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  • M91/m91a2

    G'day all;
    I need some help getting information.
    I'm building a MK13, the final part i actually got because of one of the forum members here (Thanks Geoff), but in researching it, i found some information on a rifle called an M91. This was apparently the fore-runner to the MK13. Its very interesting in that regard and a relatively simple build, but i'm having trouble coming up with all the information, so i'm hoping people here can help correct me if i'm wrong or has any information to fill in my blanks.

    This is what i have so far.....

    The M91's were built for the SEALs in 1990 by RAD based on Remington 700s. There were 2 versions, the M91 is a 7.62 variant, and the M91A2 is chambered in 300 win mag.
    The stock is a black painted, non-adjustable McMillan A2. It had 1 x sling stud at the rear and 2 x sling studs up front. Later they were changed to solid moulded in Medium grey and had adjustable LOP and cheek added.
    The Scope base and rings are proprietary RAD rings and bases. The base has a cut out through the middle and is visually very similar to a UTG scope base, however later rifles appear to have the M24 scope base. Rings had a SIMRAD cap in similar fashion to the MK11 SIMRAD cap. The look basically the same as Badger ordnance Rings with the MK11 cap.
    The floor plate and recoil lug are factory remington, and the trigger is the M24 trigger.
    The bipod used was a Harris non-swivel 9-13 bipod.
    Scopes were anything from Bausche and Lombe, Super Sniper, then they settled on MK4 scopes. Started off as 10x same as M24, then wen't to the fixed 16x version. Very late ones went the Nightforce NXS

    Then the M91 became the MK13.

    This is what i've gathered so far.

    Where i'm falling down down is in these areas.

    The receivers. Obviously the 300WM is a long action, however i can't find whether the 7.62 version was a short action or whether it was built on a long action like the M24.
    The barrel contour. I've seen photo's of some rifles with a standard remington varmint contour. Then they seem to have gone to a thicker type barrel contour. Now i can't really tell what contour this is. By brain wants to tell me its an M24 contour just continued out to 26", seeing as so many other parts are related to M24. However thats just a guess.

    Any information anyone could provide would be great as i think this is a pretty interesting rifle.


  • #2
    Carso, most likely they were the Douglas XX premium barrels. These were used early on before the final switch to Lilja barrels on the mk13. The profile is not a M24. They are a taper and contour that is very similar to the lilja tactical taper. I hope this helps.


    • zigjib
      zigjib commented
      Editing a comment
      that does help! thanks!

  • #3
    Hey guys;
    Still looking for info
    I've found a photo of a bloke holding what looks like an M91 with a varmint barrel contour. I can't tell if this is short or long action though for the 7.62 version
    really need info on this
    Thanks in advance


    • #4
      Is this the rifle you’re thinking of? There should be a section here on it, albeit limited as there isn’t a ton of info on them beyond what you already have


      • #5
        Thats pretty much it. Thats a late generation rifle. I even emailed rad asking anout them but i never heard back


        • #6
          zigjib - did you build this rifle? Would like to see a picture if possible.
          I found an old 1999 post re RAD (Earl Radick) Navy M91 rifles and it refers to a long action, just an fyi.

          Click image for larger version

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          I also found this when researching that NSN:

          M91 Sniper Rifle

          Weapon Specifications NSN 1005-LL-L99-5443 (LH) 1005-LL-L99-5442 (RH) Model M91 Manufacturer NSWC Crane Caliber .308 Cal Mechanism type Bolt-action Magazine type Ammo capacity Rate of fire N/A Weight (empty) 14 lbs 8 oz Overall length 44.5 inches Barrel length 24.0 inches

          Ammunition: ball (M59, M80 & M80E1), match special ball (M118), match (M852), match short-range (A169), and match longrange (A170 & AA11). Logistics: In-service Date 1975 Life expectancy 6,000 rounds Technical Manual # NA Operator Manual # SW370-BF-OPI-010

          Discussion: The M91 is a Remington model 700 modified for use at sniper schools. It has a Remington trigger, a 1 in 11.2” twist chrome moly barrel, a HS Precision fiberglass stock, a Leupold 10X scope, a Harris bipod, a cleaning rod and guide, and an aluminum case. The rifle has a 1.0 MOA accuracy with M852 ammunition. Accessories: None

          .300 WinMag Sniper Rifle

          Weapon Specifications NSN 1005-LL-L99-5364 (RH) 1005-LL-L99-5477 (LH) Model 700 Remington Manufacturer NSWC Crane Caliber .300 WinMag Mechanism type Bolt-action Magazine type Fixed box Ammo capacity 3+1 rounds Rate of fire N/A Weight (empty) 16 lbs 4 oz Overall length 47.5 inches Barrel length 26.5 inches

          Ammunition: Mk 248 Mod 0 (A191).

