Next Generation M4 may be called the M4A1+

m4a1 carbine

Matthew Cox at Military.com reports on the latest news on the US Army M4 upgrade program. He writes

“The government is seeking to procure M4A1-Plus (abbreviated as M4A1+) components as non-development items … for improvements to the M4A1 Carbine,” according to the March 13 document posted on FedBizOpps.gov. “It is anticipated that the M4A1+ components will be evaluated as a system. The system must then install on/interface with stock M4A1 Carbines.”

 

The M4A1+ effort will look for add-on components that will “seamlessly integrate with the current M4A1 Carbine … without negatively impacting or affecting the performance or operation of the M4A1 weapon,” the document states.

All M4A1+ components will need to be compatible with current M4A1 ancillary equipment such as optics, aiming/pointing devices, training devices, slings and rail covers.

One of the upgrades is an improved extended forward rail that will “provide for a hand guard allowing for a free-floated barrel” for improved accuracy, according to the document.

The improved rail will also have to include a low-profile gas block that could spell the end of the M16/M4 design’s traditional gas block and triangular fixed front sight.

The effort also calls for new, removable front and rear back-up iron sights that attach to the rails and “stow down/away to reduce interference with the mounted primary sights and flip up to enable soldiers to engage targets out to 300 meters,” according to the document.

The Army is doing all they can to persuade congress that the M4 does not need to be replace or even revised, despite this upgrade program. If they do admit it needs upgrading, congressmen and woman will demand why they killed theĀ Individual Carbine competition. This is why they are branding it the M4A1-Plus, not the M4A2.

Thanks to Al 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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  • Alucard

    Just replace the whole platform,its fine for punching paper but much like the Luger P08 it is prone to failures in the field.

    • Michael R. Zupcak

      DUDE! You can’t say stuff like that on any of these blogs unless you’ve served at least 20 years in the US military with at least 5 years in Special Ops!

      • Joshua

        More like bubba couch commando who repeats internet BS needs to keep his mouth shut.

        • Alucard

          You are delusional if you think the AR platform is a good combat rifle,ever other major country uses a much more reliable weapons platform.If you’ve ever served a tour you would know what a POS the AR platform is.

          • CommonSense23

            I bet you believe the M14 is more reliable than the M4 don’t you.

          • Alucard

            No I don’t,its a poor design having the action exposed to dirt and crud,much like a Beretta 92 in that aspect.

            I prefer reliable weapons like Fals,G3 clones,AK’s,Galil’s,Glock’s,Sig’s,ect…

          • Joshua

            You must be Tier 1 space commanda Delta naught huh?

          • Alucard

            Nope,just prefer guns that won’t have a jam or other issue when it is needed most.

          • Joshua

            What were you issued and what theatres of combat did you fight in?

            I won’t ask for your DD 214.

          • Alucard

            I was issued a CAR-15 in the Gulf,(basically an M4),I wasn’t a fan of its reliability but its accuracy was pretty good,I kept it on semi to conserve ammo and because burst seemed to cause some funky jams occasionally.

          • Joshua

            So in other words, you completely missed the large reliability ECP that finished testing in 2007.

          • Alucard

            I’ve used a dealer sample a buddy had and I didn’t think the changes were significant enough to trust one in the field.

          • Joshua

            I was issued one up until 2 years ago.

            Also I doubt you got a SOPMOD M4A1 as a dealer sample.

          • Alucard

            I didn’t say I did,I said I shot my friends dealer sample.

          • CommonSense23

            What was your MOS by the way.

          • Alucard

            11 Bravo.

          • CommonSense23

            And you had a CAR 15, how did you come by that?

          • Uniform223

            OOOOoooo call out the bovine fecal matter!

          • Implying the CAR-15 and the more modern M4 are remotely comparable. You do realize it’s pointless? You do realize you’re literally basing your opinion on a ONE-TIME use of a platform your buddy also personally didn’t like?

            You could’ve just said, “I don’t like the M4 platform” instead of elucubrating some sort of shady inconceivable story about your military background. God I hate people like you, thinking their opinion is fact because they’ve shot something remotely similar ONCE. Except not even.

          • A CAR-15 is not an M4 by a long shot.

          • Ron

            A CAR-15 has a burst setting?

          • Alucard

            I think it did,I’m not 100% sure as it was quite some time ago.

          • I’m calling bullshit. You couldn’t have been 11B and issued a CAR-15.

