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The UK’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) announced that Royal Marines serving in Afghanistan are first up with a new, longer range rifle; the first new combat rifle in twenty years. The MOD has equipped members of 40 Commando with Sharpshooter rifles. (The first batch was due to the 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. But hey.) The American-made weapon fires a 7.62mm round, with a ‘kill range’ of up to 900 yards. The British Army’s standard-issue SA80 A2 assault rifle, which fires 5.56mm bullets, is limited to around 300 yards. Royal Marines from 40 Commando have been using Sharpshooter rifles on the frontline for about a fortnight. That’s two week to you and me.

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