U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has picked the Sig Sauer's MCX "Rattler" rifle as its next personal defense weapon for U.S. special operations forces. The MCX “Rattler,” can be chambered in both .300 Blackout and 5.56mm calibers. A week ago, SOCOM released a notice of intent to award a five-year fixed firm price contract to Sig Sauer, but there is no information about the exact number of rifles and the amount of the order value. It is unclear when the Sig Rattlers will go into the field with SOCOM operators, or if some of the initial orders are already in use.
SOCOM started its hunt 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. The command procured 10 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.” Turns out that, after all of that searching, it was back to the MCX Rattler. SOCOM noted that requirements meant no prototypes or weapons were in limited development, and Sig Sauer’s new weapon fit the bill for rapid fielding.
Sig Sauer has called the MCX Rattler its most “discreet platform,” and the 5.5-inch barrel certainly makes it short. The MCX Rattler is also designed to quickly switch between the types of ammunition.