As far back as the Vietnam conflict, Remington supplied model 700-series bolt-action rifles to the US Army for use as specialist marksmen and sniper rifles. In 1988, the Army contracted with Remington Arms to produce an estimated 15,000 specialized sniper weapons systems based on the 7000-action. These were dubbed the M24 Sniper Weapons System (SWS), once adopted. The M24 is a heavy beast, at some 18.3-pounds complete with optics, bipod, camouflage, and sling, but is worth it. These rifles were progressively modified and upgraded over the decades to the final M24A2/A3 variant capable of shooting 3-round groups at 0.35-inches MOA from a rest with match ammunition.
--A U.S. Army sniper team (with M-24 rifle system) from Jalalabad Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) scans the horizon after reports of suspicious activity along the hilltops near Dur Baba, Afghanistan, Oct. 19, 2006, after a medical civic action project was conducted by the Jalalabad Provincial Reconstruction Team and the Cooperative Medical Assistance team.(DOD Photo by Cpl. Bertha Flores, U.S. Army)
In February 2010, the Army closed its contract with Remington as the new semi-auto AR-type M110 rifle built by Knights Armament replaced the M24. With as many as 45 active US Army Brigade Combat Teams as of 2011 and a similar amount in the National Guard still needing reliable precision weapons, the DOD is having up to 3600 of its best remaining M24's left rebuilt to an even higher standard, the .300-Win Mag caliber XM2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle (ESR).
-- The US Army's newest toy, the .300 Win Mag chambered XM2010Enhanced Sniper Rifle (ESR), built from old M24 rifles.(Photo from Remington Arms)
Remington is assembling the weapon's components left over from this rebuild process into something special for qualified customers.
According to their press release:
"Remington is pleased to announce the release of a limited quantity of M24 Sniper Weapon Systems that are built from serviceable components derived from the building of the XM2010 Sniper Rifle. These components are authentic M24 SWS originally delivered to the US Army from 1988 until present day."
Each M24 will be rebuilt with a new 24" 416R stainless steel 5R barrel with a 1:11.2" twist, a M24 fire control system (optics) typically a 10x-power Leupold Ultra Mark IV LR/T-series with Mil-dots, and 'possibly several additional new parts, as necessary to make the weapon safe and functional'. These parts mentioned are the heart and soul of the weapon, akin to changing out the engine and transmission of a car, dialing back the lifespan of the machine itself to near new.
The really neat part of these rebuilds is that the new barrel, scope and receiver will be assembled with functioning US Army-issued and carried components from rebuilt M24 rifles. This can include HS Precision adjustable length stocks with aluminum mounting blocks, Badger Ordnance scope base and rings, Redfield Palma or OK Weber iron sights, sling strap, detachable Harris 6-9" BRM-S swivel bipod, deployment kit with tools, spares and cleaning kit, as well as a Hardigg Systems hard case. These parts are used, frequently painted, and show a lot of character from real world battlefield deployments ranging from Panama to Mogadishu to Fallujah to Kabul.
The M24 Sniper Rifle System, (Photo from Remington Arms)
Initially, sales will only be offered to military or former military personnel holding a sniper school diploma. After those who qualify in that category have been satisfied the rifles will be offered to any current active, National Guard or Reserve personnel, then the military retirees, then federal agents and state and local law enforcement agents throughout 2012.
It is not clear at this time whether the rebuilds will be sold to the general public if there are platforms left after the above-mentioned groups are satisfied.
For more information and to find out how to get on the list to own a tack-driving piece of military history, visit Remington Defense's site.