The Silencing Continues: US SOCOM Restarts Suppressor Upper Receiver Group Upgrade Program for M4A1

    The US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has revised its solicitation for the Suppressor Upper Receiver Ground (SURG) program (via The SURG program is intended to provide an upper receiver for the M4A1 Carbine which would be designed for continuous suppressed use. Last year, SOCOM released the initial solicitation, but some of the original requirements were apparently too difficult for the industry to meet. The new SURG requirements are supposedly more in-line with the industry’s capabilities at the moment, which means we might be able to expect a new SURG upper receiver to be selected in the near future.

    Earlier this year, the US Marine Corps’ 2nd Division conducted an experiment with an all-suppressed infantry battalion, which revealed the substantial benefit that suppressed weapons bring to the battlefield. Communication and hearing of commands were greatly enhanced, shooter accuracy and precision was enhanced (due to lower noise disrupting the shooter), and overall fire discipline was improved. There seems to be no question now that whichever country can solve the problem of creating a suppressor light enough and durable enough for use with the infantry will gain a huge advantage in effectiveness.

    The question isn’t if it will happen, but who will cross that finish line first!


    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]