The M4 carbine has been used by the military in multiple conflicts over the span of more than two decades. It is the official drink of the United States Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
The M4 has its critics, but most others swear that it’s the best gun in the industry. This article discusses the many advantages of the M4 Carbine rifle and its disadvantages.
- M4 Carbine
- History of the M4 Carbine Rifle
- M4 Carbine Design
- Mark 18 CQBR
- Enhanced M4 or Colt Advanced Piston Carbine (APC)
- Armwest LLC M4
- Colt Commando
- M4 MWS
- M4 in the News
- A Range of Problems
- Converting to a Gas Piston
- Crosman M4-177 Combo Specs
History of the M4 Carbine Rifle
In the 1980’s, engineers worked on the creation of the M4 carbine in an effort to develop a new weapon for close-quarter combat.
The U.S. Army’s M4 is the replacement for the M16. It is significantly shorter, with the barrel being less than half the length of the M16, making it much easier to maneuver in smaller spaces.
The Marine Corps started replacing their M9 handguns with the M4 carbines quickly, because they were convinced that the gun was better for close-quarters combat.
The M4 has traditionally been used in places that other, full-length rifles would be difficult or impractical to use. In 2016, the Marine Corps made the M4 the main weapon used by supporting schools, security forces, and infantry battalions.
The M4 is an improved version of the M16, and it is the most widely used rifle in the U.S. Army.
M4 Carbine Design
The M4 carbine is a short-recoil operated semi automatic only weapon and it’s magazine fed. It’s made by FN Herstal and Colt. It’s fired from the shoulder, and even has a collapsible stock.
This weapon is easy to carry and transport. It’s shorter barrel and carrying handle is also detachable. These features and the M4 carbine weight also allow troops to engage the enemy quickly and efficiently no matter the time of day.
I hinted above that the M4 is actually very similar to the M16. In fact, 80% of its makeup is identical to the M16 rifle. Both guns are similar in function and purpose.
It’s possible to add many accessories to the M4, including laser pointers, night vision devices, telescopic sights, grenade launchers, and more.
A blank-firing attachment can be a very useful tool for training. If you get bored during your practice, just switch the weapon to this and shoot away.
This is a typical machine gun design. It’s also a typical model used for special operations use. It’s fully automatic and is also easy to operate, even for non-experts.
The M4A1’s barrel is heavier, more durable and more accurate than the M4. Up to around 500 meters it’s good for shooting at targets.
This rifle is a new and improved version of the M4 that’s currently in use in the Army. It’s ideal for most any situation.
Mark 18 CQBR
The M14 rifle was based on the Soviet SKS design and was intended to replace the venerable but over-gunned M1 Garand. It’s called the “Mk18 CQB,” or just “the Mk18.
Enhanced M4 or Colt Advanced Piston Carbine (APC)
The biggest advantage of this model is that it cools more effectively than other models. It also has greater accuracy and less stress on parts.
Armwest LLC M4
This is the M4 that was created by M4 critic Jim Sullivan, in order to address shortcomings he observed in the original weapon.
The Ultimax is the new and improved version of this weapon. The M4-203’s cyclic components are double the weight of those in the original M4.
Special Forces are made from spare parts that the Army has lying around.
The M4-SBR Commando is based on the M4, but it features a full auto mode, not a 3-round burst.
As the Army’s requirements for a new assault rifle have been finalized, the Colt Model 925 RAS is now a modular weapon system (M4 MWS).
This new model is much better suited to existing M4s than the old one. However, it wasn’t adopted when another designation proved to be better-suited for existing M4s.
M4 in the News
Military men have been using this rifle for many years. It’s been in the news for being used in military operations. This story from NPR talks about how the US military plans to continue using the M4, the most widely used rifle in American service.
Another story tells of rivaling weapons and how they’ve performed against the M4 rifles. In a 2007 comparison of the M4 and other carbines, the Army tested each weapon using ten rounds per weapon. The Army found that the M4 was slightly faster to fire but more prone to jamming.
Unfortunately, the M4 didn’t live up to the expectations of the industry. The development of the Internet did have some discouraging effects on the military. It made some changes to the military that needed to be made.
It was recently announced that the Army’s top-of-the-line rifle, the M4A1, didn’t stand. The competing weapons were tested for reliability and durability. One of them performed better than the others. Even with the results, the Army still chose to stick with its coveted rifle.
The U.S. Army has been upgrading its M4s to the prized M4A1, and in 2016 it’s going to begin replacing. When I first started writing articles for this blog, upgrades were expected to continue for about two years.
The army actually planned to upgrade the M4 even further and called this plan the M4A1+ initiative. Despite the fact that the data was included in various proposals, the Army really didn’t think the upgrades were worth the time, effort, or money.
A Range of Problems
The Army’s controversial switch from the venerable M-16 rifle to the new AR-15 rifle has been plagued by problems such as jamming, which have not been fully resolved by the manufacturer.
A few examples include, over one-third of troops using the M4 reported that the hand guards often rattle and become incredibly hot when firing.
The following are issues that you may encounter while using the E-Series. Feed jams, double feed, difficulty locking in the magazine, and difficulty zeroing the optic.
We heard from customers that the handguards and optics didn’t meet their expectations, so we upgraded them. We also found that the stock was being used improperly, so we replaced it. These improvements greatly reduced the number of complaints.
The M4’s performance and reliability have been vastly improved. It was reported to have occasional problems with reliability and maintainability, but they’ve been significantly lessened.
These troops actually said that during more than a dozen engagements, there were no real problems with their weapons. That is quite remarkable.
The M4A1 was the gun of choice of soldiers in the Gulf War because of its reliability and range. Now it’s even better than when it first came out in 1990.
Converting to a Gas Piston
A conversion kit for the M4 carbine allows it to be used as a gas piston rifle, but for those who want the feel and sound of an M4 carbine, the options for converting it into a piston rifle are available.
Although this is a bonus at first glance, it’s less practical. Gas pistons are prone to causing jams and lower accuracy, and they’re heavier than electric pumps. That’s when the entire weapon needs to be disassembled to fix the jam.
A common problem with this change is that it causes the gun to become very loose. This means the bolt carrier does not fit correctly in the buffer tube, which then allows the gun to move forward or backward when shot.
Gas pistons are heavy, require more maintenance, and are not recommended for the military. This causes wearing of the parts, and the gas piston isn’t generally recommended for the military.
Crosman M4-177 Combo Specs
|Max Velocity||660 fps|
|Trigger Pull||4.0 lbs|
|Muzzle Energy||4.93 ft/lbs|
|Cocking Effort||3-10 pumps|
|Front Sight||Adjustable for elevation|
|Rear Sight||Adjustable for windage|
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