          • Uniform223

            Careful, you’re addressing a highly experienced and CoD veteran with more than 200 CoD trophies on his/her salad bar.

          • Uniform223

            Careful. You are addressing a highly decorated veteran Tier 1 CoD DEVGRU Forces Detachment-Delta operator with more than 200 trophies on his/her salad bar.

          • Joshua

            You forgot hes a NASA space shuttle door gunner.

          • Uniform223

            that is part of a SMU response team that kills zombies on an abandoned Soviet Era Moon base…

          • RetiredPeaceKeeper

            Not everyone in the military is with the Delta Force, a SEAL, Force RECON or a Forward Air Control…we should RESPECT one another for the contributions made whether a fierce front line warrior, in the rear with the gear as a pin pushing intelligence officer, a “spoon” serving it up in the field kitchen or the administrative clerk who typed up your “fruit salad bar trophies”. Just like a motor, every part has a reason and they are ALL important or would not be a part of the whole. If you have truly served in the armed forces, then you know I speak the absolute truth. I was in a combat career field for over 20 years (retired now) and appreciated the guy who trucked in the potable water, air dropped the ammo and MREs, the “Doc” who patched up our dumb assed mistakes and definitely the Troop who typed up those retirement orders. And, if there was a need for a NASA space shuttle door gunner, I would thank him/her for their service, as well. Keep your eyes on the prize…we are all free men because a brother or sister in arms gave their life on our behalf to make it so.

          • Uniform223

            We have no problem with some one who has or is serving. What I believe we are taking issue with are individuals who make certain claims yet their comments and assertions do not add up…

          • Joshua

            And what exactly makes you say such things.

            As for every other country……most every otger SF use the M4 or C8, I had a M4A1 and CQBR. I know a thing or two about how they work.

          • Scott Connors

            I suppose Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and France aren’t major countries? The AR platform is used by the military forces of each, often the Special Forces component that could use whatever they wanted. And Germany has adopted an AR10 variant as its new designated marksman rifle.

          • Alucard

            No its not,I’m talking as main infantry rifle,the Brits use the SA80 as their main infantry weapon,France uses a variant of the Famas,Sweden uses Sig’s.

          • G0rdon_Fr33man

            Norway has issued the entire armed forces with HK416. France and Germany both use 416 is smaller quantities.

          • Swedar

            Sweden does not use SIGs we use upgrade FN FNCs or G3s, i have used both the old AK4B and the AK5 and neither of those are SIGs

            our SOF community in the form of SOG and SIG use G36s AFAIK

          • Lance

            No Sweden uses FNCs.

          • Oh yeah, because you as a 11B who has used a dealer sample CAR-15 -once-, you can totally judge the M4 platform. Oh I’m totally going to take you seriously.

            Any minute now.

            Nope. I guess you’re still bullshitting.

          • Alucard

            I was issued a CAR-15,I shot a friends M4 dealer sample,did you even read the entirety of my posts?I frankly don’t give damn if you or anyone else doubts what i’ve said.

          • Kivaari

            I think the Swede reservists are still packing G3 (AG something).

          • Esh325

            Those are HK416’s/HK417’s that Norway,France, and Germany use.

          • Kivaari

            I’d have to say those countries you listed are not major military nations. They have good soldiers. Size-wise even the UK is quite small. England and France have their bullpups. The French are changing to something unknown. The Brits needed HK to fix their bullpup. The AR is a great rifle. Except for M16A1s and now the civilian variants, I found them to be good. While in the army 30+ years ago, our A1s worked great. The biggest issue were broken stocks and bent sight wings. Soldier negligence created most issues.
            Almost every nation has used and still use to some extent the M16 family. Often just their special forces choose the M16-type, while the regular grunts keep the old rifles. There are huge countries that issue many intermingled rifles, but still buy the newer M4-type rifles. It comes down to money.

          • Barry

            Don’t forget the FAMAS requires special, French-made steel cased ss109 ammo, not the normal NATO brass cased stuff. Using brass ammo can cause over pressure and malfunctions. There’s a reason they are switching to a different platform. The M4 never had that serious of a problem.

          • Kivaari

            Does the steel cased French ammo function in the M4 type rifles? The French, I read somewhere, is looking for a new rifle, that is not a bullpup. Does anyone know?

