April 16th, 2018

‘The Gunny’ Has Left the Range — Rest in Peace R. Lee Ermey

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket

Decorated U.S.M.C. veteran, competitive shooter, and actor R. Lee Ermey has passed away at age 74, due to complications from pneumonia. Known to friends and movie fans as “The Gunny”, Ermey will be missed. He was the real deal who exemplified the Marines’ motto: “Semper Fi” (Always Faithful). Earning fame as the Drill Instructor in the Hollywood movie “Full Metal Jacket”, Ermey appeared in over 70 films along with popular television series*. Even after becoming a famous actor, Ermey remained a serious marksman, shooting at Camp Perry and other venues with friends such as fellow Devil Dog Dennis Demille and Hornady’s Dave Emary.

Ermey won a Golden Globe nomination for his signature performance in “Full Metal Jacket”. That launched a new career as a Hollywood actor. Ermey eventually appeared in dozens of popular movies, including “Se7en,” “Prefontaine,” and “Toy Soldiers.” He also hosted successful cable television shows — the “Mail Call” and “Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey” series on the History Channel, followed by “Gunny Time” on the Outdoor Channel.

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket
R. Lee Ermey was a competitive shooter. This photo shows Dave Emary (left) and Ermey (right) shooting the Vintage Sniper Team Match at Camp Perry. (Photo: NRA Blog)

Philip Schreier, NRA Senior Museum Curator, said Ermey’s “support for the U.S. military was legendary, in particular, the Young Marines program, as well as his advocacy for veterans and their treatment at VA Hospitals.” (Read More). Ermey’s friend Bill Rogin said that “He will be greatly missed by all of us. Please support your men and women in uniform. That’s what he wanted most of all.” Rogin noted that while Gunny’s characters were often hard and principled, the real Ermey was a family man and a kind and gentle soul who supported the men and women who serve. (Source: Fox News Report).

A member of the NRA Board of Directors and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, Ermey spoke to Fox News in 2016 about being “blackballed” from Hollywood over his political views. “I’ve had a very fruitful career. I’ve done over 70 feature films,” he said. “I’ve done over 200 episodes of [History and Outdoor Channel Television Series shows]”.

Born in Kansas, Ermey joined the USMC right out of high school, enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1961 at age 17. He served for 11 years, including 14 months in Vietnam, before being discharged in 1972. Ermey began his Hollywood career in 1979 as a technical adviser to Francis Ford Coppola, working on the Vietnam War film, “Apocalypse Now”.

Here are some comments from our Forum members, many of whom knew Ermey personally or met him at shooting matches:

“It is a sad day to lose someone who did so much for children behind the scenes. He was a great guy and a patriot. Semper Fi Gunny — may you rest with our lord Jesus Christ.” — J. Bearman

“I shot a mid-range match at Camp Pendleton where he and Donald Jr. were shooting on a team with Dennis Demille. They were pretty sharp! Nice guys every one. Sorry to see R. Lee go so young.” – Watercam

“29 Palms CA, I had the the pleasure to meet and shoot with Gunny Ermey. First class, all the way… Semper Fi and Godspeed Gunny.” — BPD 459

R. Lee Ermey RIP death pass away Gunny Mail Call History Channel Full Metal Jacket

U.S. Marine Corps Service History
In 1961, at age 17, Ermey enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and went through recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California. For his first few years, he served in the aviation support field before becoming a drill instructor in India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, where he was assigned from 1965 to 1967.

Ermey then served in Marine Wing Support Group 17 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan. In 1968, he was ordered to Vietnam with MWSG-17, and spent 14 months in country. The remainder of his service was on Okinawa where he was advanced to staff sergeant (E-6). He was medically discharged in 1972 because of several injuries incurred during his service. On May 17, 2002, he received an honorary promotion to gunnery sergeant (E-7) by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones.

Commendations: Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Meritorious Unit Commendation

* Many biography statements say Ermey has “over 60″ film credits. Ermey himself told Fox News he appeared in “over 70 feature films”, so we use that number.

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February 2nd, 2018

No More M4 — USMC Adopts H&K M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle

USMC Marine Corps M27 IAR heckler koch
Photo by USMC, public domain.

The U.S. Marine Corps will be adopting a new rifle to replace the M4 select-fire carbine. Designated the M27 IAR (Infantry Automatic Rifle), the new rifle is based on Heckler & Koch’s HK416, which looks like an AR, but runs with an internal gas piston system. The HK416 has been used by the German Army and some USA Special Operations units. This change-over has been in the works for some time, but the “protest period” has concluded, so now it is official.

