Army Awards $7.5 Million M4 Ambidextrous Controls Contract

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Looks like southpaws in the U.S. Army are getting an upgrade to their M4s. The Army just awarded a $7.5 million contract for ambidextrous selector assemblies for their M4 and M4A1 carbines. OG Technologies Inc out of New York and Manufacturing Support Industries out of Maryland were awarded the contracts. I wonder why the U.S. Army didn’t just order a bunch off Amazon, I bet they’re even eligible for Prime shipping too. Just last year FN Manufacturing won a $77 million contract to supply the Army with 120,000 M4 and M4A1 carbines.



Ray I.

Long time gun enthusiast, archery noob, Mazda fan, Sci-Fi nerd, Whiskey drinker, online marketer and blogger. My daily firearms musings can be found over at my gun blog ArmoryBlog.com and Instagram.

Shoot me an email at ray.i@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Jake

    First

    • Veronica Mars

      People still do this?

      • Matrix_3692

        Please forgive him, maybe he just got back from the planet Reach. XD

  • tommy tune

    So that works out to about 100 controls.

  • ATman

    Man I gotta get into the military snake oil business I have a cool idea for a rifle that is not an M-16 (called pick something else not made by FN already)

    • Why? FN makes some very good weapons. SOCOM already uses FN’s a lot.

      • Emir Parkreiner

        They also supply barrels/barrel blanks to Spike’s Tactical, PSA, Centurion Arms, Noveske, and other mid/upper tier AR manufacturers. There really is no argument when it come to their build quality.

      • ATman

        Cost effectiveness is why the lack of love for FN and they simply hate/have ZERO presence on the Canadian civilian market and there stuff is pricey.
        Good quality – unabontium good
        Clever design- I shall forgive them for making the FAL
        Pricing – I think they have the green gremlin on their shoulder.

        If it was left up to me I would make a Gov’t owned company and produce some version of the Tavor, CZ-805, the list could go on.
        I am sure if the numbers were crunched that this deal is rather economical especially when most likely providing hundreds of thousands units they are not billing them out at 350 a piece I hope.
        I am generally begrudged by the MIC and the profitability achieved through the use of tax payers funds also as a company goes FN does not resound as the foremost in Civilian friendly operations. Performance wise a FN-X holds top spot in my dream gun list.

    • st4

      Good luck.

    • Lance

      SOCOM doesn’t just use FN they use Colt HK Noveske Olympic ect they use a lot.

  • Lance

    @Ray
    The goal is to upgrade all M-4s to M-4A1. This is for all current M-4s in service to be upgraded. ALL future Colt and FN carbines will be A1 which come with ambidexterous controls.
    Good choice for the Army they may be really good AR parts.

  • Joshua

    Just FYI the right side will be shorter, This is part of the Army’s goal of upgrading current M4’s to M4A1’s, while also buying new M4A1’s instead of M4’s.

    • That makes sense—- I set mine up the same way.

      • iksnilol

        What do you mean with “the right side will be shorter”?

        • The thumb safety on the right side is about one quarter inch shorter than the left side.

          • Joshua

            Correct, everything is being built to Colt’s TDP for the M4A1. Now that the Military has the ability to contract out the TDP they are able to do MWO’s that will be applied by SARET.

            It will in all honestly be the exact same safety as what comes on the Colt 6920 SOCOM, and the M4A1’s that come from Colt like the ones the 101st have, it is just being made by a different company. This is also just one of 6 MWO’s for upgrading over 300,000 M4’s into M4A1’s.

          • iksnilol

            Oh God, I think my OCD is going to kick in.

            It is made shorter so as to not snag on the fingers of the user, right?

  • treyak

    Yeah!!!!! give the big contract to the companies in the states that are running off all manufacturing and gun ownership.

    • They don’t even consider things like that. Only if they work and how much they have to pay.
      Doesn’t mean the companies are bad. Not everyone can afford to just pack up and move.

      • M.M.D.C.

        It must be enormously expensive to move a manufacturing facility.

        • Depending on size it’s many many millions of dollars. Close old facility after packing up the machinery. Move that equipment across the country and install in the new location you spent a gazillion dollars on. Sell the old building. Pay all the people who did the moving in multiple 18 wheelers. Move staff willing to relocate.

          • Geodkyt

            And, never forget, “lost business while relocating, due to plant shutdown and new plant restart” and “train NEW staff to replace experienced staff that wasn’t willing to relocate”.
            Shifting plants can KILL a company, if it isn’t timed just so. OTOH, sometimes, NOT shifting plants can kill a company, either by loss of customer base, excessive business costs, or other reasons.
            It’s not as simple as moving a Coke machine to a new corner, or even moving a 7-11 down the street.

    • C

      Must be in the districts of some people with pull.

