everything into effect,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. David Dickson, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment sniper instructor, and a native of Southern Pines, N.C. “You can shoot a 10-inch shot group from 1,000 meters.”
The XM2010 will be assigned to sniper teams in Afghanistan before it is distributed to the rest of the Army.
“It is very smooth when shooting the rifle, the scope makes it really easy to accurately hit the target,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Dennis Long, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls, and a native of Williamsburg, Iowa.
“It’s a good system and I am very pleased it was able to be distributed so quickly,” said Kreuser. “It’s another system that will help us push the enemy back.”