Navy and Marines buy more M16s

FN Manufacturing in Columbia, SC received a $33.7 million firm-fixed-price, contract for M16A3 and M16A4 Rifles to support the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps.



Colt Defense in Hartford, CT received a $15.9 million firm-fixed-price contract for M16A3 and M16A4 Rifles to support the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps.

I know FN and Colt are happy 😛

More at DID

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • While attempting to look up the particulars on the recent TACOM awards to FN and Colt for US Navy M16A3 and USMC M16A4, I found a third contract award from the same solicitation. Bushmaster got it: W52H09-08-D-0120. Details of the delivery order follow:

    1. Delivery Order 0001 obligates a quantity of 5,631 M16A3 Rifle, NSN 1005-01-357-5112, PN 12012000 in accordance with the terms and conditions of the basic contract W52H09-08-D-0120. As this order is in excess of the guaranteed minimum quantity of 5,630 each, the Government is under no further obligation to place any additional orders.

    2. The award is processed against Ordering Period 1 (Award through 31 December 2008) and the following CLINS are awarded:

    Clin 0008AA – First Article Test for $20.000.00.
    Clin 0008AB – 5,631 M16A3 Rifle, 5.56mm, NSN 1005-01-357-5112 at unit price of $715.00 each for a total of $4,026,165.

    3. This delivery order is awarded FOB Origin.

    4. Accelerated deliveries are acceptable at no cost to the Government and only at the express permission of the Contracting Officer.

    5. Total value of Delivery Order 0001 is $4,046,165.

    Delivery is to NSWC-Crane. This does not appear to be a FMS order given that the latter are typically billed by TACOM to the US Army, not the US Navy. In addition, no FMS Country Code was listed.

    Of course, the acid test is whether Bushmaster’s rifle will pass the First Article Test. Previous TACOM orders for Bushmaster were for commercial rifles and carbines; note the lack of a proper NSN on the previous orders for FMS clients.

  • Very interesting, thanks.

  • Oops, it looks like Bushmaster’s award for USN M16A3 was canceled on January 30.

  • Thanks for the update.

    To what extent, relative to colt and FN, has bushmaster supplied the US military?

  • Bushmaster does not supply rifles for US military issue. However, TACOM has ordered from them in the past to fulfill Foreign Military Sales (FMS).

  • Thanks for the info. Much appreciated!

  • I was scouring through TACOM-RI to see if any contracts had been updated, and noticed new entries for W52H09-08-D-0122. The upshot is that Colt claimed a mistake in their pricing, and TACOM wouldn’t budge on the quoted price. As a result, TACOM allowed Colt to back out of their delivery order of 20,000 M16A4 for the USMC. To keep the contract on life support, TACOM added a mere 154 M16A4 for FMS.

    The value of the contract dropped from $15,925,000 to $122,430. OUCH!

  • haha, mistake in pricing. Is this a common practice?

    Thanks for the update

  • Jcamelo

    The M16A4 is from TACOM which seems to be doing a lot better than Bushmaster right now seeing as Bushmaster does not supply anyone in the canadian or american military.

  • The Tank-automotive and Armament Command (TACOM) is the purchasing authority, not a manufacturer. All of the military’s M16A3, M16A4, M4, and M4A1 are ordered through TACOM regardless of the service branch. They also handle orders for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and other Defense Agencies. Even federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are allowed to piggyback orders for these items.

  • Daniel, what is a Foreign Military Sale?

  • In a FMS, a foreign government asks the US Government to act as the deal broker for a procurement. The foreigners pay the US, and the US government hammers out the contract or delivery order with the vendor of the desired items. In contrast would be a Direct Commercial Sale (DCS), where the foreign country’s representatives directly contact the vendor and make their own contract arrangements and payments.

    The following .pdf document outlines the comparative merits of FMS and DCS:

  • Daniel, thanks for the info. Does the govt try to make a profit or is it done as a favor for friendly nations?

  • To tell the truth, I don’t know. That said, some FMS are probably paid for by US military aid funds. These fund packages often come with clauses which require a certain percentage to be spent on defense items from the US. I don’t imagine that the FMS rifles for Iraq and Afghanistan are being paid for completely by those countries, nor are the FMS carbines for Lebanon.

  • FWIW: Colt’s FY08 contract awoke from its coma on Monday. TACOM placed a delivery order for 5,140 M16A4 in FMS configuration (carry handle and standard handguard) for $3,546,600.