1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Who builds our GI Issue M-16's?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by AKElroy, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. AKElroy

    AKElroy Well-Known Member

    I watched a special on Afghanistan last night, and the soldiers in the unit featured were all toating M-16's modified with what looked like Trijicon red dots w/ maginifiers, some had lights, suppresors, GL's & numerous other mods.

    I am interested in building an AR with typical battle proven upgrades, and I am hoping to get a crash course on what these ugrades are, who makes the base guns for these Army issued builds, as well as the sights.

    Do our fighting men upgrade these on their own dime? I do not own or know anything about our civilian equivilent AR's, but I am interested in getting my first & I am thinking that I should start by looking at what the Army has already tested and contracted, right down to the sights / scopes approved & issued.

    Any help on identifying what our boys are issued?
  2. MrFox

    MrFox Well-Known Member

  3. SHvar

    SHvar Well-Known Member

    M16A2 and A4 are made by FN, but I dont think they make AR-15s for civilian purposes. Originally M-16A2 were made by Colt until they had quality problems and lost their contract for M-16s.
    Any good AR made by any major company that manufactures them is just as good, some have a few less features.
  4. AKElroy

    AKElroy Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Mr. Fox--That covers the accessories.

    As for the base gun, is Colt still awarded the contract for this? Armalite? I am trying to keep the budget reasonable ($1500.00 to $1800.00) including optics & grip / comp mods.

    Cabelas has a sight-ready flat top 16" Bushmaster for $950.00; any thoughts on this as a platform to start with?
  5. Tim the student

    Tim the student Well-Known Member

    Mine (M4, not M16) said Colt on it, for what that's worth it.

    As far as upgrades, we all had either Eotechs or ACOG's, Surefire lights, and PEQ-2's. Some with 203's. Some guys had two mags rigged together for quicker reloads - I don't know where they got them, but I'm sure someone could tell you.

    Happy spending.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
  6. Rosstradamus

    Rosstradamus Well-Known Member

    Don't be hypnotized by the term milspec. Remember, the DoD once paid $436 for a hammer and $640 for a toilet seat. The Pentagon makes mistakes too.

    I would pay attention to what the troops were using in combat though. Only their lives are on the line.
  7. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    Colt was under bid by FN for the M16A2 contract, there were no quality problems, it was all about money.
  8. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Well-Known Member

    Colt does the M4s, FN mostly does the M16s.

    In some cases -- varies with chain of command.
  9. blfuller

    blfuller Well-Known Member

  10. C-grunt

    C-grunt Well-Known Member

    The M16s are made by FN and the M4s are made by Colt, for now.

    Start with a good rifle from a well known and trusted company, ie Colt, Bushmaster, Armalite, LMT, CMMG, S&W etc... That will run you about 1k give or take.

    Then with the left overs, decide what you want first. Optics or other accesories like rails and lights. The optics can easily eat up the extra 500-800 bucks. I just bought a Compact ACOG TA50-4 for 600 bucks used with a rail adapter. The Eotechs can be had for around 400 I believe. You should also look into the Aimpoints. Just make sure you leave enough cash left over for ammo.

    After this you will have a good all around rifle. Get to know it and you'll be good to go.
  11. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    The Army now has the right to seek "second source" production for the M-4. However, if they do, they have to pay Colt a 5% royalty per rifle.

    There's a really good thread on this going on now here. Read anything Daniel Watters has to say, as he follows this stuff closely and really know what's going on.
  12. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    Colt has had the M-16A2 contract in the past.

    Currently, FN has the M-16A2 contract, as they underbid Colt. FN does not make AR's for civilian sales though. They aren't allowed to use the TDP (technical data package - blueprints and engineering info and such) to build rifles for commercial sales. That means you can't get a FN built AR.

    Colt, FN, and Sabre Defense have all built M-16A4's for the military. Sabre Defense does make some civilian AR's, but I don't know all the specs as to what configurations they sell.

