Review text and images by "Hacksaw".

My first foray into the Armalite was a M4 SR-16 bought from a teammate. A very nice piece, excellent ROF with ample battery storage and plenty of scope for improvement.

Soon after acquiring it I found a G&G short barrel for sale in one of my favourite haunts, the ''For sale'' forums. This allows a flash hider, or silencer / tracer unit to be mounted directly in front of the front sight, removing the long barrel. An Angs silencer resides on this most of the time, but I have the option to switch to just the flash hider if I do CQB.<

After a few skirmishes, I decided a few internal mods were required. A quick order to Wargamers Club later saw me with a M100 spring, oiless bushings, Guarder Polycarbonate piston and a silent piston set and a tighter barrel. Duly installed and run in it provides around 325fps and has quietened the report down quite a bit too. Combined with the silencer, it provides a nice ''Thwuup'' sound.

Next on the list was a sight of some kind. First tried was a 4 x 20 Pro-scope for the M4 carry handle. Having tried it a couple of times, I found I couldn't get on with it - the eye relief was completely wrong for me. Besides, my M4 is not really a weapon that needs accuracy over long range, it's more of a CQB / woodland piece.

The Pro-scope was replaced with a Guarder 30mm red-dot and mount. I was going to try the TGS Aimpoint replica, but as they have had many complaints about the quality, WGC have stopped selling them for the moment. The Guarder one is close on design and build quality is really good. This is ideal for snap shots.

Moving further back is an ASGD MEDA handgrip. A cheap and easy mod but really changes the look of the rifle.

This was how it was for a few skirmishes, until the Christmas break had me fidgeting to do something.

Watching Black Hawk Down far too many times (can we say ''Gun Porn''?) had me wanting to make a ''Delta Sniper'' replica. I was close to it already, but needed a slither stock to complete the look. This was soon acquired from the forums, along with a M4 receiver and gearbox. One thing I have yet to find is a lower profile mount for the red-dot, and then I can re-attach the carry handle with ''Real steel'' scope rail.

Now all of the good bits were removed from the Stoner and installed in the M4, along with the RIS front end. While it was in pieces the parts were sprayed camo style. I play in woodland so the colours were chosen to suit.

Finally, as I dislike the look of external battery bags or rigs, a ready mag system was employed to get the juice to the gearbox. Quite an easy mod, and one that solves battery storage problems neatly. The battery used in a 9.6V type, which ups the already high ROF.

So what is it like? One word - sweet. Compact enough to use in a building but still has respectable range. A convoluted route to get an M4, and if I was to do it again I would start with an M4 of course. What I can also say is that I am impressed with the Guarder produced products - the quality is excellent for the price.

"Hacksaw".

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