I've often said, "There are few rifles right off the shelf, out
of the manufacturer's cardboard box, more accurate than the Remington
700..." Having served in the Armed Forces of the United States,
however, I know better than to think Uncle Sam would listen to this
former, lowly grunt.
The truth is, the United States Marine Corps and the
United States Army were privy to the quality/accuracy of the Rem. 700
well before I was. That said, few will disagree with either party.
The U.S. Army was so enamored with the Rem. 700 that
they developed a sniper rifle from it.
And grunts and
military police since the Nam have operated the M24 Army Sniper
Weapon System with amazing accuracy...and lethality. The M24 is
chambered for the .308 Win., but unlike the Marine version, it uses
Remington 700, Model 40 designed for full-length and magnum
cartridges (i.e., 7.62x51 NATO, .30-06 Springfield, 7mm Rem. Mag,
.300 Win. Mag and .338 Lapua).
But back to our subject - the M40 Sniper Rifle - the
weapon of choice for USMC snipers.
There are three basic versions of the M40 Marine Sniper
Rifle: the M40, vintage 1960s; the M40A1, child of the 1970s; and the
contemporary version, the M40A3, circa 2000 and beyond.
Either gun will wallop the tar out of downrange
targets - with precision accuracy.
The M40 is built on
the Rem. 700 Model 40 Varmint and Target rifle, which has a short
Variants of the short action are chambered for .308 Win., the 7mm/08
Rem. and the .243 Remington.
Most Vietnam-era M40 rifles had wooden furniture that
was prone to warping. The M40A1 and M40A3 versions use fiberglass,
one-piece stocks. The early M40 was mated to a respectable Redfield 3
to 9X variable scope that was swapped out in subsequent versions with
the Unertl 10X.
The early M40 weighed about 12 pounds; subsequent
versions, with all the 'stuff' are heavier.
This bolt-action rifle has a muzzle velocity of 2500
fps or more, depending on the round. Its effective range is about
six-tenths of a mile or 1000 meters, and uses a 5-round, detachable
Both versions, the Army M24 and the USMC M40 are pound
for pound two of the best sniper rifles out there. As for the
inter-service rivalry between the M24 and the M40, all things equal,
there isn't a frog's hair of difference between the guns. That said,
I like the long-action M24 simply because it's chambered for the
reach-out-and-touch-the-bad-guy's .300 Win. Mag. and hot, new .338
Coming soon to a gun store near you: The Remington 700
If you don't have one, you need to buy one and have it
accurized by a good gunsmith.