The SnipAR Ri­fle

Recoil - - Contents - BY TOM MAR­SHALL

The theme of this is­sue be­ing pre­ci­sion marks­man­ship, and the guns and gear that go with it, we felt it was only ap­pro­pri­ate to build a reach-out-and-touch­some­thing AR for this edi­tion of build sheet. Specif­i­cally, we looked to the mil­i­tary’s SPR pro­gram for in­spi­ra­tion. The Spe­cial Pur­pose Ri­fle was a con­cept de­vel­oped by Naval Sur­face War­fare Cen­ter Crane Di­vi­sion to fill a per­ceived gap in the abil­ity of Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions troops to en­gage tar­gets at long range. The idea was to find a weapon that could reach out beyond the range of a stan­dard M4, or the shorter Mk 18 10.5-inch ri­fles, with­out the ad­di­tional lo­gis­tics of a full­blown 7.62mm sniper ri­fle.

The end re­sult was a ri­fle known as the Mk12 — an AR vari­ant with an 18inch match bar­rel and a 3.5-10x scope, al­low­ing a shooter to en­gage tar­gets out to 600 me­ters while still us­ing all the same mags, mag pouches, clean­ing kit, and an­cil­lar­ies as­so­ci­ated with the M4. The use of heav­ier

Mk 262 Mod 0 ammo en­hanced bal­lis­tics at the re­ceiv­ing end of this equa­tion.

The pre­ci­sion AR you see here was in no way in­tended to clone the orig­i­nal Mk12. In­stead, we re­vis­ited the con­cept with newer com­po­nents to as­sem­ble a gun that mir­rors, or ar­guably ex­ceeds the SPR’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties. The heart of our build is a Rosco Man­u­fac­tur­ing Pure­breed bar­rel. Rosco Man­u­fac­tur­ing has been be­hind the scenes for years, thriv­ing on the OEM side of the bar­rel in­dus­try. Now they’re break­ing out their own brand of bar­rels made com­pletely in house. Their Pure­breed line is ded­i­cated to en­hanced pre­ci­sion at ex­tended ranges. All Pure­breed bar­rels are made from 416R stain­less, sport­ing 223 Wylde cham­bers and nickel boron bar­rel ex­ten­sions. We used the 20-inch ver­sion with a ri­fle length gas sys­tem, and crowned with a Sure­Fire muz­zle brake. Rosco Man­u­fac­tur­ing also pro­duces full mel­onited BCGs, gas

tubes, and gas blocks, which we also used in this build.

The bar­rel is nes­tled into an Amer­i­can De­fense Man­u­fac­tur­ing UIC bil­let re­ceiver set. Their Uni­ver­sal Im­proved Car­bine was de­signed from the ground up to be a fully am­bidex­trous ri­fle. The mag­a­zine re­lease, bolt re­lease, safety, and charg­ing han­dle are all ambi, al­low­ing an iden­ti­cal man­ual-of-arms re­gard­less of which shoul­der you fire from. The 15-inch M-LOK hand­guard is also of ADM ori­gin. It’s in­dus­try­s­tan­dard fare, pro­vid­ing three sides of M-LOK slots and a full-length top rail. The fi­nal ADM com­po­nent on this ri­fle is the scope rings. Said scope rings se­cure a Vor­tex PST Gen II 3-15X. The PST uses Vor­tex’s il­lu­mi­nated EBR-2C MRAD ret­i­cle in the first fo­cal plane, for ac­cu­rate rang­ing at full mag­ni­fi­ca­tion. The build was fin­ished off with Mag­pul fur­ni­ture and a Geis­sele trig­ger.

Of course, all these great com­po­nents don’t mean much if they can’t work in har­mony to pro­duce the kinds of groups you’d ex­pect out of a ri­fle meant for long-range work. To test this build we used Fed­eral 77-grain ammo, which uti­lizes the same Sierra Match King bul­let loaded into the orig­i­nal Mk 262 mil­i­tary ammo. Shoot­ing from the prone off of a GG&G bi­pod, we were able to pro­duce a group that looked some­what like the Olympics sym­bol — that’s to say, three neatly punched in­ter­lock­ing bul­let holes touch­ing side-by-side from the 100-yard line. End to end, the group was a hair over a ½ inch. This, while shoot­ing in the dirt in triple-digit heat, at the very end of a three-hour range ses­sion. While 15-power may be overkill for 100 yards, it al­lows more than enough lee­way to reach out to the ragged edges of the .223 car­tridge’s ef­fec­tive range.

The folks at Rosco have af­fec­tion­ately dubbed this build the #Bar­relGang20 — based on their grow­ing #Bar­relGang In­sta­gram tag. What­ever you want to call it, this ri­fle has demon­strated the po­ten­tial to make head shots at a third of a mile. Whether you’re pro­vid­ing over­watch for an as­sault team, clean­ing out a den of pesky prairie dogs, or shoot­ing groups with your friends for beer and brag­ging rights, Rosco Man­u­fac­tur­ing is show­ing some ex­cel­lent po­ten­tial for your high­pre­ci­sion bar­rel needs.

The 20-inch stain­less bar­rel com­bined with heavy, open-tip match loads is a good start­ing recipe for long-range work with the .223/5.56mm fam­ily of car­tridges.

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