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New/Upgraded M4A1 for the Military

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Basically, they're going to put the 12" DD rail on it - nobody else will win the rail portion of the fight, with SOCOM already running the DD setups for a long, long time.  Then they're painting it, something "not black."


This comment:


* Adding an optional ultra-sensitive, single-stage sniper trigger.


That won't happen.  If a trigger change is made away from the mil-spec trigger, it'll be the Geissele SSF trigger, which is again, already running in SOCOM units.

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That won't happen.  If a trigger change is made away from the mil-spec trigger, it'll be the Geissele SSF trigger, which is again, already running in SOCOM units.

So all my favorite Geissele's will be out of stock till they catch up on the BIG order, ???  unless they really expand........better move the trigger to the top of the purchase list for the Matrix build, need one for my P716 as well.

Edited by jtallen83
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You'll be safe on the SSF, brother - that's the Super Select Fire.  Safe/Semi/Fun Switch.  There won't be a run on those by a bunch of people that want to build a clone carbine.  That article quoted "Adding an optional...",   like it won't go into all of them.  Geissele will run the same production they probably always have, and deliver what's required on their timeline.  We're safe, man.  <thumbsup>

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That won't happen.  If a trigger change is made away from the mil-spec trigger, it'll be the Geissele SSF trigger, which is again, already running in SOCOM units.

Exactly and the only thing that will be ultra sensitive are feelings of the troops that didn't them put in their rifles, but their buddies did.  


God Bless Bill Geissele.

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M4A1 Carbine Upgrades Could Make One Lucky Company Very Happy

But who will win the contract?

Rich Smith

Jul 11, 2015 at 7:05AM



In 2013, the gun world changed.

For more than a decade, standard-issue M4 and M4A1 carbines used by infantry in the U.S. Army had been manufactured by just one company -- Colt Defense. A competing bid that significantly undercut Colt's sales price shifted the M4's manufacture to Freedom Group subsidiary Remington Arms in 2011 -- but still kept the weapon under an American brand name.

Two years later, Remington was itself underbid by a foreign operator, Belgium's FN Herstal, which offered to build the M4A1 for the U.S. Army at the low, low price of just $642 per gun -- nearly half what Colt had been charging just a few years before.

And don't look now but the tectonic plates are about to shift again.

Introducing the M4A1+

Earlier this month, the Army Times updated readers on the progress of a new Army program to upgrade the M4A1. The Army intends the M4A1 to replace the venerable M16 as a soldier's standard-issue long gun, and as long as they're doing that, the generals figure why not make the M4A1 better?



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.

To top it all off, the Army doesn't want to paint the gun black, but a "neutral... color," "dull, non-reflective" -- preferably something in between a "Coyote 498" and "Light Coyote 481."

Might we suggest...?

I know. It's a pretty long laundry list of add-ons. And if that weren't enough, the Army's solicitation for bids specifies that "the M4A1+ components will be evaluated as a system. The system must then install on/interface with stock M4A1 Carbines."

In other words, the Army wants to deal with just one prime contractor to upgrade its M4A1s. They want a turnkey solution.

When you wish upon a star...

Now, as gun enthusiasts -- particularly participants in three-gun shooting competitions -- can tell you, there are manufacturers currently making the kind of add-ons that the Army is looking to use in building its upraded M4A1+ carbine. SureFire for suppressors, Troy Industries for rails, Aimpoint for red-dot sights -- and on and on.

Instead of buying best-of-breed parts piecemeal from these producers, however, the Army wants to find one single company to bundle the improvements and resell them wholesale. That makes figuring out the awardee on this contract a very big deal, as it will be the company through which all revenues flow when reconfiguring the Army's inventory of more than 480,000 M4A1 carbines.

How much revenue are we talking about? Well, the $642 that FN Herstal charges to build the base M4A1 is just the start. A new floating handguard alone can retail for half that. An Aimpoint red-dot site can cost more than $642! Ballpark the whole assortment of Army-desired improvements at, say, $1,000 altogether, and we're looking at a contract potentially worth half a billion dollars -- or more.

Who will star at this gunshow?

At this time, it's hard to say who might win the contract. Chances seem good that General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) and Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC), 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 (NYSE:VSTO), which makes Bushnell 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.

In short, who will win the M4A1 upgrade competition is a question very much up in the air. But it's a question you can be certain we'll be paying close attention to as news of who's bidding -- and who might win -- begins to emerge.


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That's BS.

I used to have the original report. The contest wasn't scrapped, it was completed.

I believe 5 rifles completed the contest with "passing" scores. There wasn't a definitive winner. The Colt (M4), HK (416), Remington (ACR), FNH (SCAR) and LWRCi (IC) all performed well and at the desired levels.

The conclusion that I read was, none of the weapons greatly excelled beyond the performance of the M4, and the M4 successfully achieved all the marks set. The finding was, "why change?"

The only thing that the M4 did significantly different was change to a piston operated system.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I understand the desire for the upgrade, the "boots on the ground" definately need a rifle that can stand up to the abuse one will get in an M RAP or Stryker.  I remember when the Army had civillians that were quailifed to "rebuild" small arms on post.  I used to take my companies M-60s to Depot level maintance when they needed a major overhaul.  For the mechanicly inclined, this seems like a modifacation that could be performed in the company area.


No need to change the weapon system without changeing the bullet it shoots.  If Big Army is going to stick with 5.56, then the M-4 just may soldier on for the next 25 years until caseless technology catches up with desired performance.

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I recently spoke with a new company about the concept of caseless ammo. They say it's always on the drawing board, just requires a lot of $$$$ for the research. Remington still has patents on their design for caseless ammo.

Nothing new about the concept of caseless ammo, but I wonder if particle acceleration will progress faster? BAE already has a ship being mounted with a system to replace a Tomahawk armament.

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  I remember when the Army had civillians that were quailifed to "rebuild" small arms on post.


Still happens - I had two civilian armorers in the SF Group that could handle anything you threw at them.  They were major-factory certified armorers, and even handled factory warranty issues for Remington and Winchester in the geographic area.  If you had a rifle warranty issue from those factories, and lived closer to them than the factory, it was sent to them to handle.


Bad sum'bitches.  :hail:

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