Army Asks for M4A1 in FY 2012

Putting its money where its mouth is, the Army has requested almost 20,000 M4A1s for fiscal 2012.

We’ve been hearing from PM Soldier Weapons and my SOF contacts that the Army was going to start buying the full-auto model of the M4, but until the budget docs are written and submitted, the program isn’t formally a go.

The request for $35 million to buy 19,409 of the weapons comes as the Army is also seeking funds to upgrade existing M4s with ambidextrous controls. The M4A1 has a heavier barrel and full-auto functionality.

Interestingly, the budget documents go on to list out the contractors for prior year buys (Colt Defense) but for the FY ’12 buy the manufacturer is listed as “TBD.”

38 Comments on "Army Asks for M4A1 in FY 2012"

  1. i eman " ;) "

  2. For that price, it better come with the optics and clips. :)

  3. Somebody has a hankerin' for Magpul.

  4. I am surprised nobody commented on the wearing of his multi-cam helmet cover w/ACUs…Hahaha!!! The has a hard time letting go……

  5. Full auto will do what for the rifle?

  6. wtf really so the cost will be 1803 per rifle to retro fit them to full auto and ambidextrous controlls BS thats a tottal waste of money. ive been in the army for 16 yrs and every so often ill see an article your new battle rifle they will spend milliions testing one of these things then scrap it. whos making out here the arms contractors thats who while they propose to cut ur pay and increase your tricare to pay for something like this

  7. Knights Armament M4 RAS (Rails, Cover set, vert grip): 300
    7 magazines (Aluminum): 70
    Back-up Iron sight, rear: 155

    So at 1803, you're getting a spec M4A1 at roughly 1278 for just the rifle, which is decent for a solid mil-spec AR.

  8. An ACOG TA-31 costs more than the rifle itself at 1380 each.

    Aimpoint CompM4? ~760

    EoTech s are a bit cheaper at 709.

    The real big one is the Elcan SpectreDR, at 1700-1900 dollars.

    Good glass is really expensive, and these are just the "Big Four" of combat sights in the Army.

  9. XM-8 anybody? LOL.

  10. Not to bemoan the issue…but…They could juts slap on a new upper, change the selector, safety etc all for less than a whole new rifle. But the "Good idea fairy" rules in the Pentagon!

  11. What 'clip'? The ammo comes on clips and is loaded into magazines (which cost about $10 each) that are issued seperately.

  12. $1800 per rifle? Really?

  13. The M4 with a shorter barrel is great for CQB, but for anything 300 yards and beyond, you want at least an M16 with a 20 inch barrel. The wound ballistics for a 16 inch M4 barrel are useless beyond 200 yards. One doctor over at Walter Reed was fired because he did a study on the wound ballistics that proved the Pentagon wrong.

  14. That's a dumb statement man they cost that much to civies bc you can't buy anything made after '86 I believe so the price has soared but your looking at closer to 20000 not 3000. Maybe 3000 if you buy one for LEO work but even then your buying it for your department so you can use it it's not yours to keep.

  15. I think its a OK buy other makers can make them cheaper than Colt. But the improvements to the M-4 will make it s new and better weapon once they get all the improvements installed.

    Even Remington's VP said he thinks the improved M-4 will be the new Army weapon with BIG cuts here and coming there's no money even for these guns little loan more expensive weapons out there. The M-4 is here to stay.

  16. We have billions for high speed rail, but no money for an effective quality battle rifle. Go figgure.

  17. I was reading about this earlier today, it makes sense that the Army would ask for more money than they actually need. They're requesting $35 mil, but really only need about $20 if they want 19k M4s. If they get the $35 mil they'll either buy more M4s or put the money into something else. Either way, Colt only charges the gov. $900 to $1100 per M4 depending on how big the order is.

  18. 6.8SPC, 18" bbl at minimun! If we are going to be real about our weapons we need to go ahead and move up to the AR-10 with a 20" bbl for the standard and a 18" bbl for the carbine role. The 7.62X51 (.308Win) is just the best standard battle rifle and everyone knows it. If you cant hump the ammo and handle the slightly increased recoil you got no buisness in the Military to begin with. Damn!

  19. I love how some of you armchair commandos have all the answers while you sit in your lazy boys, inhaling your cokes and chips!

  20. Daniel E. Watters | February 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply

    Actually, the final order dated December 29, 2010 from Colt's contract W52H09-07-D-0425 listed the M4A1's price at just over $1,221. Under the contract terms, Colt was responsible for providing the BUIS and M4 ARS for the carbines, not the Government.

