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Posted: 8/4/2007 2:38:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/13/2019 3:06:40 PM EDT by ar_mcadams]
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[Jump To Reply]Originally Posted By BB:
the OP should contain what makes a correct AR15A4 M16A4 clone like the cool kid clone threads.

One could probably write a fair sized book on all the changes that have been made to the M16A4 as a weapon system over time, so you can understand that it's somewhat difficult to do a write up to the effect of: "This is what constitutes an M16A4 clone..."

I sure someone will be along shortly to either refute or amend some of this, as I'm far from what I would consider to be a subject matter expert on it all, though I'll give it a try...

In regards to the M16A4, I generally view the weapon as having 3 distinct eras: "Early A4s", "The War Years" (to include US Army & Marine Corps variants), & "Modern Era A4s".

Early 'A4s...(July '97 - Sep '99)

Officially, the M16A4 was adopted on July 29th, 1997, to replace the M16A2 as the standard-issue rifle for both the U.S Army & the US Marine Corps. While there were prototypes rifles (XM16A2E4s) in use on dates before July of '97, their features (grey anodizing or such) are not generally considered when discussing "Early A4" clones.

Early M16A4s are noted by their use of:

M16A2 barrel assemblies (having rifle feed ramped barrel extensions & fixed carry-handle height front sight bases)
Non-"M" or "M4" marked flat-top upper receivers (these early A4 upper receivers did NOT have M4 Feed ramps)
They used peel-washers to time their flash suppressors during most of this period.
Most were delivered to their respective services equipped with standard ("shiny-surfaced") A2 hand guards.
They were delivered with standard detachable carry handle rear sights.
They all used metal trap doors in their A2 stock end plates.
Their safety selectors, while having a "tick" to indicate the mode of operation, were only single-sided (no ambidextrous safeties were in use) & the "lever" itself extended from the edge of the safety rather than from the middle as currently issued ones do.
Their A2 pistol grips also tended to be of a "shinier" black material & the bottom forward "bump" was not as pronounced as currently issued ones (it incorporated a smoother transition to the tip).
While the Parkerizing of the various steel components (Components like the barrel, hand guard retainer cap, flash suppressor, forward assist, rear sights on the detachable carry handle, ect.) were more "grey" in color than they were "black", the upper & lower receivers after the adoption date were anodized to a Type II (black) hard-coat specification. (Someone more knowledgeable than me may know if there were ever actually any "M16A4"s with "grey" receivers, though I know of none that were officially labeled as such.)
Early A4s were known to have used either the US M7, or US M9 bayonet (with early straight tube-style grip).
Sling-use varied between: standard M1-style sling or black A2 "silent" sling, though by sometime @ early '98?, various 3-point slings started showing up in use.
As for side-sling swivels, I'm not certain if it was only a Colt thing or what, but seems like some rifles had them, and others didn't. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will chime in on this.

(Starting @ Oct '98? - early '99?)
A4s started showing up either equipped with, or were modified by the addition of, a KAC M5 Rail Adapter System (RAS).
These early drop-in rails tended to be more "purple" than "black" in color.

(For a short time between Oct '99 to @ early 2003(ish?))
ARMS #59M SIR systems would be seen to be installed on select units' M16A4s.

What I like to call...
"The War Years"...doesn't have so much to do with any particular "war" per se, but is basically from @ 2000 - 2010(ish)

These M16A4s are noted by their use of:

