I like the SPR weapon system. Some weapons builders note that a few of the SPR's specs might be considered to be outdated. In the field however, SPR/Recce style weapon systems are frequently modified by end users to suit their needs, check out M4carbine and Lightfighters to get rare images of these weapons systems taken by their users. I personally became interested in the SPR after reading about it in Marcus Luttrell's book "Lone Survivor" and he used this weapon system to great success despite having to jump off a mountain thrice, and getting blown off the mountain by a RPG. Matt Axelson was rumored to have run a mini-red dot on the SPR at the 1 o clock position (ala, how 3-gunners and gun gamers run secondary optics with the magnified optics) and this aided significantly in their engagement. You can see pictures of the SEAL's actual MK12 circa 2005 at
This is deceased Navy SEAL Matt Axelson, he perished in Operation Redwing in 2005. This picture is from that time frame.
The SPR was conceived by a AMU officer, but the program/concept was taken over by the Crane Naval Surface Warfare center and squeezed into the "Recce rifle" requirement asked for by the SEAL teams. As a "recce" rifle, the SPR failed. It's too heavy/accuracy oriented, and the Recce rifle concept is now its own animal. While the SPR didn't satisfy the SEALs needs for a Recce rifle, it has had lots of success in its own right on the battlefield as evidenced by its popularity with Army SF, USN SEALs, and it was recently adapted en masse by the USMC (early 2009), killing off the Marine's own SDM-R. Standard Army Infantry units have also been issued this rifle en masse according to veterans on the internet, but there is no confirmation beyond what is posted.
The SPR originally used a carbon fiber free float tube from PRI, ARMS scope rings, etc. etc. The earliest SPR models were a bit more complex and heavy then newest Mod 1 models. The biggest reason why the Mod 0 was ditched though... was because the PRI fore-end started fraying in the field due to tough military conditions. The Mod 1 uses a more traditional KAC aluminum foreend, and ditches the un-necessary rail riser found on the Mod 0, making it simpler and and lighter. The Crane model SPRs are built by an outside contractor... and this contractor happens to be the very retired AMU officer who conceived of the concept!
Steve from ADCO is a huge SPR fan and got to go see this very contractor (http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b ... 0&t=143864
What makes a SPR-ish rifle is
1. The suppressor/muzzle brake combo. The OPS INC 12th model can is reflex suppressor that is most famous for NOT influencing suppressor shift at all. It mounts to a muzzle brake (but there are flash hider versions available) and friction locks onto a collar on the barrel. The collar is held in place by a set screw and on a shoulder on the barrel.
The OPS can is notable in that it doesn't affect zero (same POI suppressed/unsuppressed), the core is fully welded, and the design is conducive to non catastrophic failure in case of a baffle strikehttp://www.silencertalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=13648
2. The 18" barrel. The real deal is a Douglas Blank that's chambered in a proprietary AMU chamber (no public specs) by Compass Lake Engineering, and turned by a famous barrel builder. The word is, he doesn't like publicity, so i won't mention his name but it won't take much digging to get it.
Also, one thing to consider is that the military 1/7 twist is not the ideal twist rate for 77 gr SMKs used in the Mk 262 Mod 0/Mod1, and in civilian competition catridges. 1/7:7 or 1/8 twist is the ideal twist rate for accuracy, a fact noted by many in the competition and military circles (Master SGT/Delta veteran Kyle Lamb of VTAC in "Green Eyes Black Rifles" for one). Personally, I decided to go with 1/8, so i'd have a larger spectrum of projectiles to work with.
3. The furniture. Strict clones of the Mod 0/Mod 1 cost A LOT. You can save a lot of money by using more commonly available rails (Daniel Defense? Larue?) and backup iron sights etc. Stock vary between the A1 stock and LMT SOPMOD.
4. Optics. Leupold Mk 4 with M2 (USMC) or M3 turrets (Army). Nighforce NXS 2-10X (USN SEALs)If you want to build a SPR-ish rifle, the only thing you need is a quality SPR barrel and equivalent furniture/optics.
Compass Lake Engineering makes SPR barrels for public civilian sale... but they don't give you the secret squirrel AMU chamber lol. White Oak Armament, Noveske, Krieger make SPR barrels as well. Noveske/Krieger are at $500, WOA is at ~$260, and CLE is at $330. Generally, it's the shooter not the rifle that holds back accuracy. The Krieger is a hand lapped barrel made by one of the most famous precision barrel makers in the world. Kinda overkill, lol.
With the CLE barrel and a $125 scope that maxes at 7X, I've been able to deliver .5 MOA 5 round groups (firing Federal Gold Medal Match 77 gr SMKs). With statistically significant 10 round groups, i'm sure i'd be getting more around .75 MOA... which is just fine for this type of rifle. The original Crane specs call for 1.25 MOA, for example.
My own SPR-ish lacks a high end scope, and the OPS-Inc 12th model. I'm just sharing my M4-2000 between my primary and SPR for now, class 3 is spendy. I however, did add this item: (http://www.danieldefense.com/?page=shop ... uct_id=113
) to assist with closer range targets. I will be adding a C-more STS sight thanks to a buddy who is a sponsored competition shooter, hehe.
The makers of the SPR are generally kind of secretive, but if you ask the right people they can guide you the right way.
Denny @ Denny's Guns/Global Tactical, Steve @ ADCO Firearms, and Wes @ MSTN are pretty much the biggest SPR fans and experts in the world. Except for of course, the retired AMU Colonel who conceived and builds the SPR, but they all know him personally.