M956 with standard FCO-3 scope and no bipod.

The M956 is a marksman variant of the M945 rifle. It was developed as part of Kinman Industries’ Future Small Arms System and replaced the M38, M39, M110A1, Mk 14, and Mk 20 marksman rifles. It serves as the standard squad-level marksman rifle of the US Army and US Colonial Marine Corps.

Weapon Designation:Marksman Rifle, 6.2mm, M956
Type:Marksman Rifle
Place of Origin:United States
Production History:
Manufacturer:Colt Defense, LLC
Weight:8.3 lb (3.76 kg)
Length:41.8 in (1,062 mm) (stock extended)
37.8 in (960 mm) (stock retracted)
Barrel Length:22 in (559 mm)
Action:Gas-operated short-stroke piston
Rate of Fire:700 rounds/min cyclic
Muzzle Velocity:3,089 ft/s (942 m/s) with M62-125 round
Muzzle Energy:2,649 ft/lbs (3,591 Joules) with M62-125 round
Effective Range:1,100 m (875 yd)
Feed System:30-round detachable box magazine
Sights:Optics rail (FCO-3 sight as standard)
Flip-up iron sights


The M956 was designed alongside the M945 and the other members of Kinman Industries’ Future Small Arms System from 2033 to 2034 and was adopted by the US military in late 2034. As with all other members of the FSAS family, it is primarily manufactured by Colt Defence, LLC.


The M956 has only two major differences from the M945 rifle: the longer, match-grade barrel, and a different model of round handguard with a rail on the bottom of the front sight block for attaching a bipod. Less noticable is the fact that the M956 is intended to be used with the FCO-3 fire control optic instead of the FCO-2; the FCO-3 is slightly longer and heavier but offers higher magnification to take full advantage of the M62-125 cartridge that is supplied for the rifle. The M956’s barrel is visually identical to the barrel used on the M945 except for being two inches longer. Less visible is the difference in the rifling itself. Instead of a 1:10 twist rate, the M956’s barrel has a 1:8 twist rate to properly stabilize the heaver M62-125 round. However, the M956 is fully capable of using the lighter M62-110 round that is typically used by the other members of the FSAS family, and personnel with different FSAS weapons can exchange ammunition in the field if needed.

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