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The M4 Carbine is a shorter and lighter version of the M16A2 assault rifle, achieving 80% parts commonality with the M16A2. As with many carbines, it was meant to provide troops with an effective, shoulder-fired weapon in lieu of pistols, such as the M9. Since the weapon is shorter (and therefore lighter), it is handy and more convenient to carry than a full-length rifle. While this makes it a candidate for non-infantry troops (vehicle crews, clerks and staff officers) it has been used by US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and others seeking a compact weapon for close quarters combat.

The M4A1 was developed and is produced for the United States government by Colt Firearms, who has an exclusive contract to produce the M4 family of weapons through 2009.

The M4A1 carbine, an improvement upon the M4 carbine intended for Special Operations use, features a fully-automatic fire mode, a flattop NATO M1913-specification rail on top of the receiver (for attachment of optics and other devices), and a detachable rail-mounted carrying handle. The M4A1 can be found in use in many US military units, including the U.S. Army Rangers, the elite Delta Force, U.S. Navy SEALs, and the United States Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance companies. Variants of the carbine built by different manufacturers are also in service with many other foreign special forces unit, most notably UK's SAS and Australia's SASR.

The M4A1 Carbine is specially favored by counter-terrorist and special forces units because of its compactness and firepower that the rifle offers for close quarters combat (CQB). It is very useful in urban warfare. Although the M4 does not have as far an effective range as the longer M16, many military analysts consider engagement with a non-specialized small arm above a range of 300m to be unnecessary.

The Special Operations Peculiar Modification (SOPMOD) I M4A1 Kit was developed by USSOCOM for use with units under its jurisdiction. The kit features an M4A1 rifle, a Rail Interface System (RIS) handguard system developed by Knight's Armament Company (KAC), a shortened quick-detachable M203 grenade launcher and leaf sight, a KAC silencer, KAC rear back-up sight, an Insight Technologies AN/PEQ-2A visible laser/infrared designator, along with Trijicon ACOG, Reflex optics and a nightvision sight. This kit was designed to be configurable (modular) for various missions and the kit is in service right now with Special Operations units (though many soldiers have changed the Trijicon Reflex sight for M68 Aimpoint red dot sights and EOTech holographic sights).

A 2nd generation SOPMOD (now known as SOPMOD II) is currently under development, with many different manufacturers competing for a contract. Notable manufacturers include Knight's Armament Company and their URX II, ARMS and their Selective Integrated Rail (SIR) system, along with Lewis Machine & Tool's Monolithic Rail Platform (MRP).

The M4/M4A1 5.56 mm Carbine is a gas operated, air cooled, magazine fed, selective rate, shoulder fired weapon with a collapsible stock. A shortened variant of the M16A2 rifle with a 36 cm barrel, the M4A1 provides the individual soldier operating in close quarters the capability to engage targets at extended range with accurate, lethal fire. The original M4 Carbine had "semi" and three round burst fire modes, while the M4A1 has "semi" and "auto" but no three-round burst. The M4A1 Carbine achieves over 80% commonality with the M16A2 Rifle and was intended to replace M3 .45 ACP submachine guns and selected M9 pistols and M16 rifle series (though this plan may be changed with the development of the XM-29 OICW and the XM8 carbine with most Army units.) It is capable of mounting the M203 Grenade Launcher.

I had to apologize for making this definition so damn long.
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Damn that was a steezy ass kickflip son!
by niggaliciouszor April 29, 2007
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A kick ass quality rifle chambered in 5.56x45 Nato rounds, same rounds used in the M16A2 (which is more accurate and has better control)and the M249 (inaccurate compared to the M16 and M4A1 but accurate enough for covering fire). But although to due the slight disadvantages from the M16 it has auto fire feature, it is ultra-upgradeable and its compact, and the model of the weapon is just superb.
Although the M16 and the M249 are good weapons, the M4A1 pwns.

I'd take a M4A1 any day

But one day they are doomed to be replaced for the OICW.
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Compact Weapon of the M16A2. This gun is widely used in most Special Forces (Especially NAVY SEALs) for its wide variety of customization such as the M203A1.
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by Thai January 14, 2004
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For those who play Counter Strike:

M4A1 5.56 mm Assault Rifle is a standard for Counter Terrorists (CT's) because of its short barrel length, rate of fire, and the ability to place a silencer when you right click your mouse. Though not that accurate especially in silent mode, it gives the CT a fighting chance against the Terrorist's feared weapons such as the AK47 and the Ingram MAC-10. With the Ingram being a fast firing low accuracy SMG (sub-machine gun) and the AK47, a long but powerful assault rifle, the direct rival of the M4A1.

