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  • Writer's pictureDavid Connolly

Why Marines Love the M40 Sniper Rifle

Since its founding, the Marine Corps has emphasized the importance of individual marksmanship. In no sect of the Marine Corps is it emphasized more than among scout snipers. The first scout snipers saw action in World War II. Back then, the Corps did not have a standard sniper rifle. Shooters wielded a variety of weapons, depending on their individual preferences or simply whatever was available. The majority of them used M1903 Springfield rifles equipped with lengthy, 8-power Unertl scopes. During the Korean War, scoped M1 Garands were added to the US arsenal and used by US forces, along with the M1903, for long-range shooting. After the war, the Marine Corps decided to invest more money and resources into developing professional marksmen and overhauled its scout sniper program. In 1961, a new, more challenging course for scout snipers was established in Hawaii. Then, in 1966, the newly trained scout snipers were issued the first standardized sniper rifle: the M40.

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