          Logistics: In-service Date 1975 Life expectancy 6,000 rounds Technical Manual # NA Operator Manual # SW370-BE-OPI-010

          Discussion: The .300 WinMag is a modified Remington model 700 with a Remington trigger, a 1 in 10” twist chrome moly barrel, a McMillan fiberglass stock, a Leupold 10X scope, a Harris bipod, a cleaning rod and guide, and an aluminum case. The rifle is capable of 0.5 MOA accuracy with Mk 248 ammo. Accessories: None


          • #7
            FWIW, I also found this stock picture of an M91A2, which is a long action. So it would appear that the M91 was likely a long action as well, assuming that 1999 post is correct.
            The barrel profile looks like the Lija tactical taper, but again, this is presumably a 300 WinMag and not the M91 that was reportedly in 7.62 NATO.
            I will likely build a rifle like this one, using a Mk 13 Mod 0 take-off stock (early gray stock that has been painted tan). Optic will be Leupold 16x Mk 4 scope.
            I don't have a McCann rail, so will likely use a PRI rail that looks almost correct. Barrel will be a Lija, but I have other projects underway this year.

            Click image for larger version

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            • #8
              Click image for larger version

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              Mk13 copy with ICC case and faux labels
              Attached Files


              • #9
                Not much info about the M91. What's being said here, is about all the intel there is to it. I spoke with Kyle Defoor (post #4), and he told me he doesnt remember much about it. They were given those rifles, and asked to learn how to shoot 300 Win Mag, lol. .308 was the standard at that time.

                I've never seen one in .308. All long actions. I've read somewhere, that some prototypes were made in 30-06...


                • #10
                  Screenshots of a documents I got from a reliable source. The official scope was the B&L 10X.


                  • #11
                    MescaBug thanks for the info. I am trying to figure out the history of the 300 WinMag rifles from the early 1990s to the early 2000s when their nomenclature became Mk 13 Mod 0. First, I should note this excellent article that discusses the Navy's interest in developing an accurate 300 WinMag cartridge. This aritcle provides excellent chronology for the cartridge, but unforunaely a similar history does not exist for the 300 WinMag rifles (which were often customized for the individual SEAL team member).

                    Unsung Hero: The Mk 248 Mod 1
                    by Aaron Carter - Wednesday, May 24, 2017

                    1987: Navy solicits a 300 WinMag cartridlge for use by the Navy shooting team and for sniper use. Federal cartridge wins a small contract, but the ammo does not perform well beyond 800 yds.
                    1990: Hunter Shack Mfg (HSM) wins a small contact. Ammo is accurate enough, but testing reveals pressure in excess of SAMMI specifications.
                    1992: Federal Cartridge wins a contact with ammo using the 190 SMK.
                    1993: Ammo was approved for 'evaluation' for sniper rifle use in Nov 1993, and results were very positive. The ammo was designated as Mk 248 Mod 0. Effective range was 1200 yards.

                    My assumption: Presumably in 1994 the Navy started using their 300 WinMag sniper rifles in operational setting with an 'approved' cartridge. I will refer to these rifles loosely as the 'M91A2' or "pre-Mk 13" rifles.

                    Mid 2000s: Based on experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Navy sought to improve the performance of the Mk 248 Mo 0 so it could be used effectivlely out to 1500 yards.
                    2009: Crane formalizes the specifications of the MK 248 Mod 1 ammo, which uses a 220 SMK bullet.
                    2010: Federal cartridge begins production of the Mk 248 Mod 1.
                    2011: First shipments of Mk 248 Mod 1 arrive in Afghanistan in 2011 for operational use.

                    The history of the 300 WInMag rifles is not well documented.
                    I have reached out to some former Navy personnel, including the former Crane employee who invented the recoil lug for the 300 WinMag rifles. Here's my impression thus far - this may contain errors - but its a start in an attempt to piece together the history.

                    1990-1991: Redick Arms Development (RAD) provides the Navy/Crane with approx 300 long action sniper rifles in 7.62x51mm NATO, as replacements for the M86 sniper rifle.(The M86 was short action 7.62x51mm made by the defunct G. McMillan Rifle Company). The B&L 10x scope seems to be scope initially used, which comports with the order of these scopes that the Navy procurred in 1989-1990 for the old M14 Physical Security Sniper Rifle. However, fixed 10x Leupolds were in the inventory and presumably used as well.

                    1992-1993: Crane apparently decides to convert the M91 rifles to 300 WInMag and develops a recoil lug that allows the heavy barrel to be free floated. The Navy ordered a bunch of solid gray McMillan A2 stocks for these rifles, and I get the impression from one Navy source that McMillan pre-inletted the stocks for these recoil lugs. These rifles were designated the M91A2s. I think this helps explain why we see old Navy cases with stickers that refer to "C" prefix receives from the early 1990s, as these receivers were the original M91s in 7.62x51m but like the M24 were long actions so the conversation was easy..

