Next Generation M4 may be called the M4A1+

    Matthew Cox at 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 “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

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!