July 17 (UPI) -- An improved U.S. Marine Corps precision-firing rifle is now fully operational, the Marine Corps Systems Command announced.
The Mk13 Mod 7, a bolt-action rifle designed to replace the Vietnam War-era M40A6 rifle, entered service in 2018 with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and attained full operational capability in the second quarter of 2019. The new rifle delivers a larger bullet, more accurately and at greater distances, than the M40A6, which will remain in use for sniper training. The new rifle also includes the M571 enhanced scope known as a day optic, which enables a shooter to better identify a target at a further distance.
"When shooting the Mk13, the bullet remains stable for much longer," said Maj. Mike Brisker, Marine Corps System Command weapons team lead for infantry weapons. "The weapon gives you enough extra initial velocity that it stays supersonic for a much longer distance than the M40A6."
The new rifle has proven popular with Marines who used it for over a year in support of the 2025 Sea Dragon exercise, a series of real-world experiments operated by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory.
"At our new equipment trainings, the resounding feedback from the scout snipers was that this rifle is a positive step forward in the realm of precision-fire weapons," said Capt. Nick Berger, the System Command's project officer. "Overall, there has been positive feedback from the fleet."