Pentagon’s Top Tester Gives Sniper Round Passing Grade

sniper rifle 2The Defense Department released it’s annual testing report and unlike other weapons programs, the MK248 Mod 0 Sniper Round got a passing grade.

Used with the M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle, the Mk248-Mod0 (A191) .300 WinMag ammunition, is utilized to hit targets up to 1,200 meters out. The sniper system was built to improve the range and accuracy of other comparative systems.

In March 2013, the Army completed a successful live fire with the MD248 Mod  as service officials tested it against gelatin targets to obtain data inputs. It was also fired against “light material barriers and other targets to determine the projectile’s ability to perforate the target,” according to the Pentagon’s Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) annual report.

The testers determined that the sniper round “demonstrated adequate performance and lethality” when frired from the M2010. However, more details weren’t made available, as the report referenced the 2013 classified Mk 248 Mod 0 lethality report.

This is the first time that DOT&E has tested the sniper round, but plans to continue to do so. Their recommendation for the Army is to “improve the complex computer models it uses to model small caliber ammunition performance.”

15 Comments on "Pentagon’s Top Tester Gives Sniper Round Passing Grade"

  1. Does this mean that the U.S. Army, all on its own has figured out what constitutes an accurate 300WinMag round. Amazing.

  2. The Defense Department conducts actual tests on ammunition to help the Army tune-up 'computer simulations' to 'model' what ammunition does? That just begs the 'field shooters' to make complaints and cause a 're-cycling' of the 'evaluation process'.

    Must be one of them oxy-morons at work!

  3. It is absolutely amazing that the military has again spent millions of dollars on what has been proven on alot of new rounds by the worlds best ammo makes already. Who is responsible for this waste of money.? If Winchester, Hornaday and others like them say a bullet is lethal, then you can bet you butt it is. They develop ammo that kills 400 to 1000 pound animals so they should sure know what kills a man. Stupid waste of time, effort and money. But of course some lobbyist and congressman made a bundle on the wasted time so I guess that means its ok.

  4. The army has been shooting the .300 wm for several years for matches, even the reserves have been using it for matches. The accuracy is very good and the range is excellent, much better than the .308 win. and the 7.62X39, the enemy will be greatly surprised, so much so that the surprise will kill them. We will now have to listen to all the know- it- alls from the bench(arm chair warriors, etc.) that look at ballistic reports and have no knowledge of downrange performance. This is an excellent cartridge, with weapon that is designed to make it work, if people will actually go out and fire it before making an opinion. Looking to see automatic weapons at squad levels in the future, I sure am glad I'm not going to hump that stuff, belted magnum squad weapons would take on a new meaning and take on a new concept of back pain from humping the ammo not to mention the expense BUT, not as expensive as the .50 ammo nor as heavy.

  5. OK guys – give them a little slack.
    Point one – the ammunition needs to behave nearly identically at arctic temperatures, in hot deserts and jungles. It has to perform the same after long-term storage in cold, high temperatures, and humidity. If you're shooting a target at 1,200 yards, the bullet drop at that range has to be exactly the same every time under every condition. Verifying perfect behavior means shooting an enormous amount of ammo in order to ensure that your statistical analysis is correct.

    Here's a little tidbit – Mk 268 is a high pressure load, even for a 300 Win Mag. There might have been a serious question whether real-world conditions could provoke dangerously high chamber pressures.

    Same questions have to be answered about lethality. Does the Sierra Matchking fragment the same way at -50 F as it does when your rifle and ammo have been sitting under an Iraqi sun all day? Does it have the same lethality when the target is lightly clothed as when it is wearing heavy winter clothing? How does it actually work against foreign body armor? When you use it in an anti-materiel role, is it consistent under a variety of conditions? How does the Pentagon answer these questions? Shoot people under a variety of conditions and have the snipers record the results of all their shots.

    Regarding computer predictions, they're talking about long range ballistic calculations. Frankly, ballistic programs for calculating bullet drop and wind drift aren't all that accurate. They're based on formulas written in the 19th Century for iron cannon shells. Again, at 1200 yards, you're measuring bullet drop in feet. A very small difference between the computer program and the actual bullet drop of Mark 268 ammo means the difference between hitting a human and missing him entirely. The "improve the complex ballistic models" quote means that current bullet drop and bullet drift calculations may not be accurate enough for a sniper to dial them into their scopes at long ranges and get a reliable first round hit. That's a problem.

  6. Nice comment but just as helo's don't fly the same at high and low altitudes neither do bullets. Cold weather affects the barrels different than warm barrels. That's why they shoot a lot of rounds to develop ballistic tables for it. None of this is relevant to your average shooter and most especially to one east of the Mississippi River since 200 yards will be a long shot.