The adoption of the M27 was announced at SHOT Show 2018. GunsAmerica reports: “H&K has officially received the contract for the USMC to replace the M4 carbines. The H&K model selected is the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, a derivative of the famous H&K 416″. The U.S. Marine Corps initially planned to purchase 6,500 M27s to replace a portion of the M249 light machine guns employed by automatic riflemen within Infantry and Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalions. In December 2017, the Marine Corps revealed a decision to equip every Marine in an infantry squad with the M27, so this is a major change. (Source: Wikipedia.com.)

According to Wikipedia: “The M27 is a lightweight, magazine-fed 5.56mm, select-fire weapon based on the Heckler & Koch HK416. It features a gas-operated, short-stroke piston action with a rotating bolt and a free-floating barrel. The handguard has four MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rails for use with accessories and optics. The simpler gas-piston rifle system reduces the amount of time it takes to resolve malfunctions on the IAR compared with the M249 light machine gun.”

USMC Marine Corps M27 IAR heckler koch
CLICK HERE for full-screen M27 Photo by Heckler & Koch.

As deployed, early versions of the IAR have done well in combat: “The IAR was initially fielded in December 2010. 1st Battalion 3rd Marines were deployed to Afghanistan in April 2011 with 84 IARs. Former SAW gunners initially did not like the M27, but appreciated it as time went on. It weighed 9 lb. loaded, compared to 22 lb. for an M249 — a significant difference when on 5-hour long missions. It also blended in with standard M16-style service rifles, making it difficult for enemy forces to identify the machine gunner. Marines issued with the M27 [report] it is friendlier to troops [than the M249] due to its cleaner, lightweight system having fewer moving parts and jams. IAR gunners consider the rifle-grade accuracy to be a huge improvement over the SAW, despite the loss of sustained firing.” (Source: Wikipedia.com.)

Heckler & Koch Expands American Production Center in Georgia
Heckler & Koch operates a production center in the state of Georgia, not far from Fort Benning. A $28.5 million expansion, started in 2017, is adding a new 50,000-square-foot factory in the Corporate Ridge Business Park. “HK’s new U.S. factory will make use of advanced manufacturing technologies and will be staffed by German and American engineers and technicians,” said Francisco Hidalgo, CEO of HK USA. GunsAmerica notes: “H&K USA will be designing and building guns directly for the U.S. market in the USA now. Now, we can look forward to weapons built specific to the U.S. market. [We] can’t wait to see the first one stamped ‘Made in Georgia’.” It is unknown when H&K will start delivering American-made M27s to the USMC.

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June 19th, 2017

“This is My Rifle” — 74-Year-Old Marine Reunited with M1 Garand

Pat Farmer USMC Marine Corps M1 Garand CMP Camp Matthews
After 56 years Pat Farmer was reunited with the M1 Garand he used while serving his country.

By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Pat Farmer hadn’t felt the weight in his hands in 56 years. After five decades, the memories flooded back as his fingertips grazed the wood of the stock and gripped it tightly. It was a piece of his personal history, and the history of his country… and now, it’s a relic he’ll be able to keep for the rest of his life.

“I had never dreamed it would be in the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) warehouse,” he said. “I had just hoped to possibly start a search beginning with the CMP.”

The 74-year-old from Jacksonville, NC, is a retired veteran who served 26 years in the armed forces. He was raised on a farm in Nebraska where he became familiar with guns at an early age. As a teen, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during his senior year in high school through a delay program. On August 30, 1960, he left for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, to attend boot camp — where he celebrated his 18th birthday.

Pat Farmer USMC Marine Corps M1 Garand CMP Camp Matthews

Upon arrival he was issued M1 Garand #4305638. The firearm soon became a close companion as he spent countless hours with it on the “Grinder” — a Marine Corps term for a deck or parade ground used for drill and formations.

Reunited with M1 Garand after 56 Years
On May 8, 2017, Pat Farmer was reunited with M1 Garand #4305638 thanks to the CMP. Bringing it back to life, Pat began to fieldstrip the rifle. As he got to the trigger housing of the gun, he found something that he couldn’t believe – tape with his name and markings on it. It read, “Farmer 20/8L.” Pat believes it was his 500-yard “dope” – twenty clicks elevation, eight clicks left windage.

Pat Farmer USMC Marine Corps M1 Garand CMP Camp Matthews

“Fifty-six years ago, we drilled and did the manual of arms with M1s as if they were matchsticks. It seems much heavier now!” Farmer added with a laugh.

