What does the USMC do to their M40's? I think that Remington supplys an action, and then the USMC armoror does the rest. My question is: What do they do, and would it be cost effective to do that to a Remington PSS? Basically I would like to send the gun off to a 'smith (any suggetions on one would be great)since I don't have the skills to do the work.
Also, why does the USMC use 7.62 NATO? Why not 300 Mag or 7mm Mag? Which would be the best all pourpose caliber, and why. I would like to know the pros and cons of the .300 and 7Mag. I have had all 3 calibers and It really makes no difference to a dumb-butt like me. Basically I want a rifle as close as I can get to an M40, caliber aside.
Out of curiousity's sake, is there any way to make a PSS accept those Browning mags that attach to the floorplate?
Thanks for the answers...I know it will be sound advice!
I found this in a Air Force magazine. It isn't the M-40, but it'll let you know what the military does to some of the civilian rifles. BTW the military uses the .308 cause they have tons of it. They still use it in the M-60 and 7.62mm mini-gun.
The M-24 sniper weapon system used for training airmen at the Air Force Countersniper School at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Ark., is a 7.62 mm, bolt-action, six-shot repeating rifle (one round in the chamber and five rounds in the magazine).
It’s used with either the M3A telescope (day optic sight, usually called the M3A scope) or the metallic iron sight.
The rifle weighs about 15 pounds with the scope, and about 12 pounds without it. It’s about 43 inches long, with a 24-inch barrel with one twist and five lands and grooves.
Manufacturers agree it’s accurate to about 800 meters, but the instructors at the National Guard Marksmanship School at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Ark., say it will hit a target up to about 1,200 meters away (given there’s one heck of a marksman behind the weapon).
“You can beat it up and do just about anything with it, and it will still go,” said Chief Master Sgt. Mark Hughes, an instructor at the school.
The stock is made of a Kevlar, graphite and fiberglass composite bound together with epoxy resins, and features an aluminum bedding block and adjustable butt plate. A bipod can be attached to the stock’s fore end.
The M-24 uses the M118 bullet, a special ball bullet consisting of a gilding metal jacket and a lead slug. It’s a boat-tailed bullet (that is, the rear of the bullet is tapered) and weighs 173 grains. The tip of the bullet is not colored. The base of the cartridge is stamped with the year of manufacture and a circle that has vertical and horizontal lines, sectioning it into quarters. Its spread for a 10-shot group is no more than 12 inches at 550 meters (fired from an accuracy barrel in a test cradle).
The M3A scope is an optical instrument that the sniper uses to improve his ability to see a target clearly in most situations. Usually, the M3A scope presents the target at an increased size (as governed by scope magnification). The M3A scope helps the sniper to identify the target using three dials to hone in: elevation, focus and wind ranges.
First of all, the following comments refer to the current M40a4 USMC sniper weapon system. The older M40a1 sniper rifle would cost less to build than the new one.
Remington does supply the actions and in the past those actions were clip slotted by Remnington. I think RTE shop is currently maching the slots in their newer Remington receivers themselves.(More on clip slotting in a moment) From there USMC armorers completely go through and "true" the action. They also use factory remington triggers that have been gone through and set to about 5 pounds. Once adjusted, the adjustment screws are epoxied in place I believe.
Once that is done, they attach the 24" 1 in 12 twist Shneider stainless steel barrel. The magazine box is then welded to the receiver and the whole thing is blued in the RTE shops bluing tanks. (Yes friends, stainless steel barrels can be blued as long as you use the right process.)Now you've got a barreled action.
The USMC is currently using the DD Ross picatinney rail with 20moa of declination that drops into the cuts in the receiver. This isn't like a standard Remington where you bolt the bases on top of the action. In a clip slotted receivers case, the scope mount drops into premachined slots in the receiver and is held in place by much larger screws. Originally, the slots were cut in the receivers so you could use stripper clips. I've never seen it done, but this is what I'm told.
As far as I know, the stock the USMC is currently using is the fiberglass McMillan A4 stock in OD green. The action is bedded to the stock with marine tex. (Sort of like an epoxy that hardens so that there is no movement between the stock and the action.)