Its accuracy is nothing when compared to the Steyr AUG but the AUG is loud and long, not good when entering CQB (closed quarters battle) operations and maps such as CS_Office. The M4 , as called by players, is chosen especially when you encounter low money, CQB maps, and if you don't have a weapon to choose from.

In silence mode, an enemy can not hear your shots as long as you are not near or beside the enemy. Its favored also since it can reach out even to a person carrying a Magnum Sniper Rifle, though it will take more than one shot to take out the sniper at long range unless your luck enough to pull it off. The silencer also gives you the edge of giving the first shot especially if your target isn't looking.

Its not seen as one of the most practical weapons to choose in counter strike since:

1. A silencer isn't necessary to take out the enemy.

2. Its not exactly Mr.Accurate.

3. A lot of guns are better than this in every way imaginable.

A lot of players especially pros see this popular gun an alternative to buy if you don't have time to buy and think of a gun to choose from, since clicking the "Auto Buy" will give you this weapon instantly together with armor and full ammunition. This is a choice of weapon for anyone from noob to pro. Most people think that the silencer isn't practical since:

1. It lowers your accuracy by making your cross hair larger.

2. It doesn't give you power.

But it also gives you good advantages especially for certain strategies like. For example:

1. Secret passage ways.

For those who have chosen to pass through the secret passage ways its always good to have a silent weapon especially when shooting out vent covers like in the map CS_Assault.

2. Ambush
It does give you the element of surprise especially if your enemy isn't looking.

3. Silent Kill
This is great if your wearing a pitch black suit and helmet like the SAS. You hide in a dark corner and shoot your enemy whilst not getting seen. But a lot of stuff makes this fail so hard. If your enemy points his cross hair to you then your name will pop up therefore giving away your position. But this is great if you have a lot of teammates. Your team mates can go in the open, obviously your enemy will focus their attention on them first. you on the other hand hide and shoot your enemy who is shooting your teammate.

But strategies are seen as trivial matters when you play counter strike since you only have to either kill all of the enemies or fulfill your mission. They aren't that needed.
This weapon also fails hard especially if you consider lower costing guns that match its stats. Guns like the:

1. 9mm MP5 Navy - it cost less, it has more rounds, and its more accurate. It only lacks power and the ability to put a silencer down it's barrel.

2. Steyr AUG - like i've mentioned before its more accurate, it has more power. But its rate of fire is slightly slower, it has a longer barrel, and most of all its so loud that even if your on the other side of the map, you can hear it (just joking).

So there you have it. A general discussion on the M4A1 for those playing counter strike. Sorry if it was long.
The M4A1 is cool!
by gonbaxer June 06, 2009
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A firearm derived from the M16A2/A4, commonly thought to be an extremely reliable and "1337" weapon. In actuality, the M4A1 (and M16 line, for that matter) requires constant cleaning and maintenance, and is extremely susceptible to jamming from sand and dust. Careful maintenance, however, can negate these negative effects.

It should also be noted that the M16/M4 fires the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge, a bullet designed to WOUND, not KILL a target. The 5.56mm's lack of stopping power is proving problematic when faced with less squad-oriented enemies (this was noticed particularly in the 1993 conflict in Somalia and today in the Middle East). The 5.56mm was designed to basically incapacitate three men with one shot-- the wounded soldier, the medic that's supposed to work on him, and the soldier's friend/medic's assistant. Now, however, UN and NATO forces are facing insurgents that don't actually field treat dead or wounded.
"In July 2007, the US Army announced a limited competition between the M4A1 carbine, FN SCAR, HK416, and the previously-shelved HK XM8. Ten examples of each of the four competitors were involved. Each weapon was fired for 6,000 rounds in an "extreme dust environment." The purpose of the shootoff was for assessing future needs, not to select a replacement for the M4.34 The XM8 scored the best, with only 127 stoppages in 6,000 total rounds, the MK16 SCAR Light had 226 stoppages, while the HK416 had 233 stoppages. The M4 carbine scored "significantly worse" than the rest of the field with 882 stoppages. The results have been thrown into question due to the M4 scoring 307 jams in a previous dust chamber test conducted only a few months before with the same conditions and lubrication."
by G.I. Jacob July 30, 2008
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