Two of the largest makers of the M4 and the M4A1 will be making more of the carbines for the U.S. military. Colt and FN will each get $88.6 million in a contract modification that the Pentagon announced earlier this month. The modification basically extends a contract that was awarded in 2015.
The M4, a short-barrel version in the Colt Commando series, was introduced to military service in 1994. Though it started as an Army gun, it has since been more widely adopted across various military branches.
Although some units are on tap to receive different guns—the FN SCAR and the H&K 416 have been approved for special ops units—the Army is also looking to upgrade its existing arsenal of M4s. Among the changes are: changing the firing capability from 3-round bursts to full automatic; replacing the barrel with a heavier model; and installing ambidextrous controls.