Marine snipers could have them in their inventory as soon as June, a company official said.
The rifle and optic are major upgrades to the platform they replace ― the M40 ― which has been in service since the Vietnam War.
The new rifle, the Mk 13 Mod 7, extends sniper range and lethality through a combination of factors. It fires a .300 Winchester Magnum round as opposed to the 7.62 mm of the M40. The .300 Win Mag pushes ranges beyond 1,000 yards, which was the limit on the old round.
Marines chose the Tremor3 reticle for sighting in targets, which gives shooters a quicker windage option than standard scope reticles, said Tod Litt, business development manager for Nightforce.
The reticle has wind dots that allow shooters to immediately adjust fire or targeting based on direct miles per hour readings from devices rather than calculating sometimes complicated relational formulas, which can save time acquiring and engaging a target.
Litt said the company does rigorous testing and meets or exceeds rugged requirements for military grade scopes.
The scopes are put through torture tests including sand, salt spray, fog and mud among others.
Its commercially available scopes have nearly all the same features, except for the ability to withstand dramatic positive and negative pressure changes such as altitude.
Online photos from Josaphat Orozco photography surfaced recently showing Marines shooting the new rifle with the Nightforce scope, but it wasn’t until this week that both Marine Corps Systems Command and Nightforce confirmed the scope selection.
Nightforce scopes have been a part of the Mk 13 rifle military accessories in use by special operations forces since the Mod 3 version, Litt said.
Marine Corps Times Reporter Shawn Snow contributed to this article.
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.