          • The FAMAS F1 needs special ammunition that was formerly made at home because of the F1’s twist rate. It was designed in the 1970s to be a French rifle, firing French ammo for French troops – the adoption of 5.56 NATO was only because they needed to satisfy NATO requirements; it’s otherwise a very proprietary rifle – proprietary magazines, odd twist rate requiring odd ammo, and so on. I would guess that firing such ammo in an M16 or an M4 would probably not work right but I’ve no idea if anyone actually tried.

            The G2 was made for this reason – chrome-lined barrel (designed by Beretta) with the same twist rate as an M4 (I forget which exactly, I think it’s 1:7), STANAG mag well accepting all standard M16 mags, and of course, capability to fire M193 and M855.

            Unfortunately for France the F1 has never been replaced by the G2 as the main infantry rifle. While the G2 is in service, they’ve only been used by special forces, such as the Commando Marines (the latter are based in my home city of Lorient). I figure that replacing the fleet of 400.000 odd rifles was a bit expensive.

            For the record, this is why the FAMAS is still in service despite being essentially out of production – the French military is literally running on tons of spares.

          • Kivaari

            France did have issues with NATO in the 60s. I remember when they pushed US forces out. They were really stuck on the 7.5mm cartridge for rifles and machineguns. They were excellent weapons, and I regret selling my rifle and the pile of ammo I had.
            Early on I saw where the belt fed guns were offered for export in 7.62mm NATO/OTAN. I don’t recall if the rifle was offered that way. It was pretty late in the game where smaller bore rifles were becoming the thing for armies to buy. I enjoyed seeing French police officers armed with Ruger Mini-14 carbines around the terrorist attacks in Paris. The Mini is an excellent police rifle.

          • whskee

            “…delusional if you think the AR platform is a good combat rifle…”

            Its adoption is second only to the AK family. Been dropping folks of all creeds fine since the ’60s, and it’s been through some great PIP’s and commercial interest turning it into probably the most versatile combat rifle available in the world now.

          • Andrew

            I believe the M4 is a good combat rifle. I have used it in combat.

          • n0truscotsman

            So what documentation do you have to provide that proves other countries are using more reliable rifles?

            Thats a pretty extraordinary claim, and you know what they say about those: you need extraordinary evidence.

    • joe

      Just like every other machine that has any moving parts exposed to the elements.

    • n0truscotsman

      replace it with what?

    • That’s not really a well-supported claim.

    • 11b

      No offense brother, but your experience 25 years ago in the Gulf War isn’t relevant to today’s M4- just like those in Vietnam weren’t relevant to your experience. I was 11B as well, and my weapon served me very well in that same region during GWOT. Many of the old issues have been fixed, including those nasty green follower mags that were the cause of 3/4 of the malfunctions guys were having. Is it perfect? No, but it’s pretty good.

      Idk why the M4 gets a bad rap… All you need is some lube and a rag, and it will keep chugging. My M4, as well as all those in my unit, got beat to hell 10 times over and still ran fine. The new upgrades the Army wants to do actually make sense (for once) and will only increase it’s effectiveness; we don’t need a new rifle unless it’s going to be a laser or uses caseless ammo.

      What the Army *needs* to replace is the SAW. Too heavy, not reliable, pain in the ass to clean. But I digress…

      • 11b

        Also, you mentioned you like G3s, FALs, Galils, etc.. I don’t know about you man, but I don’t want to be humping a battle rifle around all day, and that includes its heavy mags/ammo. Give the designated marksman that full size rifle to reach out and touch someone our rifleman can’t hit. Not to mention getting in and out of vehicles all day, IE any modern urban combat, is going to suck hard with each of those weapons. Just my opinions šŸ˜‰

      • Kivaari

        I never used a SAW, but my son-in-law was issued one for his tour in Iraq. He said everyone disliked the thing.

        • Uniform223

          definitely lighter than the 240. Not the best thing out there but for most cases it gets the job done. We can (US Military) can do better than the SAW if they wanted to.

  • Joshua

    The last part makes no sense. It was the plan all along to look into COTS items to enhance the weapons capability.

    This is just a much more in depth and well thought out RFI.

  • Ron

    The problem you run into with fielding a new weapon, even if mandated by congress is you enter full on acquistion cycle. Something to be avoided if you are only going to make incremental improvements.

  • Karl

    Seems like basic housekeeping on the platform, makes more sense than I would expect. I liked the M4 and think they should keep it (and yes I’ve been there done that).

  • Anonymoose

    +? I guess Shrubmaster already has M4A2 and M4A3 trademarked, and for some odd reason the Aussies call their M4A1s “M4A5s,” but we could still go with an official designation of M4A2.

