Tag Archives: M4a1

Sig’s TANGO6 Optic Picks up an Army Three-peat

Sig Sauer’s variable powered 1-6×24 TANGO6T is a first focal plane ruggedized riflescope with a flat dark earth anodized aircraft-grade aluminum main tube, with a magnification that allows either relatively close-quarter shots or use against more distant targets. The optic is already in use with the Army on the Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDMR) and with SOCOM as the Squad-Variable Powered Scope, or S-VPS.

It has now been picked by the Army as the new Direct View Optic (DVO) for use on the M4A1 Carbine.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Welcome (back), M16A4

The humble original M16 was originally Armalite’s AR-15, and was first ordered for military service with a contract issued to Colt Firearms in May 1962 for the purchase of early Model 01 rifles to be used by Air Force Security Police.

Note, these guns had waffle-pattern 20-round mags, no forward assist, a thin 1:14 twist barrel, and the early three-prong flash hider.

Fast forward to the XM16E1, which became the M16A1 in 1967, and you started to come closer to the standard Army/Marine rifle used in Vietnam and throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. It used a forward assist and a 1:12 twist barrel.

By 1983, the M16A2 came about, it had a thicker barrel in front of the front sight, a modified flash suppressor (closed on bottom), a new polymer buttstock (lighter and stronger), faster barrel twist (from 1:12 to 1:7), and a spent case deflector for left-hand users. Considered downright vintage by the Army and Marines, the Navy still sports them these days.

M16A2- check
M9 in drop leg holster- check
Body armor- um, about that……

By 1998, the M16A4 was in play, primarily for the Marines, which had a removable carry handle, a Picatinny top rail to allow for optics, short rails on the handguard for accessories, and a 20-inch barrel with a 1:7 RH twist rate.

Note the size difference between the compact M4 Carbine, top, and the full-length M16A4 rifle, bottom. (Photos: Department of Defense)

Since the GWOT kicked off in 2002, the big shift over the years has been to move from the full-length M16 family to the more compact M4/M4A1 carbine, with its collapsible rear stock and stubby 14-inch barrel, leaving the increasingly old-school style rifle as something of a relic today. Heck, the Army for the past couple years has been very actively working on replacing their 5.56 NATO rifles and SAWs with a new 6.8mm weapon. 

Now jump to 2020, and the M16A4 is now apparently the Army’s designated rifle for Foreign Military Sales to equip overseas allies in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, and Nepal.

Colt and FN are competing in a contract to supply as much as $383 million smackers worth of M16A4s by 2025.

More in my column at Guns.com. 

So, if you have an Army M4A1, you may have an issue with that selector switch

FORT GORDON, Ga. – Spc. Alexander Musarra, Company B, 782nd Military Intelligence Battalion, from Miami, Florida, is shown here firing his M4A1 carbine rifle during the Stress Shoot Exercise which was an event on day one of the 780th MI Brigade’s Best Warrior Competition, April 23.

Saftey of use message:

  1. A small number (881 out of 259,000) of M16/M4 weapons have been found to potentially have an unintended discharge while manipulating the selector.
  2. An additional step in the updated Function Check will readily determine if your M16/M4 is affected.
  3. If your M16/M4 passes the additional steps to the Function Check to inspect for this problem, there is absolutely no need to change Immediate Action procedures.
  4. The previous Immediate Action procedure (“SPORTS”) has been since replaced with an improved procedure described in TC 3-22.9. TACOM and the published Technical Manuals have not yet updated to the new standard.

SOUM #18-004 alerted the field of an unintended discharge on an M4A1 PIP’ed (Product Improvement Program) weapons that occurred when the operator pulled the trigger with the selector switch between the SEMI and AUTO detents (outside of detent). The weapon did not fire when the operator pulled the trigger and instead fired when the selector was moved further. As a result of this incident, an on-going investigation determined that there is the potential for all carbines and rifles noted above, to behave in this way.

First, this potential mechanical problem is uncommon. The Army has converted 259,000 M4s to M4A1s in the past three years with the M4 carbine product improvement program. Out of 259,000, 881 have been found to exhibit this problem.

Second, TACOM’s updated Function Check will easily determine if your M16/M4 is one of those of the small number affected.

More here

US Army selecting new Camo (again!), and making thier own M4A1 upgrades

In other news, big green is going back to green camo (well, green-ish) in selecting a very narrowly not-copyrighted version of multicam-ish camo that will come in three different flavors for those who globe-trot and dont agree with a one-pattern fits all lifestyle

More on that here and here

Also teams from  Anniston Army Depot, Alabama, and Tank-Automotive Command in Warren, Michigan, are roaming the country upgrading the U.S. Army’s stock of 500,000 M4 rifles to the new M4A1 standard which will include a heavier barrel (to stablise the new, heavier, long range bullet) and is swapping out the old three-round burst trigger (which always sucked) for more legacy no-pew/pew/pewpewpewpewpew selector switch just as Eugene Stoner intended. Its nice to see the DOD do some stuff in-house for a change rather than phoning it in.

More on that here and here

Operation in Nahr-e Saraj