LAS VEGAS – The freshly chosen optic for Special Operations Command shooters on display here at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show is an upgraded version of a scope that the Army chose for its designated marksmen last year.

The Sig Sauer TANGO6T 1-6x24 Riflescope is a second focal plane scope that won the SOCOM contract a week ago and includes the following features:

  • A flat dark earth anodized aircraft-grade aluminum main tube.
  • An M855A1 bullet drop compensation illuminated reticle with holds for close-quarters to medium range engagements.
  • An ultra-bright red Hellfire fiber optic illumination system for fast daylight target acquisition.
  • A locking illumination dial.
  • A power selector ring throw lever.
  • A laser-marked scope level indicator for intuitive mount installation.

Another optic on display here that will find itself spread across the Army was the Sig Sauer TANGO6 Riflescope, which was selected last year to be the scope for the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle.

The SDMR program has been part of a larger shift for the Army to put sniper-like capabilities inside of the squad, giving the base unit of the formation more range and lethality with its M110 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System, or CSASS.

“Sig Sauer Electro-Optics fuses superior optical designs, advanced electronic technologies, and ruggedized mechanical systems tested to MIL-STD-810G at our [research and development] and assembly facility in Oregon, USA,” said Andy York, president of Sig SauerElectro-Optics, in a release at the time of the award. “We are firmly committed to supporting the U.S. Army with this mission-specific riflescope that bridges the gap between close-quarters battle and mid-range tactical engagements.”

The rifle at the heart of that platform is the German-made Heckler and Koch G28E-110.

“The CSASS is smaller, lighter, and more ergonomic, as the majority of the changes were requested by the soldiers themselves,” said Victor Yarosh, who works on the Army’s Soldier Weapons program. “The rifle is easier to shoot and has less recoil, all while shooting the same round as the M110. [Additionally,] the CSASS has increased accuracy, which equates to higher hit percentages at longer ranges.”

Most squad-level rifle firepower is most effective at 300 meters, while marksmen attempt to stretch that out to beyond 600 meters, which the new scope enables them to do more effectively, officials said.

“An Army sniper is a kind of force enhancer because they execute a number of missions,” Yarosh said. “They provide a surveillance mission where they use their high-powered scope to observe activity downrange. A sniper can pin down an enemy force through sniper concealment and engagement to provide the right shots at the right time. They can also prevent an enemy force from moving out of cover, which allows our maneuver forces to exploit the enemy by moving into a better position and engage.”

The SDMR selection last year saw funding begin in early fiscal 2019. The company could be asked to build more than 6,000 scopes over the course of the contract.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.

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