Soldier Carrying Adcor BEAR Carbine in Afganistan

An eagle-eyed reader spotted a photo, taken a few days ago in Afghanistan, showing a U.S. Army National Guard soldier carrying what appears to be a 10.5″ Adcor B.E.A.R upper on a M4 Carbine lower.

The photo’s caption reads

U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Michael Nelson, a Security Force member of Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah, provides security during a key leader engagement in Cin Farsi Village, Farah province, Afghanistan, June 9. SECFOR is made up of National Guard infantrymen out of Alaska who are responsible for ensuring the safety of everyone assigned to PRT Farah.

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.


  • swilliams

    I saw this picture a couple of days ago and didn’t even realize it was a B.E.A.R.

  • Quintin

    That ‘looks’ like a charging handle on the back of the receiver to me.

    • swilliams

      I believe it comes with the option of a forward charging handle and a rear charging handle.

    • Database

      The BEAR has both a rear an front charging handle. This soldier has the forward charging handle set up on the left side of the rifle.

  • spencer

    Looks like a Colt lower to me.

    • swilliams

      They sell complete upper receivers alone.

    • spencer

      I should have added that this looks like an attempt to skirt the ban on personal weapons in Afghanistan. Using a non colt upper on a colt lower I’m sure breaks some rules, but It’s less likely to get you hammered by command.

  • Jeff

    So, I had a question:
    How did a National Guard get their hand on this?
    Is there a NSN# for the Adcor?

    Asking this because I posed a question on a msg board about whether soldiers were allowed to use failzero bolt carriers (after seeing testimonials of “saving” their lives in afghan/iraq, etc), and got torn apart about how modding a weapon can get you kicked out, etc.

    • Cav Commander

      I have a personally owned PWS 10″ upper on my issue carbine. GO1 says you can’t have personally owned weapons. I have a failzero bolt in my M4 upper, which I swap with my PWS upper when I’m anticipating CQB. Both maintain zero because I have my issue ACOG on the M4 upper, and a personally owned EOTECH on my PWS. All are officially kosher, but YMMV if you have busy body Command Sergeants Major. Legally, they may not have a leg to stand on, but from personal expereince, there’s no arguing with bullies that the Army higher up club is full of. Depending on who you are, you can just ignore.

      • W

        here’s a idea:

        frog lube

        saves you the need for a gas piston upper, switching out another upper with a Fail Zero bolt, and risk of attracting attention to yourself.

      • Cav Commander

        A 10″ upper is completely different than an M4 upper, used for a complete different reason. And it is piston driven. Apples and oranges.

        The M4 upper I use with the fz bolt. There is no need to avoid “attention” because there’s nothing wrong with using either upper. And how is a bolt carrier visibly more attention attracting than any other when it is on the inside of an issued weapon? Truth be told, I’m fine with the regular M4 bolt carrier, it has nbever fialed me. I just wanted to see the fz in action–it’s the first one I’ve bought.

      • W

        my point is that typically the reason why people would pursue the gas piston design is for the increased reliability. Im remain dubious of the other piston guns, but PWS are truly ground breaking and innovative, not to mention a measurable improvement over the design.

        Of course, perhaps i have bias. Replacing uppers wouldn’t be acceptable in my unit because we had access to Mk 18s, 416’s, and, later, the SCAR platform.

      • FormerSFMedic

        What unit was that in W?

      • W

        DOD πŸ˜‰

      • W

        i guess ill give you a duty station “from before”. JBLM.

  • Cav Commander

    There is no Army-wide rule on using a Personally Owned upper on an issue lower. It is not against the rule against personally owned weapons because the lower IS the weapon. This is little different than using a magpul stock or magpul mags. You may have some CSMs or LTC/COLs that wish to be in everyone’s business and ban it at the unit level. But this is at such a insiginificant level that almost all commands don’t care about it.

    This soldier is much, much more likely to get yelled at for not having approved gloves. THAT is against the rules theater-wide.

    • Cav Commander

      And sunglasses that are not on the APEL (Authorized Protective Eyepro List), I shit you not! Just because you imagine soldiers kicking in doors does not mean the Army is NOT the largest bureacracy in the world. Think DMV, with guns.

