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M4 Carbine
- Jun 26, 2018 -

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The M4 carbine is a shorter and lighter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle. The M4 is a 5.56×45mm NATO, air-cooled, direct impingement gas-operated, magazine-fed carbine. It has a 14.5 in (370 mm) barrel and a telescoping stock.

The M4 carbine is extensively used by the United States Armed Forces and is largely replacing the M16 rifle in United States Armyand United States Marine Corps combat units as the primary infantry weapon[7][8] and service rifle.

The M4 is also capable of mounting the M203 and M320 grenade launchers. The distinctive step in its barrel is for mounting the M203 with the standard hardware. The M4 is capable of firing in semi-automatic and three-round burst modes (like the M16A2 and M16A4), while the M4A1 is capable of firing in semi-auto and fully automatic modes (like the M16A1 and M16A3).

An array of firearms accessory makers have offered gas piston conversion kits for the M4. The claimed benefits include less needed lubrication for the bolt carrier group to run reliably and reduced fouling.[61] The argument against it is increased weight and reduced accuracy.[citation needed] The Enhanced M4 uses an articulating link piston operating system.

Complicating the Army search for higher reliability in the M4 is a number of observations of M4 gas piston alternatives that suffer unintended design problems. The first is that many of the gas piston modifications for the M4 isolate the piston so that piston jams or related malfunction require the entire weapon be disassembled, such disassembly cannot be performed by the end user and requires a qualified armorer to perform out of field, whereas almost any malfunction with the direct-impingement system can be fixed by the end user in field. The second is that gas piston alternatives use an off-axis operation of the piston that can introduce carrier tilt, whereby the bolt carrier fails to enter the buffer tube at a straight angle, resulting in part wearing. This can also tilt the bolt during extraction, leading to increased bolt lug failures. The third is that the use of a sound suppressor results in hot gases entering the chamber, regardless of a direct-gas impingement or gas piston design choice. The gas piston system may also cause the firearm to become proprietary to the manufacturer, making modifications and changes with parts from other manufacturers difficult

The M4 was developed and produced for the United States government by Colt Firearms, which had an exclusive contract to produce the M4 family of weapons through 2011.[65]However, a number of other manufacturers offer M4-like firearms. Colt previously held a U.S. trademark on the term "M4".[66] Many manufacturers have production firearms that are essentially identical to a military M4, but with a 16" barrel. The Bushmaster M4 Type Carbine is a popular example. Civilian models are sometimes colloquially referred to as "M4gery" (/ɛmˈfɔːrdʒəri/ em-FOR-jər-ee, a portmanteau of "M4" and "forgery"). Colt had maintained that it retains sole rights to the M4 name and design. Other manufacturers had long maintained that Colt had been overstating its rights, and that "M4" had now become a generic term for a shortened AR-15. In April 2004, Colt filed a lawsuit against Heckler & Koch and Bushmaster Firearms, claiming acts of trademark infringementtrade dress infringement, trademark dilution, false designation of origin, false advertisingpatent infringementunfair competition, and deceptive trade practices. Heckler & Koch later settled out of court, changing one product's name from "HK M4" to "HK416". However, on December 8, 2005, a District court judge in Maine granted a summary judgment in favor of Bushmaster Firearms, dismissing all of Colt's claims except for false advertising. On the latter claim, Colt could not recover monetary damages. The court also ruled that "M4" was now a generic name, and that Colt's trademark should be revoked.


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