As far as the .308 caliber Bushmaster rifles being in Iraq, I have heard nothing of that.
But........... there have been two reliable sources that have stated that Bushmaster did indeed make early M-4's for our US military forces. One statement source was from the previous Bushmaster Representative on this forum (I believe during late 1999 to early 2000). He stated that Bushmaster had to not only meet the Government rifle specification requirements to become a US military rifle contractor, but also be able to produce the M-203 grenade launcher. I guess sometime after meeting those requirements, they were contracted to build a small batch of the early M-4's. The Material Data for the M-4 upgrades were supplied to them by the Government. Though Bushmaster filled some orders for these guns, Colt was very unhappy with the US Government for giving Bushmaster the Material Data on the M-4 upgrades, and for giving Bushmaster an M-4 contract. Colt felt that the M-4 was their design, and that only they should have the right to make them for our military. Not sure if Colt went to court for this, or if they were able to stop the Government by just having discussions with them. One thing is for sure, Colt stopped the Government from ordering future Bushmaster made M-4's, and forbade Bushmaster from using the M-4 Material Data upgrade information on their own products.
The other reliable source was Duncan Long, which gave a short description of the Bushmaster M-4 saga via his "The Complete AR15/M16 Source Book".
So yes, it very well seems that Bushmaster supplied the US military (DOD) with a small batch of M-4's (during the time of the first Gulf War), but they were limited on how many they could produce because of the Colt dispute with the Gov on the M-4 design upgrades. If any of these M-4's are currently over in Iraq in US Military hands, it may be like finding a needle in a haystack, but some could actually be there (again, they were very few in overall numbers).
Bushmaster has also filled other US Government rifle orders, like filling a contract given to them by the Department of Energy (DOE).
They are not the big supplier of rifles that Colt or FN have been, but they have been and continue to be a US Government Contractor.
They also supply foreign contracts. In any case, they don't usually like to disclose their clients, though they do list some of the people they have supplied rifles to on their website (under the law enforcement and military section), as "some" of their references.
Here are some public statements posted by the Bushmaster firm on the law enforcement section of their website:
"They (Bushmaster) are a U.S. Government Defense Contractor - selling to U.S. Military Forces and Governmental departments - as well as many foreign governments and armed forces. In order for Bushmaster to fulfill U.S. Government contracts, they must manufacture all products to the strictest U.S. Military Specifications."
"Bushmaster Weapons Systems have proven themselves on the battlefield as well as on the streets against crime."
Also found on their website is the following information:
Currently Using Bushmaster Weapon Systems
* U. S. Border Patrol
* U. S. Department of Defense
* U. S. Department of Energy
* U. S. Department of Parks and Recreation
* U. S. Customs
* U. S. Drug Enforcement Agency
* U. S. Marshall Service
* U. S. Secret Service
* All Special Forces Units, SEALs, Rangers, Green Berets
* Alabama Highway Patrol
* California Department of Justice
* California Highway Patrol
* Florida Highway Patrol
* Utah State Highway Patrol
* Los Angeles Police Department
* Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
* Georgia Bureau of Investigation
* City of Philadelphia
* City of Salt Lake
* City of San Jose Police Department
On another page of the Bushmaster website they write the following about their M203 grenade launcher:
"The Bushmaster 40-mm M203 Grenade Launcher is a lightweight single shot attachment for the AR15 / M16 / XM15E2S family of weapons (shown here on Bushmaster 16" Dissipator Carbine and Bushmaster 20" M16 Type Rifle). It consists of a handguard and barrel/receiver assembly that attaches to the barrel of the rifle or carbine and a quadrant sight assembly that attaches to the carrying handle of the upper receiver. This unit includes all design improvements and conforms to the latest military specifications of Jan. '93. More than 40 different projectiles are available for the M203 including training rounds, tear gas and smoke, non-lethal rubber rounds, buck shot, air-burst fragmentation and high explosives.
