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Army Begins Search for Compact Sniper Rifle

Army weapons officials released a "sources sought" solicitation yesterday, officially launching a search for an M110 Compact Semi Automatic Sniper System. I wrote about the Army's desire to equip squad designated marksman with a shorter version of the M110 SASS in April.

The market survey is intended to identify potential sources for manufacturing a complete system or reconfiguring some or all of the existing 7.62 x 51mm M110 systems currently available in Army inventory.

Gun makers have until August 14 to respond with their initial ideas for producing the new CSASS.

 Here's a list of the initial 15 requirements industry would have to meet:

1. Operation: Semi-automatic 2. Caliber: Compatible with 7.62x51mm NATO cartridges 3. Accuracy: Capable of 0.60" AMR at 100m or better with match ammunition. 4. Size: Overall length shall be reduced using a shorter barrel and/or collapsible buttstock. Maximum overall assembled length of the rifle shall be not greater than 36 inches with the stock at its shortest position and no sound suppressor mounted.

5. Weight: Weight shall be no more than 9.0 lb for the unloaded rifle without optics and accessories. 6. Grip: A modular, adjustable pistol grip. 7. Trigger: A non-adjustable match style trigger. 8. Hand guard: A fore-end that includes a fixed 12 o' clock rail with configurable 3, 6, and 9 o' clock rails. 9. Sound suppressor: A muzzle mounted, detachable sound suppressor. 10. Muzzle device: A compensator/muzzle break compatible with the sound suppressor. 11. Bipod: Tool-less detachment featuring cant and pan/track capability. 12. Day optic: An Army specified variable power day optic and compatible rings. 13. Back up sights: Iron sights offset 45 deg from the DOS. 14. Sling attachment: Flush cup, quick detach sling attachment points. 15. Barrel and Receiver Life: Significant improvement from M110 requirements while enduring higher rates of fire.

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