Pat was eventually selected for aviation school after infantry training and shot on the rifle team while attached to a Reserve unit. He went on to shoot expert rifle at the Camp Mathews rifle range*. “It was some of the best and most rewarding years of my life,” he said.

Many years later, Pat one day went through an old locker box and found his custody receipt from Jan. 27, 1961, when he turned in his boot camp rifle before transferring to aviation school. Curiosity set in as he wondered whatever became of M1 Garand #4305638 – and the idea of finding it overcame him.

“I had purchased a few rifles from the old DCM and also CMP, so on a whim I decided to contact CMP to see if my old M1 had ever passed through their system,” he explained. Here’s the story of what happened and the years of waiting…

(more…)

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June 10th, 2017

MilSurp Gold — The $27,556 XM-3 Sniper Rifle

Sniper Rifle DARPA XM-3 XM3 CMP Auction Iraq War

Would you pay over twenty-seven grand for a slightly-used Rem 700 bolt-action rifle and Nightforce scope? Well somebody did just that recently, paying the princely sum of $27,556.00 for a DARPA XM-3 Sniper Rifle system in a CMP Auction. In fairness the buyer did get a case, a PVS22 Night Vision Device (NVD), and some other accessories. Created for the USMC, only fifty-two (52) XM-3s were ever made, so this is a pretty rare rifle. But, honestly, is this thing really worth $27,556? What do you think?

Sniper Rifle DARPA XM-3 XM3 CMP Auction Iraq War

This XM-3 system was recently sold by the CMP at auction (SEE Auction Photos). There was plenty of interest in this item, with 111 total bids for the rifle, case and accesories. Here is the CMP Auction product description:

DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECT AGENCY (DARPA) XM-3 Sniper Rifle S6533990

These XM-3 sniper rifles used by the United States Marine Corps. In mid-2005, DARPA worked with Lt. Col. Norm Chandler’s Iron Brigade Armory (IBA) to field items to expeditionary units in Afghanistan. Since they already had a great working relationship, DARPA contracted IBA to build and test lightweight sniper rifles that incorporated the improvements the snipers desired in combat. The mission was to be lighter and smaller than the existing M40s, while having better accuracy, clip-on night vision that did not require re-zero, better optics, and better stock, and it had to be suppressed. The barrel had to be short enough to allow maneuverability yet long enough to deliver a 10” group at 1,000 yards. If the barrel was too heavy, maneuverability would decrease, yet if the barrel was too light it would only be able to shoot a few rounds before the groups started to shift due to barrel temperature. IBA tested a number of barrel lengths, ranging from 16 to 20 inches and in different contours. Each rifle with a different length was assigned an XM designator starting with XM1 through XM3. In each case, everything on the prototype rifles was kept the same except the barrel.

During the final phases of testing it was found that the 18” barrels had no issues keeping up with their longer 20” brethren. The final barrel length was set at 18.5”, and the contour was a modified #7. The straight taper on the barrel was only 2” vs. 4” and the overall diameter at the muzzle was .85” vs. .980”. This helped reduce a lot of the rifle’s weight while not negatively affecting accuracy or effective range. A number of the groups at 1,000 yards were < 1 MOA. The Marines of I-MEF were the first to field test the rifles at Camp Pendleton. Shortly after I-MEF took receipt of the XM-3s, the first units in II-MEF took receipt of theirs. By mid-2006 there were dozens of XM-3s in Iraq. There were 52 XM-3s made. More info on the XM-3 Sniper Rifle can be found at SteveReichertTraining.com.

Sniper Rifle DARPA XM-3 XM3 CMP Auction Iraq War

Also included: Scope SN P06798; Sniper Data Book with some firing information; PVS22 Night Vision Device SN 2936D (NVDs function); appears complete tool/cleaning kit with cleaning rod; sling; suppressor case and wrap (SUPPRESSOR IS NOT INCLUDED!); bipod; cold bore shot target; instructions; iM3200 Storm case.

Sniper Rifle DARPA XM-3 XM3 CMP Auction Iraq War

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April 13th, 2015

New R. Lee Ermey GunnyTime TV Show Premieres April 15th

R. Lee Ermey outdoor Channel Television full metal jacket

R. Lee Ermey, aka the “Gunny”, has a new Television Show on the Outdoor Channel. We’ll be tuning in to GunnyTime with R. Lee Ermey when it debuts April 15, 2015 (yep, Tax Day). Ermey has an impressive resume — An 11-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and active High Power competitor, the Gunny has appeared in numerous feature films and has also starred in critically-acclaimed TV series on HBO, TNT, Showtime and History Channel.

