New Colt Rifle for the Army

SMEO representative Gen (rtd) Shahrom (centre) presenting the M4 Carbine HB showpiece to Gen Raja Affandi

SHAH ALAM: The Army has officially inducted the third firearm from Colt into service, the Colt M4 Carbine R0977 Heavy Barrel. The HB variant will not see widespread service, however, as it was procured specifically for the Army’s shooting team.

No numbers are available but it will be around two dozen or so. To mark the supply and delivery of the M4 Carbine HB, Gen (rtd) Tan Sri Shahrom Nordin, SMEO representative and a former Army chief, presented a showpiece rifle to Army Chief Jen Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Nor during a courtesy call at Wisma Pertahanan on Tuesday.

SMEO representative Gen (rtd) Shahrom (centre) presenting the M4 Carbine HB showpiece to Gen Raja Affandi
SMEO representative Gen (rtd) Shahrom (centre) presenting the M4 Carbine HB showpiece to Gen Raja Affandi

The HB is a variant of the M4 A1 Carbine, the standard assault rifle of the Malaysian Armed Forces, since 2006. The HB version was produced by Colt for SOCOM users which needed the carbine for use in an extended firing role, like a LMG. The other Colt firearm used by the Army is the CM901, chambered in 7.62mm.

RMAF personnel shooting the M4A1 Carbine, MAF Standard Rifle.
RMAF personnel shooting the M4A1 Carbine, MAF Standard Rifle.

The Army shooting team took part in various competition organised by friendly military around the region and beyond.In 2011, the Army shooting team won the competition at the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting 2011 (AASAM 2011).

Meanwhile, I was told the local assembly of the M4 is expected to end soon. Again actual numbers produced either locally or overseas are hard to come by so I will not even try to guess. Without further local or export orders – the police and Thailand (offset for the Deftech MRAP) are the only viable customers – production will end soon. Full local manufacturing is yet to be realised, however.

— Malaysian Defence

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18 Comments

  1. Any chance the special forces will getting new mk18 ? Utk has follow the mk18 path nowadays.

    Reply
    The police Special Forces unit, UTK and VAT69 are holding out for HK416s and 417s. The 416s were the rifle which came out first in their testing but somehow the Pak Lah administration bought the Bushmaster M4 Carbine.

  2. Local assembly to end, full local manufacturing is KIVed. If GOM want to slowly realised the full local manufacturing capability,it could; 1. Send over M16A1 to be rebarrelled. 2. Order small batches M4 but insist on local manufactured parts in percentages (eg. Batch1=10%, Batch2=20%). 3. Order upgraded or other version of M4 to replace all M16A1/AUG of MAF at 1-to-1 basis. 4. Order M4 HB as LMGs.

    Unfortunately I know what I suggest could remain as a suggestion.

  3. If only the top brass would spend their Wednesday afternoons and weekends at the shooting range instead of working on their golf handicaps…

    This is related to the discussions on maintenance in this thread:

    malaysiandefence.com/deftech-mrap-is-confirmed-unofficially/#comment-223660

    Maintenance is actually built into the system. The RMN for example had a day in the week called ‘Make and Mend’ something they inherited from the RN from the days of tall ships. Good system but unfortunately not practiced by all as the brass went off to play golf. So, when the cat’s away…

    If the brass were to walk around their respective workshops instead of just relying on briefings, they’ll probably get a shock at the lack of support — fighting for budgets, training, test eqpt, etc, etc — they’ve been giving the maintenance guys.

    People may laugh off ‘Management By Walking Around’ as a hackneyed old management concept, and perhaps interfering with the chain of command idea but I knew a 2-star (sadly demised), a non-golfer obviously, who did just that when he was commanding a major unit and his unit (GGK subunit) was always tip-top maintenance wise.

  4. LOL. SOCOM profile barrels are no more accurate than M4 profile barrels. Accuracy is determined by the quality of the bore, the chamber and headspace relationship to the cartridge, the concentricity of the crown and the ammunition employed.

    A carbine length gas system is driven only by the relationship to the M7 pattern bayonet. It is by far the weakest part of the M4.

    The M4 handguards are not even free floated.

    Ending assembly is good. The welfare program for ex Generals is why the small arms program is junk.

    Fulus not enuff, Ringgit collapse and Colt bengkrap. Dermalah!

  5. Ferret

    I have to agree with u. Thats the problem with high ranking malay officials nowadays.. Especially true in the gov sector. They are obsessed with golf. Or with the younger generation its high power bikes. When ur “up” there this two things is a must.. they are dependent on briefings given by their subordinant. Gone are the days of foot on the ground culture.. where the top brass suppose to know where everyone and everything is doing / going.

