The Army’s office that purchases Soldier weapons contacted Kit Up! to flesh out the details on news that the service was looking for a replacement or rebuild of the current M110, which is based off the Knights Armament SR-25 rifle.

Industry (and other field and user sources) have told Kit Up! in the past that the M110 had some problems with reliability, parts, bolts, tolerances, quality control and accuracy. But the Army called to tell us that at least since an earlier trigger problem was solved, the service has had no major issues with the M110 and that reliability is high, no bolts are cracking and there isn’t a cannibalization problem.

During a recent trip to Afghanistan to train Army snipers on the new XM2010, PM Soldier Weapons officials said they heard no complaints about the M110.

We heard no major complaints about the 110. Matter of fact, that’s why it was no surprise when we saw the 173rd had a 100 percent approval of the M110.  To get a group of snipers together and have such high ratings for a weapon system — that’s almost unheard of because snipers are very individualistic. That’s telling us we’re doing a pretty good job and the weapon’s doing a pretty good job.

Program Manager Lt. Col. Chris Lehner went on to say that the sources sought notice is the service’s attempt to keep pace with the latest technology and capabilities of current SR-25-like weapons.

We’ve seen over the years industry’s ability to make weapons shorter and lighter and keep the accuracy. And heck, why would we not go for something like that?

He also said that Benning was leaning toward equipping the shorter, lighter M110 to the spotter in a sniper team, assuming his compadre is wielding the new XM2010.

Where right now sniper team’s got the spotter and the shooter, and the spotter will simply carry an M4. So now you’re going to have a bolt action for the primary shooter, but instead of carrying an M4, the spotter will have an urban sniper support weapon which will be the M110. … Now you’ve increased the lethality of the team…

It is still unclear what the timeline is for the M110 replacement/rebuild. Lehner said the product team is set to meet at the end of April to decide a schedule and scope. Army officials said so far 13 companies have expressed interest in the program, but Lehner declined (as per acquisition policy) to name any of them.

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