So just an introduction to this thread - its purpose is to show off your Block II clone builds; here is a list of some of the common characteristics and equipment that the Block II M4A1s have:
THE Block II Chart (courtesy of Patriot_Man)
14.5" M4 or SOCOM contour barrel
Surefire SOCOM RC
Early Block II M4A1s still used the KAC M4 RIS/RAS
DD RIS II in dark earth
Tango down battle grip in tan
KAC flip up in tan
standard front sight base (if early Block II with M4 RIS/RAS)
Elcan Specter DR SU-230
EOTech SU-231-PEQ (EOTech 553)
EOTech SU-231A-PEQ (EOTech EXPS03)
ACOG SU-237 (TA01-ECOS)
EOTech/Aimpoint 3x magnifiers
Insight M3 (SU-233/PVS)
standard M4 (both older CAR style and newer "LE" style)
some reference pics
early block II
more early Block IIs
Just to reiterate, you don't have to have an EXACT copy of a Block II M4A1 to post your rifle up here, but the purpose is to post pictures of our rifles that we've made specifically to emulate the issue Block II weapon system - if you've got a midlength carbine with an UBR stock that just happens to have a RIS II on it it is likely you did not intend the rifle be a "clone" of the newest generation M4A1, and probably doesn't belong in this picture thread.
Rifles that have no Block II components ie standard M4geries with Block I Optics do not embody the purpose of this thread and though they are nice weapons in their own right, shouldn't be posted in this thread to avoid unnecessary clutter.
Originally Posted By Augee:
The easiest visual discriminator of whether you're looking at a SOPMOD equipped M4A1 or an MWS M4 is usually the identity of who is holding it. If it's a SOF troop, it's probably a SOPMOD M4[A1]. If it's a conventional troop, it's probably an M4 MWS.
SOPMOD = SOF
MWS = Conventional
The SOPMOD program was initially fielded in 1996, and the two have not significantly converged or crossed over at all since then, and there is almost no commonality between systems used in the two. They are separate lines of development and evolution managed by two totally different components (Army and Navy).
SOPMOD is run by NSWC-Crane to equip SOF M4A1 Carbines with accessories. There are two distinct "blocks" as identified by NSWC-Crane PowerPoints as the primary source of information, however, there was a "transitional period" of several years in which carbines with items from both blocks were used. Because of a PowerPoint slide that was published (IIRC?) 2006 showing a block labeled "phased replacement," it has become the colloquial term for "transitional" configurations.
"Block x" does NOT refer, in an "official" sense to a specific configuration of rifle. It refers to specific modifications (read accessories) to the SOF M4A1 weapon system that are managed by Crane.
Colloquially we refer to M4A1s with accessories from the first block of the SOPMOD program as "Block 1," while using "Block 2" to describe carbines with the RIS II, one of the last components of the second block of the SOPMOD program to be fielded. Carbines with the accessories/features of both blocks of the SOPMOD program, but without the RIS II, we refer to as "Phased Replacement." It is important to note, however, that this colloquial classification is generally limited to this thread, and others both here and on other sites that feed off of it.
The important thing to understand is that the SOPMOD program is almost always limited to SOF only, and 99% of the time, the "actual" weapon in question will be an M4A1, not an M4.
The M4 is a conventional forces weapon system, and is totally separate from the SOPMOD program and SOF modifications, though they were "inspired" by the SOPMOD program, almost every single actual item is different.
The M4 is managed by the Army overall through TACOM, though the Marine Corps also manages their own programs through their own directorates for their specific incarnation of the M4.
The M4 is a conventional forces platform, and is upgraded through modular weapon system (MWS) upgrades. There are no specific blocks, increments, or generations, and their specifics vary by time period, unit, and MTOE.