The all-new, half-hour series produced features weapons and weapons technology – past, present, and future. While consulting with top experts, Ermey will demonstrate both historic weapons and modern high-tech firearms and military gadgets. The Gunny also test-drives a variety of weaponized vehicles, such as a Tomcar TM5 with an M249 S.A.W. mounted on it.

Watch Show Preview Trailer

In the show Ermey will be assisted by knowledgeable experts including Craig “Sawman” Sawyer, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL, Grady Powell, retired U.S. Army Special Forces Sergeant, and our friend Kirsten Joy Weiss, ace rifle shooter and host of the popular Sharp Shots YouTube Channel.

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November 10th, 2014

Today Marks 239th Birthday of U.S. Marine Corps

Today marks the 239th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Marine Corps. At Tun Tavern in Philadelphia on November 10, 1775, the Marine Corps was formed. At a ceremony marking the Marine’s “birthday”, (held at the Marine Corp Air Station in Yuma, AZ), Cpl. Uriel Avendano provided perspective: “The word Marine spans time, places, people, personalities and exploits. The faces of the Marines of the past tell the story of a tough, disciplined and proud people who loved the challenge and gave nothing but their best. Today the uniform has changed, but the motives remain the same… [O]ur duty remains the same. We are ready for anything, at any time and in any place.”

Happy Birthday, Devil Dogs… and Semper Fi.

Marine Corps Flag

U.S. Marine Corps Anniversary Soldiers of the Sea

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July 3rd, 2014

First Shot Ceremony Will Honor Those Who Served in WW II

The NRA National Rifle and Pistol Matches kick off next Monday, July 7, 2014 at Camp Perry. There will be something special this year in honor of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who fought in World War II. Here’s the CMP’s notice of the special event:

First Shot Ceremony at Camp Perry
In recognition of the heroism many soldiers displayed 70 years ago to the day, at the Battle of Saint Lo in Normandy, France, and the Battle of Saipan in the South Pacific, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will be bringing the sights and sounds of these great conflicts to the shores of Lake Erie at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 7, 2014. Please join us at the ranges of Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio, as we merge the great sacrifices of veterans everywhere with the friendly rivalry of marksmanship competition.

Camp Perry Ceremony First Shot National Championship

Camp Perry Ceremony First Shot National ChampionshipScheduled to appear are a WW II Navy Avenger torpedo bomber and the WW II B-25 bomber “Yankee Warrior”. These warplanes will fly overhead as vintage military vehicles parade alongside the ranges towards the crowd. Leading the ground forces will be a fully-operational M-4 Sherman tank. Other vehicles on display will include a WW II AMTRAC and WW II Army Jeeps.

Gary Anderson, DCM Emeritus, has the honor of firing the First Shot at the Opening Ceremonies. A legendary shooter, Anderson is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who also carries seven World Championships and 16 National Championships in his list of accomplishments. Anderson will fire the first shot of the National Matches with his Model 70 rifle, which he used to win one of his U.S. National Championships.

Camp Perry Ceremony First Shot National Championship

The First Shot Ceremony and the Range Dedication events are free and open to the public. All guests are welcome. To learn more about the National Matches, CLICK THIS LINK.

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February 19th, 2014

Win a $12,000 Rifle System — Raffle Benefits USMC Families

The U.S. Marine Corps Scout/Sniper Association (USMC SSA) assists active-duty Marine Corps Scout Snipers and their families and the organization provides educational assistance to surviving dependents of the Marine snipers lost in combat. To further these ends, the USMC SSA is having a raffle with a prize package worth $12,000.00+. The main element of the prize is a .308 Win Surgeon Rifle in an Accuracy International AX AICSM40 Chassis.

For just $10.00 you can purchase a chance at winning this prize, a rifle and accessory package valued at over $12,000.00. You can purchase tickets online via a secure page on the U.S. Tactical Supply website. The Raffle drawing will be held March 17, 2014 (3/17/2014). That’s not far off, so act soon if you want to help this worthy cause.