  • Reverend Clint
  • Tim V

    I would hate to be a part of the investigation if his weapon failed in combat and someone got hurt. People would lose their careers for authorizing this.

    • Charles222

      Attn negative Raters: he is completely right.

    • bob

      Tim V

      You got it absolutely right, I doubt the thumbs down people are aware of the facts.

      • Rangefinder

        I think the point of contention is the term “authorization”. The term implies that the commander’s acceptance was part of the official record (documentable event). I think we know better. I agree as others have stated, that the commander would not allow this without sufficient cove by superiors.

      • Tim V

        Shows a complete lack order and disciplined in your command if an E-7(a leader of men) of all people is acting like an immature gear queer and doing whatever the hell he wants. Charge sheets would be written for the SFC, the unit armorer, and ordnance officer by the unit commander if he wants to keep his position. This is of course in theory IF something went wrong. Maybe its different im a Marine, not national guard, we tend to do things a bit more orderly and disciplined. Im fairly positive that as an E-6 i would get my ass handed to me in from of my men by my Battalion Commander if he saw this and would most likely suffer a court martial if for some reason something went wrong in a combat situation.

  • Kenny Blankenship

    ADCOR is a finalist in the Army’s Individual Carbine competition. Could this be official T&E?

  • DustOff

    S.F’s. can use pretty much what they want. At least during battle. I saw Tommy’s in D.S. in the chow hall… πŸ˜‰

    • FormerSFMedic

      He is NOT SF!

      • W

        any NCO worth his salt, let alone a real operator, would never allow himself the luxury of any advantages in superior gear (given that it is tested first, unlike the Adcor pictured here) without his boys having it first. This guy’s a E7!?

      • charles222

        SF stands for more things than Special Forces, dude. πŸ˜€ And he’s entirely correct; Security Forces for a PRT can get away with murder. In a metaphorical sense :p

  • Charles222

    He’s going to have one interesting time bringing that back home. You can take an personally owned weapon or upper receiver with you; taking it back requires a brigade commander memo iirc because of issues with Customs.

  • zack991

    A lot of guard units are allowed to carry personal weapons overseas if they get approval from their state and Brigade. A lot of states cant afford to give soldiers the best equipment and I have personally known 4 people in guard units that deployed withe deadline weapons.

    • El Duderino

      Crap I need to join the Guard. I’d love to take my scoped 20″ AR overseas! My wife and kids might object.

      When I was in the USMC we couldn’t even use non-approved lubricants or cleaning chemicals. Forget about modifying Uncle Sugar’s weapons with aftermarket COTS stuff. I know things have changed a little though.

    • Redleg

      “A lot of guard units are allowed to carry personal weapons overseas if they get approval from their state and Brigade”


      Neither the state nor the Brigade control what a soldier is allowed to carry (or not carry) overseas. That is entirely governed by the gaining command, in this case CENTCOM.

      As for the comments that the “national guard has their own rules” I call BS, at least when it comes to tactical gear. The Army National Guard follows the same regulations that regular army units do, except for the state specific functions that are different in each state. That doesn’t extend to what weapons a mobilized national guard soldier gets to use.

    • John

      This is flat out wrong. The guard does NOT allow any personal weapons overseas, besides your knife. We couldn’t even take PMags! had to have those babies shipped later πŸ˜‰

      • AKNORING

        Thats BS about PMAGs! Their allowed!

  • zack991

    (ADCOR is a finalist in the Army’s Individual Carbine competition. Could this be official T&E?)

    Guard units would be the last ones to every do that type of testing.

    • FormerSFMedic

      I have worked in DOD RDT&E for the last 3years. There is a very specific SOP on testing weapon systems. With that said, none of the ICC guns would be at the point of actual field testing or operational testing.

    • Stella

      The ICC is a farce. The army wants rights the TDP so it can source the manufacturing to contractors other than the winner. To win the ICC contract would be Pyrrhic victory and nearly guarantees that end users get a crappy rifle.

      • The Army’s desire to have TDP rights comes down to the fact that nobody wants to have a repeat of the “M4 Addendum”.

      • Stella

        Mr. Waters,

        Be that as it may, it has turned off potential competitors. The army could have told Colt to shove it long ago regarding the M4 TDP if they were not in fact in bed with them. Moreover, taking manufacturing out whomever wins seems like a bad idea.

