Army Adopting SDMR Rifle


You can finally rest easy boys. The army has picked its new. temporary designated marksman’s rifle to be replaced shortly. Truly a wise use of tax dollars. Of course you know what company got the contract even before I tell you.. Retired Generals need to pay for their new homes and mistresses after all.

” The Army intends to begin fielding the majority of its squad designated marksman rifles in May 2020, according to service officials.

The rifle, also known as the SDMR, is a 7.62 mm gun that will serve as an interim solution before the service switches over to the next-generation squad weapon, Col. Elliott Caggins, soldier lethality project manager at program executive office soldier,( and future H&K employee) told reporters Oct. 15 at the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

“It is a bridge to next-generation capability,” Caggins said.

Seems I’ve heard that line before.

The weapon is already fielded to a unit in the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, according to Lt. Col. Peter Stambersky, product manager for individual weapons.

Heckler & Koch Defense Inc. ( yuge shocker there) is the prime contractor for the rifle, which was born out of a directed requirement. The company is on track to deliver 350 per month, Stambersky said. Chortle! We ll know what that “Requirement ” is I’d bet.

“These are examples of how we can use our own acquisition acumen and our own lessons learned and our own tools to produce capability pretty rapidly for the Army,” Caggins said. My head just exploded over this claim. Give me a second.. Ok. So they use lessons learned to what? Pick something very expensive that does the job no better than slightly upgraded weapons already in service just so they can say they got something new? If so then they sure did that.

According to a July news release, the company is slated to deliver between 5,000 and 6,000 squad designated marksman rifles in total. The weapon is a variant of H&K’s G28/HK417, which has a maximum effective range and a high first-round hit probability up to 600 meters. Considering what the HK is going to cost, thats pathetic. It;s not that the DMR is supposed to be more accurate for that role, it’s just that with match ammo, the M4 with a few tweaks can do that all day and a new M4 in standard trim can do the same.

The rifle is being manufactured in Oberndorf, Germany, and is scheduled to arrive at H&K’s U.S. facility in Columbus, Georgia, early next year, according to the release. After their arrival, the company will install scopes and mounts bought by the Army under a separate agreement.

As a result of soldier feedback, the Army decided to put Sig Sauer Tango6 optics on the rifle and change its buttstock, Stambersky said.

“That’s what the soldiers wanted,” he said. “It was all about soldier touchpoint, what they felt was the best and what performed the best during our selection.”

Army Special Operations Command has also shown interest in the SDMR, Stambersky noted.

Right now, the service does not have a timeline for switching from the squad designated marksman rifle to the next-generation squad weapon, Caggins said. First unit equipped for the next-gen system is slated for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022.

“It depends on the next-generation squad weapon timeline,” he said. “The Army might keep SDMR in the formation. I don’t know.”

Textron Systems, General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems and SIG Sauer were picked to build next-generation squad weapon prototypes through other transaction authority agreements in September. To increase soldier lethality, the weapon will use a 6.8 mm round rather than the current 5.56 NATO round.

I’ve had enough of this buzzwords and BS. Read more marketing and army spin below.


  1. hk is way too broke to pay any bribes etc.

    probably more like keepin’ up with the usmc joneses, the grunts wanting the gucci toys they saw the euro guys play with, and nobody-ever-got-fired-for-buying-ibm syndrome.

    i occasionally get to shoot the semi version mr308/762, not bad: reliable shoots any ammo and quite accurate. currently no better (or cheaperer) ar10 etc available in europe. ymmv.

  2. I don’t have an issue with .mil buying relatively small quantities of various weapons systems to try/field/etc. It keeps some flexibility in the system that is, IMHO, critical for our ability to fight a new war, and even adapt to changing conditions in an existing war.

    “The system” in this case, is everything from R&D to T&E to purchasing to manufacturing to training to fielding.

    And I’d say this for all types of weapons systems: artillery, vehicles, ships, aircraft, the whole schmear.

  3. Did the Army suddenly write a bunch of actual doctrine where they integrated the designated marksman into our actual, y’know… Tactics and operational intents?