    Colt has been the sole source provider for the M-4 and M-4A1 Carbine until July 1, 2009. The army can know solicit bids for a "second source" provider for the M-4 and M-4A1, but has not done so yet. Under the current contract Colt will be delivering M-4's and M-4A1's until 2011.

    Colt Defense does make a civvie legal, semi-auto version of the M-4 with a 16" barrel. If you want a rifle made a mil-spec contractor, this is as close as you can come. The model is the Colt Defense 6920. They also make a version with a 14.5" barrel if you want to pay the tax for a SBR. That would be even closer to a military M-4. (It would still be only semi-auto though).
  13. C-grunt

    C-grunt Well-Known Member

    SBR is the 6921 correct???
  14. SHvar

    SHvar Well-Known Member

    The loss of contract by colt was because they developed serious quality control issues after a period of years, the government was not interested in renewing with colt, I dont think the FN rifle cost any less than the colt rifle.
    Im sure since then colts problems were long since fixed.
  15. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    SHvar, wrong yet again. Please read Trebor's post. If the Army didn't want Colt, why did they use them for the M4?
  16. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Well-Known Member

    +1. FNH underbid Colt on the M16A2 contract in the early 90s, wasn't a quality issue. Colt got handed the M4 contract as a kind of consolation prize, which it was until the army decided the M4 was the new standard issue weapon replacing the muskets.
  17. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    I don't know where you got your information, but it's wrong. Colt's last M16A2 contract with the Army was for procurement of 100,176 rifles through 1986.

    In May of 1988 the Army solicited bids for 336,205 M16A2 rifles to be produced through fiscal year 1982. Look up DAA09-87-R-1225.

    Colt bid $577.75 per rifle and FN bid $420.00 per rifle. Look up contract DAAA09-88-C-1-56.

    The truth about the contracts is well documented and not hard to find.
  18. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Well-Known Member

    I was in the Marines. All the M16A2s and A4s, and all the M4A4s that I saw were made by Colt or FN. Of the ones I saw, there was no functional difference in terms fit and finish or overall quality.

    The M16A4 I was issued in the fleet had a KAS RIS with a Versa Pod, some odd 3-point sling, a 4x Trijicon RCO, a 3-battery Surefire (sorry, no model number, that's what we called them), and a PEQ-2. No rear sight was supplied with the rifle. If you wanted a high-speed single-point sling, a different vertical foregrip, light, or something else, you had to furnish it yourself. I had no complaints with any of it, save for a intense dissatisfaction with the shooting characteristics (not as a much reliability, which was fine for the most part, and certainly not with its accuracy) of the rifle itself.
  19. meytind

    meytind Well-Known Member

    We get M4s with an Aimpoint M68 optic. The BUIS is the same one on the Colt 6940 I believe. We get a PEQ-2 and a 2-pt sling. Some guys upgraded their weapons with vertical foregrips, Surefire lights, and 3-pt slings.

    Everything should be pretty simple to acquire and put together, except the PEQ-2. These are quite hard for civilians to get. Then again, I don't think you'll need one unless you're planning to go around with NODS on.
  20. SHvar

    SHvar Well-Known Member

    Towards the end of the contract problems developed in far too many M-16A2 when they were originally delivered, they had to be returned to colt to fix them.
    Price is but one issue.
    Another case of selective research.
    The M-16A2 originally made by colt was a great rifle, towards the end of the run many many of them delivered new with the same problems, this did not help colt in getting a new contract any.
    Not wrong, just like those who said that no other manufacturer ever supplied M4s to the US Army, in fact during war times the governement can side step contracts if they so choose to buy the same product supplied in limited numbers, but made to milspecs under the new manufacturers personal features.
    Bushmaster made the M4 issued to the one brigade from the 82nd Airborne in Desert Shield/Desert Storm (the guys who had a fire fight over a card game in a hotel in Dharan). These BM M4s were also issued to the Delta Force which provided personal security for "Stormin Norman". I have pictures of those rifles being carried by his security detail (of course they were taken from too far away to see the snake on the reciever).
    But none the less I saw those rifles up close, and the Bushmaster name caught my attention.

Share This Page