        Get samples of each rifle. Blast away with them. Give the contract to the best, or don’t bother at all. The American public has wasted enough money on military boondoggles and unfinished innovations.

  • AdamJensen

    Why does OP consistently spell it as “Solider”?

    • RocketScientist

      The OP seems to rarely proof-read his posts, I notice a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes. I don’t care though, as he always gets his point across and always has interesting novel content that keeps us all coming back.

  • Big Daddy

    He’s National Guard, if I am not mistaken they have their own set of rules on many things.

    I have looked at the ADCOR system and it looks like one of the best and most thought out systems. Maybe still some room for improvement. I also think the Rock River piston system looks good too but ADCOR has some really good ideas.

    I think the best piston system for an AR looks like the long stroke not the short stroke.

    I’m not a shooter just a person very much into all things mechanical and science oriented.

    • John Doe

      Is the ADCOR long-stroke or short stroke? I’ve been looking at a PWS upper for awhile, and want to look around for alternatives.

      • Big Daddy

        I was in the army, I am used to M16A1. If you are not using one for combat or full auto use the DI system is fine.

        There isn’t really any reason to run a piston system in a AR15 if you use it for home defense or hunting or range shooting. The only reason I hated the DI system was the gas in my face and the fact that once you really start putting rounds out everything gets hot and dirty. I would not welcome that weapon in combat, I hated the M16A1. I never was in combat though, I was a Cav Scout 19D. I had more experience with an M60, which I did like.

        But for any other use than combat a DI system works well, is lighter and has less recoil. No need for a piston AR unless you are going full auto, have a very short barrel like a PDW or are going to see extended action, the life or death kind.

        There is so much BS on the internet, a well set up AR15 with DI will work fine. The key word is set up. If you want a sight that tells it like it is check out the Vuurwapen blog. I learned so much there about the proper way to set up an AR.

  • CanduRandu

    Also a great promotion for Popular Mechanix gloves.

  • It’s not uncommon for personally owned uppers to be in use on military issued rifles. 10.5s seem to be the most common of these, in my experience. Now, why an individual would select a 10.5″ 5.56 weapon for anything not involving VBSS is mystifying to me…

    • FormerSFMedic

      There are alot of reasons to choose a 10.5in barrel for combat. I do agree though, that with proper training (which the Army doesn’t really have) a 14.5 barrel is more desirable even in CQB. I hate to be a dick, but it is highly likely that the soldier in the picture is running alot of that equipment because he fancies himself an “operator” which he is clearly not.

      • Esh325

        The choice of a 10 inch barrel over a 14.5 inch barrel has little to do with training. Navy Seals and many special operations use the MK18 when the size of the M4 is a burden.

      • FourString

        Might the soldier just prefer a lighter, quicker-to-point weapon? Just another possible explanation…

      • FormerSFMedic

        It has alot to do with training! Very FEW overseas SOCOM units are running 10.5″ guns and almost NO conventional forces soldiers are running these as their standard. Someone with little training might think a 10.5″ gun is great for ground combat in Afghanistan but those “dialed in” operators know better. Unless we are running CQB ops on HVT raids entering compounds or caves on a regular basis, the M4A1 is the choice for the large percentage of operators. There are MANY operational reasons for this and only good training is going to give you that knowledge and understanding.

  • snowden

    Keep in mind he can’t control where his barrel begins or ends because he used those special parts to make his robot friends.

    • BoneOboe

      Mystery Soldier Theater 3000?

  • bob

    Steve, I don’t think you should have posted the Sgt. name, if he is still on active duty/deployed, somebody in his chain of command (battalion or higher) could make an unnecessary issue out of the sgt.’s unproved modification of his issue M4. We were specifically warned not to modify our rifles in any way with parts that aren’t Army approved, outside of the grip or collapsible stock. This was not very smart by the sgt as he is potentially endangering his benefits.

    • FourString

      Does anyone have an opinion as to how the ADCOR Bear stacks up with the SIG 516?

    • Tribulationtime

      I agree 100 per 100%. keep us update if the soldier is fired or punished.