True A4 barrel assemblies having "M4" feed ramped barrel extensions & "F"-marked (detachable carry handle height) front sight bases.
Flat top "M" or "M4" marked upper receivers incorporating "M4" feed ramps.
They used "crush" washers to time their flash suppressors.
Their A2 pistol grips, while still incorporating the earlier tapering of the bottom "bump", were made of a notably less-shiny material.
The steel components (barrel, HG end caps, triggers, ect.) began having more of a true "black" coloring due to changes made in the surface-treatment procedures.
These rifles began being delivered with KAC (or later, P&S Products) M5 rail adapter systems pre-installed from the factory.
They still incorporated metal (aluminum) trap door assembles in their A2 stocks, though the stock-body materials began being produced in a slightly more "grey" color, than the deeper "black" color of earlier models.
Sometime during the later part of this era (@ 2009ish?) ambidextrous safeties started showing up occasionally in use.
Detachable carry handles began to be phased out of deliveries (or packaged separately with the weapon) as A4s began to be shipped out with either no rear iron sights or had Matech back up rear iron sights equipped... Also, KAC 600m? sights were occasionally (though rarely) seen to be used rather than the Matechs during this time period. (May have been KAC 800m sights - my memory is somewhat hazy in this regard)
These rifles were often seen using Surefire M95 & M96-series weapon lights (M951/M952 or M961/M962 models both with & without the use of tape switches) The earliest ones had "wide" bodies (thicker) & "ribbed" head assemblies. Later ones used thinner bodies & had smooth head assemblies. These changes were made in an effort to lighten the accessory weight-wise, at the expense of heat dissipation.
Depending on the AO - Buttstock magazine pouches were often used during this time period. Most were seen to be black in color, though occasionally other color variants like olive drab or camo-patterned colors were used.
Sling use varied dramatically during this period, though most were seen to be of the 3-point type design, usually black in color, though like the stock pouches, were occasionally seen in other color variants. Near the latter part of this period (late 2006ish?), Blue Force Gear 2-point slings began to be seen occasionally in use on A4s.
Also, during this period, many of the standard 30rd magazines with field units were upgraded by the use of Magpul "anti-tilt" followers. Later (circa 2009), the military began procuring their own version of this follower for use in all their future magazine purchases.

US Army variants tended to use Aimpoint M68 red dot sights (Comp M2 earlier, or Comp M3.. maybe Comp M4 for very late models? - I'm not sure exactly when the Comp M4 & M4s models actually started making the rounds)
Us Army variants were also noted to still be using either US M7 or M9 bayonets.

Marine Corps variants usually were noted to be using a Trijicon scope (TA01NSN & TA31-F? models earlier, & TA31RCOA4 models later)
The original TA51 mounts on these optics were at first shipped with knobs facing toward the left side of the weapon. Later this was changed to have the knobs of the TA51 mount face toward the right side. (or was it the other way around?...I can't recall now.)
The Marines started using the OKC3S bayonet with this rifle from @ 2003 onward.

Modern Era M16A4s (Circa 2011(ish) to Present)

These M16A4s are noted by their use of the following:

Their A2 pistol grips have a distinctive "shelf-like" tapering of the bottom "bump" of the grip, as well as a squared-off taper to the top side profile of the grip. Furthermore, these grips tend to be lighter black in color, nearing closer to a "grey-scale" than "black" and have a flat, non-reflective surface finish.
They use one of 3 different types of safeties - The first being like the older format (War Years) safety except that it is reversible for use with South-Paws, the second is an ambidextrous safety that has a shortened lever on the non-dominant (non-thumb) side, and the 3rd is non-ambidextrous safety though the "lever" extends from the center of the safety rather than from the edge of the safety as those of the previous eras.
The trap doors of the A2 stock assemblies, while still using metal retaining latches, are occasionally found to have plastic door bodies rather than the metal (aluminum) bodies of previous eras. (Though I'm not sure if this is an actual change to the A4 specification, or rather some type of screw-up in the supply chain.)
These rifles are delivered with either Matech or KAC rear sights equipped, rather than with detachable carry handles.
They are often seen equipped with either black or coyote colored Blue Force Gear NSN Vickers 2-point slings & mounts, though M1 slings are occasionally seen in use for "parade" or "training" purposes/exercises.
These rifles are almost exclusively used with either the Trijicon TA31RCOA4 scope (for the US Marines), or the Aimpoint M68 (COMP M4 & M4S) red dot sights (for the US Army).
The TA51 mounts used with the Trijicon scopes were, or rather ...are, commonly replaced with LaRue Tactical quick release lever mounts.
As of this posting, I believe there are no longer any A4s that are still equipped with standard A2 hand guards. They should all be equipped with KAC M5 drop-in rails. (That I know of)
Right around this time frame (2010ish), LED lighting began to really make itself known in the weapon light industry, and as such - M16A4s began to be seen with Surefire M952V LED/Infrared convertible weapon lights, or Surefire M600v? LED "Scout" weapon lights in use. (Not sure of the actual Scout model number, though I believe it was in the 600-type series)

Because of the often rapid, constantly changing nature of the use & development of night vision accessories & laser sighting equipment, I have purposefully not touched upon their use with the M16A4 in this posting, and shall leave that to the AR15 community's more knowledgeable fellows to expound upon.