    • Vitsaus

      You beat me to it. Very stupid name… its like something that a foreign manufacturer might call their “post recall” model, or similar bad marketing idea.

      • Kivaari

        like the Brits using asterisks?

  • Scott Connors

    Best thing that they could do is to go to a mid-length gas system. Some changes to the bolt carrier group, such as rounding the bases of the lugs and reworking the cam pin path to put less stress on it, would extend bolt life. Since extended fire fights such as Wanat pushed the platform past its limits, those limits need to be extended, perhaps by a heavy duty or insulated gas tube, along with a heavy barrel like that on the M4A1 SOCOM or the Canadian C8 SFW. A new fire control group that eliminating trigger pull stacking on the burst setting would definitely help with accuracy–or even restore the full auto setting and train better.

    • Joshua

      See the Battle of Kamdesh.

      • Kivaari

        See the real after action reports on the battle. It wasn’t the M4 that was the primary failing weapon. You will see other arms were the significant element.
        The M4 runs pretty good.

        • Scott Connors

          I did read that report. The M4 only failed when it was driven _way_ past its limits. I think it would be a good idea to extend those limits a bit, don’t you? Please note that I am not suggesting a change to a gas piston system. I think that a direct impingement system has a lot going for it.

          • Kivaari

            Everything has a breaking point. It would be better if the M4 or any other weapons system had a longer life under harsh conditions. How to get there is the problem. I figure the M4 could be made to last longer, but at what price. From what I have seen in the last 60 years, we’ve come a long way. There are limits the laws of physics impose on such things. There are times when machines are asked to do things that are impossible. Whether it is a rifle or an over heated engine on a B29 bomber. Almost any rifle built today would be hard pressed to go beyond what the M4 has done. As you probably know one can make M1, M14 and AK rifles burst into flames by simply shooting them too fast with too many rounds. I’ve set them smoking before.

    • Esh325

      The M4A1 already has fully automatic trigger group fixing that problem and a heavy barrel.

      • Kivaari

        A pencil diameter barrel is nice. Especially after all the gadgets and gismos are attached. A 16 inch tube with the mid-length barrel still allows a bayonet to be affixed if that matters.

    • The military is only catching up with civilian-sector advancements from circa 2008. You’ll have to give them another 5 to 10 years to move on to a mid-length gas system. Maybe. Colt Defense still isn’t producing mid-length carbines.

      • Kivaari

        To get the mid-length Colt, It took a BCM upper and just about every other part in the lower receiver group. My Colt M4 is more BCM than Colt. The mid-length gas system and light weight barrel makes the M4 just about perfect. I liked it so well, that I changed two of my three ARs to M-L LW.

    • Just sayin…

      I think the requirement for an M4 to mount a M203 grenade launcher kind of rules out the mid-length gas system and heavier barrel (ever wonder what that relief in the barrel is for in your M-forgery?).

      • CommonSense23

        A 203 can be directly attached to the FF rails.

        • n0truscotsman

          That and the M320 is now favored as stand alone. What is old is new again.

      • Scott Connors

        I believe that LMT makes a mount for the M203 that attaches to the rail. That would allow use of a mid-length gas system and heavy barrel without a need for the relief cut.

    • Army127

      The M4A1 restores the full auto setting and adds the heavy barrel removing the 3 round burst setting, so already done. They now want a free floating barrel, with lopro gas block and upgraded fire control group, with a better buffer and buffer spring. Yes I spent 15+ years in the Army using the M4, and after the A1 mod it definitely needs this + mod to move it up to the next generation. The reasons behind the + are obvious once you read what I wrote. This will help make the rifle better in longer fire fights ( oh talking about sneaking in a better bolt carrier assy and bolt too), but they have to be able to get away with it all without calling it a mod or congress will most likely mandate a new rifle program again. Oh and Colt lost the contract to build M4A1’s last year to FN, which was already building a lot of them anyway. I could provide links for all this but it’s too late and I am going to bed. I work at Picatinny Arsenal where we are developing the + components and figuring out what we can get away with putting into the rifle too, and no I won’t give out exact details on companies etc. sorry. I probably said too much already but that’s ok you won’t be able to verify any of it anyway unless I tell you who to talk to. Good Night gents and ladies. Oh one more thing before I go, to Scott Conners, we have the best trained and equipped Army in the entire world, and we have the largest standing Army in the world as well. That is until Obama bin dumb ass guts it if he gets his way. Later people!