      • jdun1911

        This is the thing I had with They ban posters for showing images of uncensored special ops. These uncensored photos was released by the US military or old enough that no one really cares other than for historical sake.

    • jdun1911

      These type of photos are mainly taken by military photographers embedded in combat units.

      I don’t know why printing the guy name is a big deal if the Military themselves allows it. It’s in the captions.

      • bob


        The deal with this is that this picture might unwittingly get the sgt. into trouble for his non-standard/unauthorized modification to his weapon with his higher ups should they get a glimpse of this on a mass-trafficked blog, that would be his own fault in the end. Military public affairs from the various branches often don’t no shit about the military or what their photographing or reporting and are seldom embedded for longer than a couple of hours and glad to be back on base as soon as possible they belong to the magical fobit soldier class anyway. It varies from unit to unit on what level command tolerates mods to weapons or other personal gear. In my experience this was not tolerated even down to wearing non-issue hiking boots in the field. Heaven forbid you got killed with a major non-issue mod to your weapon that could give them enough to deny your next of kin your benefits.

      • jdun1911

        How can any CO missed something like this. Seriously. You have to be blind to not noticed him carrying a non-standard 10.5 carbine. Apparently the CO allowed it or they just don’t care.

        Soldiers have been modding their standard issue cabine/rifle since God knows when. In fact what made Magpul CTR and Magpul in general popular is when a US soldier asked on Arfcom if they could mail him a CTR to Iraq. Magpul gave his entire platoon free CTR.

        Go to any military photo sites and you will be surprise to see so many standard military firearm modded. From stock to rail to magazine to grips to optic to whatever.

        Here is an Arfcom picture threads that is still going on to get you started.

  • FourString

    Does anyone have an opinion as to how the ADCOR Bear stacks up with the SIG 516? (Whoops, meant to post this not as a reply)

  • Lance

    With such popularity of the BEAR setup in both regular and SOCOM circles I be you see ALOT more of them in unofficial combat situations in the sand box.

    • FormerSFMedic

      The Adcor BEAR is NOT popular in SOCOM circles OR conventional forces. Nobody is running these in any kind of numbers.

      • Lance

        Strange check the pics then!!

      • FormerSFMedic

        What pics? The 1 pic in the write up? Are you serious? I’m telling you a fact not asking for the proof you don’t have!

    • W

      news to me (as i shoot a email to my best friend), i would say Adcor’s weapon is not used by SOCOM or any military for that matter.

  • Travis


  • Big Daddy

    I think there are more questions than answers here.

    Like what is a guardsman doing in a special unit. If it is a special unit than he might have the OK do use any weapon he wants or modify the one he has.

    We do not know exactly what the deal is with this guy and his job. So everything is speculative.

    It says he is doing security for Afghans.

    I’m surprised nobody has noticed his uniform, I don’t think that is standard issue, is it?

    • Joe

      That’s multicam. It’s a new Army uniform pulled over from SOF.

      • Big Daddy

        It looks like my old faded washed out BDUs???????

        You mean the DOD spent billions of dollars to find a uniform that looks like my old faded BDUs?

      • Big Daddy

        Just had a 15 year army combat veteran agree with me, so down grade all you want to, Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn.

    • FormerSFMedic

      His uniform is standard issue. Once units are mobilized, they are issued the Army Combat Shirt in OCP (Multicam). The shirt is made and distributed by Massif.

      Since you brought it up, I’ll give you my take.

      Looking at the rifle, it is clear that this soldier has bought his own accessories. The optic is an Eotech HWS in black. This is NOT the standard SOPMOD SU231/PEQ which utilizes an Eotech 553 in Flat Dark Earth color. The backup sights are Magpul which is again NOT the standard sight solution which is made by Knights Armament. The weaponlight is also a personally owned solution. Moving forward, the AAC Blackout flash hider is not something we typically see either. USASOC does NOT utilize AAC suppressors nor do they utilize the AAC flash hiders.

      With all that said, this soldier has simply bought alot of goodies. He is obviously aware of weapons components and accessories but I seriously doubt he is as dialed in as some would believe.

      • FormerSFMedic

        I meant to add more to the previous post.

