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Colt M4 Commando


Colt M4 Commando

Chief of staff of the IDF with M4 Commando in 2011.

Source: Israel Defense Forces - © GNU Attribution Share Alike license

United States
Assault rifle
Entered service
Early 1990's
In service
United States - Colt
Early 1990's - present
United States - Colt
M16A2 Commando
Early marketing name before M4 Commando



The M4 Commando is a compact assault rifle of US origin. Whereas the original Colt Commando was based on the M16A1, the M4 Commando is based on the improved and NATO compliant M16A2. Just like its predecessor it fills a gap between pistol caliber sub machine guns and carbines and assault rifles that have a longer effective range.


The M4 Commando is based on the M16A2 and inherits features such as the 1:7 twist rate, heavier barrel profile and new sights. The Commando has a rather short barrel, being several inches shorter than the M4 carbine. The 733 series uses an upper receiver with fixed carry handle and iron sights. The 933 series features a flattop receiver with a Picatinny accessory rail used to mount optical sights.


The M4 Commando fires the 5.56x45mm NATO round from 30 round magazines. Magazines with smaller and larger capacity are available as well. The M4 Commando is select fire and several types of trigger groups are available. The short barrel length results in a lower muzzle velocity and greater muzzle flash. The M4 Commando is closer to the realm of the sub machine gun than it is to being a full size rifle. Practical effective range is 200 to 300 meters.


The M4 Carbine is used mostly by law enforcement tactical teams and military special forces units. The M4 Carbine is mostly used in North and South America, but can be encountered around the world. Nowadays there are various compact assault rifles based on the AR-15 design that perform a similar role as the M4 Commando.


Variants of the M4 Commando

The M16A2 or M4 series of rifles are fairly consistent in their feature set. This is not the case for the M4 Commando. For many years it the M4 Commando was produced with whatever parts were available. All M4 Commandos feature an 11.5 inch barrel with 1:7 inch NATO twist rate. However, the barrel profile, sights, upper receiver design and various other aspects could be either A1 or A2 pattern.

List of the M4 Commando variants

M4 Commando R733
Fixed carry handle model with 0-1-F trigger group.
M4 Commando R735
Fixed carry handle model with 0-1-3 trigger group.
M4 Commando R738
Fixed carry handle model with 0-1-3-F trigger group.
M4 Commando R933
Flattop receiver model with 0-1-F trigger group.
M4 Commando R935
Flattop receiver model with 0-1-3 trigger group.