A new Army solicitation for an M4A1 upgrade package posted by the General Services Administration will modify the rifle to be similar to a modern AR-15. The package has been named the M4A1-Plus, M4A1+ for short.
The reason for the upgrade may have stemmed from the use of the AR-15 by civilian shooters. Recreational and competitive shooting has developed the AR-15 into a weapons that outperforms the M4 and M4A1.
Guns.com reports the Army wants the upgrade path to be backwards-compatible with M4 and M4A1 carbines currently being utilized by military personnel today. The upgrade will also include “ancillary equipment,” including optics, lasers, slings, and rail covers as well as under-barrel accessories. Upper upgrades such as a gas system, sights, barrels and handguards will also be allowed in the project.
The same report says the new handguards will be a tactical tan with colors ranging from Coyote to light coyote to minimize the rifle’s visual signature. The main upgrade seems to be the replacement of the MIL-SPEC components with a more advanced trigger pack.
Other upgrades include new backup iron sights, front and rear, forward sling points, improved flash hiders and improved charging handles. There is still no clear picture for what the new rifle will look like, but it may look similar to commercial market’s decked-out AR-15s.