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Osprey Publishing- The M4 Carbine

ISBN Number:
Saturday, June 5, 2021
Osprey Publishing
Retail Price:
$22 USD
Reviewed By:
Glen Martin

The M4 Carbine


Chris McNab


The M4 Carbine has been around for a long time, filling out the US arsenal in just about all branches of the US military exclusively.  The weapon has also grown up from it's distant relative, the M16.  First introduced in the mid-60's as the standard rifle for both US Army first and then the US Marine Corps, the M16 was not without it's issues where it would often lead to deadly consequences in Vietnam.  The M16 would be found to be somewhat unreliable if not properly cleaned and cleaned often.  The rifle had it's growing pains and were worked out, serving reliably, somewhat exclusively until the mid-90's when the M4 Carbine was introduced, the short barreled cousin to the M16.  The M4 would go on to become very popular with those that carried it and through the years with frequent upgrade changes, the weapon developed a long-lived following for the scale of production that would become massive.

Soon after introduced, the M16 would be modified to become the M16A1,a short barreled rifle made popular by it's smaller footprint and shorter barrel.  Consequently, the CAR-15 family of rifles was introduced, with a lot of commonality with the early M16/M16A1 rifles.  Armed with the 5.56X45mm, the M4A1 CQBR (Close Quarter Battle Rifle) variant was very popular.  What made the rifle truly great was the ease of operation and cleaning, with tried and proven methods that made the reliability of the firearm very dependable.  With different sighting systems and the introduction of the grab handle to help with a rising barrel during rapid fire, the rifle´s lethality grew.  It simply became something to be feared.  And most of America's enemies fear this weapon.  Since 1991 until 2011, the rifle has gone through numerous changes which has only made the firearm's legend grow.  Lots of these upgrades were to the working components inside the receiver housing, such as an improved extractor spring, improved feed ramp, to the introduction of improvement of the backup iron sight, to an addition to a marksman bipod, with improved rails.

This book is broken down to about 80 pages (if you don't include reading the index in the rear).  The book is a full color example that is packed with photos of the rifle which is a nice bonus because you get to see nice examples of the uniforms of those that are carrying it.  The book goes into the full development history of the gun as it was when first introduced to the final variant covered in the M16A2 assault rifle.


The book is laid out in several compartments, or chapters as most people call them....They are:

Introduction Page 4

Development-Progressive Evolution  Page 7

USE - Two Decades of Combat Testing   Page 30

Impact - Battlefield Evaluation     Page 65

Conclusion - Page 77

Bibliography - Page 78

INDEX  - Page 80



Highly Recommended for all readers that love military grade weapons.  The book goes into a lot of history concerning this firearm with many wonderful photos that helps the modeler with how the firearm looks in real combat.  Also as an added bonus is the many photos of those that are carrying the firearm at the time of the picture.  This can only help how the modeler wants to portray an M4 weapon part on a possible diorama or vignette display. And, as lover and support of the Second Amendment, what's not to like about this firearm?  

Thanks goes out to Osprey Publishing for this review kit.

Reviewed by Glen Martin


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