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Army Fields New Squad Designated Marksman Rifle

The SDMR includes offset backup sights, a Geissele mount, OSS suppressor, Harris bipod, and Sig Sauer’s 1-6x24mm Tango6 optic. (Photo: U.S. Army)


This weapon is an upgrade to the whole squad layout, and you can even work it in to combined arms warfare,” said Sgt. Patrick Nissen, a 3ID. “I shoot long-range, both in the Army and recreationally, and I really like getting down behind this weapon, it is very comfortable, it is a great rifle, and I really do enjoy it”

Now that is a perfect example of toeing the party line. Or the Sgt. really wants one of those sweet retirement jobs at HK like the Generals get. Way to hard sell that rifle Sarge.

The whole intent for this is new equipment training,” said David Parris, a former infantry Soldier, and one of the civilian experts from the Army’s Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, which helped field the guns. “We have given them a rifle that is precise and capable of closing the capability gap of 300-600 meters, which means it fills the maximum firing distance gap between the standard-issue rifle and the sniper rifle.”

The rest of this HK advert, Army talking point and buzz words that are essentially meaningless.

Raider Soldiers once again led the way in modernization when they fielded the U.S. Army’s new Squad Designated Marksman Rifle, SDMR, last week on Fort Stewart, Ga. The fielding process ended with a familiarization firing at the base’s sniper range on June 5th, 2020.

The team that conducted the live fire consisted of noncommissioned officers from all over the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. They were the first in the Army to field the SDMR, named the M110A1. They started their training earlier in the week with initial familiarization in a classroom setting. This enabled the Soldiers to become educated with the new weapon system before conducting live fires.

After the initial training, where they learned about the assembly and disassembly, functionality, operation, etc, the Soldiers took to the sniper range for zeroing and confirming with a civilian team from the Tank-automotive and Armament Command out of Detroit.

“The whole intent for this is new equipment training,” said David Parris, a former infantry Soldier, and one of the civilian experts from TACOM. “We have given them a rifle that is precise and capable of closing the capability gap of 300-600 meters, which means it fills the maximum firing distance gap between the standard issue rifle and the sniper rifle.”

The SDMR fires a 7.62x51mm NATO round and comes equipped with a variable zoom scope. The manufacturer also added a bi-pod, adjustable butt stock, and an upgraded trigger to enhance the weapon system’s precision fire capabilities.

Once the fielding process is complete, these NCOs will be able to take what they have learned and share it with the Soldiers of their respective units. This will be another way the Soldiers of Raider Brigade build and maintain lethality.

6 thoughts on “Army Fields New Squad Designated Marksman Rifle”

  1. I wonder how this is going to fit into the infantry squad. Whichever team ends up with the SDM is going to be hampered for CQB. We are talking about a team with 3 weapons that are sub-optimal for CQB. Who is going to be the number one man in the stack for clearing rooms? The guy with the grenade launcher, or the guy with the M110-a1, or the guy with the SAW? Sure the team leader can do it, but how long can you sustain combat operations when you are constantly having your CPL/SGTs roll the dice as number one? The grenadier can detach his M320 and have a decent weapon for room clearing, but then he will be slower with the 40mm.

    The only way I see this working is to add the SDM as a new member of the squad but doubt the Army will implement a 10 man squad.

    This feels like an Afghanistanism.

    Reply
    • This is the root problem–How does this fit into the squad, what is the role, and how are they modifying tactics to use the damn thing?

      I keep asking the question on these issues, and the answers I get back are deafening in their silence: How are you going to fight with this weapon, and what does it do for you, tactically?

      Big Army doesn’t even know WTF to do with sniper teams, in most units. If the Colonel can’t figure out how to effectively deploy his battalion’s snipers, what makes you think that SSG Joe Blow is going to do any better with his Designated Marksman?

      Weapons should follow doctrine, not the other way around. Develop the tactics and operational doctrine for use, then develop the weapon to support those things. What they’re doing here is essentially the diametric opposite–I’ve yet to hear of anyone actually articulating anything really cogent about the DMR program, aside from thinking on the “Man, it would be really cool, if only…” level.

      You have to go after this stuff on a holistic, integrated basis, and understand the role your small arms suite is going to fill in how you fight. If you’re doing MechWar(tm) in Europe or the Middle East, the limiting factors and supporting weapons make the current suite and tactics more-or-less workable, something we stumbled into by sheer accident. I’d agree that making a change is a good idea, but for the love of God, could we not put some fucking thought into what we really want to do, replacing things and improving it all?

      Systemic thought about our tactics and operational intents simply doesn’t happen. It’s all “Wow, wouldn’t that be cool…” BS until it gets out into the field, and then we have to figure out how to use the crap the system unloads on us. Meanwhile, there are unanswered needs like improved HE for the 40mm, effective airburst fire for the Carl Gustav (which should have been procured for general issue back in the fucking 1980s, not the 2010 timeframe…), and a myriad of other issues that have gone ignored by the “system”.

      Reply

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