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A Mk 12 Special Purpose Rifle, an example of a precision rifle.

A precision rifle is a rifle built to have more effective range than a regular service rifle. It may or may not be the same caliber as the service rifle, and it may or may not be a select-fire rifle.


A precision rifle often fills the DMR (designated marksman rifle) role for the designated marksman in a rifle squad; the marksman (often the most accurate shooter in the squad) is to extend the engagement capabilities of the squad, and is given a weapon to accomplish this end. The DMR must be effective, in terms of accuracy and terminal ballistics, at ranges exceeding those of ordinary assault rifles (typically up to 500 meters / 550 yards) but do not require the extended range of a dedicated sniper rifle (typically up to 1000 meters / 1100 yards).


A precision rifle will usually have a variable-powered telescopic sight on it, the power of which may sometimes rival that seen on a sniper rifle. These rifles are built for precision; the barrels are built to be very precise, and for optimal performance, ammunition may be used that is more accurate than the standard issue ammunition. An example of this would be the USMC Mk 12 rifle and the 77 grain Mk 262 ammunition in use with it. Length of the barrel generally does not matter, but longer barrels allow for more precise use of iron sights (longer sight radius) if need be.

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