While the Marines began procuring certain weapons upgrades such as a new service rifle, a new optic and new sniper rifle, many Marines have yet to see those land in their hands.

This coming year, much of the Corps will finally have those options in their armory.

The last of the M27s to come into the Marine Corps are expected to be in the hands of each infantryman from platoon commander and below by mid-2021, officials said.

The M27 is the 5.56mm replacement for the M16 rifle and M4 carbine for all infantry Marines.

The weapon already has increased lethality among the infantry Marines, experts said.

The 30-round capacity rifle can outrange the M4 by 100 to 150 meters. The Corps also is using a version of the same weapon as its squad-designated marksman rifle, the M38.

And to maximize the advances of the M38 and the M27s, the Marines have the squad rangefinder to increase the first shot probability of hit.

The Corps also selected the Squad Common Optic, or SCO, to better leverage the M27’s accuracy, and put out a request in 2019 for a scope to engage at the 600-meter to 900-meter range.

The Marines will begin procuring the SCO in late 2020 and fielding in 2021.

For snipers, the Mk13 Mod 7 sniper rifle was picked to replace the M40 sniper rifle, which has been in service since the Vietnam War.

The M40 fires the same caliber as the M240 machine gun, 7.62mm, which has an effective range up to 800m. Though many shoot at or beyond the 1,000m range, depending on conditions.

The Mk13 Mod 7, firing the .300 Winchester ­Magnum, extends Marine sniper ranges to least 1,000 meters with lethal power at the end of that distance.

This is an excerpt from “17 Things Marines Need To Know For 2020,” in the 12-23 print edition of Marine Corps Times.

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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