M40a1 Sniper Rifle

The M40A1 sniper rifle, also known as the M40 and the M40A, was first introduced in 1966. The original M40 rifle was based on the Remington 700 bolt action rifles. Weaknesses in the M40 model prompted the Marine Corps to improve the M40 sniper weapons in the mid-1970s.

The improvement plan resulted in the M40A1. The M40A1 was designed to meet the need for a long-range sniper rifle. These sniper guns are hand built by the specially trained Marine Corps Marksmanship Training Unit at Quantico, Virginia.

The enhanced M40A1 sniper rifle featured a fiberglass stock, making the weapon lighter in weight and more durable. The fiberglass stock also made it much less vulnerable to humidity and varying temperatures. In the early 1980s, the scope was also improved on these military weapons and was also custom built for the USMC by the Quantico Armory.

M40A1 Sniper Rifle Features

The M40A1 sniper gun costs about $2,100 and has the following unique characteristics:

  • 7.62 mm magazine
  • 44 inches in length
  • 1,000-yard capacity range
  • a heavy barrel that is 24 inches
  • bolt action
  • bore diameter of the M40A1 is 7.62mm
  • built-in five round magazine
  • feature a commercial-grade heavy barrel
  • features McMillan fiberglass stock and butt pad
  • modified and lighter trigger
  • modified Winchester Model 70 floorplate and trigger guard
  • optimized for accuracy with Match Grade ammunition
  • special 10 power Unertl sniper scope
  • uses M118 ammunition
  • weighs 14.5 pounds.

The M40A1 Replaced by the M430A

The M40A1 served very well for over 30 years and the sniper rifle was an outstanding weapon that had a high level of accuracy. The older M118 ammunition’s tendency to hold the rifle back was the cause for the development of the M40A3 in 1996.

The USMC soon began to replace the older M40A1 with the M40A3. The M40A3 is still based on the Remington 700 action, as the M40A1 snipers were. The M40A3 has the same optical sight of the M40A1.

The M40A3 was issued in 2000 as an official Marine Corps weapon. It is more accurate, has a longer range and is more comfortable to use than the M40A1 sniper weapons. Like the M40A1, the M40A3 is a bolt-action weapon, manually operated, magazine-fed sniper weapon with an optical scope.

The M40A3 has a slight drawback. It is heavier than the M40A1 military weapon by about two pounds, and despite the many improvements over the M40A1, some Marines prefer the M40A1 sniper rifle.