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Remington M40 Sniper Rifle (1966)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 11/12/2015

The M40A1 is a heavy barrel, bolt-action 7.62x51mm sniper rifle in service with the United States Marine Corps.

Long-time gun maker Remington introduced their bolt-action "Model 700" rifle series in 1962 to the American public and police forces. It was this rifle that went on to form the basis of the US Marine Corps (USMC) standardized sniper weapon - the "M40" during the Vietnam War. These modified versions were "militarized" by USMC specialists out of the Quantico armory and formally adopted for service in 1966. Several changes throughout her production life yielded a handful of variants as described below - all changes making for a more robust and adaptable battlefield system. Amazingly, the original Model 700 is still in production today while the USMC M40 is still in service - having seen published action in the Vietnam War, Lebanon, Grenada, the 1991 Gulf War, the 2001 Invasion of Afghanistan and the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

The original M40 production mark was simply designated as the "M40". These were identified by their single-piece, all-wooded stocks and standard Redfield 3-9x scopes mounted over the receiver. After warping issues of the wooden stocks became apparent, the "M40A1" mark was introduced which featured the McMillan A1 fiberglass stock and a stainless steel barrel. The Redfield scopes were also dropped and replaced by Unertl types. The "M40A3" appeared in 2001 with a new McMillan Tactical A4 series fiberglass stock and a switch to Schmidt & Bender 3-12x50 Police Marksman II LP scopes with their illuminated reticles. A Schneider Match Grade SS #7 barrel was also introduced and other changes to this mark drove the weapon's overall weight up by approximately 2lbs. These rifles appeared in time to participate in the American invasion of Afghanistan prompted by the events of 9/11 and have been used extensively since. In 2009 there came the latest M40 incarnation - the "M40A5" - which introduced support for the AN/PVS-22 series night vision scopes and detachable box magazines (as opposed to the original's integral box method).

Overall, the Remington M40 mimicked the lines of the original M700 complete with its long-running stock making up the forend (forestock), receiver, pistol grip and shoulder stock. Later production shoulder stocks were padded for some comfort while a rear sling was present along the left hand side. The trigger, protected by an oblong ring, was unobstructed under the receiver. The bolt-handle and ejection port were set to the right side of the body. A second, forward sling was set along the forward-most portion of the forestock to the left side of the body. The barrel was exposed across the top of the forend and appeared more or less smooth and featureless. An optional bipod could be affixed to the forward portion of the forend for stability when tracking/firing. Sights were conventionally mounted over the receiver and there were no backup iron sights present.

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Specifications for the
Remington M40
Sniper Rifle

Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Marine Corps Marksmanship Training Unit - Quantico, VA USA
Initial Year of Service: 1966

Overall Length: 1117 mm (43.98 in)
Barrel Length: 610.00 mm (24.02 in)
Weight (Empty): 14.33 lb (6.50 kg)

Caliber*: 7.62 x 51mm NATO (.308 Winchester)
Action: Bolt-Action; Rotating Bolt
Feed: 5-round integral box magazine . 5-round detachable box magazine (M40A5)
Muzzle Velocity: 2,550 ft/sec (777 m/sec)
Range: 3,280 ft (1,000 m; 1,093 yds)
Sights: Optics Only

* Listed caliber(s) for firearms may be model dependent if more than one model type/chambering was produced. Always consult official manufacturer's information or a licensed dealer.

Model 700 - Remington Company Model Designation of the original rifle series of 1962.

Model 40XB - Remington Designation of USMC militarized form.

M40 - Initial Production Model Series; wooden stocks.

M40A1 - McMillan fiberglass stock; Hart barrel

M40A3 - Introduced in 2001; McMillan fiberglass stock; Schneider Match Grade 24" barrel; revised sling; revised bipod; Schmidt & Bender 3-12x50 Police Marksman II LP scope.

M40A5 - Introduced in 2009; barrel has threaded muzzle for muzle brake or sound suppressor; Badger Ordnance detachable magazine system; forward-set rail mount for night vision sight.

United States