Counterfeit M4s In Iraq

A number of AR15s that have been turning up in Iraq appear to be counterfeit products but are in the markets and treated as legitimate production versions of the rifle companies the producers are seeking to counterfeit. Some of them are very small differences, only being distinguished by the wrong roll mark or incorrect engraving. Others are blatantly obvious through the combination of several companies on a single lower. As an example, the largest indication that we are seeing is an AR15 with a 14.5 inch barrel, Burst selector, and with both Colt markings above the serial number and FN Herstal markings above the selector switch. Although both companies have been making M4s and M4A1s for the U.S. Military, neither of these companies have ever actually combined forces and produced a joint rifle. We’ll post the glaring examples we have seen so far down below. There are far more examples that are borderline counterfeit, but I don’t want to post them because I just don’t have the in-depth Colt roll mark knowledge to be able to discern whether or not it is genuine.

The largest question we have is where are these rifles coming from. Due to expansive manufacturing operations in China that seek to make one for one copies of everything in the U.S. and European markets, in addition to documented evidence of ATF acquiring counterfeited AR15s in Mexico in 2009, we can reasonably assume that these rifles or parts are being mass produced and being smuggled into Iraq and possibly neighboring countries. There already is a huge market in Iraq for Chinese Airsoft components and accessories because actual firearm parts cannot be legally imported. However, this is only an assumption and requires much more research and tangible evidence to definitively confirm that certain companies or entities in China are engaging in black market AR15 sales internationally.

These two M4s have the aforementioned company roll mark mix-ups, in addition to an entire slew of issues that mark them as not being legitimate Colt rifles or FN Herstal M4s.

This is the rest of the rifle above. Notice the handguard is not very similar to most handguards in current usage on AR15s in the U.S. This is because we are seeing more and more of this type installed on AR15s in Iraq, the handguards themselves most likely come from China.-

We don’t believe that the Colt M4 Commando “Super Mine” has ever existed in a Colt Defense catalog-

This particular version is an Airsoft lower receiver. It matches the exact product description of a certain WE Airsoft out of Taiwan that produces a Gas Blow Back (GBB) lower that fits it exactly, down to the faux serial number and extra period in front of the “5.56 MM”.

The WE Airsoft product image. Note the exact same serial number-

This one doesn’t even have a serial number.

This is an example of a legitimate Colt M4 carbine roll mark-



Miles V

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the Middle East & North Africa, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, feel free to message me at miles@tfb.tv


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  • iksnilol

    Why would China make counterfeit M4s when Norinco already makes M4s?

    • SP mclaughlin

      The Norinco ones have Norinco trademarks; I guess they wanted these to be less obvious.

      • iksnilol

        Dude, everyone has Norinco guns, they’re basically untraceable by default simply because they’re so widespread.

    • USMC03Vet

      That sweet sweet sponsorship money.

  • Vhyrus

    I really doubt the daesh care if they’re shooting us with counterfeit m4s vs real ones. I hope to see these lowers on amazon one day.

    • Audie Bakerson

      To be honest, the way Colt is now I’d strongly consider taking a Norinco gun over a modern production Colt.

      • iksnilol

        Why wouldn’t you? Norincos are a bit rough, but they’re good. Their M14s have better receivers than the new production Springfields.

      • Holdfast_II

        I have Canadian friends with Norinco rifles (openly marked as such) and they are just as good as any other mass-produced AR pattern rifles.

  • Ambassador Vader

    It wasn’t the colt “super mine” it was the colt “super bankruptcy”

  • Anonymoose

    Super Mine, because the market for M4s in the Middle East is a gold mine!

    • TDog

      This rifle is Super Mine – if you want one, get Super Yours.

      • Asimzmn

        Super LOL

  • DR.NUMBERS

    Probably products of Darra Adam Khel… They’re the ones that like to masquerade, I don’t think Chinese makers bother with that. Also, the workmanship looks about right for a Darra gun.

    • Anonymoose

      I dunno, man, looks like some Chinese ebay stuff to me. Do they even know how to work with aluminum in Khyber?

      • Friend of Tibet

        Chinese cheapy ebay is very different than Chinese firearm export.
        All Chinese firearm exported by Norinco are UN marked.

        • Anonymoose

          Yet these are not, and could possibly have come out of some “black factory” somewhere. The Chinese are trying to buddy up with Trump, so these may be their way of supplying weapons to various actors in the Iraq/Syria area without being too obviously implicated.

          • Friend of Tibet

            Why would China(any other major country) sell these rifles to black market when they can legally sell CQ-A to Canada and euro, Not a good business and too much risk with not so good profit.

            Not to mention the firearm in the picture have very different marking technique compare to all Chinese AR15 production.

            China never shy about their guns, you see a lot of Chinese guns in hands of Syria fighting forces, they are are marked correctly.

  • Jeff Smith
  • anonymous

    > We don’t believe that the Colt M4 Commando “Super Mine”
    > has ever existed in a Colt Defense catalog

    It did, but it was a Super Duper Top Secret project, with the guns used by Delta Team 6 Force. After the war, a few of them were sold by the government to the civilian market. At least, that’s what the dealer trying to sell me one said.

  • Friend of Tibet

    China already have CQ-A and the quality looks better that whatever here in the picture.

    This assumption is so baseless.

    And a simple google will tell you all AR15 made in China have different marking technique compare to the picture here.

    Most likely what happened here is airsoft lower reciever modified.

  • TDog

    Given that China has some insane percentage of the world’s manufacturing capacity, it’s always a safe bet it comes from China.

  • Ed

    So? Chinese CQ rifles with fakes US markings. Not the first time the chicoms done this.

  • Badwolf

    Or…. certain companies or entities in the US are engaging in black market AR15 sales internationally.

    Perhaps using reverse psychology by intentionally using wrong roll marks or incorrect engraving to make you (read: Miles) think they are coming from China.

    However, this is only an assumption and requires much more research and tangible evidence to definitely confirm.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Prehaps the quadrail is in imitation of an MR556?

  • John

    There will come a time when the world makes counterfeits of the QBZ-95 with slight differences. China won’t know what to think then.

  • MrBrassporkchop

    Probably works good enough.

  • Disarmed in CA

    So do they work? or ‘sorta-work’?

  • Friend of Tibet

    “in addition to documented evidence of ATF acquiring counterfeited AR15s in Mexico that have been traced back to China in 2009, we can reasonably assume that these rifles are coming from China and being smuggled into Iraq and possibly neighboring countries.”

    I read through the entire document btw, it did not mention China.

    “There is not enough information available at this time for SWB-FIST to determine the source country where the counterfeit weapons are being manufactured. ”

    And the tin foil hat logic of “Must be China they can just change the marking” can apply to any country.

    FYI, The YHM handguard were installed on all counterfeirt AR back in 09 mexico, well, let your assumption go wild 😛

    • iksnilol

      Comrade, it is Miles, ID’ing guns isn’t his strong side.

  • McThag

    I totally know what I’m engraving on my next 80%!

  • Graham2

    So may people saying Chinese here, Iran loves messing in Iraq, so maybe they’re just FAJR 224s with dodgy markings?