The M4 Carbine is a lighter and shorter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle. The two have roughly 80% of their parts in common. The M4 carbine family is based on earlier carbine versions of the M16, which were in turn based on the AR-15 designed by Eugene Stoner and manufactured by ArmaLite.
|Cartridge||5.56×45mm NATO||5.56×45mm NATO|
|Action||Gas-operated, rotating bolt (direct impingement)||Gas-operated, rotating bolt|
|Weight||7.18 lbs (3.26 kg) (unloaded), 8.79 lb (4.0 kg) (loaded)||6.36 lb (2.88 kg) empty, 6.9 lb (3.1 kg) with 30 rounds|
|Manufacturer||Colt Defense, Daewoo, FN Herstal, H & R Firearms, General Motors, Hydramatic Division, Elisco, U.S. Ordnance||Colt Defense|
|Place of origin||United States||United States|
|Variants||AR-15, M16A1, M16A2, M16A3, M16A4, XM16E1, M4, Mk12||M4A1, CQBR (Mk. 18 Mod 0)|
|Sights||Iron or various optics||Iron or various optics|
|Wars||Vietnam War, Invasion of Grenada, Gulf War, Somali Civil War, Operation Deny Flight, Operation Joint Endeavor, Iraq War, War in Afghanistan (2001–present)||War in Afghanistan (2001–present), War in Iraq (2003–2010), Colombian Armed Conflict, Operation Enduring Freedom, 2008 South Ossetia war|
|Length||39.5 in (1,000 mm)||33 in (840 mm) (stock extended), 29.75 in (756 mm) (stock retracted)|
|Barrel Length||20 in (508 mm)||14.5 in (370 mm)|
|Effective range||550 meters (point target), 800 meters (area target)||500 m for a point target and 600 m for an area target|
|Muzzle velocity||3,110 ft/s (948 m/s)||2900 ft/sec (884 m/sec)|
|Rate of Fire||700–950 rounds/min cyclic||700–950 round/min cyclic|
|Feed system||20 or 30 round box magazine, Drum, Snail or other STANAG Magazines||30 round box magazine or other STANAG Magazines.|
edit Comparison Video
This video compares the M4 with the M16.
At a price of roughly $1,000, the M4 Carbine costs less than the M16 assault rifle.