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#3586863 - 12/19/09 03:59 AM US military sniper rifles
Lee24 Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 7259
Loc: Southern California
I posted this in the thread, "US military sniper ammunition", not to divert it, but to continue a previous post about the .30-06 ammunition and how the .30-06 diameter machine gun ammunition as the original "sniper" ammunition for the 1903A3 rifles, and later, how the M-60 machine gun ammunition became the first long-range match and sniper ammunition for the .308 bolt action rifles used in Vietnam.

Remington built some heavy barrel bolt action rifles for the Army in the late 1960s, but most of the sniper rifles in Vietnam were the heavy M-14 or M-21. The Army used bolt action rifles for match shooting all during this time, and some of these configuration were used in combat. Remington did not catalog a varmint model back then.

The Marine Corps asked Remington to build them a bolt action rifle in 1965 to replace the Winchester Model 70 target rifles with Unertl scopes they were using in combat, chambered in .30-06. In 1966, Remington began delivering the M40, a short action Model 700 in 7.62x51mm NATO, with a 24-inch chrome moly barrel, 1:10 twist, Parkerized, with a heavy walnut stock similar to the Bishop stock being used on the 1903A3 target rifles. Empty weight was 9 pounds 5 ounces. It had no provision for iron sights, had Redfield JR one-piece base with dual dovetail rings, and Redfield scope.

These rifles had trued, squared actions and lapped bolt lugs.
I guess these were produced in the Custom Shop, but never asked. Today, there is a separate Military Shop, but I do not know how long it has been separate.

After Vietnam, the USMC began buying the actions from Remington and building their own M40s.

The Army did not create a model until 1988, ordering a similar rifle to the M40, but using a long action and walnut stock. They used the long action in order to accomodate the .30-06 and .300 Win Mag cartridges. Most were drilled and tapped for Redfield target sight mounting dovetail blocks, just like the other target rifles at the AMU. Shortly thereafter, they switched from a glass-bedded walnut stock to a synthetic stock, like their varmint, target, PSS, and Sendero stocks are today. Some stocks later had an adjustable buttplate and cheekpiece (like the McMillan fiberglass ones).

Remington built a few replicas of the walnut-stocked M40 and M24 for sale to the public in 2008, for about $1,695.00, about $1,200.00 wholesale very reasonable.

I have some photos of all these. Some are not mine, and are not of me, but of US Army and USMC snipers, many in black and white. I would have to scan them, but I can probably get permission to post them, maybe this weekend. Have to work now.

----- 1903A4 rifles -----------------

At the early part of the Vietnam War, 1903A4 Springfield sniper rifles with the M84

telescopic sights were used, same as in the Korean War. There were not enough of

these, which is why you see photos of snipers and sharpshooters with Model 70

Winchester and Remington 700 ADL sporting rifles, usually in .30-06. The 1903A4 rifle

continued to be used into the 1970s.

The training manual is FM 23-10.
The technical manual is TM 9-270, dated September 1943.
The last revision of the TM 9-270 is Tm 9-1270, dated December 1970.

----- photos added -------------------

Chu Lai 1967
1966 Model 70 Winchester. Many used were .30-06.
SPC4 Harry M. Mellett
Company A 1st Battalion 327th Infantry US Army

photo by Army Combat Photographer SPC1 Ben Croxton, courtesy of The Army Times.

My 1903A3 in .30-06 with Bishop stock, receiver milled and tapped for Redfield one-piece base, built 1965. Black anodized aluminum buttplate.

The same Bishop stock (or copied from the Bishop stock above) on a Remington Model 700 with heavy match barrel, as built in 1966 for the US Marine Corps and US Army snipers in Vietnam, short action in 7.62x51mm NATO.

2008 Remington Model 700 short action reproduction of 1968 Vietnam sniper rifles with wood stock.

2009 Remington US Army M-24 built on 700 long action in 7.62x51mm NATO with Leupold Mk4 10X LRT. All the current M-24s have been on long actions to accommodate the .300 Winchester Magnum, which is now being currently ordered, both rifle from Remington and ammunition from Federal. See my post in the other thread for details of the orders.

Edited by Lee24 (12/19/09 02:53 PM)
Edit Reason: correct and extend caption on M-24 and 1903A4.

RV 728 BP
#3586959 - 12/19/09 04:35 AM Re: US military sniper rifles [Re: Lee24]
rgrx1276 Online   content
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 04/23/06
Posts: 1667
Loc: Israel, Florida
That bottom photo doesn't look like a short action. Look at the gap between the rings, it's a dead giveaway. I carried an M24 for too long not to know the difference.
Here's a short action that I own.

Edited by rgrx1276 (12/19/09 04:49 AM)
Edit Reason: photo addition

#3587048 - 12/19/09 05:11 AM Re: US military sniper rifles [Re: rgrx1276]
RDFinn Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 17466
Loc: Bernardsville, NJ
Remington builds alot of stuff through the Custom Shop that's not cataloged. The bottom rifle looks like one of their LE jobs probably in 300 Win Mag.