                    1994: Crane provides a sample recoil lug to Precision Reflex Inc (PRI) and they offered the lug as a commercial item, apparently called the 'Big Foot' lug. Not sure how long it was offered as a commercial item.

                    Mid-to-late 1990s: The Navy apparently purchased the Leupold Mk 4, fixed 10X scope with M1 turrets for the M14 SSR rifles, and a lot of the M91A2 rifles seems to have the Leupold scope in the few pictures of this rifle. The picture in post #7 shows one of these scopes. (Anecdotally, some SEAL team members reportedly replaced the 10X Leupolds with the Leupold 16X scopes on some of their M91A2s. The fixed 16X scopes had been used since the late 1980s on the M88 single shot 50 Caliber rifles).

                    2002-2004?: I don't know which year the McCann rail was added and the rifle and its nomenclature became the Mk 13, Mod 0. The repair Manual is dated December 2005. One Navy vet said "early 2000s" and another said 2003 or 2004, but neither can't remember exactly what year. What is clear is that NSW members were still using the M91A2 configuration in Iraq circa 2003-2004. Presumably Crane orderd a bunch of tan A2 stocks during this same period for the Mk 13 Mod 0 rifles, and the 5-22x NF scopes as well.

                    Here's what I don't know, but would like to find out....

                    1. What year did the nomenclature change to Mk 13 Mod 0, which is prsumably the same year the McCann rail was introduced
                    2. What year did Crane start using Lija barrels
                    3. What year did Crane start doing the SAKO-style extractor on the bolts.
                    4. What year did Crane start using NF scopes? (I think it was shortly before the Mk 1 Mod 0 designation)
                    5. What year did they switch from the Weaver style rails on the M91A2 to the version with the Picatinney rail?
                    6. What year did was Mk 13 Mod 3/4 nomenclature created? (suppressed version of the MK 13 Mod 0).

                    I trying ti build an accurate tribute/replica of very early 2000s M91A2, hence my interest in trying to piece together this history.


                    • #12
                      I can't edit my post, but it appears that rifle was simply called the ‘Rifle 300 Mag Rem 700’. (I have seen references to these as "M91A2" rifles - but I don't think that is technically correct as that does not show up in the nomenclature. It might have have been a RAD-based designation, but not a Crane-based designation).


                      • #13
                        I also posted on snipershide, just in case someone knows the dates re some of the permutations.

                        Pic shows parts to date, a long way to go. (If someone has a early one-piece M24 rail made by Leupold, or the nice but discontinued Badger part, please let me know)


                        • #14
                          Isnt Earl Raddick still alive, what about giving him a call or sending him an email and asking about the rufle developementband history.


                          • #15
                            Geez Sorry guys, posted this and then ended up going away for a while (career change and a move (hung up the greens for the last time)), come back to find all this top notch info! Thanks heaps! keep going! What piqued my interest initially was an odd mark 4 scope that i purchased off a gentleman here in Aus. Started looking into it and it turns out that there were very few of them used in contracts for the US military. That lead me to the M91 rifles. Unfortunately i ended up selling the scope as my priorities at the time changed. But i regretted it from the moment it left my hands. This is what i have for a late M91 right before they went to the MK13

                            McMillan Black A2 non adjustable scope
                            Leupold Mark 4 scope with counter clockwise turrets, m3 dials, marked M118 7.62 Nato (not LR) but with DUPLEX reticle.
                            Leupold Mark 4 scope base (same as m24)
                            Leupold Ultra Rings (later used badger and badger simard caps)
                            Barrel contour is same as lilja tactical which would be early MK13s until the newer contour on MK13 MOD 3+
                            Bottom metal, spring and follower is all standard remington
                            Receiver is Remington700 long action
                            Trigger is M24 trigger
                            Bausche and lombe had a few scopes used and rings and bases

                            thing with these rifles is they weren't upgraded all at once, bits and peices were upgraded over time, and some personnell opted to modify the guns (eg, not uncommon for MK13 to have the mccan MIRS removed and just regular scope bases used instead)

                            This means that finding information, reference photo's figuring out when things were used ect, is a shit fight in a monkey enclosure.

                            To that end, roughly what i have would agree with the MK13s upgrade being somewhere towards the end of 2002, upgraded units being fielded progressively over 2003-5, then the rifles being officially named the mK13.

                            Thing that sucks is that now the scope is gone, and the dust has settled i'd pay double what i sold it for to get it back, but such is life. A few things went from the safe and even the MRS (who's also a shooter bless her) regrets a few sales, but we can't turn back the clock.

                            Keep up the good work and look after yourselves