  7. MK268 ammo is very hot. I reload for the .300 and get around 5 reloads for the standard case. I used some of the MK268 cases and they could only be used for 2 reloading's without seeing signs of case fatigue and making me nervous about the case life. No. 1 I just don't use the cases from that MK268 for reloading No. 2 backing off a few grains improves accuracy when I reload other cases. No. 3 a few feet per second does not matter if the bullet is placed consistently in the exact same place, you adjust for it. this is just for information, my rules for me only and that way I can enjoy shooting without any problems, and I don't have problems. if you like the .338 then you should buy one and shoot it, then you can state what a great product it is, you will return to the .300.

  8. VT "Need" was a poor choice of words. .Practical might have been better Except for the Moose you reminded me of there is very little game east of the river needing such a large caliber weapon. Too much damage to the game but if that's what you want to shoot a .300 God bless you and may your hunts go well.

    Captain, Long range accuracy is a good thing but retaining lethality is just as important. I couldn't tell you what the military .300 costs but it is much more than the civilian version. It will have to meet mi spec for moisture resistance and long term storage. The primer will be lacquered and the bullet will have the tar coating. The cost of all of the testing and data collection will be added in. And since it will be a low number production the costs can't be spread out much. And the army has been known to screw up things badly so expect that to add to the costs. The first of the new rifles went to the sniper school and the barrels were shot out in less than 500 rounds. So I expect them to screw this procurement up again. The .50 starts showing its problems with accuracy well beyond 1000 meters. It was designed to be used in an area dispersion weapon so pinpoint accuracy wasn't even an issue.

  9. I'm not the world's expert on ballistics, but I tried for a number of years to get a .300 WM dialed in for the ranges I needed. I was elk hunting in Wyoming. The result was that the accuracy was never where I wanted it because the 300 WM headspaces on the belt near the rim. Given manufacturing tolerances, this can vary the distance from the bullet to the rifling (throat). Ammunition that headspaces on the rim (ie the 338 Lapua Magnum) has a much more consistent headspace.

    Barrel wear and erosion at the muzzle are also problems for the 300 WM. I replaced the barrel on my rifle at 600 rounds. Replacing the old barrel with an expensive Hart match grade barrel did very little to improve the accuracy. Maybe the rate of twist for the round was wrong, or perhaps the gunsmith didn't ream the chamber properly.

    One thing is a known fact: Weapons and ammunition for the 300 WM are a lot cheaper than the 338 Lapua Magnum.

  10. I have heard that phrase before" barrel shot out ". it is simply not true for that cartridge, the 220 swift washed out barrels due to +4000 fps muzzle. they changed the composition of the metal and that changed but they still lasted for at least 3-5000 rounds with the old metal. I have a .300 that has more than 10,000 rounds fired out of it and it still has a .75 moa. and I am using light bullets with much higher velocity than mil. spec. that statement is simply not correct. I would have to actually see the barrel wash out at 500 rds. even letting the barrel get a little hot.

  11. As I recall the M1 Garand was not good at first; the M14 was finicky, the M15 was, well at first questionable. All tested and approved by manufacturer and government. Nothing changes. Use what you can hit with not what someone is pushing. Remember military has to consider weight, supply, environment and training among others. Fun to read the comparisons and comments though.

  12. Question: In the above image of the sniper team…what suppressor is that? Looks like a ‘DIY’ paper towel roll special or something. Is the real suppressor under that cardboard covering? Anyone?

  13. I have been using a 300 win mag for 9 years as my competition rifle. I also shoot for pleasure at extreme distances, and from 1500yds or closer this is better for a lot of reason.. 308 is weak at that range and the 50cal is too damn heavy. Not to mention you can still shoot a mile with the win mag.. Reason I know is I DO IT!!!. Get away form this military mentality and see what real shooters are doing. Any rifle that shoots better then 1/2moa can kill out to 1500yds ALL DAY LONG. If you want a system… use Norma brass, H4831SC and a Berger 210 and match primers. deadly accurate. bunch of nonsense I ve read so far. Former Marine.

  14. Dick,
    I'm glad there are people like you who can shoot that far accurately. I never personally had the oppertunity to shoot long range back when my skills were still good enought to attempt it. However, when you talk about shooting that far in the "military mindset" you have to ask yourself does the round still have sufficient lethality at 1500 yards to reliably kill the target and second is the ammo issed as high a quality as what you use. If the answer is no for either question then shouldnt you use something else?

  15. you can't beat the long range shooting of a weathebee .270 MarkV. it's a magumn load with appox 20% more powder. it's the flattest shooting rifle I've ever shot. I took down a huge deer at 800 yds, chest shot, knocked it completely down. got up, made it 20 ft and was done.

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