      SSG G. OUT
      “Death Waits in the Dark”

      • Steve_7

        I thought the heavy barrel was only on the SOCOM guns? Is it standard on all the M4s converted to M4A1?

        • Uniform223

          si
          da
          ya
          yes

  • CommonSense23

    Where did you serve out of question?

    • LCON

      K-Mart?
      What ever form M4A1+ takes it’s a Interim until the real next generation of small arms. You can’t just drop Developmental tech into a war zone and expect greatness particularly if that is highly specialized. Every one keeps draging up the LSAT telescoped Caseless Rounds, But Three points 1) the LSAT prototypes for a carbine are no where near the maturity levels of the LMG. 2 The LMG is belt fed with a pass through feed like a conventional LMG and for a caseless round that means exposure to moisture, sand, grit handling and then there is extraction. all issues to be resolved if you intend to go wide spread on issue and part of the reason I feel the LSAT polymer Cased Telescoped rounds will likely be more favored. and Wide spread issue leads us to the final point logistics. If the Us Army issued a requirement for a conventional 5.56mm round tomorrow morning and they made it open source there would be ammo makers coming out of the wood work. If they started issuing LSATs and wanted to fire them they only have one maker AAI Corporation. There is no Industrial base and no base means no support meaning it’s useless. It’s at least a decade before it’s ready for prime time.

      Finally Rail guns and Gauss rifles for infantry are pipe dreams today. Russia, Iran and China have shown no interest to date in Case-less beyond there existing lineups. the only system that was ready to go was G11 but once HK lost West Germany and reunification forced the Germans to rethink there arms G11 was aborted.

      • Kivaari

        The G11 ammo was not up to NATO standards. So far all case-less ammo can’t take a hit from a 20mm cannon. When a pallet load of G11 ammo was hit, it went high order. Conventional ammo wont. That’s a big deal to military forces. Shoot a pallet load of 5.56mm and most of it will survive.

  • Rabbit212

    Can we just call it “killer” or “Bambi” or something?? Enough with the alphabet soup designations. Oh and I never served volunteered was drafted or in any covert mercenary group just an average run of the mill guy working my 40 a week who likes to shoot guns. And I do take my hat off to you guys who did.

  • Lance

    That’s a BIG if the Army has the funds for this. face it they also have another pet project the MHS, both are waste of millions so far. Overall the deletion of the front sight base and handguards is a problem since a the M-203 grenade Launcher or a bayonet cannot be installed on the fancy race gun the army is dreaming of. yes you tacti cooler say bayonets are worthless but I look at Wannat and other cases where enemy gets close and your low on ammo it may be a last resort but its better than nothing.

    As for name this is retarded. Its a M-4A2 its NOT a M-4A1 any more if they replace every thin on the barrel.

    • ill duce

      $600B for the AF’s F35 that’s not worth a squirt of pi## and they can’t get a decent rifle into the hands of the guys on the ground- what a joke

    • CommonSense23

      You know you can attach a 203 to RIS II rails right. Socom has been doing that for a while. And why do you want the front sight post? Get some good quality irons if you want to have backup sights.

      • Lance

        No that’s a M-320 a M-203 goes on the barrel. Flip up sights are more prone to break or get knocked of zero/target.

        • CommonSense23

          No it’s not, I have used a 203 on a RIS rail before, it was issued. You can google RIS II rail and see that they are compatible.

          • LCON

            M203 is the old full length model used on M16 models that mounts to the barrel nut
            M203A1 is a Shortened variant for M4 also mounting to the barrel nut
            M203A2 is a full length version that mounts to a MIL STD 1913 rail

            M320 is a totally different launcher a shortened version of the HK AG36/AG-C/EGLM series originally offered as part of the XM8 program. I has out lived it’s host weapon.

          • Joshua

            And the RIS II has mounting tabs built into the rail to accept all models of M203.

            M320s are run as individual weapons and not mounted.

          • LCON

            M320 is designed to be weapon mounted. It seems to be more a individual choice on how it’s carried either mounted or stand alone and it seems It’s just more popular to be used as a stand alone.

          • Joshua

            Yeah, but weapon mounted launchers are dumb, bulky, and screw up weapon handleing.

            This is especially noticeable with the M320 because it is the same size weapon mounted as standalone basically.

            Also given its compact design it makes a killer stand alone system, but this also makes it a crappy weapon mounted system.

            It’s like, I heard you like guns….so I put a gun on your gun.

