Meet the Mk21 sniper rifle, SOCOMs newest long distance service

Tennessee-based Barrett Firearms on Monday got a nod from the U.S. Special Operations Command for new Advanced Sniper Rifles.

The $49.9 million five-year, indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contract announcement is slim on details other than that is for the ASR program. The program itself was identified in SOCOM’s FY19 budget justification book as part of an effort to continue “development of enhanced capabilities to improve performance” of “individual sniper weapons to engage out to 1500 meters.”

A 2018 solicitation described the ASR as a “modular, multi-caliber, bolt-action sniper rifle” chambered in 7.62×51 mm NATO, .300 Norma Magnum, and .338 Norma Magnum with caliber conversions capable at the user-level.

The gun that will become the Mk21? Barrett’s MRAD.

The MRAD is available in 338 LM, 338 NM, and 300 NM, with the ability to swap out the barrel, bolt, and mag to change that up in the field.

A Norwegian sniper with the Barrett M98 which later grew into the MRAD. Turns out, Norway made a nice choice of rifle

More in my column at Guns.com

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