USSOCOM selects Sig Sauer MCX Ratler as next PDW personal defense weapon
The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has selected Sig Sauer to provide its next personal defense weapon for U.S. special operations forces, Nicholas Slayton reports in Task & Purpose. On May 19, SOCOM released a notice of intent to award a five-year fixed firm price contract to the firearms manufacturer. The new personal defense weapon owill be Sig Sauer MCX “Rattler,” which can be chambered in both .300 Blackout and 5.56mm calibers.
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Featuring a 5.5" PDW barrel, Sig Sauer's MCX platform has never been more compact.(Picture source: Sig Sauer)
“After years of continuous market research, USSOCOM HQ has concluded that Sig Sauer is the only vendor that can fulfill USSOCOM’s need for the Commercial PDW requirement. USSOCOM HQ has been researching and reviewing different systems since 2017,” the notice of intent said. “(…) Except for Sig Sauer, the vendors did not meet the technical requirements and/or the weapons do not meet the commercial definition. The PDW system will allow Operators to have maximum firepower in a concealable weapon,” SOCOM said in the notice. The order will include the guns themselves plus sound suppressors, magazines and cleaning gear, plus additional parts and training on the new platforms. The size and cost of the order were not disclosed.
Featuring a 5.5" PDW barrel, the MCX platform has never been more compact. It has a thin, foldable stock for easy concealment and stowage. This gun was designed from the ground up to be as discrete as possible while retaining all the capabilities of the MCX. Free-floating M-LOK handguards (notice that M-LOK is a registered trademark of Magpul Industries Corp) matched with a PDW upper and a PDW ultra-thin folding aluminum stock, the MCX Rattler SBR is an ideal choice for fast-moving operators.
USSOCOM started looking for a new personal defense weapon in 2017, hoping to get a new weapon built around the M4 carbine’s receiver, giving SOCOM operators more firepower while still being compact and portable, Nicholas Slayton recalls. The command procured 10 Sig Sauer Rattlers in 2018 for testing and evaluation, but kept its search going, issuing another search for weapon system designs in 2019. The goal was to find a new PDW with “a highly concealable .300 Blackout upper receiver group (URG) and buttstock kit solution for the M4A1 platform.”
As Nicholas Slayton comments, the .300 Blackout round is designed to be quieter than regular ammunition, while still being powerful, and those personal defense weapons are meant to provide more firepower than a pistol while being much more portable and compact than carbines or rifles, making them ideal in close-quarters scenarios.
Sig Sauer MCX Ratler (Picture source: Sig Sauer)
Sig Sauer MCX Ratler with sound suppressor (Picture source: Sig Sauer)