USMC Scout Sniper Association Raffle Surgeon Rifle

CLICK HERE to Purchase Raffle Tickets ($10.00 each)

Raffle Prize Includes:

1. Surgeon Rifles – 591 Action SN#1775, with 24″ Krieger Barrel MTU Contour 1:10″ twist, 5R rifling, and Jewell Trigger set at 2.75 pounds.
2. U.S. Optics – LR-17 Mil 3.2-17xT Scope.
3. Accuracy International – AX AICSM40 Chassis.
4. Accuracy 1st Developmental Group – Applied Ballistics 4500NV Kestrel.
5. Badger Ordnance – 30mm MAX-50 Ultra High Scope rings, (3) 10 rd mags, (3) 5 rd mags.
6. SKB Cases – Custom hard case for rifle and accessories.
7. CorBon Ammunition – 200 rounds of 175 grain performance match ammunition.
8. TAB Gear – RAS USMC Precision Rifle Sling, rear bag and dope card.
9. U.S. Tactical Supply – One-Shot Package (data book kit) and HOG Saddle.
10. Bushnell – Tactical tripod with swivel head (same model issued to USMC Scout Snipers).

NOTE: Raffle is for U.S. Residents Only. Prize cannot ship outside the United States.

Charity Raffle FAQ
Q: Will there be runner-up prizes?
A: No, there will be one winner only. That one person will win ALL the items listed above.

Q: Where do I buy the raffle tickets? Can I buy more than one?
A: Go to the USMC SSA Raffle Page, and select “USTS USMC 8541 TKT” for your shopping cart. Use the “Quantity” field to set the number of tickets you buy — one or more than one.

Q: Is this legit? How do I know the funds will go to a good cause?
A. The U.S. Marine Corps Scout/Sniper Assn. is a non-profit, tax-exempt fraternal veterans association covered under IRS Ruling 501(C)(19). This is a legitimate, established group that does good works.

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May 5th, 2013

Video Reviews History of M40 Sniper Rifle

M40 Sniper RifleRemington has produced a fascinating 8-minute video on the history of the M40 Sniper rifle, which is based on Remington’s m700 action. The video features interviews with former Army snipers, USMC Scout Snipers, and Seal Team members. Retired marine Jim Land, USMC Marksmanship Coordinator and O.I.C. (1st Marine Div., Scout Snipers), explains how the M40 came into existence: “Remington was about the only company that took us serious. [Remington] built the rifles in the custom shop. [It took only 16 months] from December of ’65, when we received the first test rifles, until April of ’67, when they were employed in the field. It’s probably one of the quickest turn-arounds on selecting a firearm to be used [by the military]. I’ve got to say that those rifles saved many, many Marines’ lives. The Remington 700 was such an improvement over the other rifles that we had… it was truly a godsend.”

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December 24th, 2012

This Christmas Eve, Remember Our Warriors Deployed Overseas

Soldier's ChristmasThis Christmas Eve day, amidst the shopping frenzy, let’s not forget the scores of American military personnel, volunteers all, who remain deployed overseas, thousands of miles from home. In this video, Marine Master Sgt. Robert Allen sings a Christmas song he wrote for his wife back home. Allen is one of the thousands of service men and women still deployed in Afghanistan. His song helps us remember the many soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen who serve this nation in battle zones far, far from home. MSG Allen hopes his song “will help people understand that though we’re willing to do it, it’s still heart-breaking”.

Video recorded at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.
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November 10th, 2012

U.S. Marine Corps 237th Anniversary Marked Today

Today marks the 237th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Marine Corps. At Tun Tavern in Philadelphia on November 10, 1775, the Marine Corps was formed. “For 235 years, at sea and ashore, Marines have succeeded in every clime and place where hardship and adversity have often been the common thread.” said Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps in this year’s birthday message. “Today, in the rugged mountains and valleys of Afghanistan – and recently in the earthquake damaged Haiti, in flood-ravaged Pakistan, or off the coast of Africa, we continue to protect our nation, just as we did 60 years ago in Korea.”

Happy Birthday, Devil Dogs… and Semper Fi.

Marine Corps Flag

Dave Lauck Dlssports.com USMC Pistol

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November 10th, 2011

Semper Fi — Marine Corps Celebrates 236th Anniversary Today

I met an old man today — 88 years old. On his head was a cap that said “Viet Nam Veteran”. I stopped to thank him for his service, and shake his hand. Though he walked with a cane, his grip was firm and his eyes revealed an inner strength.

Pointing to his cap, I said “my brother served there too, in the Delta.” He nodded and said, “I was at Phu Bai — Marines”. Then he touched his cap and said… “of course that was the third time for me. World War II… Korea… Viet Nam”.

