Colt Awarded $54.5 Million Performance Improvement Contract for Army’s M4 Rifles
Guns.com is reporting that Colt has been awarded a $54.5 million contract for improving the Army’s current stock of M4 rifles.
The improvements will mainly be centered around offering a heavier rifle barrel, which should, in theory, increase accuracy out of the compact carbines. Also as part of the program, ambidextrous safeties will now be standard on the Army’s M4’s.
This is welcome news for Colt as the company was under-bid by FNH-USA for the contract for new M4A1 rifles. This contract is to upgrade existing M4s to the newer standard. The contract is for barrels with front sight assemblies.
The M4 PIP is part of the Army’s continuing efforts to improve the M4 carbine, with Phase I calling for a standard full-auto fire control group, an ambidextrous safety selector and a heavier barrel assembly to be added to the M4 carbine to convert existing rifles to the M4A1 standard.
All of these improvements should be welcome changes as the private sector has been enjoying heavier profile barrels and ambi controls for some time.
The Army is still testing the idea of making free floated handguards standard if it can be shown that there is a significant accuracy improvement from that modification.
These changes might also help cement the idea that the Army is dedicated to their current 5.56 M4 rifles. There has been some talk recently about the possibility of switching to one of the new wonder calibers, such as 6.8SPC