    Heavy barrels have been standard for the M4A1 for several years, and I don't remember that the ambidextrous selectors adding all that much to the cost.

  21. Daniel E. Watters | February 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Reply

    In addition to the new carbines, the Army has put out contracts for replacement barrel assemblies and FCS parts.

  22. We don't have billions for high speed rail either. Our grandkids will be paying for that foolishness.

  23. Hell a maintenance depot could do it! I've done mods more difficult myself!

  24. That's true. The big prices you estimate are what pre-'86 weapons sell for now! Those you CAN take home and keep. (after paying the 200 NFA tax stamp) It is better to go class 4 manufacturer and then you can build 'em cheap! After that you might as well give them to the CLEO, because it is not such a big loss anyway.

  25. I vote for the 300 AAC Blackout round! In a shorter barrel you need to pay attention to Col. Hatcher's scale of ft/lbs energy delivered to the target, and that cross sectional density will deliver more punch at distance with anything from 6 to 7.62 mm. The accuracy and recoil are nearly the same. You can even use the same bolt face and magazines as the old M4. With today's chemistry, the 300 AAC uses less gunpowder and accelerates the bullet instead of blasting it out like a cannon. This makes a much more efficient system, without adding too much more weight for the war-fighter to carry. Varmint enthusiast are doing the same thing with 10" barrels and 30 caliber wildcat loads that use the dual pressure powder developed by some of the big reloading powder companies. They can clean plow on a woodchuck at more than 300 meters with those little carbines. Most are actually legal short barrel rifles built by Thompson Center, the only pistol manufacturer allowed by the BATF to sell SBRs. This because of a court decision won by TC a few years ago.

    While they are at it, they need to put the gas system Eugene Stoner originally deemed as superior, that was used in the AR-18, and Stoner 63 weapons system. He sold the M-16 because he didn't want to develop an inferior gas system to burden our troops. But he underestimated the power of Colt Manufacturing to sway the congress.

    If I'm not mistaken the 300 AAC was already being evaluated by SF and SPECOPS teams and should be reporting results on the special cartridge before long . It is so easy to modify the M4 for this conversion, that their own in house armorers did it on the spot. I think Stickman over at 'Military Times Gear Scout' has several articles on it. The ammo can be easily modified for sub-sonic or supersonic velocity; this makes it a honey of a silencer favorite.

  26. The size of a bullet does not effect accuracy, unless you're talking about a bullet that is almost as large as the target. Like a shot pattern with a shotgun or the fragmentation radius of an air to air missle.

    A 7.62 will do far more damage when it does hit, over a much greater range of distances. And it will generally be easier to hit the target at that range. But that is because of weight and velocity, not the size of the bullet.

  27. A country with no infrastructure has no money for defense.

    Paying for infrastructure creates commerce, which turns into tax dollars that pay for defense.

  28. The military's rifles, pistols and LMG/GPMG's are worn out across the board. Better weapons are IMMEDIATELY available. Spec-Ops folks can go to the big PX and pick out anything they want to play with. When the boys at foggy bottom wanted the M16 it was no problem to replace M14's while they were still warm from the last fire fight! It only takes the will, which is pitifully lacking in the upper military crust of too many Colonels and Generals. When I see some of these flag rank officers begin to resign their commissions because of this grievous waste of young lives and billions of dollars I might begin to respect this military's command structure again!!
    There are good, really good officers out there. They better start acting like men. There are more important things going on here than just your career!!! You can't hide behind: "I'm just following orders." Remember Nuremberg? Following orders is no defense for immoral, criminal conduct. Be leaders, damn it!! Don't be the British army of 1770 be the Colonists again!! The good people of America are in desperate need of leadership! Where will the leaders come from if not our military!?

  29. Probably true for some of us; but for the others, we been their – done that!

  30. The difference between a 5.56 and a 7.62 is like the difference between getting punched by a boxer and getting punched by a bear. Both can kill you, but the latter almost certainly will. And by comparison, a .50 would be like getting hit by a freight train. The caliber of the bullet has less to do than the wake it causes when it passes through flesh.

    And when you consider the engagement distances in Afghanistan, being able to fire a handful of 7.62 rounds accurately will trump a bunch of accurate 5.56 rounds most of the time.

    But really, the ideal solution would be to move up to a mid-range round like the 6.8 SPC.