On a side note:
Throughout the last two eras (War Years & Modern), there have been a number of "Field Modifications" (some "approved" & others ...not-so-much) to the M16A4 weapon system. One such modification, has been the replacement of the Standard A2 stock assembly with a collapsible one such as the Lewis Machine & Tool Company (or also B5 Systems) SOPMOD Stock, or the Veltor "A5" stock assembly. While these "Mods" may have been approved for temporary "fielded" use, while so modified, these weapons are generally no longer considered to be classed among other "M16A4s", but rather among the status of "Special Weapons" or unofficially as "M16A5s". Because these weapons (as modified) no longer fit either the physical description or technical specifications of that of an M16A4, clones which are based around these modifications are generally not considered to be among M16A4 "clones".

Maybe later I will go back through this adding a few relevant pictures, but I think this is about the best I can come up with at present, and hopefully it will be enough to help you to sort things out...

Mike (FlDiveCop71)

ETA: This write up, while general in nature, primarily refers to completed M16A4 weapons' configurations as they were delivered to the US military @ the timeframes mentioned, and should not be construed as absolutes as to actual configurations that may be found in the field, either presently or at the aforementioned time periods. While the military supply system may continue to provide newly manufactured components built to outdated specifications, these items are primarily intended & supplied as "replacement" components for older weapons, rather than as revisionary components for newly issued M16A4s. Though some mention is made as to various options & accessories used in association with the M16A4 throughout these periods, please note that these comments are by no means the end-all / be-all of what was either available for use, or actually issued to the troops, but rather that which has been either known personally, or shown through reliable sources to have been used @ these periods. ...FDC71.
Link Posted: 8/4/2007 2:40:55 PM EDT
Did you check the archives?
Link Posted: 8/4/2007 3:32:53 PM EDT
We need a good one. All I have seen is a few that never realy got going.
Link Posted: 8/4/2007 3:48:02 PM EDT
Why not just start one here?



Link Posted: 8/4/2007 8:30:21 PM EDT
That's what I'm talking about.
Link Posted: 8/4/2007 9:39:48 PM EDT
ok my crapy pic, just savin for my aimpoint


Link Posted: 8/5/2007 3:50:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/24/2010 3:14:06 PM EDT by Cyclic240B]
Normally configured A4....








Dressed for a "night out on the town" with Coyotes....






Link Posted: 8/5/2007 3:53:15 PM EDT
Nice looking rifle Cyclic

Here is mine:




Link Posted: 8/5/2007 5:55:04 PM EDT
Does the A4 have a free float handgaurd?
Link Posted: 8/5/2007 5:55:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DernHumpus:
Does the A4 have a free float handgaurd?


No, it uses the KAC M5 RAS
Link Posted: 8/5/2007 5:58:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DM1975:
Why not just start one here?

i24.photobucket.com/albums/c29/DM1975/DSCF0039.jpg

i24.photobucket.com/albums/c29/DM1975/DSCF1517.jpg


He said clones, man!
Link Posted: 8/5/2007 6:01:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GhostRing:

Originally Posted By DM1975:
Why not just start one here?

i24.photobucket.com/albums/c29/DM1975/DSCF0039.jpg

i24.photobucket.com/albums/c29/DM1975/DSCF1517.jpg


He said clones, man!


Sorry
Link Posted: 8/5/2007 6:13:57 PM EDT
So its pretty much a railed handguard?
Link Posted: 8/5/2007 6:23:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DernHumpus:
So its pretty much a railed handguard?


Yeah
Link Posted: 8/6/2007 2:47:45 PM EDT
I'm not letting this thread die...
Link Posted: 8/6/2007 8:25:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/6/2007 8:28:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Jolly_Roger_Arms:
I'm not letting this thread die...
i169.photobucket.com/albums/u236/ar15junky/DSC07653.jpg


Never say DIE!!!! You are a good man. I am building an a4 right now. What is the most popular buis for an a4? I have a matech laying around. Do the marines even use buis?
Link Posted: 8/6/2007 8:30:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/6/2007 8:31:08 PM EDT by 87GN]

Originally Posted By va_gunz:
Do the Marines even use buis?


