No M4 suppressors — but better barrels in the works


Word at the rumor mill has been that the Army is putting suppressors on all M4. Some were excited with the news. Some were upset at the extra cleaning these require. Others questioned whether such an investment suggested the service isn’t serious about buying a new carbine.

As it turns out, the mill was churning in vain. Col. Doug Tamilio, project manager for soldier weapons, tells Army Times the service is not buying suppressors for all M4s. Such talk was likely drawn from a Navy Crane Center solicitation or from 10,000 flash hiders purchased by Rapid Equipping Force for use in Afghanistan.

However, the Army is working on a lighter machine gun barrel that does not need to be changed as often. Engineers at the ARDEC Weapons System Technology Directorate are testing high performance alloys to replace steel barrels that lose strength properties as heat increases, according to this story. That should be good news for anyone who has changed a barrel in the middle of a firefight. But here’s the icing on the cake: The alloy used is more than 50 percent cobalt, and is resistant to erosion and corrosion.



About Author

A Navy brat who spent eight years in the Marines (two years aboard the carrier Independence). Worked in journalism in Eastern North Carolina through the latter part of the 90s, then became editor of Air Force Times in 2000. Stayed there five years, then took a break to finish some school. Now back in the game with Navy Times.


  1. Changed an M4 barrel during a firefight? What? I highly doubt ANYONE has ever done that. I think maybe you guys are confused.

    It sounds like you meant for the M249 or 240, in which case that would actually make sense. And if that’s the case, I hardly see where a new barrel for a totally different weapon system negates the legitimacy of the use of suppressors on the M4.

  2. Steelrain,
    I think you missed the clumsy segue.
    No suppressors for M4s. Just a rumor. New topic: new barrels for machineguns – ie M240 and M249.
    Soldiers tend to treat MG barrels even worse than they treat their rifles – and they treat their rifles pretty badly (there are always exceptions). Continuous fore for much too long, not changing barrels when they should, and then not cleaning the barrels after use, not to mention not paying much attention to being sure the barrel is matched to the gun. A more resilient barrel material would be a welcome – and life-saving – improvement.

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