Nightforce Optics announced 30 July that their MIL-SPEC ATACR 5-25x56 F1 riflescope will be integrated as part of the Mk13 Mod 7, .300 Winchester MAGNUM sniper weapons system, soon to be issued to Unites States Marine Corps (USMC) Scout Snipers.

The new rifle and scope combination is a completely new system from the M40 sniper rifle, which has been in service since the Vietnam War. The Mk13 Mod 7, .300 Winchester MAGNUM sniper weapons system and Nightforce MIL-SPEC ATACR 5-25x56 F1 day scope will provide increased lethality at extended ranges for the elite Scout Snipers of the USMC, said Nightforce's MIL-GOV-LE Business Development Manager, Tod Litt, continuing: “The increased capability of the newly issued Mk13 Mod 7 sniper rifle requires a scope that is as rugged, reliable, repeatable, and dependable as the Marine tasked with using it. The Nightforce MIL-SPEC ATACR 5-25x56 F1 was chosen as the day scope to take full advantage of the rifle systems’ competencies.”

The Mk13 Mod 7 Sniper Rifle is a bolt-action rifle that offers an increased range of fire and accuracy when compared to current and legacy systems. It includes a long-action receiver, stainless steel barrel, and an extended rail interface system for a mounted scope and night vision optic.

The Mk13 is scheduled for fielding in late 2018 and throughout 2019. Units receiving the Mk13 include infantry and reconnaissance battalions and scout sniper schoolhouses. This weapon is already the primary sniper rifle used by USMC Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC).

Fielding the Mk13 ensures the Corps has commonality in its equipment set and Marine scout snipers have the same level of capability as NATO forces.

The optic features a Horus TReMoR3 Reticle and provides operators with an integrated milliradian based grid that incorporates time-of-flight wind dots. Those dots are calibrated to the rifle and ammunition and aid in making quick, formula-free wind calls by judging direction and wind speed in miles per hour. The advanced reticle incorporates the Accuracy 1st speed shooting formula that makes engagement of moving targets easier and reduces engagement times for a substantial improvement in first round hits,” Mr Litt  added.

The Nightforce MIL-SPEC ATACR 5-25x56 F1 is an over-engineered, military-grade scope built with the military's extreme endurance in mind,” he continued. “It offers numerous mission-critical features including the state-of-the-art Nightforce ZeroStop for elevation, a capped windage knob with windage limiter, 120 MOA/35 Mils of elevation adjustment, and the Horus TreMor3 illuminated reticle with Nightforce's Digillum illumination system. The fully, multi-coated ED glass results in superb light transmission, brilliant image rendering and exceptional color contrast for accuracy in virtually any conditions the Marines find themselves in.”

The new Mk13 Mod 7, .300 Winchester Magnum sniper weapons system equipped with Nightforce MIL-SPEC ATACR 5-25x56 F1 riflescopes are ready to hit the fleet very soon," he stated.

The Mk13 increases scout snipers’ range by roughly 300m and will use the .300 Winchester MAGNUM calibre round, a heavier grain projectile with faster muzzle velocity—characteristics that align USMC sniper capability with the US Army and Special Operations Command. It will perform better than the current 7.62 NATO ammo in flight, increasing the Marine Sniper's first round probability of hit. This upgrade is an incredible win and will allow snipers to engage targets at greater distances.

The Mk13 will be fielded with the enhanced day optic providing greater magnification range and an improved reticle.

According to the USMC, in a time where technology, ammunition and small arms weapon systems are advancing at an increasingly rapid rate, it is extremely important to ensure the Corps is at the forefront of procuring and fielding new and improved weapon systems to the operating forces. Doing this enables the USMC to maintain the advantage over its enemies on the battlefield, as well as to secure its trusted position as the rapid crisis response force for the United States.

Nightforce ATACR during training at USMC Base Quantico, VA/USA on 29 March 2018. (Photo: USMC)

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