No.
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 1:46:34 AM EDT
Just cuz'

-Special order complete Bushy 20" A4 with gov't profile 1/7 barrel
-KAC RAS
-Aimpoint ML3 in QRP mount
-Surefire Light package from Calvin
-Matech BUIS
-Specter Armed Forces Deployment Package sling
-Side-mount sling swivel

It should have an ACOG and a better light but it worked. I stripped it of everything but the RAS for my SBR to follow.




And the SBR:

Link Posted: 8/7/2007 1:52:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2007 1:59:34 AM EDT by Ekie]
Guess I am due to shoot new pics, here are the old ones again:



















Link Posted: 8/7/2007 1:59:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2007 2:00:25 AM EDT by Ekie]
Here are pics of the beginning of my next M16A4gery project (got a few more parts to find):







Link Posted: 8/7/2007 4:20:11 AM EDT
What manufacturer do you guys recommend for A4-type uppers?
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 6:50:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By swenis:
What manufacturer do you guys recommend for A4-type uppers?


CMMG
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 11:05:25 AM EDT
Keeping it alive
Guess I can give the specs
Bushy Lower w/Tango down battle grip and A2 stock
Bushy Upper w/FNMI M16 barrel CL 1/7 twist
Trijicon ACOG TA-31F
Matech BUIS
KAC M5 RAS
KAC vertical grip
SureFire M962XM07
Eagle TAS-1 Sling (not shown)

Link Posted: 8/7/2007 11:10:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 11:14:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DM1975:
Why not just start one here?

i24.photobucket.com/albums/c29/DM1975/DSCF0039.jpg

i24.photobucket.com/albums/c29/DM1975/DSCF1517.jpg


That's Awesome.
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 1:38:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2007 1:41:58 PM EDT by steve-oh]
This thing was so dry and caked with dust, but it always runs 100%. People who say ARs aren't reliable have issues.

Here it is running in well below freezing temps. Again, 100%.
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 2:18:23 PM EDT
My A4-clone project still needs an ACOG, a 1/7 twist barrel, and a nicer trigger.

Maybe I'll have it done by Christmas.

Link Posted: 8/7/2007 2:23:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HermanSnerd:
My A4-clone project still needs an ACOG, a 1/7 twist barrel, and a nicer trigger.

Maybe I'll have it done by Christmas.



If you want to clone an A4, you need a crappier trigger, not a nicer one.
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 3:12:45 PM EDT
I have a cmmg 20in gvt profile in the safe waiting on ta31rco a4 and knight rails. I think in about a month I am just going to buy it all at once.
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 3:51:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2007 3:52:55 PM EDT by Lancelot]
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 3:54:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2007 4:10:11 PM EDT by joelad]
I'll play.







Bushy 1-7 barrel on top of a Stag lower. Knight's rail, and forward grip.
And the ACOG, of course.

That sucker is way heavy compared to an M4 or CAR clone.
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 3:55:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 8:48:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2007 8:56:03 PM EDT by ar_mcadams]

Originally Posted By Ekie:
Guess I am due to shoot new pics, here are the old ones again:

img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Ekie12091941/M16A4gery01.jpg

img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Ekie12091941/M16A4gery02.jpg

img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Ekie12091941/M16A4gery03.jpg

img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Ekie12091941/M16A4gery04.jpg

img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Ekie12091941/M16A4gery05.jpg

img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Ekie12091941/M16A4gery06.jpg

img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Ekie12091941/M16A4gery07.jpg

img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Ekie12091941/M16A4gery08.jpg

img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Ekie12091941/M16A4gery09.jpg

img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Ekie12091941/M16A4gery10.jpg



shame shame, your lower says m4 carbine on it. You should swap me for a sporter match target. I didnt know FN barrels had F marked FSB on them.

Will a non F marked FSB on a 20 inch a4 cause the same trouble as it does on some carbines with the non F FSB and removable carry handle? The trouble being having to move the sight post so far up to sight in the gun.
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 10:18:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2007 10:21:12 PM EDT by OStateFlyer]
height=8
Originally Posted By ar_mcadams:
shame shame, your lower says m4 carbine on it. You should swap me for a sporter match target. had
Will a non F marked FSB on a 20 inch a4 cause the same trouble as it does on some carbines with the non F FSB and removable carry handle? The trouble being having to move the sight post so far up to sight in the gun.