          • LCON

            There are advantages and disadvantages to everything.

            my point is It is used as a Mounted Weapon and was designed as one. So the statement that” M320s are run as individual weapons and not mounted.” is false. M203’s size and shape makes it nice for that role but it’s operation limits it and it’s lack of a pistol grip count against it. the objective of the M320 was to create a grenade launcher that was safer then the M203 in operation with a Double action trigger and the ability to take longer rounds.

          • Joshua

            I stand by my point. Sure some randon guy in the Army who is given a weapon with a M320 mounted and probably no actual gun knowledge will run it like it is issued.

            Those of us who had a choice, never left it mounted, and there is a reason for that.

          • LCON

            There are more then just that guy. the configuration is used and as more M203 phase out due to age End users will have to chose how they roll with M320s.
            stand alone or mounted. And there is plenty of evidence for both

          • Joshua

            Yes, but those fuys are just given a gun and told not to make changes.

            They would have to get approval to run their M320 stand alone.

            Theres a reason no one in SoF or SF mounts the M320.

          • LCON

            My point stands ” M320s are run as individual weapons and not mounted.” has been proven false.
            There are those weather by choice or by order who use them in the mounted configuration on a M4 series carbine.
            It may not be Optimum or as slick as say a Mk13 FN GL mounting but M320 is issued by the US army and they have made previsions for mounting and standalone use. mounting by having HK make a adapter to mount to the Issued Rails and folding foregrip. As well as standalone with the stock and holster.

          • n0truscotsman

            The M320 can be weapon mounted, although it is gaining in popularity as a standalone weapon system, much like the M79.

            I know in 2013 natick was developing a holster, based on recommendations from the field (the single point sling was inadequate). Im not sure what came of this or which one they picked if they picked one.

        • CommonSense23

          And how do you get that fold down sites are more prone to break or get knocked off zero? They are far better protected than the stock sites.

          • Lance

            Easy stock sights are steel fixed on the barrel and have protectors beside the posts.. Flip up sights are plastic most have nor protection and are mounted on less sturdy rails. Not as good as original sights.

          • CommonSense23

            Back when I was a Armorer one of most common things I ever replaced on the M16/M4 was the front sight. They got bent all the time. Have yet to see any of our fold down sights have the same problem. Also guess what, you can get them in metal, amazing it is. You can even get them in the same configuration as the stock sights. And how are the rails less sturdy. They are better built on the RIS II than they are on a stock M4A1.

            And you are trying to tell me that the M203 that was attached on a RIS II rail that I was fired wasn’t military issue? Really. So the guy who let me use it, who had them on his master ordnance inventory, just happened to find not 1 but the 20 that they had and just decided to keep them?

            I really hope you are trolling. Cause otherwise I am trying to figure out if you really are that stupid, or have some major mental illness, or both combined.

        • Joshua

          The RIS II has M203 supports, and the M203’s rear attachment point rests on the barrel nut, not the barrel.

          • Lance

            Yes but if you found some 203 that has a ril attachment its not in use with the army or any military branch all 203s in serice are attached to the barrel. Read Joshua’s post the M-320 is your rail GL.

  • ill duce

    they can call it what they want- it will always be a POS

  • Wolfgar

    Put a mid length gas system on it, Geissle trigger, BCM hand guard and but stock, Magpul off set sights, a medium width Nitride hammer forged barrel and you will have a very good up grade.

  • William M Durham

    I have one simple question, who is getting paid/making them money that keeps the military from up grading to a new and more efficient killing stick?Since we first used the 5.56 in Viet Nam we have not been satisfied with the rounds stopping power. Sure it kills people, sure its light, easy to carry, but it lacks stopping power and the rifle itself ha had more problems than a cat trying to cover its carp on asphalt. We need a new rifle that fires a 6.5 cal bullet that has the range for the open areas for distance killing and the short range punch to knock someone down with one round. I know many will say that the 5,56 will do it all, but from my personal first hand use of the weapon/ammo its surely lacking. So what Congress man/men are getting paid off to keep it?The troops deserve much better.

    • CommonSense23

      So the fact that in Vietnam the M16 had the best terminal ballistics of any of the rifles of the conflict, SKS, M14, AK47, and was as close to a one round stopper as there ever was wasn’t good enough? The fact that we have MK255, MK262, and MK318 which all offer excellent terminal ballistics isn’t good enough?

