TFBTV: Review of the FN M4 and M16 from the “Military Collector” Series:

In this episode of TFBTV, James reviews two of FN’s rifles from its much-hyped “Military Collector” series. The FN M4 and M16 are almost exact (semi-automatic) replicas of the M4 and M16 issued to the U.S. Armed Forces. And while FN is offering the public a chance to wield the weapon used by the most powerful military in the world, is it worth the $1,700 suggested retail price? James gives his opinion in this episode of TFBTV.

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James Reeves

James Reeves is a licensed and practicing concealed weapons instructor, the winner of Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, a graduate of Front Sight, the Shooter Performance Institute, and Tier 1 Group, and is an Appleseed-qualified Rifleman. James previously owned and operated a gun shop in Tallahassee, FL and worked as a regional sales representative for distributor/importer, Interstate Arms Company. He is a coverage litigation attorney by day. James likes traveling with his wife, boating, America, photography, guns, gear he doesn’t really need, cold beer, and a little exercise here and there (James is also GORUCK Tough). Above all, James enjoys creating content for TFBTV. Follow James on Twitter @jjreeves.


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  • LazyReader

    The word “Collector” implies it’s rare.

    • TechnoTriticale

      Rule #1 of collecting anything:

      1. Never collect anything sold as a “collectible” or “collector” edition.

    • Swarf

      Da, comrade, rifle is very rare!

  • Dougscamo

    Hope you don’t get paid by the number of comments…..everyone is over on the 1911 post pounding each other..lol….

    • Pretty usual I guess:-)

    • James Reeves

      I agree with Phil, I find that 1911 guys love pounding each other.

      • Dougscamo

        Especially if you say Glock and 1911 in the same thread…or should I say breath?….

      • HSR47

        PHRASING!

      • Jesse

        Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. I see Springfield Armory, Remington & Nighthawk Custom advertisements on this page. How much are they paying to have editors and contributors talk smack about their customers? Seems like this is the kind of bias we expect from TFB these days. No wonder your best contributor bailed.

        • If you don’t know by now I’m a 1911 guy you missed the boat. I’m not knocking anyone. Any person dedicated to a particular gun tends to fend off all comers when their favorite gun is called into question.

          • James Reeves

            Don’t waste your time responding, Phil. Dude either can’t take a joke or just has an axe to grind.

  • AC97

    I think I’ll stick with my Aero Precision 20 inch upper…

  • HSR47

    Length is 30.75 inches — you’re clearly measuring it with the stock collapsed. The correct way to measure OAL is with the stock fully extended.

    I say that, because the OAL you cited is right about the exact OAL of my 11.5″ barreled SBR AR15.

    • iksnilol

      Well, kinda, many places measure the shortest fireable configuration.

      So legally it might be more correct with the collapsing stock.

  • Trevor

    Heads up, the 20 inch version has a barrel longer than 20 inches. They somehow messed that up.

  • S. Cautela

    A couple of things… First off the M4 is not full-auto it is 3-shot burst… The M4A1 is full auto. Secondly I’m a Company Commander and the M4’s that are on my property book are valued at $666… Can’t really justify paying nearly three times as much money for this weapon… I’ll stick with my LE6920 that I bought for $925 new.

  • the other joe

    Interesting comments in the video.

    Rail covers. Those are part of the Knight kit. The Knight kit comes installed on issued rifles. The intent of this product is to be as close to “as issued” as possible. So regardless of whether a bit of a pain in the ass, they are the right covers for the product.

    Matech BUIS. They come installed on issued rifles. They are meant to replace the target style field sights lost when the carrying handle was deleted, not to act as CQB sights. In fact, in training with M16s in the 90’s, the TTP was to (in simplistic terms) ignore the rear sight when that close. Again, the intent of this product is to be as close to “as issued” as possible.

    The real question is whether you want to spend the ducats on a gun that’s trying to be “as issued” or whether you want the race gun the reviewer prefers.

    • Anonymoose

      Matechs are only standard for the Army. The Marines issue KAC M4 rear sights developed for the original SOPMOD kit, although they might be issuing the lighter, sleeker, and much cheaper KAC Micro sights nowadays. You used to be able to buy KAC M4 sights with the EGA and “US Property” or something on them, but if you found one it meant somebody stole it from the armory to sell. Carry handles are left in the armory because people lose them, and for a while in the early 2000s they just issued CompM2s and no rear sight.

      • Ron

        Starting in late 2007 all M16 family of weapons (FOW) modular weapons system (MWS) purchased by the Marine Corps came with Matech BUISs instead of the carrying handle. Starting in the summer of 2010, the KAC 600 started to pushed out from MARCORSYSCOM. However they were adapted prior to doctrine for their usage was promulgated to the service and many of them were lost to the system.

    • Gary Kirk

      If it’s supposed to be as issued.. Where’s the TA31RCOA4 on the M-16A4?

      • the other joe

        ACOG is not issued as a part or component of the M16A4. It’s a separate item habitually issued with the other, just like the M68 or PEQ-15 or a PEQ-14 for the M9.

        Or do you want a “Marine Rifleman” package for another thousand bucks?

