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M4A1 Carbine Upgrades Could Make One Lucky Company Very Happy

630 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  dkf
Enter the M4A1+ program. In an eight-point announcement, the U.S. Army described how they want to take the current M4A1 and make it better:

  • Extending the forward rails to 12 inches, to facilitate straight-arm shooting.
  • Adding room for more attachments on the carbine (e.g laser sights, flashlights, bipods).
  • Making front and rear iron sights removable (to save a little weight).
  • Adding a floating barrel to decrease vibration and improve accuracy.
  • Requiring proof that the new design is more accurate (enabling a five-inch grouping at 600 meters).
  • Adding a flash suppressor.
  • Adding an optional ultra-sensitive, single-stage sniper trigger.
At this time, it's hard to say who might win the contract. Chances seem good thatGeneral Dynamics and Smith & Wesson , which have teamed up to bid on the Army's Modular Handgun System contract already, will take a shot. Potentially, newly spun-off shooting accessories company Vista Outdoor , which makesBushnell gun optics, will compete as well.

With the smallest of these companies, Smith & Wesson, doing $550 million in annual business already, all of them have the size and business scale to handle a contract as big as the M4A1+. At the same time, a win for Smith & Wesson would be a very big deal, potentially doubling annual revenues.

Conversely, General Dynamics or Vista Outdoor (doing $31 billion and $2 billion in annual business, respectively, according to S&P Capital IQ) would see less of a transformative gain from winning a contract of this size -- but their own size and scale of operations might give them an advantage in the bidding.
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· Well I'll Be Dipped!!!
32,590 Posts
Very interesting.

The "improvements" to the M4A1 are the basic things that current AR15 companies have been doing for years. It is odd that there's no mention of a mid-length gas system.

· Registered
1,755 Posts
It is odd that there's no mention of a mid-length gas system.
I's definitely "softer" shooting...not that 5.56 is bad.

There was a discernible difference when my buddy (20" bbl with rifle length gas tube) and I (16" bbl with mid-length gas tube) went to the range. My rifle was definitely not as "soft".

It' would be an interesting comparison to have all three at the range at one time.

· Registered
6,536 Posts
If they're expecting <1 MOA accuracy, they're in for a disappointment.
Yeah I think they are smoking some good crack if they expect less than 1 moa at 600 meters. Maybe 1 5.56 load they currently have is able to shoot a group like that.
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