Chilean Marines Purchases 2000 Colt M4 Carbines


The Marine Corps of the Chilean Navy has ordered 2,000 M4 Carbines from Colt reports IndoDefensa …

The first order, with deliveries to be completed in 2014, is designed to equip combat units that integrate Amphibious Expeditionary Brigade (BAE) , rapid deployment training from sea with 1,400 troops created in 2012. The remaining members of the BAE and other units of the CIM will continue to use the rifles in caliber 5.56mm HK33A2 acquired in the early nineties.

The final shortlist selection process also included CIM HK 416 German manufacturer Heckler & Koch and SCAR-L produced by FN Herstal of Belgium.

The M4 version produced under license by DPMS Panther Arms U.S. manufacturer was also evaluated, but was discarded in view of the problems faced with the rifle by the Brigade of Army Special Forces.

Thanks to Albi for the tip.


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.


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  • Man pippy

    No surprise, Chile’s got one of south america’s top militaries. They can handle the more maintenance heavy M4.

  • hootyhoo

    Wish they would have been more specific on what problems they had with DPMS

    • Justin

      DPMS doesn’t use mil-spec parts, so of course they had problems with the weapon. DPMS is notorious for using lower grade barrels (4140, 1×9 twist, non-chrome lined), tight chambers (.223 instead of 5.56), improper bolts (not HPT or MPI, not made of Carpenter 158), out-of-spec carriers (improper screws on the carrier key, incorrect torque values on the key, screws left unstaked on the key), non-F-marked front sight bases (.040″ lower than the F-marked FSBs, making it more difficult to zero), incorrect FSB pins (straight pins instead of taper pins), out-of-spec receiver extensions (1.168″ diameter vs. 1.148″ diameter for mil-spec extensions, 1.170″ threads vs. 1.185″ threads for mil-spec extensions, made of 6061 aluminum vs. 7075 used on mil-spec, not impact extruded or forged), improper buffers (carbine buffers instead of H or H2 buffers), improperly sized gas ports (around .075″ or more instead of .063″ as called out in the spec), unstaked castle nuts on the receiver extension, etc.

      Not all AR-15s are the same, even though they may look similar. Bottom line: DPMS cuts a lot of corners to keep the price of their weapons down and, while this may be fine for the weekend warrior shooting dirt clods at the local range, these lower standards lead to much higher instances of failure in field conditions.

      • n0truscotsman

        100% spot on.

        and people wonder why Mil Spec junkies get bent out of shape when somebody says, “DPMS/Olympic Arms works just fine…” ad nauseum.

        You pretty much summed up my experience with brand X AR15s and why i wont touch them.

    • Yellow Devil

      How about starting with the fact they were even considered for a military contract.

  • noob

    I wonder what the world would have been like if Eugene Stoner had managed to produce the AR-10 for Colt from the get-go and get it approved for adoption without the politics (and without the whole barrel bursting during a torture test thing) and then saw his rifle dominate the world arms export with him at the top of the pyramid. After that the little AR-18 comes along as a cleaner smaller alternative with a self cleaning piston and folding stock for paratroopers and tankers and then ends up produced in 14″ for the Shinseki brigade combat team concept… In an alternative universe that came so tantalizingly close to happening Eugene Stoner could have statues and parades in his honor for what his genius has given the West.

    I hope that at least some royalties are being paid.

    • zap

      Whose genius? Do not take me as non-apreciative toward Stoner’s talents, BUT… the 8-lug (one vacant) locking is from Johnson (he also consulted wit Armalite). Second part comes from Ljungman. Mr, Stoner just packaged all nicely together. Intresting though is the fact that NOBODY ever after used DG system. What does it say? Ingenious still? If anybody deserves major credit those are creators of AR18 since this is the most copied gun.

      • noob

        well stoner did the 7.62 nato AR-16 prototype that sullivan and miller scaled down into the ar-18.

        it’s a tragedy that the ar-18 didn’t enjoy more success given how inspirational the design was.

      • John184

        A lot of credit could be given to people who can package things together well. Steve Jobs and Apple for example. Nothing they did was really new with the iPhone, they just packaged it well. Eugene Stoner didn’t do anything that was mind-blowingly revolutionary (besides making the rifle light), but he packaged things well together.

      • Joshua

        The Stoner system is nothing like the DI system in the Ljungman. The Ljungman sent the gases down a tube which would strike a cup in the carrier and cycle the action. The Stoner system sends gases down the gas tube and through the carrier key, where it is then deposited behind the bolt tail(part with gas rings). This gas expands and sends the carrier backwards unlocking the bolt and once the bolt is unlocked the gas that is left in the chamber(formed by the carrier and bolt) is expelled out of the exhaust vents in the side of the carrier.

        That is a huge difference.

