Introduced in 1994, the M4 Carbine Special Operations Peculiar Modification Accessory Kit (SOPMOD) was developed by US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center. The kit consists of numerous components that may be attached directly on the M4/M4A1 Carbine or attached to the Rail Interface System (RIS).

gripThe platform for the SOPMOD kit is the Rail Interface system (RIS). This notched rail system, replaces the front handguards on the M4/M4A1 receiver providing a Mil-Std-1913 rail. This rail system is located on the top, bottom and sides of the barrel, facilitating the attaching of SOPMOD kit components on any of the four sides. Optical sights and Night Vision Devices can be mounted on the top, while top and side rails would be the choice for positioning laser aiming devices or lights. The bottom of the RIS normally will accommodate the vertical grip and/or lights.

Forward Pistol Grip
The official SOPMOD nomenclature for the VFG (vertical foregrip) is the forward handgrip, but over the years it has often been referred to as the “broom-stick” or “broom handle.” The original SOPMOD forward handgrip was manufactured by Knight Armament Company. This Forward Pistol Grip is a full-size grip that slides onto the rail and is secured via a threaded insert into the hollow of the grip, providing a solid connection. Worth noting, the Knight grip does not feature a quick release device.

The forward handgrip attaches to the RIS quickly and easily, allowing the user more precise control of the carbine during firing. It is intended to mount near the center or just rear of center on the bottom rail, providing added support and control for full-auto and rapid firing. It allows for quicker handling when additional components are attached to the weapon. The forward handgrip can also be used as a monopod in a supporting position and allows the operator to hold the weapon despite overheating. It can be used to push against the assault sling and stabilize the weapon with isometric tension during CRE. Using the handgrip in this manner brings the shooter’s elbows in closer or tighter to his body, consequently keeping the weapon in front of the operator, providing added support and giving the operator a more stable firing platform. The forward handgrip also serves to keep the operator’s hands from the handguards and barrel, which can become hot during use.

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Introduced in 1994, the M4 Carbine Special Operations Peculiar Modification Accessory Kit (SOPMOD) was…