1 week, 4 days ago
The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is seeking to identify potential sources within the national technology and industrial base with the ability to provide a conversion kit for the M4A1 to create a Personal Defense Weapon (PDW) system:
-Complete Kit to include upper receiver and butt stock kit
-Any tools required to complete an operational conversion
-A light and sound reducing suppressor that can be attached to the system when needed.
PDW Kit specifics: The kit must be adaptable to the standard M4A1 lower receiver, any modification to the lower receiver must be reversible and nonpermanent. The kit must be in .300 Blackout (BLK) cartridge, total system weight, including the M4A1 lower in not to exceed 5.5lbs. Length with stock extended not to extend 26″ length with stock collapsed or folded shall be 17″ (T), 15″ (O) and a height not to exceed 7.5″. Weapon shall be fully functional when collapsed or folded. Kit should include a 5.56mm barrel that can be changed from .300 BLK to 5.56mm in less than 3 minutes. Accuracy shall be 3.0 MOA (T), 2.0 MOA (O) @100 yds. and 5.0 MOA (T), 3.0 MOA (O) @ 300 yds. both in .300 BLK supersonic.
The Firearm Blog remarks show how difficult this might be to meet.
To meet these requirements, it is necessary to either dramatically shorten or do away with the AR-15’s receiver extension and buffer, even when using very short barrels. Colt’s 10.3″ barreled Sub Compact Weapon (SCW) for example, is 28.5″/30.25″ (collapsed/extended) with the stock unfolded, and 23.5″ with the stock folded, meaning that this weapon could not meet SOCOM’s requirements except with a 3.8″ barrel! Even SIG’s MCX, which uses no buffer tube and has a fully folding stock, would need a barrel just 6.5″ long to meet this requirement, and it would still struggle to meet the 5.5lbs weight limit.
In other words, these are extremely tough requirements to meet for an M4 conversion kit, especially since submissions must be made before April 10th! Best of luck to any companies who decide to make a submission!
How strange. Why would SOCOM be asking for a PDW when their barrels are short enough already (my understanding is that teams are deployed using 10″ and shorter barrels). If you want a .300 Blackout gun, why not order the upper receiver for your already functional lower receivers, without including all of the barrel changeout kit?
Besides, just leave well enough alone. Deploy with your .300 Blackout gun, with a nominal barrel length, or deploy with your 5.56mm gun, with a nominal barrel length. Don’t complicate matters. And as for barrel length, the shorter you make them, the harder it is to pick up that all-important muzzle velocity. Why not use 16″ or 18″ barrels? Someone give me a good reason, please? Someone from SOCOM?