The Colt M4A1 carbine is the primary weapon used by SEAL operators. A shorter, more compact version of the M16A2 rifle, it was specially designed for U.S. Special Operations Forces. In 1994, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the Navy developed the Special Operations Peculiar (SOPMOD) M4A1 Accessory Kit to make this weapon exceptional in versatility, lethality, and effectiveness. The M4A1 is a high-tech, multiple-use assault rifle that can be configured by the operator with multiple combinations of advanced optics, lasers and lighting systems for rapid and accurate target acquisition in daylight or at night. It fires in both semi- and automatic modes, and is effective for both close-in engagements and long-range targets. The M4A1 excels in Close Quarters Battle and Counterterrorist operations. It fires a high-velocity 5.56mm round, essential when taking on terrorists wearing body armor or bullet-proof vests. This rifle can also be quickly and easily converted to a grenade launcher or shotgun.
2005-2010 Integrated Carbine – The SOPMOD Block 3 upgrade will result in a more streamlined version of the M4A1 Carbine, designated the Integrated Carbine. It will incorporate all of the refinements for the M4A1 carbine by getting the optics and lasers off the weapon and into the weapon itself, and it will provide a thermal sighting device. Mode switches and buttons will be integrated into the vertical grip to activate lasers, thermal and other sights, and visible light. The thermal sighting component might very well have the ability to be linked to Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS).
- Caliber: 5.56mm
- Weight: 5.56 pounds without magazine or 6.65 pounds with loaded 30-round magazine
- Length: 33.0 inches with stock extended, or 29.8 inches with stock retracted
- Barrel Length: 14.5 inches
- Muzzle Velocity: 3,020 ft/sec with M193 round or 2,900 ft/sec with M844 NATO round
- Muzzle Energy: 1,113 ft-lbs with M193 round or 1,213 ft-lbs with MM855 NATO round
- Maximum Effective Range: 600 meters w/ M193 round or 656 yds w/ M855/SS109 NATO round
- Cyclic Rate of Fire: 700 to 950 rounds per minute
- Fire Selection: Semiautomatic or full automatic
SOPMOD M4A1 Accessory Kit Block 1
This unique modification and accessory kit allows the operator to tailor his weapon for a specific operation or mission conditions. It consists of optical sights, night vision devices, laser aiming devices and/or lights that can be mounted on the weapon’s top or side rails. This kit also has barrel assemblies to convert the weapon to a grenade launcher or shotgun.
Following are the accessories and their capabilities:
- Trijicon Reflex Sight – rapid acquisition on close targets, or when target or operator is moving
- Aimpoint Comp-M – uses both-eyes-open with red-dot sighting system for target acquisition
- Holographic Display Sight – instant target acquisition under any light situation
- Visible Light Illuminator – provides white light when night-vision goggles are not sufficient
- AN/PVS 14 Night Vision – night vision to locate, identify, and engage targets from 20-300 meters
- AN/PEQ-2 Infrared Illuminator/Aiming Laser – allows M4A1 to be effectively employed to 300 meters with night-vision goggles, by amplifying the light capability.
- ANPEQ-5 Visible Laser – fast and accurate means of aiming, primarily use in CQB/CRE.
- Forward Handgrip – added support, or can be used as a monopod in a fixed shooting position
- Crane Stock – redesigned collapsible stock with storage for batteries for accessory equipment
- Quick-Attach Suppressor – sound suppressor that also minimizes muzzle blast
- Back-up Iron Sight – provides aiming ability out to 300 meters
Combat Sling – allows safe and ready cross-body or patrol carry and limits muzzle sweep
- M203 Grenade Launcher – used as an anti-personnel or anti-light armor weapon, particularly useful in raids and ambushes.
- 870P Masterkey – a Remington Model 870 Police 12-gauge shotgun that has been modified to attach to the underside of the M4A1 Carbine. It can use special breaching rounds for shooting off door hinges, as well as normal shotgun ammunition for room clearing.