Surefire is known for their flashlights, but it’s not all they do. Now, they are getting some serious recognition for that fact with a new contract with the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The contract calls for muzzle breaks and suppressors…and no flashlights.
SureFire has won a contract worth $10 million for muzzle brakes and suppressors to be used on the “MK13 MOD 7 sniper rifle, 10.3 and 14.5 M4A1 upper receiver group (URG),” according to Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane‘s posting notice for the award. The presser, which was issued by SureFire, touts this as the second award based on the “most rigorous and extensive suppressor selection in USSOCOM history.”
The award is a sole-source, firm fixed price (FFP), five-year IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity) contract for delivery of the gear. More below via NSWC Crane’s J&A (Justification & Approval) letter found in the award posting:
These items are in support of a small group of operators and currently there are 100 each MK13 Mod 7 Sniper Rifles fielded using the Surefire Flash Hiders and Sound Suppressor, in addition to 7,317 ea. 10.3 URG and 1,879 ea. 14.5 URG using Surefire Flash Hiders, Sound Suppressors and Blank Firing Attachments. The MK13 MOD 7, 10.3 and 14.5 URG are configured and possess a Weapons System Explosives Safety Board (WSESRB) release for Surefire components.
The contract is clearly worth a fair chunk of change–no one is going to sneeze at $10 million–but it’s also worth far more for Surefire than that. You see, for all some people’s bluster about not being “sheep,” a lot of gun people are sheep. The difference is who they blindly follow.
In the case of some gun nuts, it’s the special operations community. If a SEAL has a certain doodad on his rifle, then the tacti-sheep simply have to have that too. All that matters is that the SEALs use it. Who cares why the SEAL uses it, or if they even like it. All that matters is that a SEAL has this on their weapon, so the tacti-sheep do too.
As a result, any company that gets a USSOCOM contract can rest easy that not only will that contract net them a nice chunk of change all on its own, but it will inspire plenty of gun people to buy those same products for no other reason that USSOCOM has them.
Then, of course, if the products are beloved by the USSOCOM, so much the better because then it’s not just the tacti-sheep clamoring for whatever doodad we’re talking about, but also people who want good stuff for their weapons and trust in the testimonials of professional operators (yes, there’s a difference).
If there’s a downside to this contract it’s the fact that it’s for the MK13 Mod 7 Sniper Rifles and not the M4. Fewer tacti-sheep are going to build rifles similar to the sniper system than the standard combat rifle, but enough will that I don’t think Surefire is going to cry too much. After all, they’re kind of set with a $10 million contract all on its own.