The current trigger guard is the all steel 1 piece Dan Ross M1 trigger guard. This thing is capable of hammering nails. A real beast of a trigger guard. Pricey too. Something like $289.00 for the trigger guard alone. His mount I mentioned above is like $350.00. For those of you who are keeping score, that's almost $650.00 for a trigger guard and a scope mount alone. The stock will set you back another $600.00 or so with the military adjustable cheek piece. (2 screws) and the spacer adjustable length of pull.
Only 3500 characters allowed so I had to break this into 2 posts. Sorry guys.
OK, that takes care of the stock, action, barrel, scope mount, and trigger guard. I don't think I forgot anything except for the Unertl 10X power scope that is pretty unobtanium right now unless you want to pay $2,500.00 from US optics.
So it is worth doing to a PSS? Well, not really. If you're desperate to build one get a Remington ADL rifle for like $300.00 the extra few hundred you save can buy that trigger guard or scope mount.
Trigger Guard $289.00
Scope mount $350.00
That's about $2,000.00 and you havn't even paid a smith to put it together yet. (Alot, trust me)
As far as who to build it, there are 2 names that come to mind.
Iron Brigade Armory/ Chandler is probably the best around. Their waiting list is like 2 years and the current price for a rifle in the M40A1 supergrade variety is like $5,200.00 including the Leupold M1LR scope. (In other words, not the Unertl)
The other would be Texas Brigade Armory. They'll build you a rifle in the M40A1 variety for like $2,000.00 sans scope. Also a year or 2 wait. Not as highly regarded as the Chandler but not bad from what I hear. Why the big price difference? Quality costs money. Is it worth an extra 2 to 3 grand for the Chandler. Many seem to think so.
If you want one and you want to get your money out of it one day, you're going to have to go with someone like Iron Brigade armory. They are very well known for building this type of Rifle and it will hold it's value for a long time to come.
All these modifications add up to a rifle that is extremely robust and I would highly recommend one if you can stand the cost and the wait. If not, rebarrel your PSS with a nice Hart or Schneider barrel, get the action trued and shoot to you hearts content. A finely tuned Remington with a good barrel should shoot 1/2 MOA easy. You won't have the extreme ruggedness of the M40a1 but unless you're planning on dropping your rifle out of a heliocopter or abusing it in some similar fashion, you won't need that.
Want and need. That's a whole different topic.
Hope this helps some.
Can't tell you why the USMC M40 is chambered for .308 but can tell you that the Army M24 Sniper Weapon System can be switched back and forth from .308 to 300 winchester magnum. The Army M24 SWS is built on a Remington long action solely for this purpose.
I think some Army Spec Ops guys actually use M24's in 300 win mag with great success.
At one time, the 300 win mag had the highest ballistic coefficient of any cartridge with the exception of 7mm magnum. I believe The BC has to do with the bullets having a very flat trajectory and it might even have something to do with how much the bullet is affected by the wind. (Not a bullet guy, doing my best.)
What I can tell you is that a 300 win mag without a muzzle break recoils hard. Very punishing to shoot for any length of time. I used to have a McMillan M86 in 300 win mag. It came with a muzzle brake and for fun one day I took it off. I shot about five rounds and put the brake back on. Again, it bucks hard without the brake.
I've heard that 300 win mag also eats barrels. A .308 will go 5,000 rounds before any loss of accuracy and probably all the way to 10,000 rounds with only a slight loss of it's original accuracy. (Strictly my opinion).
"Out of curiousity's sake, is there any way to make a PSS accept those Browning mags that attach to the floorplate?"
H&S Precision makes a kit that will turn your BDL PSS action into a detachable box magazine type action. Around 200 bucks I think. You will have to use their magazines.
Again, hope this helps.
I suspect the military likes to stay with the 7.62X51 for logistical reasons. Personally, if I were spending a zillion dollars for a custom sniper rifle, I’d go for the .300 Winchester (or, if I got drunk enough, maybe even a .338 Lapua!!).
The U.S. Army’s M24 rifles are specifically designed to give the army the option of later refitting them to .300 Winchester.
The U.S. Secret Service uses the 7MM Remington Magnum in their sniper rifles. Keep in mind though, that there are some real differences between military and police sniper missions. Actually, the Secret Service is a bit unique in that its primary concern is counter-sniper operations.
The Chandler that TacticalShooter mentioned is a retired USMC LtCol. who is heavy into sniping. His link is: www.ironbrigadearmory.com. This outfit had some sort of association with Carlos Hathcock up till his death.
