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Homeland Security Seeking Assault and Sniper Rifles

Written by James Smith

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The Department of Homeland Security issued a bid for 36 Colt LE901 rifle systems, which will accept and function any military specification (Mil-Spec) .223 caliber upper receiver, and is thus backwards compatible with all CBP/U.S. Border Patrol M4 upper receivers.  

Not surprisingly in this matter is the recent award by DHS, but no solicitation can be found for, .223 caliber Remington Enhanced Performance ammunition. The award states:

“This notice of an award of an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract is being posted in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 5.705 which requires award notices for actions exceeding $500,000. This contract will provide the Department of Homeland Security the necessary .223 Remington Caliber (62-64 grain) Enhanced Performance ammunition for its duration. The period of performance is a base year with 4 one year options commencing on 7/12/2012. “

The award provides the DHS with an unlimited supply of .223 EP ammunition for the next four years.ColtLE901-16S

Colt Manufacturing lists the technical specifications as follows:

MODEL LE901-16S
Caliber .308 Win
Barrel Length (in.) 16.1″ Heavy
Bore 4 Grooves, 1-12″ RH Twist
Front Sight Flip-Up, Adjustable Post for Elevation
Rear Sight Flip-Up, Adjustable for both Windage and Elevation
Extended Length 37.5″
Collapsed Length 34.24″
Weight 9.4 lbs
Action Direct Gas System, Locking Bolt
Finish Matte Black

Defense Review described the Colt 901 as a weapon” which allows the end-user to configure the gun in so many mission-specific ways, it’s almost mind-boggling. ” and that

“The CM901 will provide the military end-user with a select-fire AR platform weapon in any caliber between 5.56mm and 7.62x51mm, … The CM901 Upper Receiver Modularity concept: just change out your upper receiver assembly to re-configure the weapon for the mission, without having to re-zero your weapon and you’re ready to go.”

The 901 is much more than your typical assault rifle. DR continues further in the article, “the operator can change out the 5.56mm CQB-R and instantly go to a .308 rifle [CM901 7.62mm upper] for the counter sniper role, or any situation that requires a designated marksman. Thus, allowing the DHS/FEMA foot soldier to go from an assault rifle to picking off “terrorists” at a distance by only changing the upper receiver.

m855a102Adding to the extra firepower, is the DHS purchase of the Enhanced Performance ammunition. This ammunition, used by the US Army which made a purchase of 300,000,000 rounds in in 2010, has been described as,

“The 62-grain bullet for the new M855A1 ammo is a completely new design. While it may appear to have a plastic “ballistic tip”, that’s deceiving. 
The new bullet created for M855A1 ammo has a bismuth-tin alloy core with a steel “stacked-cone” penetrating tip. The photo at right shows the version from last year; the final production version may be slightly different (e.g. the final version tip is a different color). Apparently the latest bullet design is a winner. During testing, M855A1 ammo performed better than current 7.62mm ball ammunition against certain types of targets. According to Lt. Col. Jeffrey K. Woods, the program’s product manager, the new M855A1 ammo is “the best general purpose 5.56mm round ever produced. A true general purpose round, the M855A1 exceeds the performance of the current M855 against the many different types of targets likely to be encountered in combat.”

 

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