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.”

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