        Judging from the weapon (upper receiver) and accessories choice, it appears this guy is posing more than anything. I think the conventional forces refer to it as a “wannabe”. He is from the guard which is notorious for allowing relaxed standards when it comes to weapons and equipment choice on deployments. He is definently NOT a SOF operator. I highly doubt a SOCOM soldier would choose to take a weapon system to combat that has no standards and has yet to be proven anywhere. No one in my Team would choose anything we weren’t absolutely sure of. I do NOT think this soldier is doing any formal testing of the BEAR either. None of the ICC candidates have gotten to that point yet and the fact that this Guy is running personal accessories tells me he is more worried about having cool stuff than he is about control standards. Furthermore, the conventional Army is not looking at a 10.5″ carbine, which tells me this guy probably bought the upper himself.

        The fact is, this soldier shouldn’t be allowed to run such a setup. I would definently NOT want my guys using “substandard” equipment on deployments unless that equipment had been proven to a HIGH degree on a previous control ex testing environment.

    • Tim V

      A PRT is not a SOF unit at all.

    • John

      Yeah what the HELL is up with this photo anyways? We’d never be allowed to take a personal upper overseas, EVER. There should be an 1ST SGT down this guys throat… if this unit is that relaxed to allow a personal upper to go overseas, then imagine what else they are ‘relaxed’ on. Dont like it. There’s nothing wrong with the issued upper… its just a bland Colt M4. Gets the job done.

    • Nick

      Do you mean to tell me that we’re 1/2 way through 2012 and you’ve NEVER heard of Multicam!?

  • that guy

    Comments concerning short barrel. PRT SECFOR you will be doing a lot of climbing in and out of MRAPs. Which are cramped as hell and make moving around with a weapon very troublesome. Smaller your weapon easier life will be. No need for long range shooting since you have crew served weapons that. Just focus on getting PRT and CA personnel back in the vehicles. Then run like hell.

  • rouge_rager

    By looking at the picture, I have to agree that we have a “I want to be so high speed it hurts my bank account (and possibly my career)” First off, it is a issued lower. The coding sticker on the Mag well is for easy Army property book inventory. The upper is not authorized by anything I can find as a Infantry XO. You are allowed to modify in a way that it effects only cosmetic and comfort, IE buttstock, foregrips, so on.. He had to qualify to validate for deployment with issued iron sights and optics. ( of which he signed a paper making him accountable) So by running what he wants to he put himself at risk. Also anyone notice how “clean” and “new” his gear looks. Even during MOB (if your really training ) your rifle starts to get that nice worn look about it, shiny spots, nicks, scratches. Everything on this guy looks too nice. Even his helmet cover looks to new. Unless they just got in country. But I hope I’m wrong and that a senior NCO knows better because I rely on their knowledge and experience.

  • Mike Knox

    Properly notes what freedom you get when you want something that your C.O. approves.

    Anyhow, Why doe everyone assume Sgt. Nelson is Special forces or something? Just because a soldier sports non standard gear doesn’t necessarily mean he’s special forces or something..

  • Dan

    OPSEC – SCHMOPSEC…. I wouldn’t worry much about that fellas, this guy’s all over the innerwebz: (same rifle and kit as photo above)

  • NickB

    I hate seeing these comments “I guess he thinks he’s (Insert rude comment here)”. How would you like it for someone to look at your gun loadout and say how it will never work? Here’s a good list,

    A. He’s security, not a SEAL DMR man, I doubt he’d need a SR25 to get the job done. 10.5 inches is plenty in a village engagement.
    B. Why are you guys talking about army weapons rules, he’s in the National Guard.
    C. He keeps his uniform clean, does that mean he’s a freak now?

    This is the loadout he wanted, and he’s a sargent so I think he knows what he’s doing.

    • rouge_rager

      Yes Nick, he was National Guard, now he is Title 10 Active Duty, which means he falls under all the regulations of the Army. There is nothing wrong with his load or having clean gear, but the “possibly unauthorized” which translates to “illegal” in UCMJ, weapon. Well that’s kind of a big deal. Swapping uppers without approval through MWO process and acquisition is the same as taking a personal weapon. The other problem is he has to set the standard for all lower soldiers follow. And that may not be a good standard. I did a little more research into the picture and found the pictures of the rest of that patrol ( about 14 in all ). No one else in that patrol had a weapon like that. All standard M-4s Plus everyone else is running Aimpoint and ACOG with a PEQ-15. He cant even put a PEQ-15 on there. So now the issues is one he is violating Reg, probably TACSOP, and got caught on camera. Now he could be some sort of SF/ Spec Ops liaison and be covered which would make me completely wrong. Lets just hope.

