“”The government is seeking to procure M4A1-Plus (abbreviated as M4A1+) components as non-development items,” military.com reports, “for improvements to the M4A1 Carbine.” This according to a March 13 document posted on FedBizOpps.gov which states that “It is anticipated that the M4A1+ components will be evaluated as a system. The system must then install on/interface with stock M4A1 Carbines.” Note: this is not the Army’s standard-issue rifle soldiers are looking for . . .
The M4A1 is the special operations version of the M4 that’s been in use for more than a decade. It features a heavier barrel and a full-auto trigger. The Army’s decision to dump the current three-round burst trigger resulted in a more consistent trigger pull and better accuracy, weapons officials said . . .
All M4A1+ components will need to be compatible with current M4A1 ancillary equipment such as optics, aiming/pointing devices, training devices, slings and rail covers.
One of the upgrades is an improved extended forward rail that will “provide for a hand guard allowing for a free-floated barrel” for improved accuracy, according to the document.
The improved rail will also have to include a low-profile gas block that could spell the end of the M16/M4 design’s traditional gas block and triangular fixed front sight.
The effort also calls for new, removable front and rear back-up iron sights that attach to the rails and “stow down/away to reduce interference with the mounted primary sights and flip up to enable soldiers to engage targets out to 300 meters,” according to the document . . .
The M4A1+ would also feature a more effective flash suppressor/muzzle brake brake “designed to reduce the day and night firing signature and night vision device blooming effect of the weapon to be less than the current carbine without loss in system performance,” according to the document.
An improved charging handle would provide shooters with an enhanced grasping surface area with an “extended latch capability for improved hand/finger-grasping access and enhanced operating leverage/operation for both left- and right-handed shooters.” the document states.
The M4A1+ would also include an enhanced, single-stage trigger module “free of creep with consistent trigger pull weight within the range of 4.0 to 5.0 pounds,” according to the document . . .
The sight apertures should provide for both near threat to 200 meters to longer, 300-meter engagements and allow for windage and elevation adjustments out to 600 meters without degrading threshold capabilities.
Wasn’t Threshold Capabilities a nightclub singer in the ’40’s? Anyway, sounds like a reasonable spec. Oh and the Army wants a new color scheme too: “The color range will be Coyote 498 not lighter than Light Coyote 481.” So don’t expect a pink civilian version anytime soon. Or at all. Ever. [h/t JM]