    Yeah, they have scads of Training Circulars, but I’m talking about actual “Yes, this is how we’ll fight with this system and integrate it into the team/squad/platoon.”.

    It’s just like with the sniper teams–There’s a bunch of crap out there describing what the snipers do and how they do it, but when you go out to look at the company and battalion commanders, there’s jack and sh*t for them actually using snipers in any kind of integrated way. Usually, it’s like check the block: “Hey, Fred… Did you give the snipers a job on this op…? Gotta have a job…”.

    If you’re gonna spend this much money on a new rifle, I want to see where you’ve planned and tested actually using the damn things effectively in the same seamless way guys use their machine gun and mortar teams. The rifles should not be something we throw out there and leave as a “check the block” item–“Oh, yeah… Don’t forget to pack the SDMR… No idea what we’re gonna do with it, but we have to take it…”.

  4. At least they didn’t buy the INSAS.

    Think I’m kidding?
    The Gerald R Ford has been accepted in the service.
    !3 Billion and the main propulsion system is unreliable, the catapults don’t work, there are serious problems with the arresting sytems and then there’s elevators.
    It’s the most expensive sarcophagus yet made by the hand of man.

    How about the F-35?
    And f course we have the little crappy ships, which are actually kind of cool.
    Each one comes with a factory installed and updated version of the Viking funeral pyre.

  5. So, allow me, a dumb-assed taxpayer, to ask the following impertinent question:

    What does this rifle do that a 1903A3 won’t?

  6. I’m sure these rifles will do what the grunts need them to do. They’ll shoot in the intended direction with a good enough amount of accuracy. Can’t speak for the HK rifles having never shot one but also admittedly not caring one way or another. My concern is HK’s ability and agility in supporting the rifle with spares and parts. I’ve read anecdotally end users can’t get anything out of them.

    My personal preference would have been to recycle the M110s already in service with a new upper and stock kit. The M110 had some teething problems as I understand it but it’s also not benefiting from KAC’s last decade of wringing out those bugs. Big Army could’ve gotten 2-3 uppers with scopes for the price of just one of HK’s offerings.

    Kirk is absolutely right about doctrine here. It’s going to vary so widely from unit to unit to be almost useless. Some will employ them wisely and effectively while others will just post them out in OPs endlessly to say they’re being used. Not that they wouldn’t be useful in doing so but they’re not snipers.
    When I pushed for DMs in my old unit this was one of the hurdles I had to overcome; employment. Having that rifle made people think they were losing a rifleman in their squad. No, he’s still a rifleman but he can also do some other stuff too. I wished my tour down there hadn’t ended as I think it was probably the best place to have fleshed out the concept. My former service technically still has the ability, settling on the M4/ACOG combo, and with a qualification table but that’s about it. Nothing is really done with it as I understand it.
    What I’d do is expand the Army squad from 9 to 11 by attaching an SDM team of two soldiers. In a squad position they could support each other but could also split to support each team individually. They’d be trained to engage point targets, you bet, but an equal amount of training would be spent in how to assist getting other fires onto the target. In this buzzword game you don’t “overmatch” a PKM with a rifleman, be it a marksman or otherwise. You try to suppress him, fix him and then destroy him through anything you have available that keeps you and yours alive.

  7. This would have been the perfect opportunity for Colt (US) to push the MCC series, accurately throw 7.62×51 down range, yet retain the ability to use any other uppers already in the supply chain (M4A1, M16A4, Mk. 12) for other missions. But, since they can’t be bothered to do anything besides try and fail to win M4 contracts and make $4k safe queen handguns, I guess we will just buy more German shit.

    • there wasn’t a chance for them to submit it. the army just selected the HK because the army has a hard on for HK and has for a while. How they supposed to push the MCC when they didnt even know it was gonna happen?

      and they just got a contract for 60,000 M4 carbines. so I dont know how that’s failing to get M4 contracts

  8. Having trained my share of DM’s at Benning, I absolutely guarantee you that a well-constructed AR15 using MK262Mod1 ammo and 4X ACOG will lay the hurt on BG’s at the distances mentioned….and for a lot less $$$. One hit in the upper torso will knock the fight right out of them.

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