    OTOH, at close ranges and urban combat I think I'd like the 5.56 and the ability to carry a lot more rounds.

  31. My post was actually directed at bbl. I should have said that, I understand that larger ones are going to be better for long range but more power is still secondary to shooter accuracy. As it is easier to become skilled with 5.56mm weapons than with 7.62mm weapons if two people had the same amount of range time and practice shots I would rather have the one with 5.56mm as, unless they are just unable to shoot, they should, on average, be able to have better control and get more accurate shots off.

    Technically the XCR has a longer barrel standard. Out of the possible new carbines for the Army the XCR does seem like one of, if not the, best but IMO the M4 would be preferable. Since the XCR has a carbine barrel for a weapon that is roughly the length and weight of an unloaded M16 with the stock extended. With the stock folded it will be shorter than the M4 with stock collapsed but then it wont be as stable or controllable for again what is basically the weight of an unloaded M16. Now I'm not saying an M16 is heavy but if the weapon will be of similar weight and length(most of the time the stock will be extended) than you might as well use an M16 and get a full size barrel.

    Now bbl the rest of this post is directed at yours.

    No it isn't. The 7.62mm has more energy but the energy is an unreliable/unproven wounding mechanism. Both will kill either with bleed out or with a vital hit. So a 7.62mm almost certainly will kill you? What if it misses all vital organs and just passes through the back? It would kill if the one shot doesn't get medical treatment but it would be due to a bleed out or infection. The bleed out would take 10 mins or more if no major organs are hit and infection would take days or weeks. So yes both can kill but where a target is hit determines how fast they die or are stopped. This goes back to shooter accuracy. If someone gets hit with a 5.56mm round in a vital organ then it will be better at stopping/killing them than a 7.62mm that misses the same vital organ completely. A 5.56mm hole in someone's heart will be better than a 7.62mm hole that missed the heart but is right beside it at stopping killing someone. Have you ever been hunting? If you have you should now that in order to stop/kill the animal you need to hit vitals regardless of the round you use or it will just run off. I'll post a link up where you can see some pics of what a 7.62mm sniper rifle, 7.62x39mm, .50 BMG, a fragmenting 5.56mm, and what I'm pretty sure is another fragmenting 5.56mm, can do to people. Link will be in next post.

    Not really. As long as a 5.56mm hits vitals it will do it's job fine. Miss the vitals and it wont but this is true of all man portable small arms. I mean people can survive grenade explosions when they are right on top of them. A small arms bullet obviously doesn't cause that kind of damage so it can't offer anywhere close to 100% quick incapacitation/death. So if a bunch of accurate 5.56mms hit vitals they will work. Same with if a handful of 7.62mms hit vitals. If they miss the vitals though then what they do becomes unreliable. As in some people will get stopped while others wont while a vital hit will reliably stop the target a few seconds after the hit, or instant with a CNS hit.

    To be honest I'd prefer 5.56mm over 6.8mm. As long as the shooter does their job either will work and I prefer the other advantages a 5.56mm offers over more powerful rounds such as weight, recoil, amount able to be carried, and fragmentation. When it does fragment anyway. Oh and this only applies for standard issue assault rifles or battle rifles based on what people want standard. For DMs and snipers I think they should have 7.62mm or some other long range cartridge. For regular grunts though 5.56mm is, IMO, the best overall choice.

  32. I know what I said earlier. I just can't help it.

    JCitizen I guess this just goes to show that bullet wounds/effects are never a constant standard no matter how much we try to make them one or want them to be. However thank you for bringing up your experiences.

    bbb well they do usually get center mass hits since that is where they are taught to aim and it is the easiest target to hit on a person. CNS not really but center mass is rather common. Not to many limb shots that I hear of. A few obviously but usually center mass.

    Any weapon can provide incapacitation without a perfect shot. However it is unreliable as it falls into their mentality. A shot to the hand from a .22lr can incapacitate one person while a .50 cal to the gut might not incapacitate someone else. Obviously however a .50 cal would do more damage than a .22lr but the damage isn't the major factor for incapacitation.

    Ok that is BS. 7.62mm weapons needs double taps just the same as 5.56mms especially for CQB. A 7.62mm round doesn't guarantee a lethal hit. Not even .50 BMG does. No man portable small arms weapon does. The thing is most military personnel with 7.62mm weapons are DMs or snipers and have more marksmanship training than those with 5.56mm weapons. Which allows them to make better shots usually. As in the case of JCitizen however others have M240s or M60s. They wouldn't have the kind of marksmanship training that a DM or sniper would have but would be able to get multiple rounds down range and on target quickly due to their machine guns.

