No, there was nothing ever official for "ALL M4's."No I'm thinking ALL M4's, hasn't it been made obsolete by the 416? If demand is going back to the M4 what does that spell for HK?
<Sigh>...IF both an M4 and a parallel (so meaning 14.5") HK 416 were both 100% identical in price and availability, the 416 would likely last longer and/or with fewer parts replacments and thus prevent a significant advantage for the cost...I think we can all agree on that.
However, THAT is not the case. The fact is that the HK costs 3x more per unit for government sales. And any standard issue rifle (like the M4) would have the TDP or technical data package owned by the government so that other vendors can fulfill contracts (like FN solely filling supply previously filled by Colt, Remington, FN...with Colt being the only one able to legally use the "true" milspec TDP commercially...though the specs are widely known). If you think that gov/mil buys things soley because "it's the best" then you have not been paying close enough attention to what they buy and how they select.
Now, put yourself in the shoes of a military bean counter having to account for tens of thousands of soldiers and ALL of the logistics there in. Is the 416 a 3x better gun?... And if so, can the transition be made seamlessly (often "NO"). And a myriad of other logistical factors come into play over the mere "Is a 416 better than an M4?"
Anybody remember USASOC's URGI (upper receiver group improved)? Seemed like a place a 416 upper could have made a splash. I'm not going to pretend to know how the URGI was selected and what the other parts/options were but I just know what it is and what it isn't.
While I'm a long-standing fan of the 416 and AR15 pattern rifles, I don't see the military messing with replacing the M4 with any other AR-pattern 5.56 like the 416. It's a "good enough" system and they're going to the next generation weapon stuff whenever they make that change. There are those wiser and leveraged deeper into the AR15 game than I that know the tenure of the 5.56mm is on the horizon standard issue military use...just a question of "when?"