Three wars… in three decades. That’s dedication. That’s sacrifice. As we parted, he smiled and said, “You know it’s the Marine Corps’ Birthday today.” “Indeed it is”, I answered, “today’s the 236th anniversary of the Corps. I bet you’re proud.” He paused, and then said… “Proud? Yes… but pride is just part of it, son… just part.”

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October 12th, 2011

Marines Replace M249 SAW with M27 IAR (HK416)

The U.S. Marine Corps. has ordered $23.6 million worth of gas-piston M27 full-auto rifles from Heckler & Koch to replace aging M249 SAW machine guns. Designated the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR), the Marines’ new 11.62-lb weapon is a heavy-barrel variant of the highly successful Heckler & Koch HK416 used by military, law enforcement, and special operations units in the U.S. and throughout the world. The HK416 is basically an AR15 that HK “fixed” with a gas piston assembly and other tweaks to improve reliability, particularly during full-auto fire.

The M27 IAR replaces the heavier, M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) which has been used by the Marines in infantry squads since the mid-1980s in the automatic rifle role. Both weapons fire the 5.56×45 mm NATO cartridge. The Marines plan to have one M27 IAR per four-man fire team, with three M27 IARs per squad, 28 per company and more than 4,000 across the entire Corps. The M27 IAR is already being used in combat in Afghanistan. CLICK HERE for M27 combat photos

Marine Corps M27 IAR

The five-year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract calls for possible delivery orders up to $23,600,000 for the production, delivery, and associated support of the Marines’ Infantry Automatic Rifle program. The Marine Corps approved the full production and fielding of the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle during the summer of 2011.

The M27 contract has drawn fire because critics say the M27 IAR is simply a “more reliable M16/M4″ that lacks key features required by any practical squad automatic weapon — belt-feeding, and interchangeable barrels. With belt-fed ammo and interchangeable barrels, an automatic weapon can produce large volumes of fire, over a sustained period, to pin down the enemy. An M27 operator must change box magazines every 30 rounds. On the other hand, the M27 IAR is about half the weight of the M249, and that seems to have been a key factor in the Marine Corps’ decision to replace the M249 SAW. Marine spokesman Major Joseph Plenzler declared: “The fielding of the IAR will significantly enhance the ability of our infantrymen to … reduce their fighting load and provide them a more ergonomic and accurate weapons system that can keep up during the assault.”

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February 16th, 2011

Hoppe’s Sends Cleaning Kits to U.S. Marines in Combat Zones

Bore Snake Kit USMCHoppe’s has partnered with America 4R Marines to supply more than 5,000 BoreSnake gun cleaning kits to U.S. Marines currently serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. America 4R Marines is a nonprofit organization of volunteers that supplies much-needed items for battalions or units in the most remote and hostile areas of operation. The mission of America 4R Marines is to not only support the troops with basic human needs and comfort items, but also to provide tactical products that can help military personnel better maintain their equipment and remain safe in combat zones.

The Hoppe’s BoreSnake Soft-Sided Gun Cleaning Kit allows soldiers to quickly clean the bore of their weapon and get it back in to service. The patented product is also small and lightweight for easy transportation in the field. “We’re honored to partner with America 4R Marines and provide much needed supplies to the troops serving our country,” said Phil Gyori, vice president of marketing for Bushnell Outdoor Products, the parent company of Hoppe’s.

Bore Snake Kit USMC

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January 29th, 2011

MEDIA Day Report: D.O.A. Tactical Shooting Bench

At Media Day, held prior to SHOT Show 2011, we had the chance to try out the D.O.A. Tactical Shooting Bench. The sturdy D.O.A. bench, selected by Media Day organizers, is also used by military organizations, including the USMC, the U.S. Army Sniper Training Schools, and the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). These benches are made in Utah by D.O.A. Tactical, a USMC Veteran-owned company. During Media Day, the D.O.A. benches provided a solid base for our limited shooting sessions. They seemed well-built and solid. D.O.A. portable benches start at $475.00 (less shipping), but prices are slated to increase on February 1, 2011. To place an order before the price hikes, contact D.O.A. at (760) 953-9067.

The video below shows how quickly and easily a D.O.A. bench can be assembled and deployed.