  33. Wasn't suggesting that a 7.62 guarantees anything. It's always a matter of probability, physics, and physiology. I do find the comparison of a .22LR to an extremity to a .50 BMG gut shot quite amusing though.

    Honestly, this is essentially the same argument as 9MM versus .45. Both will kill effectively and with a 9MM you can carry a good 30% more ammunition, but all else equal most people would want a bigger bullet.

    …and come to think of it, most people just went with a .40 since it was a pretty decent compromise.

  34. When I read your post it seemed, to me anyway, like you were saying 7.62mm does guarantee a lethal hit. It may be amusing but it is possible. Some people can, do, and will get incapacitated due to extremity wounds because of their mentality. While others can take torso hits from high power small arms rounds and not be incapacitated. As I said a .50 BMG does a lot more damage and would defiantly kill them faster than a .22lr hand wound but based on the individual it might not incapacitate them.

    Yeah it is basically the same. Yeah a bigger bullet is useful but I personally prefer higher magazine caps, good accuracy, lower recoil, and lighter weight weapons and rounds.

    To me with pistols the size is rather meaningless, FMJ only, as it is about 1mm for a .40 and about 2mm for a .45. So in FMJ I'd rather have a 9mm over the other two. For hollowpoints it would depend on expansion rates for each though. Pistols generally don't do much of anything apart from a hole anyway so a 1-2mm difference isn't that noticeable. Hollowpoints are obviously different but that depends on the brand and make of it.

  35. I hope you're joking.

    A 2mm difference? The .45 bullet weighs twice as much as the 9mm and has almost twice as much energy.

    Have you not learned anything? The size of the hole is irrelevant compared to the amount of energy put into the target. Shrapnel moving at 20,000 feet per second might be a millimeter around, but it'll still kill just as easily as a bullet because there's so much energy in it.

    If energy didn't matter, in WW2 every fighter plane would have had a ton of .30 caliber guns instead of a few .50s, 20mms, 30mms, etc.

    Not to mention that in terms of bullet size, millimeters is a pretty big difference. 2 millimeters from a 9mm is 7mm. But I suppose you'd rather have a .30 caliber than a 9mm since the bullets will be lighter, smaller, and have less recoil.

  36. Pistol rounds don't do reliable or effective damage beyond the permanent cavity. Rifles are different but again only reliable damage is the permanent and temporary. Actually 9mms have more muzzle energy. Comparing 9mm 125gr FMJ to .45 230gr. FMJ.

    There is a huge difference between a 9mm bullet at 1300FPS compared to a 1mm piece of metal at more than ten times that velocity. Also no the energy is again unreliable except in things with much more energy than small arms. IIRC Roberts and Fackler have both said energy dump isn't useful or doesn't do much of anything and they study this more than most others.

    Except comparing fighters to infantry is completely different. Fighter's armor is going to be too tough for .30cal bullets. Energy wasn't the deciding factor here. It was armor penetration, range, and accuracy. While infantry armor can be penetrated by 5.56mm-12.7mm based on the armor and round.

    With a pistol no I wouldn't want to go beyond 9mm as smaller than that they are unreliable as hollowpoints and they usually lack enough penetration which would make them a very bad choice. There is a reason rounds smaller than 9mm are not as commonly used as 9mm-11.43mm. Their speeds are usually too low or too light to expand reliably or penetrate far enough reliably.

  37. its a rifle what r u gonna do man. your paying for an m4 not an ak47 dub ass

  38. Not necessarily. If you spend x amount of dollars for a "high-speed" rail system that won't get the necessary ridership, than it will probable cost MORE taxpayer money and benefit no one. Case in point, here in AZ, officials have been pushing for a rail system for years that would link Phoenix and Tucson (as well as other towns). After doing the initial study, it was determine there would not be enough ridership demand to justify the cost. Plus the cost of laying down the rail was estimated to be about a million dollars per mile. Now you might ask what about opening the rail to commercial freight? Well problem is, there is already a freight line that exists but I am guessing they can't put a "high speed" passenger rail on there or vice versa. Plus, they would have to extend or alter the route of the existing line to go through town/city centers for passengers to get on/off, since freight lines are generally built away from residential areas. I think they tried to get Federal funding for it, but again, it won't solve the cost/benefit ratio. I can only imagine this sort of thing happening all around the country.

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