- US Army snipers recently tested a new lightweight sniper rifle built to offer more accurate fire at greater distances.
- The snipers field tested the new M110A1 Compact, Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS), an upgraded version of the M110 SASS currently used by Army snipers.
- To test the new rifle, the snipers put thousands of rounds downrange and battled it out in force-on-force exercises.
US Army sharpshooters recently field tested a new, more accurate sniper rifle out west, where these top marksman fired thousands of rounds and even when waged simulated warfare in force-on-force training.
Eight Army Ivy Division snipers assigned to the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team tested out the new M110A1 Compact, Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS), an upgraded version of the current M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS), at Fort Carson in Colorado, the Army revealed in a statement.
Comparatively, the new CSASS offers advantageous features like increased accuracy and reduced weight, among other improvements.
“The CSASS is smaller, lighter, and more ergonomic, as the majority of the changes were requested by the Soldiers themselves,” Victor Yarosh, an individual involved in the weapon’s development, explained last summer. “The rifle is easier to shoot and has less recoil, all while shooting the same round as the M110,” which fires a 7.62 mm round.
“The CSASS has increased accuracy, which equates to higher hit percentages at longer ranges.”
The recent testing involved having the “snipers employ the system in the manner and the environment they would in combat,” according to Maj. Mindy Brown, a US Army Operational Test Command CSASS test officer.
Snipers put a total of 8,000 rounds downrange before battling it out in force-on-force exercises, and they did it all in freezing, single-digit temperatures.
The snipers described the exercises as “the best Sniper training they’d received since attending Sniper School at Fort Benning, GA.” During the force-on-force drills, Army sniper teams went head to head in natural and urban environments, competing to see who could “infiltrate, detect, and engage whom first,” the service said in a statement.
These types of drills are an “extremely fantastic way for us as Snipers to hone our field craft,” Sgt. 1st Class Cecil Sherwood, one of the snipers involved in the testing said.
The CSASS has not been fielded yet, but last year, Congress approved the Army’s planned $US46.2 million purchase of several thousand CSASS rifles.
The Army began fielding the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDM-R), distributing the weapon – a derivative of the CSASS – to a few select units for limited user testing last fall. The rifle “provides infantry, scout, and engineer squads the capability to engage with accurate rifle fire at longer ranges,” the Army said.
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