YouTube Preview Image

dmo shooting bench

Story Sourced by Edlongrange.
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November 6th, 2010

McMillan Offers Limited Edition M40A1 Commemorative Rifles

McMillan Firearms is building 20 limited edition M40A1 Commemorative USMC sniper rifle packages. The M40A1 rifles are being built to the exact configuration as those originally issued. Gale McMillan, founder of McMillan, worked with the Marine Corps in 1975 to develop the M40A1. In 2000 the Marine Corps presented Gale with a Service Award, a used dewatted M40A1. Each of the commemorative rifles is a replica of this original M40A1.

m40a1 Commemorative Rifle

Package Includes U.S. Optics Scope and Extra M40A1 Stock Returned from Service
To ensure the authenticity of the M40A1 Commemorative Rifle, McMillan interviewed Marine armorers at Quantico on M40A1 specs and gunsmithing. Each rifle is equipped with a MST-100 scope, period correct base and rings, Wichita swivels, leather military sling, and a numbered certificate of authenticity. The package comes in a custom-inlet olive Pelican case. In addition to the rifle, each package includes an original returned M40A1 stock from an actual USMC M40A1 service rifle.

m40a1 Commemorative Rifle

“The original rifle stocks have seen combat in places like Panama, Granada and Desert Storm. We only have 20 stocks available for [this project].” said Kelly McMillan, director of operations for McMillan.

m40a1 Commemorative Rifle

Commemorative Rifle stocks are molded from the same contract mold and built to the same specs as those delivered by McMillan to the Marines Corps. The action, barrel, bottom metal, and trigger are all hand-crafted in the same fashion as the original with correct serial number and proof stampings. Topping off the 20 Commemorative Rifles are the last available US Optics MST-100 10X scopes, mounted in the historically correct clip-slotted base and rings. (US Optics picked up the M40A1 scope contract after it ran out with Unertl.) Total cost of the package is — hold on to your hat — a whopping $8,541.00.

CLICK HERE for more details, and to watch a video describing the Commemorative Rifles.

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October 3rd, 2010

‘R. Lee Ermey Unplugged’ Interview in CMP Magazine

On the Mark is a free digital newsletter available from the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The latest On The Mark edition contains an interesting (and very candid) interview with the “Gunny” — R. Lee Ermey. A well-known TV and movie actor, Ermey served as a Gunnery Sgt. in the USMC before earning fame and fortune on the silver screen. Ermey is also an active shooter who regularly competes in CMP Garand matches and NRA High Power events. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

CMP PracticeThe Appeal of Shooting Sports
“What I like about the shooting sports is the camaraderie. It’s a bunch of great guys. They’re good patriots –- they would never burn a flag. They’re grassroots Americans and the most patriotic people I know.”

Message to New Shooters
“What I’d like to stress more than anything is that people who are nonshooters who think they might like to give this a try should buy an M1 Garand from CMP and get out here. They can buy one that’s very shootable off the rack for 600 bucks.”

On the Future of Shooting…
“As I walk up and down the firing line and I look at these old codgers out here — a bunch of old farts over the age of 50, I’m saying in another 10 or 20 years shooting sports are going to go downhill if we don’t add to the sport, so we need to groom these young people to step up and take our place.”

Good Training Article by Gary Anderson
In addition to the R. Lee Ermey interview, the current issue of “On the Mark” features an excellent four-page article on “How to Practic” for shooting event. Authored by Gary Anderson, Director of Civilian Marksmanship Emeritus, this article explains how to develop practice plans, how to practice economically using dry firing and aiming practices, and how to combine at-home practice with field sessions.

CMP Practice

Along with feature stories, On the Mark includes match reports from both Junior and adult competition programs around the country. CLICK HERE to download the Fall issue of On the Mark (PDF).

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May 29th, 2010

Quantico Memorial Day Weekend Remembering the Brave Match

Quantico Marine logo VirginiaThe First Eastern Armed Forces Memorial Match is being hosted by the Quantico Shooting Club this Memorial Day weekend. Each year, 14 military service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country will be honored at this match. The trophies will bear the names of the service members and the winner of each match. All match entry fees are donated to the Remembering the Brave Foundation, which was founded by Stephen Beck. Steve was a Casualty Assistance Officer in the Marine Corps and is a high power shooter. This match was his idea as a way to remember our fallen heroes.

Quantico Memorial Day Match
De Oppresso Liber (“to Liberate the Oppressed”) is the motto of the United States Army Special Forces.

The 1000-yard individual match is named in honor of PO1 Joseph Adam McSween. Adam’s mother Florence was present and spoke to the group of shooters after the match about her son. Adam was killed by enemy action while conducting combat operations in Kirkuk in 2007. he presented the trophy named for her son to the winners. Victor Armenta was first with a score of 199-12x. Jon Howell was one “x” behind for second place and Dave Kerin was third with 198-12x.

