The 7.62×51 mm NATO-chambered M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System (SASS) rifle—developed by Knight’s Armament Co. of Titusville, Fla.—has been fielded by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps since the late 2000s. But, as early as 2011, the Army sought to reconfigure (or replace) the M110, and a year later began converting existing M110 rifles into the improved Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS). Fast-forward to 2014, when the Army formally invited manufacturers to compete for a lavish $44.5-million contract to produce around 3,600 CSASS rifles to replace the Knight’s Armament Co. M110 SASS. In 2016, the Army announced that Heckler & Koch (H&K) had won the CSASS contract.
Although an H&K G28 variant is the Army’s new CSASS, the “request for proposal” process resulted in a new class of rifle that supplants its predecessor. LWRC International’s new R.E.P.R. MKII is among them. In most cases, the new rifle is consistent with the Army’s vision of the CSASS. For example, among the numerous criteria for the new CSASS was an unloaded weight of 9 lbs. or less. The 12.7“– and 16.1“-barreled R.E.P.R. MKII versions, which weigh 8 lbs. and 8 lbs., 12 ozs., respectively, meet that specification, while the 20“-barreled variant tested here doesn’t—it weighs in at 10 lbs., 12 ozs. To achieve said weight, without sacrificing strength, required the use of aerospace-grade 7075 aluminum for the receivers.
Its two-piece, 12.5“-long aluminum handguard, which is coined the “Modular Rail System,” is easily removed. Withdraw the two screws at the fore of the handguard and the top half is easily detached. A foolproof system of pins, slots and holes ensures that the unit returns to its pre-removal location. Rail attachment points are found in the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. When the integral, numbered top rail is paired with that atop the upper receiver, there is ample space to add an optic. Topping the rail is the windage-adjustable Skirmish back-up iron sight with multiple apertures and an elevation-adjustable post front sight. Both are made from aluminum.
The cold-hammer-forged, NiCorr-treated barrel has a heavy profile; in fact, it measures more than an inch in diameter ahead of the receiver and, at the gas block, is slightly less than an inch. Forward of the gas block, the barrel is noticeably thinner, measuring 0.720“ wide just behind a SureFire muzzle brake. The barrel features deep, spiral fluting—not the superficial fluting done solely for appearance so common these days.
The muzzle brake on the test rifle is SureFire’s 5/8×24 MB762-211C. The unit is made from heat-treated, stainless steel bar stock with a black Ionbond DLC coating and pulls double duty as a suppressor attachment point. To stabilize a variety of bullet weights common to 7.62×51 mm NATO (.308 Win.) ammunition, the barrel has 1:10“ RH-twist rifling.