  • Mike

    Any intention to upgrade the M4 barrel to M4A1 specs?

    • Nothing at present. I imagine that would happen if by some miracle they change to a 6.8 or other larger caliber.

      • A few days ago, Colt and Manroy USA just received contracts for replacement heavy barrels. Manroy USA is the former Sabre Defence Industries/Ramos Defense facility.

        Here is the text from DefenseLink.Mil:

        Colt Defense LLC, West Hartford, Conn. (W15QKN-14-D-0024), and Manroy
        USA, Spindale, N.C. (W15QKN-14-D-0025), were awarded a $54,491,305
        firm-fixed-price contract for the M4 replacement barrel and front sight
        assembly (heavy variant) for the M4 Carbine Product Improvement Program.
        The M4 replacement barrel will be combined with other weapon
        components to form a single modification work order kit to convert
        fielded M4 carbines to M4A1 carbines. Funding and work location will be
        determined with each order. Estimated completion date is Feb. 27,
        2018. Bids were solicited via the Internet with six received. Army
        Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting
        activity.

  • ColaBox

    Its about damn time, but honestly, its kind of unnecessary, my AR has a righty lower and I find the right handed selector to make more sense for lefties.

    • echelon

      Gotta disagree. I’m a lefty and it’s easy to sweep the safe back on with your left trigger finger, but switching to hot is not super easy. I run a completely ambi ACR right now and as a lefty I cannot tell you how much of a difference if makes having all the controls where they should be! I applaud the feds for doing this. I’m surprised they just didn’t give contract to Colt so they could supply them with the totally ambi LWRC lowers now that they own them.

      I couldn’t find any info on if the M4A1 is totally ambi or if just the selector switch is? The bolt release on the standard AR is ok for lefties but having to grip n rip the mag out rather than just letting drop free sucks…

      • ColaBox

        Yea at first having to grip and rip the mags was kind of a pain in the ass being I mainly use Magpuls, but you get use to it. I also find its actually beneficial, if you use mag pouches. Don’t gotta go back for em, its already in hand, pouch it.

        • echelon

          Sometimes on the “two way range” you don’t worry about going back for ’em! 🙂

          Trust me, when you use an ambi configured gun, it’s hard to go back. I still run a lot of righty setup stuff just to stay current with control manipulation, but my personal preference anymore is not to settle!

          I admire companies that are willing to advance the design of products that really haven’t been advanced too much in the last 100+ years. Ergos are considered nominally an advance anyway, but to me that just begs the question as to why everything isn’t ambi these days? That’s a rhetorical question of course as I already know the answers…

          It’s funny that I can get a high quality Turkish CZ 75 clone or 1911 clone for $350 and $500 respectively that are completely ambidextrous but most American made 1911s only offer ambi controls on the more expensive models and CZ hardly makes any pistols that are ambi, and those that they do are more expensive…

    • Chris Hale

      Yeah, it’s not hard for a leftie to manipulate the right handed safety with your trigger finger. Never bothered me anyway. Now an ambidextrous bolt release. That’d be useful.

  • That Guy

    OG Tech is in Ann Arbor, MI.

  • Renegade

    How many rifles does this cover? $7.5 million oughta buy a lot of safeties.

  • gggplaya

    Original Gangstas industries?

  • HKGuns

    Why did OG not leave NY?

    Shouldn’t there be a bit of uproar over this NY Company getting such a large contract for such a small item and that they are based behind enemy lines? Sounds to me like they are getting a free pass from the firearms community.

  • Andrew

    Okay so we are downsizing our army right? Why dont they just get rid of left handed soldiers first and we can save $7.5 million on this contract.

    • Geodkyt

      Well, ambi controls aren’t just for lefties. Sometimes, right handed soldiers have to use their rifles left handed. . .

  • LCON

    There is a report that Colt just won a Contract for Barrels to Convert older M4 types to M$A! spec Barrel. http://www.huntingtonnews.net/83391

    Colt Defense LLC, West Hartford, Conn. (W15QKN-14-D-0024), and Manroy USA, Spindale, N.C. (W15QKN-14-D-0025), were awarded a $54,491,305 firm-fixed-price contract for the M4 replacement barrel and front sight assembly (heavy variant) for the M4 Carbine Product Improvement Program. The M4 replacement barrel will be combined with other weapon components to form a single modification work order kit to convert fielded M4 carbines to M4A1 carbines. Funding and work location will be determined with each order. Estimated completion date is Feb. 27, 2018. Bids were solicited via the Internet with six received. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity.

  • gunslinger

    how many left handed shooters do we have in the army?

    • Geodkyt

      About 1 in 10.

  • Gunner Jacky

    It is good to know that U.S. Army are getting an upgrade to their M4s. The manufacturing companies having good profit but it is important that the weapons that they manufacture should be perfect.
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