The 1000-yard team match is named in honor PO2 Marc A. Lee, the first SEAL to be killed in Iraq in 2006. He was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart posthumously. The winning team was the Virginia Shooting Sports Association. The individual aggregate match is named for SSG Marc J. Small, a Special Forces Medic, who was killed in Afghanistan last year. His father, Murray, was at the match and spoke about his son’s decision to join the Army. Murray presented the awards to the top three shooters in the aggregate. Jon Howell was the high individual shooter, dropping only three points on the day. Victor Armenta was second and Ken Roxburgh was third.

Story and photo courtesy the NRA Blog and Jan Raab, Nat’l Mgr. of NRA’s High Power Rifle Program.

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February 17th, 2010

USMC Adopts New Open-tip 'SOST' 5.56 Ammo

After learning that M855 NATO ammo does not perform well from short-barreled rifles such as the M4 carbine, the U.S. Marine Corps has started issuing a new type of 5.56×45 ammo to its troops in Afghanistan. The new SOST (Special Operations Science and Technology) ammo, officially designated MK 318 MOD 0 “Cartridge, Caliber 5.56mm Ball, Carbine, Barrier”, features a different open-tip 62mm bullet. The new bullet, with a lead core (in the top half) and solid copper bottom half, is similar to hunting bullets such as Federal’s Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. The SOST bullet was designed by Federal/ATK, which will produce the loaded ammunition.

SOST 5.56 ammo

The new SOST ammo was first developed for use by SOCOM (Special Operations) in the SCAR rifle, which has a short, 13.8″ barrel. Even in short-barreled rifles, the SOST provides impressive ballistics — achieving 2925 fps in a 14″ barrel. Compared to M855 ball ammo, SOST rounds are more lethal when shot from short-barreled rifles. According to the Marine Times, SOST ammunition delivers “consistent, rapid fragmentation which shortens the time required to cause incapacitation of enemy combatants”. Using an open-tip design common with some sniper ammunition, SOST rounds are designed to be “barrier blind”, meaning they stay on target better than existing M855 rounds after penetrating windshields, car doors and other objects. This is important to troops in the Middle Eastern theater who must engage insurgents inside vehicles or hiding behind barriers.

In Afghanistan, the USMC will issue SOST ammo for both the short-barreled M4 carbine as well as the original, full-length M16A4. The Corps purchased a “couple million” SOST rounds as part of a joint $6 million, 10.4-million-round buy in September — enough to last the service several months in Afghanistan.

M855 Criticized by Ground Troops and Pentagon Testers
The standard Marine 5.56 round, the M855, was developed in the 1970s and approved as an official NATO round in 1980. In recent years, however, it has been the subject of widespread criticism from troops, who question whether it has enough punch to stop oncoming enemies.

In 2002, shortcomings in the M855’s performance were detailed in a report by Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, Ind., according to Navy Department documents. Additional testing in 2005 showed shortcomings. The Pentagon issued a request to industry for improved ammunition the following year.

CLICK HERE for Full Report on New SOST MK 318 Ammunition.

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June 30th, 2009

Eastern Junior Highpower Clinic & Championship

We applaud programs that promote youth participation in the shooting sports, particularly programs that successfully involve both boys and girls in competitive shooting. At the recent Eastern Junior Highpower Clinic & Championship, held June 20-26 at Camp Butner, NC, dozens of boys and girls honed their shooting skills under the guidance of experienced instructors from the USMC Rifle Team.

After lecture-style teaching sessions, the junior shooters headed to the range where they received personalized instruction from the Marine Corps coaches. June 21 and 22 were dedicated to dry-fire and live-fire exercises. The 23rd began with a “Whistler Boy” format, 500-yard, two-person team match, followed by a 600-yard match. On the 24th, the juniors competed in the Bushmaster Trophy Match, an 800-yard Across-the-Course event. On Friday the 25th, a CMP Juniors EIC Match was held, followed by a cook-out and awards ceremony.

There were many female shooters at the Camp Butner event, and the young ladies did very well in competition. In fact, Amanda Elsenboss won the EIC (Excellence in Competition) match with a 484-14X score. Amanda also finished second to Tyler Rico in the Bushmaster Trophy Match. Tyler Rico won the Clinic/Championship Overall Aggregate with an impressive 1962-66x score, followed (yet again), by Amanda Elsenboss (1943-56x).

Photos courtesy ODCMP.com

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