        • Gary Kirk

          Already have one..

  • A Fascist Corgi

    It’s funny how the Marines used an 8.3 pound M16 rifle for years with nobody in the gun community calling them crazy for sticking with such a heavy rifle, yet people routinely dismiss possible replacements for the M4/M16 if they weigh more than 7 pounds. Gotta love that consistency.

    • John

      I don’t quite see your point, the USMC is notorious for being late to the party when it comes to receiving new equipment. They were offered to transition to the lighter M4. They refused.

      • Joseph Goins

        Every Marine a rifleman, not carbiner.

        • Anonymoose

          Pronounced “car-beaner.”

          • iksnilol

            Well, I’ve seen hispanics in the US military but I’ve never seen lowriders. So I guess they aren’t “car-beaners”.

        • Uniform223

          “Every Marine a rifleman, not carbiner.”

          I am think you’re misinterpreting that term…

          • Joseph Goins

            Rifleman: user of a rifle. Carbiner: user of a carbine.

          • Uniform223

            So if a Marine has an M4, that Marine is less of a Marine than another Marine with an M16?

        • n0truscotsman

          So a marine ceases to be a ‘rifleman’ if he has a 14 inch barrel instead of a 20 inch one and a loss of roughly 1-200 fps? Thats not exactly a convincing argument 😉

          • Joseph Goins

            No. He becomes a carbiner.

          • Uniform223

            Pretty sure you’re missing the point we’re trying to make or the concept behind “every marine a rifleman”.

          • Joseph Goins

            Pretty sure you are missing the point that I was the first one to mention “every marine a rifleman.” I get the doctrine and know exactly what it mean. My brother has been in for almost twenty years.

          • Uniform223

            The look on this dog’s face accurately represents my response…
            http://17663-presscdn-0-49.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/skeptical-dog-is-skeptical-.jpg

            okay if you claim that your brother has been a Marine for almost twenty years, ask him the history and concept behind “every marine a rifleman” and what it ACTUALLY means. Then ask if he was issued an M4 if he is any less of a Marine than if he was issued an M16A4.

            https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story/military/2015/10/26/commandant-approves-m4-standard-rifle-marine-corps-infantry/74593750/

            https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story/military/tech/2015/11/01/marine-grunts-react-switch-m16-m4/74849998/

          • Joseph Goins

            Did I somehow imply that a Marine is somehow less of a Marine because he now going to be shooting a carbine? The saying “every Marine a rifleman” refers to every marine having the same training and primary job role as a rifleman regardless of whether or not he is a postal clerk, refrigeration mechanic, food service specialist, or JAG (like my brother).

          • Uniform223

            “Did I somehow imply that a Marine is somehow less of a Marine because he now going to be shooting a carbine? ”

            > though you do not out right say it you do insinuate…

            +Every Marine a rifleman, not carbiner.

            Okay so you know (partially) the concept of the whole “rifleman” quote/saying. Does it matter if that Marine is armed with a M4 or M16 if their basic job/responsibility is to be an effective individual?

          • Joseph Goins

            I did not insinuate. You inferred something that wasn’t there.
            If you don’t like it, go find a space space to cry.

      • Ron

        The reason the Marine Corps initially fielded the A4s instead of M4s was based on the increase in reliability at the time of testing. In a controlled test conducted at Camp Lejeune NC in 2002, that had F/2/25 firing 84 of each weapons on the KD, Field Fire, Enhanced Marksmanship, Iron Mike, Advance Field Fire Squad in the offense and defense courses the M4 experienced 1 failure for every 372 rounds fired and the A4 1 failure in 1136 round fired.

    • Anonymoose

      Oh but they did, especially after the AWB ended and the gun-owning community changed from a bunch of old men who did nothing but lug bolt-actions and compliant AR15A2 HBARs to the bench to shoot for groups and durr, to a bunch of people under 40 who run carbine courses and 3-gun matches. “Remember, ounces=pounds=pain! Pencil barrels are great (for free-floated 3-gun running)! Glock is sooo much better than Beretta because it’s lightweight POLYMER and has moar boolits (even though Mecgar makes 18-round flush 92 mags) and has a consistent (crappy) trigger pull!”
      I honestly wish the Marines had gotten the M16A5 project pushed through, and used the newer Keymod versions of the VIS instead of the old clunky quad-rail one. I’m pretty sure they still have some of those A5 tubes and quad-rail VIS uppers lying around in a warehouse somewhere since they did pay for them.

      Also, I don’t think the Russians are complaining about their 8lb (including loaded mag but no tacticool crap) AK74s, at least as far as weight concerns go.

      • n0truscotsman

        I remember advocating for collapsable stocks and a free float tube (with rail attachments) back in the late 1990s for the M16. A unrealized idea that never gained traction unfortunately. Except Colt Canada.

        Although then I didn’t expect big army to move on past the M855 tbh

  • A bearded being from beyond ti

    Is your dong straight up massive or is there something going on with the light?

    • James Reeves

      I tried to edit this comment to say “Is your dong straight up massive or is there something going on with the light?”, but for some reason, I can’t get it to work. Yeah, looks weaird AF, I think it’s an issue with the white balance on the camera at the end of the vid.