I'm ashamed to admit this, but my A4gery lacks an F marked FSB. It doesn't cause any problems whatsoever for me. It took two clicks from mechanical zero on the front sight to zero my rifle. There's a really good explanation with diagrams on here somewhere about the difference between the FSBs. If I recall correctly, the F-marked FSB doesn't matter on the 20" guns, but was done for parts commonality to the M4. However, it still drives me nuts to look at the FSB on mine and not see an F. I'm pretty sure I can eyeball the dimensional difference from across the room too.
Link Posted: 8/7/2007 10:59:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2007 11:00:19 PM EDT by Ekie]

Originally Posted By joelad:
That sucker is way heavy compared to an M4 or CAR clone.


Ain't that the truth.


Originally Posted By ar_mcadams:
shame shame, your lower says m4 carbine on it. You should swap me for a sporter match target.


I will get that fixed, one of these days. Not sure what lower to use for the FN project, but will probably be a few years before I have to worry about that, still lots of parts to find.


Originally Posted By ar_mcadams:
I didnt know FN barrels had F marked FSB on them.


FN's are like Colt's, made from the same drawings, F marked FSB on the A4.


Originally Posted By ar_mcadams:
Will a non F marked FSB on a 20 inch a4 cause the same trouble as it does on some carbines with the non F FSB and removable carry handle? The trouble being having to move the sight post so far up to sight in the gun.


It could, depends, compound tolerances, and barrels are individuals.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:14:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 1:28:48 PM EDT
these are some nice rifles!
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 2:57:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 11473:
these are some nice rifles!


I for one thank you.
Link Posted: 8/9/2007 10:41:48 PM EDT






Link Posted: 8/9/2007 10:49:11 PM EDT
Bushmaster "tax time" upper and Bushy lower with Knight's M5.

Been thinking about adding an Elcan.



Link Posted: 8/10/2007 10:05:52 PM EDT
wow, this thread didn't last very long
Link Posted: 8/10/2007 10:13:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FA_45ACP:
wow, this thread didn't last very long


Nobody can afford an acog to make an a4!
Link Posted: 8/10/2007 10:14:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By va_gunz:

Originally Posted By FA_45ACP:
wow, this thread didn't last very long


Nobody can afford an acog to make an a4!


You dont have to have an ACOG for it to be an A4
Link Posted: 8/10/2007 10:31:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2007 10:33:56 PM EDT by bnz42]
Well, it's not a clone. USMCR at the Israeli Counter Terror School.

Shot with DSC-M1 at 2007-08-10
Link Posted: 8/10/2007 11:16:59 PM EDT
Dear god the A4 MWS is the dead sexiest rifle ever made! Keep em coming...I love them. An A4 clone is my next rifle...saved up the cash...just can't make up my mind on how to go about doing it. I want it to be as close as possible...no FNs so unless by some act of god I score an unobtanium R6725 I'm going to slap a gov profile barrel assembly on an R6700 an finally put my M5 RAS to good use. I think that's about as close to an A4 as your average joe can get. Anyone have any sweet Stickman/MFingar style A4 pics?
Link Posted: 8/11/2007 2:27:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By va_gunz:

Originally Posted By FA_45ACP:
wow, this thread didn't last very long


Nobody can afford an acog to make an a4!


Umm, what is on my A4 on page one cost a wee bit more than an ACOG!
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 1:34:12 AM EDT
my WIP A4, last thing I need is the ACOG, which should be happening in the next few weeks (sorry for the crappy cell phone pic)

Doublestar lower
Bushmaster govt profile upper w/M5 (PK firearms combo thingy)
Bushmaster LPK
Specter Gear CQB sling
Colt carry handle http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x288/seamasterpro/0801071620.jpg
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 12:18:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By seamasterpro:
my WIP A4, last thing I need is the ACOG, which should be happening in the next few weeks (sorry for the crappy cell phone pic)

Doublestar lower
Bushmaster govt profile upper w/M5 (PK firearms combo thingy)
Bushmaster LPK
Specter Gear CQB sling
Colt carry handle
i184.photobucket.com/albums/x288/seamasterpro/0801071620.jpg


Nice Rifle Seamaster.
Link Posted: 8/12/2007 5:04:39 PM EDT
Nice rifles guys! The A-4 is becoming a favorite of mine do to the increased imagery on nightly news with the USMC.
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