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The M4 series 5.56 mm Carbine is a compact version of the M16A2 Rifle and is equipped with a collapsible stock, an adaptor rail system and a backup iron sight. The M4A1 is fully automatic and incorporates an ambidextrous fire control selector. The weapon can be mounted with the M203A2 Grenade Launcher, M320A1 Grenade Launcher or the M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System.

In 2014, the Army decided to update its service rifle inventory from a mix of M16A2/A4 Rifles and M4 Carbines to an inventory of 5.56 mm M4A1 Carbines. The M4 Product Improvement Program (PIP) converts fielded M4s to M4A1s by adding a heavy barrel, a fully automatic capable trigger mechanism and an ambidextrous fire control assembly. Weapons are modified via U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command and Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) mission teams using Modification Work Order instructions beginning with pre-built kits assembled at ANAD in Alabama.

The M320/M320A1 Grenade Launcher is a 40 mm grenade-launching weapon system that replaces the M203 series grenade launchers. The system may be operated in stand-alone mode or mounted on M16/M4. The M320 mounts under the M16 series, while the M320A1 mounts under the M4 series. The M320 Grenade Launcher Module (GLM) has an integrated leaf sight and improved safety features. It also has a side-loading unrestricted breech to allow the system to fire longer 40 mm low-velocity projectiles (North Atlantic Treaty Organization standard and nonstandard). The Grenadier Sighting System is a future system component that will provide the ability to quickly and accurately engage targets with the M320 GLM during day or night.

The M17 Modular Handgun System (MHS) is a 9 mm full-sized semi-automatic handgun. The M18 MHS and the M18 General Officer (GO) handgun are its compact variants. The M17 replaces the M9; the M18 replaces the M11; and the M18 GO pistol replaces the M9 GO pistol. Both the M17 and the M18 can be equipped with either a 21-round magazine or a 17-round magazine. The Squad Designated Marksman Rifle (SDM-R) is a 7.62×51 mm Squad Designated Marksman solution based on the Heckler & Koch G28E-110 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System rifle. The rifle is outfitted with the Sig Sauer Tango 6 variable 1×6 power optic.

The M4/M4A1 Carbine enables individuals and small units the ability to engage targets with accurate, lethal, direct fire. The M320 series grenade launcher enables Soldiers and small units the ability to engage targets with lethal grenade fire. The M17 provides increased lethality, terminal effects, ergonomics, reliability, durability and maintainability compared to the current M9 handgun. The SDM-R will provide Infantry, Scout and Engineer squads the capability to engage enemy personnel with accurate rifle fire.



Caliber: 5.56 mm
Weight: (Weapon, backup irons sight, sling, adapter rail system and empty magazine) 7.46 pounds (M4); 7.74 pounds (M4A1)
Length: 30.57 inches (retracted); 33.82 inches (extended)
Range: 500 meters for point target

M320 Grenade Launcher

Caliber: 40 mm
Weight: 3.42 pounds when mounted (empty); 6.48 pounds in the stand-alone mode (empty)
Length: 11.2 inches in stand-alone mode; 8.5 inches when under the barrel of an M16 or M4
Range: 400 meters (ammo dependent)


Caliber: 9 mm
Weight: 30.8 ounces (M17); 27.6 ounces (M18)
Length: 8.05 inches (M17); 7.25 inches (M18)
Range: 35 meters


Caliber: 7.62 mm
Weight: Under 10 pounds without suppressor optics or magazine
Length: 37.4 inches without suppressor
Range: 600 meters


FY16-FY18: M4/M4A1 deliveries from FN LLC and Colt Manufacturing; PIP missions (more than 310,000 conversions completed since the start of the PIP effort in FY14)
2QFY16: M320 Contract Award for Grenadier Sighting System prototypes; M17 solicitation closes
2QFY16-4QFY18: M320 Grenadier Sighting System prototype Development, Test and Evaluation
3QFY16: Capco Inc M320A1 First Article Test completed
3QFY16-4QFY16: M17 Soldier participation (ergonomics and warfighter acceptance)
1QFY17: M320 first delivery; M17 Milestone C; SDMR directed requirement approved for the Heckler & Koch G28E
2QFY17: M17 Contract Award to Sig Sauer
1QFY18: M17 Conditional Materiel Release approved; first delivery of new handguns to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky
3QFY18-4QFY18: M17 Production Verification Testing to support Full Rate Production; SDMR Testing to support Safety Confirmation
4QFY18: SDMR Urgent Materiel Release; first fielding to 1/1 Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas


FY19-FY20: M4-to-M4A1 field conversions; M320 Production and Fielding
FY19-FY22: FN Manufacturing LLC and Colt Defense Production for M4/M4A1
1QFY19: M17 Full Materiel Release (FMR)/Full Rate Production
1QFY19-2QFY19: SDMR First Delivery/Fielding
4QFY19: M320 Production award for Grenadier Sighting System
4QFY20: M320 Grenadier Sighting System Fielding

Foreign Military Sales

M4/M4A1: Afghanistan, Columbia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman and others


M4A1 Carbine: FN America LLC (Columbia, SC); Colt Defense, LLC (Hartford, CT)
M320 Grenade Launcher Module: Capco Inc (Grand Junction, CO)
MHS: Sig Sauer Inc. (Newington, NH)
SDMR: Heckler and Koch Defense Inc. (Ashburn, VA); Sig Sauer Inc. (Newington, NH)