      • William M Durham

        This is from you personal experience right. Everyone I knew and worked with by far perfered the AK47 for fire power, killing power and just being a damn better weapon. But that was from fellow soldiers that used the weapons in combat in VietNam when I was there for 4 years. 67-72

        • CommonSense23

          What was your MOS

          • William M Durham

            11D/11B/11E and a few others. 11th ACR/MACV,MR 3 MR 4 MR1
            from delta to DMZ , 4 tours plus some

        • Ron

          I have used both the M4 and AK as an MiTT (advisor) to the Iraqi Army. The AK are not as reliable as legend has them. I have seen many an Iraqi AK malfunction and because of the variation in magazines, strangely we had problems with magazines getting locked up in the guns that required pounding to get them out. Additionally the ergonomics of the AK are pretty poor, I think this contributed to the higher number of NDs because the IAs would run around with them off safe and occasionally something would get in the trigger guard (I have seen a radio antenna fire an AK before) and the guns would fire, sometimes causing wounds or shot up Chevy Luv trucks.

          As to “Stopping power” the first problem is there is no such things. The most significant aspect to stopping someone is where they are hit, followed by who is hit. Most people who are shot, no matter by what with are just out of the fight, but some guys who are shot continue to fight no matter what hits them with. There was a solider in Kandahar province in 08, that got hit in the torso by a duded out RPG, he continued to shoot his 240 until he bled to death. If a 80 (+) mm hole in him did not instantly stop him, do you honestly think a .08 of an inch difference and 60 grain difference in a rifle round would have done any different.

          • William M Durham

            I agree there is no such thing as stopping power, there is a thing called efficiency as proven by the formula used by the Germans even on their hunting ammunition and rifles. This formula that uses velocity vs mass shows the “striking” efficiency and effectiveness of a given rifle and bullet, And not surprisingly the bullet from an M16/5,56, 55 gr as used in VietNam did not even qualify to shoot the smallest 4 legged deer [ roe, wgt 25 kilos ] and the AK 47 , 7.62 round did. So if it is not really fit for a proper kill on a small deer why did we claim it ws a great round for hunting men. Ask any Marine about the 7.62 M14 and the 5.56 M16, I understand we must fight with what we are given and Americans can make do with anything because of our will to win, but being real when I was using these weapons the AK 47 was a very well made weapon and shoot the hell out of the M16, thats why when we could we swapped out and used the AK.
            Thank you for your service, we all owe your and your buddies for protecting us all from the terrorist and their muslim buddies.
            Thank you.

      • William M Durham

        This is made from personal experience and use I suppose. From everyone I served with the AK was the better weapon by far for killing power, ease of use and care and workability, but that was just the soldiers I was with in VietNam for 4 years from 67-72. We never found a dead NVA/VC with a cleaning rod stuck down his barrel or a rifle taken apart during a firefight for repair, and I do remember that it seemed that the heavier and stouter AK round killed more often with 1 shot than the 5,56 that if it hit right was great but if it did not it was a clean little hole that stopped no one with 1 shot. this love affair with a cartridge and gun made for sheep hunting is long over due to end with the truth,

        • Kivaari

          You may want to read the US Army’s testing rifle rounds under controlled circumstances. Then compare what surgeons had to do to fix the GSWs inflicted on our people with 7.62x39mm and 5.56mm. Comparing actual GSW wounds from a surgeons perspective shows the 5.56mm wounds typically were much harder to treat than the wounds from the 7.62x39mm. The M43-PS rounds are very stable and are usually easily treated on extremities when no bone(s) were hit. Soft tissue hits, as long as it isn’t a vital organ or hits bone going in usually are easier to repair. The vascular damage is less with the M43.
          Every rifle issued to the grunts gets described as not good enough by the grunts. There is more important stuff going on, besides the diameter of the projectile. Soviet forces found the 5.45mm round was not as lethal as the 7.62mm. BIG BUT, the 5.45mm is better because of its flatter flight path and effective muzzle brake. The Soviets claimed a 2.5 times improvement in the field because of those factors. A miss with a bigger bullet isn’t very effective.

          • William M Durham

            Key point, hit a bone or organ. When a round is not fir to hunt deer on an entire continent it is really not up to par for people. As for the changes is bullet size, everyone is thing of close range /firepower, when you have to shoot at any range the bigger the better, you never hunt elephant with a bb gun. For some reason the bb just doesn’t have the balls to kill the elephant, but the stuff like the 375 H&H up do, wonder why.

