With its upgrades and enhancements, the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System aims to fulfill all of the U.S. Army’s future sniper needs.
From Bolt Action to Semi-Automatic
Developed by Knight’s Armament Company of Titusville, Florida, the M110 is a semi-automatic rifle that is used by military snipers, spotters and marksmen. The weapon is used to kill enemy targets with precision from far distances and in difficult locations. The M110 rifle is an improvement over the bolt action M24 Sniper Weapon System that has been used by the U.S. Army and Israeli Defence Forces since 1988.
In addition to being a semi-automatic weapon, the M110 comes with enhancements that include powerful optics for sightings, night vision, and a quick swivel base for tracking enemies on the move. The rifle’s features are also ambidextrous, meaning that the rifle can be used by right and left-handed people. The M110 is called a "sniper system," because it comes with several attachments and components such as scopes.
Enthusiastic Response from Soldiers
The M110 was initially deployed for active use by U.S. Army soldiers in Afghanistan in April 2007. Soldiers with Task Force Fury were the first to use the rifle in a real combat zone. The initial response was enthusiastic. Snipers and spotters who used the weapon praised its semi-automatic capabilities as an improvement over previous bolt action rifles that required soldiers to manually reload the weapon’s chamber after each shot.
Users of the M110 also praised the rifle’s accuracy and adaptability in harsh environments. The weapon has an effective range of 1,000 meters and weighs 15 pounds when fully loaded. The U.S. Army ranked the M110 No. 2 on its list of top 10 inventions of 2007.
Weapon of Choice Moving Forward
Although it is still relatively new, the M110 is viewed in military circles as the best sniper rifle in its class. The U.S. Army has stated that it plans to use the sniper rifle to replace the aging and less effective M24 Sniper Weapon System. The army had continued to purchase the M24 rifle until February 2010. The M110 is currently being used in Afghanistan and Iraq to target insurgents and defend coalition positions. U.S. Airborne and Special Forces soldiers have each deployed the weapon.
Some U.S. law enforcement agencies have eyed the M110 sniper rifle. And several U.S. allies are considering using the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System for their own defense purposes, including the Israeli military.