U.S. Air Force intends to issue contract for M4 training rifles
The United States Air Force intends to award Olympic Arms a sole-source contract for the supply of additional M4 Training Weapons, according to an Air Education and Training Command notice.
“The 502d Contracting Squadron at JBSA-Lackland, TX intends to award a single source purchase order to Olympic Arms,” said in Mar 08 announcement made on the service’s weapon and equipment procurement website. “The proposed contract action is for M4 Training Weapons.”
The M4 training rifles or training aids are designed and have been approved by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) to not fire under any circumstance, and look and feel like an actual M4 weapon. These are necessary to complete the mission objective to create a safe, realistic training environment for all.
The design by Olympic Arms is the only one that has a design approved by BATF. The design does not allow for an individual to take apart and reassemble the device in a way to make it fire. Barrels are drilled with a .212mm size bore that will not allow for a 5.56mm or 223 caliber round to be chambered or fired.
The training aid also will not accept standard bolts and the lower receiver is solid. Due to the design of the lower receiver, the trigger mechanism and other fire control components are absent or an alternate dimension. Olympic Arms holds a patent for their innovative design dated July 13, 2010 while no other company holds a patent for their design.
The recent request for information (RFI) gave contractors the option to voluntarily provide pricing for the procurement of 1225 training aids.
“The government will also use previous awards and current published price lists from similar requirements to determine pricing. Based on the RFI response, the government can assume that the anticipated cost will be fair and reasonable,” added in a notice.
For reference, the M4 carbine is a shorter and lighter variant of the M16A2 assault rifle. The M4 is a 5.56×45mm NATO, air-cooled, direct impingement gas-operated, magazine-fed carbine.
The M4 carbine is extensively used by the United States Armed Forces and is largely replacing the M16 rifle in United States Army and United States Marine Corps combat units as the primary infantry weapon and service rifle.