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.
Shooting the GA Precision M24
The rifle shoots about as good as you’d expect a $3,300 rifle to shoot—near perfect. The gun weighs about 12 pounds with optics, and the HS Precision stock allows you to adjust length of pull for perfect eye relief. Trigger action is smooth and crisp but not excessively light – about 4 pounds.
The Leupold Mark 4 scope sits extremely low, thanks to high-quality steel rings and M24 base from Badger Ordnance. A Triad Tactical Stock Pack raises the eye to the perfect height.
A 20-round initial barrel break-in was shot from the bench using .308 Win. Federal 175-grain BTHP Match. Groups were good to start with—about 1MOA—but as the barrel came to life those groups shrunk and shrunk, with the latest and best being about .370 inches at 100 yards. This is standard accuracy from GA Precision and why they’re considered the best.
Down on the shooting mat, the long action takes some getting used to. Be sure you rack that bolt all the way to the rear to get the next round or all you’ll hear is a “click” when you pull the trigger. While I could have ordered the gun with a short action, I was going for some degree of historical accuracy.
Stay tuned for more testing at extended ranges. In the meantime, my initial impression of the GA Precision US Army M-24 is that this is the king of the Model 700s — for the long-range shooter, or the military gun collector — truly the best of both worlds.
GA Precision US Army M-24 Specs
Caliber: 308 Win / 7.62 NATO / 300 Win Mag
Action: Remington 700 Long Action
Barrel Type: 1-11.25 Twist, 5R, Stainless Steel
Barrel Length: 24″
Stock: HS Precision, M-24 Stock
Trigger Guard: Steel M-24 Triggerguard
Finish: Matte Black