Robar can modify your rifle to take M-14 magazines – for about $700!!
H-S Precision has an add-on steel triggerguard/magazine assembly, which will let you use their detachable magazines. The assembly and one 4-round mag goes for a little under $200. They also offer an optional 10-round mag for $100. They also make complete rifles.
You’re probably already aware of it, but another good place to post this question is at www.snipercountry.com.
A pretty good book on current USMC and US Army sniper rifles is Mike Lau’s “The Military and Police Sniper”. I’m thinking Lau runs the Texas Brigade Armory that TacticalShooter mentioned above.
Good info on the US Secret Service using 7mm magnum. I did not know that.
You are also correct about Mike Lau. He does indeed run Texas Brigade Armory.
I have his book it's very good.
199 is right. A vast amount of info can be had on Snipercountry.com. The top sniper website IMHO.
i have a cousin who is an active S/S and he tells me there is a push now in the S/S community to migrate to the 300WinMag. he has also mentioned that there are some M40's in 300WM. whether or not its just for test-eval i dont know but he has shot one and commented upon its punishing recoil. Also, i believe i heard the Corps specs H&S precision barrels for the M40's. is this incorrect?
Being a 7mm Remington Magnum 'enthusiast', I enjoyed reading that the U.S. Secret Service used it, as in past tense.
I think I read recently that they have since, for some time now, switched to the .300 Win.Mag.
Can't remember where I read that, sorry, but, it did stick in my mind.
Just to mention it.
H&S Precision did indeed make barrels for the USMC M40A1 rifles some years ago but as of at least a couple of years ago, they went to Schneider Barrels. I do believe that Hart has made some barrels for the Marine Corps as well but I don't know exactly when.
The M40A1 have been built using McMillan, H&S, Hart and Schneider barrels (In that order, I think), depending on the vintage of the rifle.
The Action has a small modification done ahead of the rear bridge of the action to allow chargers to be used. (This can be done with a 3/4" endmill...)
Barrel life is variable: if the rifle is cleaned and allowed to cool properly after firing, the barrel is going to last a lot longer than one that has 200 rounds an hour fired through it.
With modern barrel steels, there isn't much practical difference between a .308 and a .300 WinMag as far as barrel life goes. I suspect the .300 WSM and the .300 RUM are going to quickly replace the .300 WinMag in the Sniper/counter sniper mission. The beltless design lends itself better to accurate headspacing.
Firing the .300 Win Mag out of a 13lb. rifle is not that big of a deal, a muzzlebrake is a definite asset, but by no means a must have. The .308 is a pussycat in the same rifle weight class.
If you run a search on Mike Lau or TBA, you'll see that he builds a pretty good rifle. However, he also has a bad reputation for communication and build times.
Here're a few pics of mine, built on a Rem. 700 ADL action:
Remington 700 Short Action, Blueprinted, Sako extractor, Speedlock Titanium Firing Pin with a Wolff Spring, HS Precision Floorplate, Remington Trigger, Tuned to 3.25 Pounds, Badger Bolt Knob, Lilja Precision Barrel, .308 Win., 26" at .900" OD, 1 in 12 twist, 6 Groove, 416R Stainless Steel Stress Relieved, Hand Lapped, HS Precision PST03C stock, Schmidt & Bender PMII 10x42, Badger Ordnance 20MOA Tapered Base, Badger Ordnance Standard Height Rings, Drilled for 8-40 screws.
I put 500 plus rounds through one 4 round magazine over the course of 5 days at Gunsite with no problems. Moreover, The rifle shot to the same zero after 5 days of abuse, including a 700 meter stalking exercise.
I had mine built by the HS Precision gunsmith and it wasn't that bad. The finish you see is the HS matte teflon.
I agree that Chandler is good, but would have to thumbs down on TBA. Again, look up the FAQ on snipercountry.com.
Another highly regarded name is George Gardner at G.A. Precision in MO. He has a great rep and from the brief time we spent talking at the SHOT show, seems to know how to build rifles that follow function over form.
Thanks for the knowledge! I am amazed by the wealth of experience present on these forums. That being said, I wish I had a better paying job!!!!