Folding Leaf Sight Assembly - range selection from 50 to 250 meters in 50 meter increments
Molded Glass-filled Nylon Handguard - replaces original handguard - fits over barrel of rifle
Quadrant Sight Assembly - attached to rifle's carrying handle - provides range selection from 50 to 400 meters in 50 meter increments
Barrel Assembly - Aluminum Barrel and Glass-filled Nylon Handgrip reciprocate on tracks of the receiver assembly
Receiver Assembly - a forged aluminum frame houses firing mechanism and ejection system. It mounts on the barrel of the rifle and supports the M203 barrel assembly."
Another website that specializes in company profiles, lists the following on Bushmaster (again, backing their M203 claims):
"Bushmaster Firearms, of Windham, Maine, U.S.A. manufactures the highest quality AR15 / M16 type weapons and specialty weapons parts for national and international military, police and civilian markets. Bushmaster XM15E2 Series Rifles and Carbines incorporate all latest advances of the design and are built to U.S. Gov't. Military Specification tolerances. We also manufacture the M203 Grenade Launcher - designed to be easily attached to several of our rifle and carbine models. Top quality materials, tight quality control processing and the latest M16 A2 design features set the Bushmaster apart from all others. Our Mil. Spec. Chrome Moly Vanadium Steel Barrels are chrome lined in bore and chamber to offer protection against corrosion and rust; easier cleaning; smoother chambering and ejection; and increased velocity - effectively doubling the barrel's life.We currently offer 85 different barrel configurations, and all are manganese phosphate finished - as are all critical steel parts of the weapon. Bushmaster Upper and Lower Receivers are machined from 7075T6 Aluminum Alloy Forgings and finished in the correct Mil. Spec. Hard Anodize method. They incorporate Mil. Spec. standard push pins for easy takedown; brass deflector for ejected shell control; integral magazine catch button protection; and the A2 type Dual Aperture rear sight (windage and elevation adjustable). Bushmaster can also offer highly competitive pricing on weapons upgrades and parts supply. Call us for a prompt quotation on your weapons system needs."
The following info was gathered from a personal website found on the internet. I don't know how credible this information is, but I am posting it here because it does sound like it would fit in with the credible info given by Duncan Long and the Bushmaster company:
"Bushmater Firearms entered the scene during Operation Desert Shield. With the imminent prospect of war, the military suddenly found themselves with a large demand for rifles. Many Army units were still armed with the M16A1, the replacement of which had only begun in 1986. With a large demand for M16A2s and M4s both from the US forces and allied forces, the Dept. of Defence approved a contract to buy M4 carbines from Bushmaster Firearms of Maine. Bushmaster supplied 4,000 M4 carbines to the US Army, these were deployed by the 82nd Airborne Division during Desert Shield and Desert Storm, reportedly being used by Gen. Schwarzkopf's bodyguards at one point.
Consequently, Bushmaster and Colt's are the only companies to have supplied M4s to the US military."
"Bushmaster only got one contract for the M4 because apparently the TDP (Technical Data Package) was improperly released to them, and Colt's threatened to sue the US Govt. if Bushmaster got any more contracts."
I also went to the US Department of Defense website to see if I could find a listing of contracts given to Bushmaster during the early 1990's, but could not find archives that went that far back to check on the M-4's that Bushmaster suposedly manufactured under DoD contract. I did happen to stumble upon a DoD year 2000 contractor listing that had the Bushmaster Firearms company as having sold the DoD $31,000 worth of product(s), but the list did not disclose the actual product(s) delivered. The list goes on to show that the $31,000 purchase was destined for the US Army.
I know that $31,000 is a very small amount of money for a DoD contract, but it alone does proves that Bushmaster has been, and probably still continues to be an authorized DoD contractor (even if being a small one). I wish I could have went back to the Dod's early 1990's contract records to search for signs of the M-4 sales that Bushmaster is said to have made to them.
From what I have read thus far, the claims made by the Bushmaster company, Duncan Long, and others, seem to indeed be true.
I'm sure the current Bushmaster Representative on this forum can easily correct any of the above info, if any correction is needed.