          • Kivaari

            The 5.56mm is not unlawful to use in many states. Idaho allows any center fire cartridge, from .25 ACP and up. The great white hunters of 100 years ago used 6.5mm, 7mm, .303 and 8mm (.318) to take most of their ivory from the original owners. Soft tissue damage is higher from the 5.56mm than the 5.45mm and 7.62x39mm. FN produced 7.62x51mm is more destructive than the US 7.62x51mm round. The Soviet slug is physically nearly identical to the US 7.62mm but flies much slower and is more stable in flesh. It pokes holes. So does our 7.62x51mm. The European FN loads have a jacket of 0.005mm thick v. ours with a 0.008mm jacket. Tests done in the former Yugoslavia showed how destructive the FN load was compared to their more humane 7.62x39mm and 7.9x57mm (used in the MG42-type machinegun and bolt action rifles). The 7.9mm is loaded heavier than our 7.62 NATO. Both the M43 and 7.9mm creates lesser wounds than “our sides” 7.62mm and 5.56mm.
            When compared in our labs, the 5.56mm does cause more significant soft tissue wounds than “their side”. The 5.45mm is the least destructive thanks to its steel components. It leaves a wound channel the size of the projectile however it is oriented as it passes through soft tissue. So if I had a choice of being shot with an AK74 or an M4, I have a greater chance of surviving the AK74 round. All bets are off if bone is hit. Every post Civil War military rounds leave a mess (OK maybe the 11mm Swiss rim-fire didn’t).

          • William M Durham

            You know arguing guns with anyone is silly, far too many opinions and beliefs, but 5,56 is not fit for anything but play and the 6.5 round in anyones book is a killer in the right hands.

          • Kivaari

            The military rounds from the 1890s from 6mm to 7.9 having RN bullets simply did not do much. Those white hunters used mostly the FMJ-RN configuration. They were so stable that on elephants they worked well. In combat against men they didn’t do so well.
            I’ve promoted 6.5mm rounds with modern bullets would work well.
            The sporting community knows this. With nearly 50 years of combat use, most combat SURGEONS know how well they work. Vascular damage from the 5.56mm is significantly harder on the body, compared to the 7.62x39mm. I go along with the US Army’s experience in treating GSWs.

        • CommonSense23

          You spent 4 tours in Vietnam? Back to back? Curious when did you become a 11B.

          • William M Durham

            Since you are a historian, Mar 67M- 68 M 12 mo 68D-69 J 19 mo 69D-72J 19 mo
            arrived USA Jun 1972 entered service 66M retired 86A
            currently 100% disabled

          • CommonSense23

            How did you end up a 11D by the way?

          • William M Durham

            11th Armored Cav, also I forgot to mention the one I hate 11C, I hated this

          • CommonSense23

            So curious you start out 11B than become tanker crew or the otherway around

      • Kivaari

        I like how the Israelis went. The most issued rifle is an M16 variant.

  • Kivaari

    Maybe an M16A2 with M4 feed ramps and an A1 barrel would work.

  • Joshua

    That has to be the dumbest thing I have ever read here.

  • Michael Mabey

    I wonder if Colt Canada will get the contract.

    • Joshua

      With the vast aftermarket suppor, doubt it.

  • Ryan

    Honestly I would love to see it with minimal weight key mod and BAD lightweight receivers. Shave off even more weight off of the m4…
    Besides m4a1+? This ain’t no iPhone. Call it the m4A2

  • Adam aka eddie d.

    To quote Austin Powers: “yeah baby!”
    Military C-clamp all the way!

  • You know what I like about Kalashnikovs? I get older and they stay the same age. Have fun with your ARs, folks.

  • Sean

    They just need to buy the full auto version of the colt le6940 or le6940p. It seems to exactly fit there description.

  • Steve_7

    This sounds like another “make work” programme to me. Right, we’ve run out of M4s to replace the trigger group in, what shall we give all these arsenal employees to do next… hmmm… how about replacing the handguard? I mean seriously, what kind of accuracy improvement are you going to get by free-floating a 14.5″ barrel and why does it matter on a carbine intended to be used at short distances anyway? And “new” iron sights, really? I think if the U.S. has fought two major wars with the M4 and no-one thought to saw off the front sight until now – well it’s a bit late in the day, isn’t it.

  • DIR911911 .

    are they trying to put a “positive” spin on this by calling it a “+” ? is a2 ,a3 ,a4 too complicated for everyone?

  • ant1248

    Guys Mid length on 14.5 is stupid.