      • NickB

        Sorry I didn’t know about the Title 10 Active Duty, most of what people were saying had nothing to support it. as for there is nothing wrong with his load or having clean gear, I know that, I was getting annoyed at the “Internet Rambos” who think you should be covered in mud, sand and filth and have all sorts of paint chipping on your gun. Truth is I’ve seen pictures of clean guns in vietnam that were used by the seals.
        As for the SBR I doubt he could pass by all the army officials and ever get that upper in if it wasn’t allowed, so that’s where it gets iffy.The only way to find out is to either contact him personaly or ask a army reprisentitive about it(Good luck with that one). I mean it might be voilating TACSOP or one of them but until it’s proven your guess is as good as mine. But I don’t see anything wrong with the example he’s setting if he did follow proper paperwork and his unit just prefers mili-issue or didn’t feel like going through all the red tape.

  • WM

    For the love of God, ARNG does not have any ‘special rules’ for weapons or anything else for that matter. When you go on active duty orders you are ACTIVE DUTY. State military laws or regs have no bearing.

  • Tomaso

    Didnt read all the comments(83) …but is it possible this is a field trial weapon? Is this company still in the carbine competition ? If so doesn’t seem so odd to me.

    • FormerSFMedic

      Yes, Adcor is still in the ICC. No, this is not a test gun. I am 99.9% sure of that fact. I’ve worked RDT&E for DOD for 3 years now. There is very specific SOP for weapons testing and competitions like the ICC. None of the guns in the ICC are at the point of Operational Testing (OP). At this point the Adcor, along with other ICC candidates, would be going through Developmental Testing (DT) and End User Assessments (EUA). Furthermore, the Army is not looking at 10.5″ guns for the ICC and Adcor did not present one.

  • ian

    Being deployed down range at the Division level myself, I can say with authority he’s the personal security detail for the General (the key leader engagement). Not a high speed snake eater, he just has a General to back him up in with his geardo problem and keep the 1SG at bay.

  • charles222

    Probably going to catch a bunch of flack for this, but regs, setting standards, and setting an example aside, a 10.5-inch upper actually makes a lot of sense for a senior NCO. He isn’t a trigger puller (at least, not on the conventional side of things, for guys like W it’s completely different) anymore; an SFC’s main job in a firefight is controlling the casualty collection point and being able to backstop the platoon leader, who isn’t a trigger puller either. His weapon, if it gets used at all, is going to be used at extremely close ranges-I’ve had more than one platoon daddy/first sergeant rock a shotgun instead of an M4 because of this. Hence, a shorty upper makes alot of sense, IMO-slightly less weight (although I’m guessing the BEAR’s piston would nix that), and still significant lethality at very close range.

  • FAEX

    Here is the official policy regarding weapon modifications.

