New York Army National Guard (NYNG) soldiers assigned to the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) have trained on the US Army’s new M110 A1 Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDMR).

The new rifle has been designed to close the gap between the rifleman and the highly trained sniper, according to NYNG major Avery Schneider.

A total of 30 IBCT soldiers from New York and Massachusetts participated in a two-day new equipment training.

The event provided an opportunity for the participants to learn how to operate and maintain the new rifle while honing their combat skills.

Soldiers also spent a day on the sniper range at New York’s Fort Drum, a US Army military reservation, and a census-designated place (CDP). Skills learned were put into practice against paper and steel targets.

Developed by Heckler & Koch Defense, the 7.62mm SDMR rifle is fitted with a Sig Sauer Tango6 optic, as well as a special buttstock and suppressor.

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US Army Tank Automotive Armaments Command training specialist and new equipment training lead instructor David Beesley said: “[The SDMR] was developed to fill the gap between the rifleman and a sniper.

“The rifleman shoots out to 300m effectively. We needed something to get between that three and 600m gap so that we don’t necessarily have to rely on a sniper for those long shots.”

The US Army noted that the weapon has been fielded in the active-duty army for a few years.

It has been deployed with only a few of the US states and territory National Guard commands.