M24 Army Sniper Rifle: A Brief History
The U.S. Army adopted the M24 in 1988 as they sought a centerpiece for their sniper program. Not your granddaddy’s Model 700, it was built on the Remington 700 Long Action with the original intent to chamber it in .30-06. There was also movement afoot, thanks to influence from Special Forces, to have the option to later re-chamber for .300 Win Mag. However, the lack of military grade .30-06 in the supply chain and the need to standardize meant most M24s were chambered in 7.62 NATO, which is how they tended to remain.
Today, if you’re a civilian shooter and want an M24 reproduction, you call George Gardner and the crew at the Missouri-based GA Precision.
The original Army M24s were designated the M24 SWS — or Sniper Weapon System — and could be readily identified from their distinctive front and rear sight post. The system came with a massive Hardigg case, which included a Leupold Mark 4 M3 10X scope, cleaning accessories and aperture-style sights. None of these are included with the GA Precision gun.
Today, the M24 has morphed into the XM2010 Enhanced Modular Sniper Weapon System, also produced by Remington. But I wanted the more basic 80s-era rifle, so GA Precision it was.
The GA Precision M24
I chose to make mine “sport scale” by adding a Leupold Mark 4 LR/T M3 3.5-10X40mm scope, which I have been able to verify was used by the Army on some M24s (though most utilized the Mark 4 fixed 10x). I also went with this variable power version because I specifically wanted the Tactical Milling Reticle (TMR), an option not available on the standard fixed power.
The standard 6-9-inch swivel Harris Bipod was installed with the added Phoenix Tactical Podclaws to improve purchase, reduce felt recoil and allow you to consistently “load the bipod.” They really grab, let me tell you. Also added was a KMW Pod-Loc, for added control on the bi-pod’s swivel feature. Next page
This handy 100-page reference contains diagrams of tactical reticles from all the major optics manufacturers. D. Andrew Kopas shares the digital handbook with members of gundigest.com and scout/snipers in all branches of the armed forces, police marksmanship units and civilian long-distance shooting disciplines.
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About the Author: Corey Graff is the online editor for gundigest.com. His personal interest in firearms includes handguns for hunting and self-defense as well as guns from the World War II era.
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