    **************** UNCLASSIFIED// ****************
    Subject: TACOM LCMC GPA 09-010, M16/M4/M240/M9, Unauthorized Modifications
    DTG: 291242Z Jan 09
    Precedence: PRIORITY
    Subject: Ground Precautionary Action (GPA) Message, TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, (TACOM LCMC) Control No. GPA 09-010, Maintenance Mandatory, Unauthorized Modifications, Items Affected:
    M16A2 Rifle, NSN 1005-01-128-9936 LIN R95035; M16A4 Rifle, NSN 1005-01-383-2872, LIN R97175;
    M4 Carbine, NSN 1005-01- 231-0973, LIN R97234; M4A1 Carbine, NSN 1005-01-382-0953, LIN C06935; M240 Machine Gun (MG), NSN 1005-01-025-8095, LIN L92352; M240B Machine Gun, NSN 1005-00-412-3129, LIN M92841;
    M9 Pistol, NSN 1005-01-118-2640, LIN P98152.
    a. AR 750-10, Army Modification Program, 8 August 2000.
    b. Interim Policy on Capabilities Request Submissions to HQDA, 7 April 2005.
    c. GPM 07-016, Ground Precautionary Message (GPM), Maintenance Mandatory TACOM Control No. GPM 07-016, Unauthorized Modifications, Items Affected: M16A2 Rifle, NSN 1005-01-128-9936 LIN R95035; M16A4 Rifle, NSN 1005-01-383-2872, LIN R97175; M4 Carbine, NSN 1005-01- 231-0973, LIN R97234; M4A1 Carbine, NSN 1005-01-382-0953, LIN C06935; M240 Machine Gun (MG), NSN 1005-01-025-8095, LIN L92352; M240B Machine Gun, NSN 1005-00-412-3129, LIN M92841; M9 Pistol, NSN 1005-01-118-2640, LIN P98152, DTG: 031919Z May 07.
    1. Distribution: Note this is a “Ground Precautionary Action Message”. Commanders/Directors of Army Commands (AC)/Army Service Component Commands (ASCC)/Direct Reporting Units (DRU), Army National Guard (ARNG), US Army Reserve (USAR) Command and other Service Commanders and Responsible Offices will retransmit this message to all subordinate Commanders/Activities within 24 hours of receipt of this message and will, within 5 working days, acknowledge receipt of this message by e-mail to or by telephoning DSN 786-6096, Commercial (586)574-6096 or in writing to Commander, TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM LCMC), ATTN: AMSTA-LC-LMPM,
    6501 E. 11 Mile Rd., Warren, MI 48397-5000.
    2. Problem:
    a. Summary of Problem: Commanders are allowing various unauthorized modifications of
    M16A2/M16A4 Rifles, M4/M4A1 Carbines, M240/M240B Machine Guns, and M9 Pistols.
    b. Background Information: During recent months, there have been an increasing number of reports of unauthorized modifications to rifles, carbines, M240 Machine Guns, and M9 Pistols.
    Some of these modifications increase the potential injury to personnel.
    c. The language set forth in AR 750-10, chapter 3, paragraph 3-1.e, states:
    “No Modification Work Order (MWO) is authorized for application unless it has an approved MWO number that is the product of the MWO process in paragraph 4-2. Commanders will not allow their equipment to be modified unless there is an official MWO.”
    d. These are examples of some but not all unauthorized modifications:
    (1) One of the most common examples is unauthorized unit conversion from M16A2 Rifle to
    M4 Carbine. Action such as installing an M4 Carbine butt stock on an M16A2 Rifle or converting from burst to fully automatic is unauthorized and will cause increased stoppages, malfunctions, or possible safety incidents.
    (2) Another example is the use of ergonomic pistol grips or silencers. These are not authorized since testing / evaluation to identify acceptable alternative pistol grips or silencers for Army approval has not been done.
    (3) Another example is the unauthorized modification of the basic M240 MG (coaxial variant) to the M240B (Dismounted Infantry) configuration by adding and removing components.
    (4) Also, of note, is the modification of M9 Pistols by installing various off-the-shelf aiming lasers. The use of such lasers may involve the replacement of standard weapon components with non-standard components, resulting in an unauthorized modification of the pistol.
    (5) A modification frequently reported is the painting of various small arms weapons, including those discussed above. Painting a weapon increases the risk of malfunctions caused by paint interfering with the moving parts of the weapon. Painting also increases the potential for infrared identification of the user. Removal of paint to return a weapon to -10 -20 standards often results in the protective surface finish being ruined, possibly resulting in a weapon that needs to be coded out for turn in.
    (6) There is no approved Modification Work Order (MWO) for converting M16s to M4s nor is there one to convert the M240 to the M240B. No MWO has been issued authorizing the use of off-the-shelf aiming lasers with the M9 pistol. Similarly, there are no MWOs authorizing the painting of weapons.
    e. Expected results of unauthorized modification:
    Unauthorized modifications to small arms weapons may cause damage to the weapon and/or death/injury to the operator. Combat readiness and reliability may be reduced, causing the weapon to become unavailable in critical situations because of stoppages, malfunctions, or the weapon becoming non-operational. To avoid these issues, weapons should not be modified.