  6. So, does the M4 deal comes with all the local development, contents, and whatever crap that was promised when we chose Steyrs back then?

    Reply
    I believed we were looking at either M16A3 or A4 then. M4 was not the rage during that time around 1985/86. Most likely SMEO teamed up with Steyr to offer local production hence it was selected. Stanman will correct me if I am wrong

  7. SMEO is chained to Colt.

    Actually MalGov bought the AUG TDP outright from Steyr with a 15 year restriction. That means after 15 years, Precision Technologies (who were given the TDP)was allowed to sell to the open market. Problem was after all that time, PT could not produce the complete weapon because… There was no real effort to master or develop the product because MINDEF has no choice but to buy. So Batch 2 and 3 quality was unsatisfactory but the guns get accepted anyway.

    The project included a GFM hammer forge, which was actually working long ago but they decided not to continue maintaining it. It, along with all the other infrastructure given to PT for this contract was scrapped.

    This is the Malaysian Way.

  8. The main competitors to the Steyr were the FNC and M16A2. From what I heard the M16A2 stood no chance as the OEM was not keen on allowing local assembly. The SA80 was offered but there was no interest. Not sure what other rifles were offered and evaluated.

    At Merdeka Day, PASKAU was spotted with the latest version of the Milkor MGL.

  9. Just thinking out loud…

    We still have the AUG tdp, could we start making modified versions of the AUG ala the Australians?

    As for manufacturing capabilities, there should not be a hurdle to machine or manufacture any components. There is no secret processes in building a rifle. Specialised machine tools could be easily bought from China or the west. Even if we want to manufacture the m16 from scratch it could be done as the IP is now free (in reality since the early 90s)

    Btw if the quality of build is the same, most people in malaysian army would prefer the M16 or the AUG? (also considering available improvements to both rifles)

    Reply
    The free TDP for M16 is actually for the AR-15 not the USGI M16 which belongs to Uncle Sam although Colt has some rights to that as well.
    Yes perhaps we could still built the AUG locally but money is needed to buy the machines to restart production and R&D. Somebody with a huge pocket can do it of course as the Armed Forces certainly has no need for more ARs at the moment. We cannot simply export complete rifles to the US – a huge gun market as there are laws pertaining to that. Yes there is a big arms market out there but most really wants an AK.

    I spoke to a number of soldiers when the AUG were the standard rifle, they prefer the M16s as it is lighter and they claimed it is much more accurate despite the AUG being fitted with a scope. If I got the chance in the future, I will asked about the M4.

  10. Alamak….I just noticed the XM8 being carried by a PASKAL frogman in 2014! If you see stuff on parade, it is as often as not a t&e sample that has not been returned. Malaysia is notorious for this. Creates a lot of problems with Temporary Export Permits. That XM8 is subject to Dept of State control, sebab the XM8 is regarded as US Intellectual Property. No wonder HK habis kena blacklist.

  11. Stanman, u are correct, not sure why these units show-off a sample units during such high profile parade. It just shows they don’t have or not so proud on whatever the standard in-service equipment.

    reply
    They also carried the 416s. The real stuff are reserved for combat operations, the second line equipment are meant for public display.

  12. ‘No wonder HK habis kena blacklist.’

    Guess being the developer of the weapon sure makes you pening too huh? Looks like every defense industry has its bad luck on the side of the coin too…

  13. You can sell many things to the US market, you don’t have to sell complete rifles. Those are controlled using a ‘sporting purpose’ clause of the 1968 GCA and ‘assault weapon’ importation ban (executive order) listing specific types.

    Can Malaysia produce a good quality AR? Yes, but it will not be competitive in the US commercial even if we do not have the ‘parasitic load’ that is SMEO. This has to do with the vast capacity and competition in the sector that has emerged since 2004. There are now more cold hammer forges working in the US than almost the rest of the world combined.

    However, there is a very good market for quality, ARs in the wider global market, both commercially and for institutional users.

    The problem is that this cannot happen until the Pontianak is dead.

  14. That photo of the RMAF shooting the M4s. Only the guy in the middle is doing it right. She and the last fella all have their head too far back and are not establishing an index for cheekweld. Her stock is way too extended.

  15. Heard, there are at least 2 companies/JV given licensing to produce weapon locally apart from the SMEO, I remember. there was also a local company with Eastern Europe promotng locally odd design weapons but donno what happen to them now….

    Reply
    No one is stopping any one from having JV with any foreign companies apart from those under the UN sanctions of course. Whether or not they will get procurement contracts is of course another issue.

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