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
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.