    3. User Actions:
    a. Inspection Procedures: Weapons shall be inspected as per the applicable technical manual to ensure the weapon is fully mission capable.
    b. Corrective Procedures: Any rifle, carbine, machine gun, or pistol that has an unauthorized modification applied shall be converted back to the original configuration with the appropriate original or replacement/repair parts as listed in applicable technical manuals. Painted weapons shall have the paint removed to the extent possible short of ruining the protective surface finish.
    c. Policy: The interim policy (reference B, see links below) provides guidance on submitting requests to improve/increase unit operational capability including the Operational Needs Statement
    (ONS) process.
    d. Unit Commanders, contact your local TACOM Logistics Assistance Representative (LAR) or your State Surface Maintenance Manager upon receipt of this message for assistance. For assistance in locating your TACOM LAR, see paragraph 6c.
    4. TACOM/PM actions: None.
    5. Supply Status: Any requisitioned items needed to configure weapons back to standard/original configurations shall be done so at the unit’s expense.
    6. The points of contact:
    a. Technical:
    (1) Kevin Moore, Equipment Specialist, DSN 793- 2359, COMM 309-782-2359,
    (2) Neal Christianson, Equipment Specialist, DSN 793-0034, COMM 309-782- 0034,
    (3) Dennis Bowrey, Equipment Specialist, DSN 793-5943, COMM 309-782- 5943, email:
    (4) Arias Engels, Equipment Specialist, DSN 793-5951,COMM 309-782-5951, email:
    b. Safety: Gavin Ziegler, Safety Engineer, DSN 793-2995, COMM 309-782-2995,
    c. To find your TACOM LCMC LAR, you must be a registered user in the Army Electronic Product Support (AEPS) database. If you are a registered user, click on this link: Then select the appropriate region; i.e. CONUS, Europe, Far East, and SWA. Select the location nearest you and click on
    a name. This will give you a LAR’s name, DSN and commercial phone number, email address, and photo.
    (1) If you are not a registered user, request access at the public page: click on “Access Request Form” and follow the instructions for obtaining an AEPS user id. If you don’t have access to AEPS, you can also obtain this information by contacting the TACOM Senior Command Representative (SCR) for your area.
    (2) CONUS-East Region includes all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve Units in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and FORSCOM. CONUS-East SCR can be reached at DSN 236-6921, Commercial 910-396-6921.
    (3) CONUS-West Region includes all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve Units in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, and Wyoming. CONUS-West SCR can be reached at DSN 737-0263, Commercial 254-287-0263.
    (4) Pacific Region includes all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve Units in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Guam. Pacific SCR can be reached at DSN 357-2991, Commercial 253-967-2991.
    (5) Europe Region includes all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve Units in Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, Italy, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia. Europe SCR can be reached at DSN 314-375-3461, Commercial 01149 621-487-3461, in Germany, 0621-487-3461.
    (6) Far East Region includes all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve Units in Korea, Okinawa, Kwajalein, and Japan. Far East SCR can be reached at DSN 215-721-7101,commercial 011-82-2-2270-7101.

    • Ilse

      No, no that is not official policy. TACOM advises, not commands. Read some of the stupid, non common sense things written in that message too. Things that are blatantly false and incorrect…..things that have since been redacted and approved.

      They recommend and suggest…..that is the scope of their authority. They are a hindrance to the war fighter.

  • HorseSoldier

    That jackass was my platoon sergeant for that deployment. His shorty upper was consistently and notoriously unreliable whenever we went to the range (rarely made it through more than a mag without a stoppage). He carried it outside the wire because it looked cool and resembled working shorty uppers that the ARSOF and MARSOC guys on our FOB carried. I don’t have any firsthand experience with other Adcor products and this one may have just been a Monday-morning production gun or whatever but for that specific NCO to carry that specific weapon outside the wire, knowing it had reliability issues, was utterly unprofessional and potentially life threatening to both himself and those around him. Sadly, it’s par for the course, as the guy was the least professional NCO I have ever met in a very long military career.

    • joe

      Ohh sure. I also fucked ms.Claus in the north pole.

  • PRT Farah vet

    The “my mom says I’m Tier One” private purchase short barrel upper was just to distract from that incompetent fool’s clown shoes . . . never seen a less technically or tactically proficient platoon sergeant in my entire military career.