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M39 Enhanced Marksman Rifle (EMR) Designated Marksman Rifle / Sniper Rifle (2008)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 10/28/2015

The M39 EMR is a dedicated marksman rifle but can also be used as a battle rifle if the need arises.

The M39 EMR (Enhanced Marksman Rifle) was developed from the tried-and-true action of the original "M14" Battle Rifle of 1959, itself a further evolution of the World War 2-era M1 Garand automatic rifle. The M14 saw considerable service in the Vietnam War as well as operational service throughout Cold War Europe and across the volatile Korean Peninsula. As some 1.5 million of the type were ultimately produced, the weapon can still be found in quantitative numbers in inventories today and private owners appreciate the types fine qualities.

With its origin in check, the newer M39 shares much of the same qualities of the M14 before it including its gas-operated, semi-automatic firing action as well as being chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO standard cartridge. The M39 is, in essence, a further evolution of the M14 series itself, extending the operational life of the decades-old platform for the requirements of the new battlefield. The designator of "Enhanced Marksman Rifle" indicates its primary use by "non-sniper" elements, operators more akin to the "designated marksman" in the US military (also known as "sharpshooters" elsewhere) - a battlefield element tied to a long range, repeat-fire weapon intended to serve as an integrated part of the infantry squad. The M39 EMR was developed for use by the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and replaced the M14 Designated Marksman Rifle (M14 DMR) in the same role beginning in 2008. The M14 DMR itself served from 2001 to 2010 and saw combat action in the 2001 American invasion of Afghanistan and the 2003 American invasion of Iraq.

The designated marksman role falls upon an operator to provide accurized ranged repeat firepower at the squad level. This differs from the traditional dedicated sniper element for the DM is not officially rated a sniper per se ("Scout Sniper" in USMC nomenclature). As such, the designated marksman is provided slightly different tools for the role - a weapon developed more to fill the void within the squad that is already stocked with automatic assault rifles and squad assault weapons (SAW). In the case of the M39 EMR, the DM is given a proven combat rifle firing a full-power rifle cartridge - a quality the American assault rifle lacks (this being chambered for the 5.56mm cartridge). Optics allow for the precision required of long-range engagement.

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Specifications for the
M39 Enhanced Marksman Rifle (EMR)
Designated Marksman Rifle / Sniper Rifle

Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: USMC Armorers - USA
Initial Year of Service: 2008

Overall Length: 1122 mm (44.17 in)
Barrel Length: 559.00 mm (22.01 in)
Weight (Empty): 16.53 lb (7.50 kg)

Caliber*: 7.62x51mm NATO
Action: Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt
Feed: 20-round detachable box magazine
Muzzle Velocity: 2,837 ft/sec (865 m/sec)
Rate-of-Fire: 60 rounds per minute
Range: 2,550 ft (777 m; 850 yds)
Sights: Standard Optics; Backup Iron Sights

* 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.

M39 EMR - Base series designation; bipod and optics are standard fittings; adjustable stock.

United States