I was on active duty for 6 years and only held an M40 once. I have a PSS in .308 right now., and it feels pretty much the same as the M40 did. I did get to sight thru that Unertle scope but, to the Air Wing eye, it seemed no different than a good Leupold.
What is meant by "true the action"? What does this invole? I WILL not spend that kinda cash (5,000+) at this point for a sunday plinker....I just want the knowledge for when I do have the money. Tahnks again for your extremely informative responses.
Here is an excellent link that another member recently posted on blueprinting (or truing the action): www.probed2000.com/Blueprint.htm
I recall reading someone’s remark, possibly at snipercountry.com, that the newer Leupold’s were optically superior to the Unertl, which wouldn’t be surprising, considering it’s age. I have no idea if this is true.
Some outfit in Texas (possibly US Optics?) has bought the Unertl brand name. So possibly we’ll be seeing new Unertl’s – I get the impression there is quite a demand for it by folks like yourself who want to duplicate a M40.
I didn’t see your third post until I’d submitted my first one, so I accidentally duplicated some of your remarks. That wasn’t intentional (I dislike it when someone does that!).
Incidentally, I don’t know what part of VA you’re in, but I guess you know Chandler generally has a set-up at the Richmond Showplace Gun Show.
Before his death, Hathcock used to be there – sitting in a wheelchair, staring into space, with a cardboard box marked “donations” on the table in front of him. (Sometimes I think this country doesn’t deserve its veterans!)
One of these days I hope to make it to the precision rifle course that Chandler gives at Blackwater.
My information re: USSS goes back almost three years. Also, I was present when a couple of SS guys (don’t know if they were agents or snipers) were talking about the possibility of going to the .300 WM. I think their feeling was that was no real benefit and a lot more recoil in doing that.
However, the USSS is definitely not a touchy, feely agency and generally could care less what its employees think!!
What’s your opinion of your H-S Precision detachable magazine setup? I am seriously considering getting one for my 700 Police. (I really, really dislike the aluminum triggerguard/hinged floor plate that came with the rifle.)
I assume there is no difficultly loading rounds through the action and into the seated magazine – as opposed to having to remove it from the rifle each time you want to load it.
Apologies to Jarhead94 for wandering a little off his topic.
No problem on duplicating the comments, happens to the best of us.
Just so you know, I reside in Northern Virginia so I don't get down to Richmond very often. I have heard that Iron Brigade armory sets up there. I had no idea Carlos Hathcock used to be there with a donation box in front of him. What a terrible thing for a man who was the
greatest Marine Corps Sniper ever.
The Blackwater course sounds great. I'm considering a similar course at Storm Mountain Training Center. No time soon, but one day.
Nice Rifle. Looks extremely well built and from what you say, looks like it held up through a very tough school. I applaud you on your parts selection. Well done.
The reason I mentioned Chandler as well as Texas Brigade Armory is that in JarHead94's original post it sounded to me like he wanted to know who he could send his PSS to to make it into an M40 replica. Well, customer service issues aside, Mike Lau specializes in building just that, a USMC M40A1 replica. While I have heard of Gardner and I know that he is good, I don't think he's known for his M40A1 replicas. If the post said "who can build me my dream tactical rifle?", alot more names would have been thrown into the fold. Gardners included.
Can anyone tell me how to post a pic of my rifle?
"The M40A1 have been built using McMillan, H&S, Hart and Schneider barrels (In that order, I think), depending on the vintage of the rifle."
So you're saying that McMillan supplied the very first rifle barrels for the United States Marine Corps M40 rifles?? Is this accurate?
"The Action has a small modification done ahead of the rear bridge of the action to allow chargers to be used. (This can be done with a 3/4" endmill...)"
It's called a clip slot. You fail to mention however that not only is the rear bridge of the receiver modified but there is also a half moon cut milled into the front bridge of the receiver. Without that important cut, I don't belive the cartridges would top load into the receiver. The Unertl scope mount drops into those two cuts.
BTW, if you can really do these cuts nicely, you could probably sell your services for quite a bit of money. Dan Ross charged me $250.00 for those 2 cuts in my ADL receiver.
"Firing the .300 Win Mag out of a 13lb. rifle is not that big of a deal, a muzzlebrake is a definite asset, but by no means a must have."
Are you a particularly large fellow?
Can someone tell me how to post a JPEG of a rifle?