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-


    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]