At least 19 taking on the M4

Gun makers to show M4 competitors

Gun makers from across the country will display their top carbines for Army officials in Washington, D.C. Thursday with the hope of replacing the service’s M4 carbine.

So far, 19 small arms companies have signed up to participate in the Army-sponsored industry day at the Doubletree Hotel in Crystal City, said Col. Doug Tamilio, Program Executive Office Soldier’s project manager for Soldier Weapons.

Honestly, at this point I remain pretty skeptical that the Army really is going to go with a new carbine.


  1. Why Colt doesnt offer their gas-piston carbine that they claim it has a “special link that makes the piston less brusque and more reliable” ? It would be good the their PR.

  2. Stay skeptical. The smartest move for the Army is to wait until after it recovers the M4 data rights, hire a company (like, say, HK) to product improve the M4 while retaining those data rights, then put the upgraded M4 out to a competitive production bid (just like the M16A4, which the Army purchases for less than half the cost of an M4).

    That approach won’t make certain politicians, and a whole lot of gun makers, happy, but it’s cheaper than spending $2B for new rifles the Army doesn’t really need when upgrades/modifications to the existing rifle plus competitive production can accomplish the same thing.

    The only capabiltiy gap justifying a new rifle at this point is “Army Secretary without a legacy”.

  3. I wonder how many of those companies are offering gas-piston, and how many are offering some kind of improved DI.

  4. Flanker suspects (for some ill defined reason possibly related to Murdoc’s prior observations about Flanker’s cynism 🙂 )Murdoc’s suspicions are correct!

    And………I’m guessing the Army is conducting these tests with the same enthusiasm I used to eat my asparagas (with Mom standing there glowering at me).

  5. “(just like the M16A4, which the Army purchases for less than half the cost of an M4)”

    FWIW: Current M16A4 contracts run from $695 (FN Manufacturing) to $884 (Sabre Defence) per rifle. Colt’s current M4 contract runs $1,155 per carbine. However, this includes the BUIS and RAS. The M16A4 prices do not include these items.

  6. Did you guys see that the commercial release of the ACR/Masada was delayed for one year so they can concentrate on selling it to the army? Bushmaster really wants the defense bucks.

  7. Until the Joint Chiefs is lead by a SOF General there will be no change from the M4/M16. Though if Aliens attacked, I could see a change happening…maybe.

    Anyway, my prediction, a testing and evaluation full of sound and fury and in the end nothing. The Army will claim that a change will cost too much and the funding will be shifted to some congressional pet project or to bailing out General Motors.

  8. Interesting…I just saw the PO Tactical Target Rifle…sucker looks like its got the ZM300 stock on it, and is supposed to have a “clean” DI gas system…which the ZM300 was supposed to have. I wonder if they just licensed the tech?

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