      • Dougscamo

        LMAO….

  • Black Dots

    *kicks in door, out of breath*

    Thesegunsareverynice,butoverpricedtothepointtheyarenotcompetitiveinthemarketplace.

    *runs back to 1911 thread*

    • James Reeves

      This is brilliant and I wish I could make it the featured comment.

      • I just did:-)

        • Black Dots

          *crashes through window, breaking coffee table*

          ThanksyouguysarereallycoolandIenjoythissiteverymuch

          *runs out front door to helicopter waiting on the front lawn to go back to 1911 thread*

  • USMC03Vet

    That A4 nostalgia. Still not going to pay that much for an AR15 though.

  • BrandonAKsALot

    Aren’t the barrels on these just plain button rifled barrels and not FN’s CHF barrels? If so, that’s some serious crap for that price.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Yep, without the CHF barrel this rifle is unjustifiably expensive rollmark replica, and not much more.

  • Dougscamo

    Something is really messed up here…..the title is for the FN M4 and M16 but the picture on the main page is for the Remington R51 field strip? And the counter only shows 1 comment? Or is is just my computer? Come on guys, tell me I’m right and don’t mess with me…..

    • USMC03Vet

      When too many YouTube videos are embedded on the same page thumbnails can load incorrectly and get mixed up. I routinely have that issue.

      • Dougscamo

        Well, the crazy thing is that it has been corrected….thanks…..

  • Steve Truffer

    Well, from a quick bit of google-fu, the KAC bits, rear sight, and sling mount clock around $600 for the M4 version, bit over $700 on the M16. With the context of the very pricey bits added on, it seems worthwhile for someone going for that setup, especially the M16 version.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    These show what a good deal the Troy Vietnam era clones were.

  • Frank Martin

    I don’t have a “M4” style AR-15… I do have a rifle this “like” a M4 that is what most would be consider a Value line. (Core 15 Scout)

    I can in the future change a couple furniture pieces and easily have a rifle that is identical to the M4 when I retired in 2007. But I am look at the fact that “FN” is styled as Identical to what is being issued with a grain of salt.

    Back in the days of the M16A2’s.. I saw Colt, Bushmasters, FN, and a couple of other crazy makes at the range being issued out…Contracts go for so many rifles and then someone else manages to bid under when the DOD needs more rifles. Over time.. it’s hard to tell how many makes there will be in the inventory.

    If I had the money right now.. I would buy one.. just to have it.. but for now.. I am happy with my $630 rifle

  • DwnRange

    Just 2 points here:

    #1 – Mil-spec is 4150 for the barrel
    #2 – KAC rail covers are not designed to FALL OFF, they are designed to stay put while providing protection from the heat of FA fire and as an old ARMS/KAC (two of the original mil-spec pioneers of AR accessories) guy they have always worked as designed for me.

  • iksnilol

    YAS! James “so tight shirts that make you question your sexuality” Reeves is back in bidness! 😀

    And now off to pondering my sexuality.

    • James Reeves

      Hahahahah, thanks?

      • iksnilol

        OHMIGAWD, HE NOTICED ME 😀

        But in all seriousness, you look great. I’m just glad there’s good looking guys around the world. Also, the videos are well made as well, a joy to watch in general 🙂

        • Dougscamo

          Whoa….Dude….Easy! (Sarcasm)….

    • McThag

      Over 100˚ or baby oil? Judging from the reaction above, I think baby oil.

      • iksnilol

        Nah, baby oil would just cook off him.

  • thedonn007

    I get the nostalgia, but I am not going to pay a premium for an AR-15 because of the way it looks, and not be able to change anything on it, because I paid a premium for the way that it looks.

  • Chris Cosby

    I’d also add that you made a small mistake in the video. The closest one can get to the real m4 without buying a very expensive transferable lower is a colt 6921, not a 6920. The 6921 is a 14.5 inch sbr. A lot will buy the 6921 barrel or complete gun and pin and weld a longer flash hider on to make it legal as a title 1 gun.

    • milesfortis

      And I did exactly that with a 14.5 inch barreled upper and a Surefire QD flash hider/suppressor mount. I was going to have run the suppressor anyway, so why mess with the tax stamp?

    • James Reeves

      This one is a clipped and pinned 14.2″, so I’d say it’s on par with the 6921 (with no paperwork required).

  • Jesse

    I assume only wolf steel cased ammo was used in the testing?

  • Ben Wong

    old school jarhead here 1981 (back when C-rats and M16 and steel pots and 1911 were the T/O weapons to 1993 MRE’s, M16A4, kevlar helmets and M9) not that I am myopic toward any other platform I do have fond memories of the 1911 and M16 20″ barrel I mean 600m/500yrs bullseye with IRONSIGHTs on a dog target. BUT I do harbor envy towards today’s stay low go fast M14 carbines with thier ACOG, Aimpoint laser designator goodies.
    but like the old adage say beware of the old warrior whos profession is where the dead are often the young. As always I love ur vid but the hair tho bruh… get a haircut the SgtMaj say