A Kit Up! reader forwarded me some great info on a few things that gun accessory makers are doing to improve current M4s and M16s.
One of these is the EMod A5 combo kit manufactured by VLTOR. Basically the company is marketing the kit to the Marine Corps as a way to upgrade their inventory of M-16A4s. The company says that if the Corps adopts the kit -- which they say the USMC is looking at -- the rifle would thence be called the M-16A5.
A lot of the improvements to performance go over my head, but VLTOR says the improved combo kit delivers better reliability on both M16s and M4s.
The patent pending Vltor A5 configuration stock kit is not just an EMod stock with M4 components; it’s developed as a completely new operating system. For example, the receiver extension is longer, housing a longer and specially weighted buffer, utilizing the M16A2 action spring. The A5 receiver extension features seven adjustment positions. When totally collapsed, the EMod is at the same length if mounted to any carbine length (M4) receiver extension. When totally extended (in the seventh position), the EMod can extend to a longer length of pull than an M16A2 stock assembly.The company also says the EMod A5 system can help your spec ops bubbas and their gas-piston guns.
Recently tested by a professional source, the A5 system has proven to be more reliable then the M16A2, M4 and the recently released “H6” stock systems. With the use of the M16A2 action spring, the A5 system resembles the reliability and performance of the M16 fixed stock system. By having the same characteristics of the M16 fixed stock system, the A5 has shown increased accuracy and milder/smoother function, due to the constant spring rate the M16A2 spring offers. To reiterate, the A5 system offers everything the M16 fixed stock system offers, but with increased reliability and performance.
The A5 system is a superb upgrade for piston systems. Piston equipped ARs, areusually over-gassed and show excessive carrier velocities, which can lead to unreliability and decreased accuracy. As tested on numerous piston systems (such as the HK 416 platform), the A5 system has tamed such platforms and reduced the weapons rate of fire while retaining, if not increasing, the weapons reliability. Also available for the A5 system are two heavier weighted buffers for the weapon or shooter with special needs. Each heavier buffer upgrade is offered separately, but not in “kit” form.We hope to have more coverage of items like this and Spec Ops weapons, so that Kit Up! can grow into a more comprehensive resource for tactical professionals and military servicemembers. If you have any suggestions of pieces of kit you particularly find useful, please be sure to use the Kit Up! Tip Line to let us know...we'll dot your "i"s and cross your "t"s and put your review up for the quarter million readers who come here every month.