#3587063 - 12/19/09 05:18 AM Re: US military sniper rifles [Re: Lee24]
jim62 Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 12/09/04
Posts: 5978

After reading your above post.. I have come to the conculsion that you are the Googel master and don't really know SCHIT about US sniper rifles other than what you glean from an online search...

Even then, your powers of observation and comprehension are that of a blind two year old.

The orgional M40 USMC stock were NOTHING more than a walnut, oil finished version of the Remington BDL monte carlo sporter. They were cut for soon the very soon to called "varmint weight" Remington heavy barrel. They had no checkering ,grip cap or forend tip had a checkered aluminum buttplate. It was not "copied" from ANY Bishop stock..

In short, your restocked 1903 stock HAS NOTHING in common with the M40 stock except is a bolt rifle stock, with a pistol grip and monte carlo..Big deal.

I don't know why you would even include it. It has NOTHING to do with the m40 or any variant of 03 springfield based sniper rifles..

If you would LOOK at the middle photo of the poorly design "replica" m40 it has an ebony grip cap. That is because it is a version made by Accurate inovations for this inaccurate "replica"-

That stock is not even close to the Remington style stock when you view them side by side..

Also, the rifle in the last pics is NOT a short action but a long action. The m24s era built that way so they could shoot both .308 and by using a spare, pre fitted bolt,the .300 win mag.

Edited by jim62 (12/19/09 09:25 AM)
To all gunmaker critics-
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.."- Teddy Roosevelt

#3587104 - 12/19/09 05:36 AM Re: US military sniper rifles [Re: jim62]
DINK Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 03/03/06
Posts: 6734
Loc: Missouri
I thought the m24 was built on a long action because it was supposed to be chambered in the 30/06 springfield but due to the lack of match grade bullets they went with the 308 but still build on a long action in case they want to go to the 30/06. I read that same thing just this month in a magazine does anybody know if this true or not?

#3587108 - 12/19/09 05:40 AM Re: US military sniper rifles [Re: jim62]
BMT Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 18544
Loc: Alvadore, Oregon
Originally Posted By: jim62

After reading your above post.. I have come to the conculsion that you are the Googel master and don't really know SCHIT about US sniper rifles other than what you glean from an online search...

Join the club . . . . . . . wink
"The Church can and should help modern society by tirelessly insisting that the work of women in the home be recognized and respected by all in its irreplaceable value." Apostolic Exhortation On The Family, Pope John Paul II

#3587129 - 12/19/09 05:50 AM Re: US military sniper rifles [Re: DINK]
Gene L Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/15/06
Posts: 4773
Loc: Georgia
When I was in Viet Nam, 68-69, my platoon sniper (Recon) had the M 14, except it wasn't called that. As I recall, it had an X prefix since it wasn't official. Later, when I went to the Army Sniper School as a civilian, we and the Army guys in the school, had the M 21 or whatever it was called, an accurized M 14 with a Redfield 3 x 9 ART scope. The instructors preferred the Leatherwood ART scopes, but they weren't being made when I went to the school. This was the same rifle as my Sniper had in Nam, but he had the Leatherwood scope.

The Marine Corps used a Model 70 in 30-06 early on, 66-67. This is what Carlos Haithcock used on his first tour. With a Unertl 12 X scope, which I recall from reading the book about him and the article mentioned on down the page. It was a 2 MOA rifle, according to what his C.O. later wrote in The American Rifleman in an article, I think titled "Marine Snipers." The bore was pitted but it was consistent at 2 MOA. Pictures of era rifles show a heavy barrel and what looks like a floated forend. The scope fogged up and had to be dried out between missions. I believe this, as it was before all the modern stuff we have now.

The Corps later went to Remingtons by 68, I guess, the Army stuck with the M 21s (or whatever) throughout the war, until they also went with the Remingtons.

In 69, my sniper used National Match ammo from Lake City. It was 68 manufacture, the white box with the stars on it. We used the same stuff when I was in sniper instructor school at Ft. Benning. This was about 84 or so.

My "knowledge" is mostly rememberances, and may not be totally accurate. I think I read the Marines used 03A4s in Korea and possibly early in Viet Nam, with the scant stock.

Edited by Gene L (12/19/09 05:55 AM)
Not many problems you can't fix
With a 1911 and a 30-06

#3587147 - 12/19/09 06:04 AM Re: US military sniper rifles [Re: Lee24]
SU35 Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/14/02
Posts: 11957
I began shooting the M-14 and other rifles at FT Benning in 1968.

Lee, may I ask what your age is?

Surely it's not an intrusive question.

#3587218 - 12/19/09 07:15 AM Re: US military sniper rifles [Re: SU35]
varmintsinc Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/25/04
Posts: 4678
Loc: MT
I thought the best advise when digging yourself into a hole was to stop digging but I guess he did not want people to think he was a quitter.
Hunt hard, kill clean, waste nothing and offer no apologies.

"In rifle work, group size is of some interest...but it is well to remember that a rifleman does not shoot groups, he shoots shots." Jeff Cooper

#3587259 - 12/19/09 08:48 AM Re: US military sniper rifles [Re: varmintsinc]
rgrx1276 Online   content
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 04/23/06
Posts: 1667
Loc: Israel, Florida
TAF photo from years past with one of the M24's I've carried.


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