    • zap

      Oh yeah, and here is the man to listen to – Jim Sullivan, designer par excellance:

      He will tell you clearly where stands M16 in comparison with AK74.

      • noob

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Featured_picture_candidates/Michail_Timofejewitsch_Kalaschnikow_monument

        okay give them all parades. at least gen kalashnikov got recognition in his home country

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        Interesting video thanks for posting it. I think they over stated the jamming issue with the AR15/M4. I’ve been shooting the AR15/M16 since 1970 and honestly with proper maintenance I’ve not had any problems.

      • Joshua

        Have you ever really seen his interviews? He talks about how the military uses full auto and unloads a magazine which leads to a 5 second reload(which is really just a big stoppage) and the military should be using his 100 round beta c mags and blah blah blah……He has no clue what he is talking about. No one runs around firing from the hip 30 rounds at a time in full auto, semi is used 99% of the time by using precise aimed fire……the man may have scaled down the AR-10 to the AR-15 but he has no clue what he is talking about….maybe his age is getting to him.

  • Man pippy

    They probably have the best rifle in the america’s too. They build a locally made licensed copy of the SIG SG 540, this is the rifle the Sig 550 is based on, arguably the best military rifle in world.The standard versions got a 18 inch barrel, with a carbine version with a 11.8 inch barrel. And all this during the 70’s, which showed alot of forethought.

    The Navy M4 purchase is obviously for the extra rails. I wonder if they will be able to retrofit their existing SIG 540 rifles with rails or go for a new rifle.

    • Anonymoose

      I’d like to see them create a railed SG543 with an adjustable folding stock. :3c

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Victor-Lourenço/100000000473974 Victor Lourenço

    There is no possible way that the Colt M4 won a in fair competition against the HK416 from a technical standpoint. HK’s platform is simply superior in every existing engineering aspect. I suspect corruption or a ridiculously cheap price per unit, the latter is way more likely.

    • Jester

      Unless you factor in weight, felt recoil, initial costs, maintenance costs, parts commonality and then weigh these disadvantages against the advantages of the 416 which are ease of tuning for short barreled an surpressed use… Then you’ll find that the HK416 and the rest of the forward op-rod AR15’s are a niche weapon, as they were designed. I’d advise you read up on the AR15’s piston operating system and the tests people like Mike Pannone and his tests before saying that the 416 is “simply superior in every engineering aspect” when you don’t actually know the realities of the weapon systems.

      • John184

        I have to hand it to the M4. If you want a cheap AR-based rifle, the M4 wins. The 416 and SCAR-L might be too expensive for a country like Chile.

    • Esh325

      Whether they were fairly tested or not, it’s hard to say without knowing their selection process. Politics and cost concerns are often the primary criteria for selection of military weapons, rather than technical merit sadly.

      • Joshua

        Alot of times yes….Which is why the Army will not be using the M4 and only the Marines will be.

    • Anonymoose

      Or a ridiculously high price for the SCAR and 416…

  • Nadnerbus

    Anyone think the purchase being for their Marines has anything to do with it? The M16 family of weapons has a very long and history in over-the-beach use, that consideration might have been looked at as a positive given their at-sea expected use, no? Special drain holes in the SEAL variants I seem to recall, things like that.

  • Lance

    Well Colt happy to make up for there loss to FN for US Army M-4A1s. I saw it coming the M-4 is better than the crappy SCAR and is way lighter than the HK416, cheaper now too.

    • Joshua

      Whats up Lance.

  • Tinkerer

    The chilean military branches -Army, Navy (which in this case encompasses the Marine Corps) and Air Force- have a history of not cooperating much when it comes to standardizing material. Even now, the Chilean Army has no intention of phasing their very capable SIG-FAMAE 540 family -in both 5.56 and 7.62 calibers-, while the Navy and Marines sport a mixture of HK33 and a variety of AR-15 derivatives -most, I believe, being old M-16s smuggled by leftist guerrillas and then confiscated by the military during the mid-80’s-, and the Air Force making use of Galil rifles -again, both in 5.56 and 7.62 calibers-.

    Another point: the Chilean Army still likes their 5.56 SG 540 rifles with 1:12″ rifling -thus, feeding them with the old M193 round. Now, if the Chilean Marine Corps is actually buying brand new Colt M4s, I’d assume those have the newer 1:7″ rifling, making them not really compatible with the Army’s ammo stockpiles.

    My opinion? The choice was under a political light, not a technical one. The FAMAE rifles are quite capable of performing in amphibious assault. As for the modularity aspect of the M4’s quad rails: I belileve FAMAE would be more than capable of producing railed handguards for the 540.

    • Joshua

      The Marines chose the M4 based on performance, the Army wanted to play the political game and have a weapon that they could produce some of the parts for(which Colt won’t allow due to the TDP). This is why the Marines split off from Program Titanium and made their own selection based off of performance.