M21 Sniper Rifle
by Tim Davis

When the US Army was looking for a sniper rifle, they turned their attention to the M14. The M14 was already in inventory, fired a large caliber round, and was well known for its accuracy. An early version called the XM21 was developed, and later changed to the M21. The rifle is a M14 Match rifle with fiberglass stock and fitted with an Automatic Ranging Telescope (ART). The M21 was used by the 1st and 2nd Ranger Battalions in the 1970's and 1980's, and later the 3rd Ranger Battalion after its activation. Ranger snipers proved the M21's effectiveness during Operation Urgent Fury when they parachuted into Grenada in October, 1983. The M21 has long been a favorite and holds a special place in the hearts of many. In 1988 the M24 Sniper Weapons System was developed and by 1990 it began replacing the M21 in the Ranger Battalions.

Primary Function Sniper Rifle
Manufacturer Springfield Armory and others
Caliber 7.62 mm (NATO)
Length 44.1 in
Weight 11 lbs (w/sling/full mag)
Effective Range 800 m
Operation Gas
Muzzle Velocity 853 m/sec
Sight Leatherwood - Redfield Automatic
Ranging Telescope (ART)
Magazine 5 and 20 rd detachable box type
Cyclic Rate N/A


M21 Sniper Army Ranger Weapon
Ranger Snipers in Grenada