Designated Marksman Rifles (DMRs) fill an important operational niche. Chambered in 7.62 or greater, they lob more firepower than a 5.56 close-quarters carbine, but unlike the surgical precision of a one-shot bolt gun, they are semi-automatic so you can put multiple rounds on target. And fast. Out to 800 yards or more, if you like.
Indeed, these things give new meaning to the expression “sniper fire.”
And just in the nick of time for the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas, Heckler & Koch (HK) is highlighting a trio of new 7.62 NATO (.308 Win.) semi-automatic rifles built around this very concept.
The news comes after the German company was awarded a contract to produce the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR) for the United States Marine Corps.
That rifle — which weighs in at 11.62 pounds as a complete weapons system including all ancillary equipment — is a variant of the Heckler & Koch HK416 used by military, law enforcement, and special operations units in the U.S. and throughout the world. It replaces the much heavier Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW).
Debuting at SHOT Show 2012 is Heckler & Koch’s much-anticipated MR762A1 rifle (in caliber 7.62 x 51mm). It joins the 5.56mm model (MR556A1) that was released in 2011. The new MR762A1 rifle is inspired and influenced by recent Heckler & Koch piston driven rifles, including the new HK G28 designated marksman rifle developed for the German military.
A semi-automatic rifle originally developed from the fully automatic HK417, the MR762A1 uses the same HK proprietary gas piston operating system found on current HK rifles and carbines, using a “pusher” rod in place of the gas tube normally found in AR15/M16/M4-style firearms. This method of operation virtually eliminates malfunctions that are common to direct impingement gas systems since hot carbon fouling and waste gases do not enter the receiver area. According to HK, this key feature is deemed critical by leading military and law enforcement customers.
The MR762A1 uses many of the same assemblies and accessories that originated on the HK417 including the HK free-floating four-quadrant rail system. This handguard system allows all current accessories, sights, lights, and aimers used on M4/M16-type weapons to be fitted to the MR Series.
The HK rail system can be installed and removed without tools and returns to zero when reinstalled. Like their HK military counterparts, the MR (for Match Rifle) series rifles use barrels produced by Heckler & Koch’s famous cold hammer forging process. The rifles are reputed to use the highest quality steel, known for producing a long-life barrel and superior performance with minimal degradation of accuracy and muzzle velocity even during prolonged use.
The barrels are manufactured in Germany and finished in the USA. MR762A1 rifles are produced in the USA from a combination of American and German-made components. Suggested retail price on the MR762A1 is $3,995.
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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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