The US Army M24 Sniper Weapon System (SWS) has been in service since 1988. In the three and a half decades of use in the US and foreign militaries around the world, it has been thoroughly vetted, however, the design is dated. The US Army has made a few efforts to update the M24, including the XM24A1(300 Winchester Magnum), M24A2 (night vision rail and detachable magazine), M24A3 (338 Lapua Magnum) and the 2010 M24E1 (300 Winchester Magnum, suppressor, and chassis). Notably, these enhancements all include a cartridge upgrade from the 7.62×51 (308 Winchester) and only one seeks to integrate a chassis system. Perhaps there is a better way to upgrade an existing M24? In 2019, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) sought this solution and partnered with MDT to create an upgraded chassis as part of the IDF Modernized M24 SWS.
The IDF approach to the M24 was fairly straight forward; swapping the original fiberglass stock for an MDT Chassis, upgrading the optic and mount and adding a muzzle brake. These changes brought new life to the legacy system. I was able to find the following picture of an actual service rifle (less bolt) taken by Zach Evenor.
This post will focus primarily on the IDF Modernized M24 Chassis. I was unable to source the muzzle brake and the specifications of the Leupold Scope, however, the pictures of the rifles I have seen seem to indicate that a gunsmith/armorer reset and chambered the rifles. If you scroll in on the caliber markings on the right side of the barrel, they appear to be upside down, which indicates that the barrel has been reset and chambered as part of this process.
“Old timers” may wonder why there would be a need to upgrade the fiberglass stock at all, after all the rifles still shoot well under static range conditions. But what about the other conditions the rifle will be called for use in, such as night operations and improvised field positions? This is where the Modernized IDF M24, and its new chassis, start to show significant improvement. The chassis allows for the full integration of night vision optics, lasers and illuminators, as well as a detachable magazine, heavy duty folding stock and adjustability to meet shooters of various sizes.
This is the M24 SWS I decided to upgrade with the MDT IDF Modernization Program Chassis. It is a very well worn rifle that still shoots pretty well. You can read my review of it here.
I decided to swap the chassis for the stock at the range. Disassembly of the stock M24 is fairly straight forward. I removed the action screws, magazine box screw and the screws that secured the OEM base. The image above shows the disassembled rifle.
Swapping out the old parts for the new parts, this is what is left. The action simply bolts into the chassis and the night vision and scope rails are screwed in place. Assembly takes minutes.
This is the rifle, fully assembled. I added a Nightforce ATACR 4-16 34MM Scope in a Spuhr mount to finish it off. You’ll notice this is one of the beefiest chassis I’ve seen to date from MDT. While the center looks similar to the LSS-XL chassis, this version offers a series of improvements specifically targeted to rough duty applications.
- The night vision bridge assembly is unique and runs the full length of the chassis into the rail
- The chassis is equipped with multiple QD sling mounting cups on the fore-end and thumb shelf area
- There are provisions for a thumb shelf on the side of the chassis
- The folding stock system is integral to the chassis, it isn’t threaded like an AR for an adapter
- Captured stainless steel hardware for the stock adjustments
- LOP is adjustable with a clicker system providing tactile feedback
- 1.5″ in length of pull adjustment
It is hard to believe that my M24 is buried in the new chassis- it looks so nice it makes me wish I had cleaned the rattle-can paint job up. I selected to add a Harris bipod with POD-LOK to the fore end since that I what I have seen on pictures of IDF issued rifles.
The Night Vision rail and the fore end of the IDF Modernized M24 are robust. The night vision rail attaches to the fore end with 4 large screws. The sides of the rail have MLOK slots to mount accessory rails which are issued but not shown here.
The front of the fore end has two holes that receive pins for secure alignment of the night vision rail.
You can see the pins in the image above.
Moving to the area around the pistol grip of the chassis, you’ll notice a removable ambidextrous thumb shelf. This is an added feature that supports some styles of shooting. I used it and liked it. The trigger guard is wide enough to allow access with gloved hands and it has a slot in the bottom to allow water and debris to escape. The hinged folding mechanism can be viewed in this image as well.
The stock folds against the bolt handle side of the rifle. This is an important feature. If the stock folded to the other side, the folded rifle would be significantly wider.
Unfolded, you can see the adjustability of the stock. Note the adjustable length-of-pull, cheekpiece and butt plate. The cheek piece can slide from side to side as well. These adjustments are critical when the optics get larger if the shooter wants to maintain a proper stock weld.
Shooting the IDF Modernized M24 is a pleasure. Feeding from an AICS style box magazine is easier than the internal box Remington Provides on the M24. MDT provides an oversized rubber pistol grip that fills your hand well. With the rifle properly adjusted, settling into position is easy. I’ll be posting more load data I developed with the IDF Modernized M24, but you can see an example of how well it shoots in the image below.
The image above shows a 5 round group fired at 100 yards with Federal Gold Medal Ammunition, .497″ (.475 MOA)! That is impressive performance from this gun.
While military users aren’t shooting hand loads, I can. I did a little bit of load development work with some 175 grain SMKs and this was the best group I shot at 100 yards, .209″ (.200MOA)! How is that for improving the accuracy of a rifle?
In my opinion the IDF Modernized M24 was a successful effort bringing the M24 into the modern era. It offers night vision compatibility, enhanced ergonomics, compatibility with a wide range of optics and increased accuracy without a complete replacement of the weapons system. I’ll post more information on my load development with the M24 in both the legacy and IDF variants in future posts.