ELR-SR tender: USSOCOM is looking for a new sniper rifle for extreme ranges. What is in the list of requirements?

Semi-automatic rifle: Barrett M82A1 "Light Fifty" in .50 BMG calibre.
Another anti-material semi-auto rifle: Barrett M107A1 in .50 BMG.

The USSOCOM ELR-SR tender is intended to lead to the replacement of previously used "anti-material" weapon systems such as the M107 and MK15. The M107, as listed under the military model designation, is known to be the heavy Barrett M82 semi-automatic rifle in .50 Browning Machine Gun calibre (12.7x99 mm). The rifle, also known as the "Light Fifty", is used as the M82A1, bullpup model M82A2, M82A3 and M107A1 with a silencer-compatible muzzle brake made of titanium alloy. The M82A2 is no longer in production because it has been replaced by the Barrett successor model XM500. Behind the MK 15 Mod 0 SASR (Special Applications Sniper Rifle) sniper rifle of the US Navy SEALs is the McMillan TAC-50 in .50 BMG. The version of the heavy bolt-action rifle of traditional design with a synthetic stock, 29"/740 mm barrel and 5-round box magazine is a classic and was supplemented by the TAC-50C with Cadex Dual Strike light metal chassis. The sniper rifle, which is also used by the Canadian Army as a Long Range Sniper Weapon (LRSW), has set numerous long-range records. These include successful target hits at 2,430 meters (Rob Furlong in 2002) and 3,540 meters (Dallas Alexander, 2017).

A look at the specifications for the new USSOCOM ELR-SR sniper rifle for U.S. military special operations

Bolt-action with range: McMillan TAC-50C in .50 BMG with Cadex Dual Strike light metal chassis and folding stock.

According to the list of requirements known to date, SOCOM is now looking for a bolt-action rifle weighing a maximum of 9.98 kg (22 lb) to replace the ELR rifles described above, which were previously used for official purposes. It should have a maximum overall length of 1,420 mm (56"), or 1,270 mm without silencer, with a length of pull (LOP) of 368 mm. A modular multi-caliber rifle with a quick caliber/barrel change option is required. The primary caliber of the ELR-SR should work with ammunition loads in the subsonic and supersonic range. If the primary caliber is not a caliber already tested by the Department of Defense (DOD), the weapon must be able to be converted to .300 Norma Magnum and corresponding DOD-tested ammunition types within five minutes. Equipment requests such as a 610-mm long MIL-STD-1913 optics mounting rail with 10 (+/- 1) MIL forward tilt at 12 o'clock, additional numbered MIL-STD-1913 mounting rails, M-LOK interfaces at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock and an ARCA rail at 6 o'clock suggest that the ELR-SR sniper rifle will be equipped with a typical light metal chassis system. The desire for the softest possible shooting behaviour with low recoil (maximum recoil force around 33-34 joules) is particularly emphasised, which is also to be ensured by a corresponding silencer-compatible muzzle attachment. The silencer with a maximum length of 215 mm is designed to reduce the sound level to a maximum of 140 db in all potential calibers.

Barrel life and accuracy required by USSOCOM for the new Extreme Long Range Sniper Rifle

A candidate for SOCOM's new ELR-SR program could be this 10.4 kg MRAD ELR in .416 Barrett with a 36"/914 mm barrel from the manufacturer of the same name.

The information on the required service life and maintenance/care of the barrels in all calibers of the modular ELR-SR is also revealing. In each configuration, the sniper rifle should have a barrel service life of 1,200 rounds (supersonic ammunition) or 1,500 rounds (subsonic ammunition). One possibly somewhat ambitious requirement is that cleaning is only necessary after 100 rounds in order to maintain accuracy and the usual ballistic standard deviations of the respective caliber. The requirements for shooting performance at 100 yards (91.44 metres) are: 1.2 MOA (approx. 30 mm at 100 yd) with supersonic ammo and 2.0 MOA (approx. 60 mm at 100 yd) with subsonic ammunition. Furthermore, the aim is to achieve over 50% hit probability at 1,500 meters with the supersonic cartridge and over 30% hit probability at 600 meters with the subsonic cartridge of the primary caliber.

We will stay on the ball for you and report here as soon as there is anything new regarding the USSOCOM ELR-SR.

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