Jump to content

Anybody using an M4 to compete in 3-Gun?

Vortec MAX

Recommended Posts

I have been using my Benelli M4 to compete in local 3-Gun matches. It leaves a little to be desired. I am curious if anyone else is running one and what mods they have done to make it more competitive.


I have an oversized bolt knob, oversize bolt release, and full-length titanium mag tube on mine. I am running a SideArmor rail and side-saddle with an 4 MOA Aimpoint Micro T1.


I have ordered an AccuGuide Extended Carrier, Oversized Safety, and Nordic 2-shot extension, but have not yet received these.


How about lightening the trigger some? It is a tad heavy for my taste.


Any input or advice you might provide would be much appreciated.


Thanks in advance.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use mine for 3-gun. Mods include:


1) Carrier Comp Titanium Full Length Mag tube and follower ($200)

2) Nordic Components M1/SBE +3 mag extension ($75)

(brings tube to 10 plus one in chamber and another ghost loaded for 12 rnd start)

3) Briley Benelli Crio Plus Spectrum Extended Choke tubes (Lt Mod, Imp Mod, and Full) ($220)

4) Scalarworks BOR rail ($120)

5) Trijicon RM07 (RMR 6.5 MOA adjustable) ($600)

6) GG&G Bolt Release pad ($120) (undercut the underside of the front to allow to be a lifter for fast unloading)

7) Mesa Tactical Urbino Pistol grip stock with limbsaver butt pad and cheek riser ($170)

8) ATI Raven Forend with heat shield ($110)

9) Taran Tactical Ultimate Reduced Power Trigger Spring ($8)

10 Taran Tactical Ultimate Reduced-Power Buffer Spring (removed; would not always close the bolt)

11)Taran Tactical AccuGuide Extended Carrier ($80)




The extended carrier was part of a significant loading port modification. Using a Dremel tool, I ground around the port to make it longer and lower. This is needed for the Load 2 method, where you pull a stack (or double stack) of two shells off of your belt for faster loading. Shown here with a 2 3/4 shell.



Edited by NoTycoon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The M1/M2 perform better for games. They're lighter and swing from target to target faster.


I'd personally lighten it up some. I'd ditch the shell carrier and move to a belt mounted shell carrier. Something like the California competition carriers. Figure that shell carrier is weighing you down an extra pound once you add all the shells into it. The belt loaders are faster once you practice with it. You're loading three or four shells in one grab depending on hand size vs. cherry picking each round and inserting it.


You our already have the titanium magazine tube, so you're good to go there.


My the TTI shell elevator will help some.


Freedom Fighter Tactical Trigger, Freedom Fighter Tactical disconnector and a Geissele Hammer will improve your trigger feel. I'd avoid modifying the pull weight beyond that on a shotgun. Using a quality grease like Brian Enos' slide glide on the seat contact points will improve the feel some.


Further mods you can do is porting the magazine well and dehorning the edges. I've done this on a few M4's, and it comes out nice if you do it by hand and take your time. I hate doing them since I have OCD and spend 5 or 6 hours on them taking the polish down to 2000 grit.


Some me opt to modify the shell stop so it is easier to load shells past the gate. Many enlarge the notch tabs on each side so the metal bends a little easier. People polish them on a wheel with flitz to help slide the shells past the gate.


Shaving more weight, you could switch the Aimpoint out for a Trijicon RMR Scalarworks combo. I personally like the RMR's better than the Aimpoint T1's for this application. Aimpoint packages weigh quite a bit more than a RMR/Scalarworks. If you want to keep the Aimpoint, look into getting the MI mount that was just released.


Oversized controls can be good. I like the DMW oversized safety with a lightened spring weight so you can disengage it with your trigger finger without breaking your firing grip. GG&G oversized bolt releases are nice. The only oversized bolt handle I like is the near mythical carriercomp 1/2" hybrid titanium/steel unit.


Limbsaver buttpads are worth looking at. Price wise, they're the best modification you can do to increase speed and comfort. I'd estimate real world reduction in perceived recoil to be 40%. My concern was it would increase the dwell time and slow the action. Slow motion video I shot showed this not to be the case.


How is you run your sling is important. I personally use BlueForceGear 221 padded QD slings. I connect to an Ava Tactical light/sling mount up front on the left side and to an IWC MOE mount to my collapsible stock on the right side (ejection port side) (I shoot right handed.) The rear point is important so that the sling doesn't bunch up in your shoulder pocket and prevent you from getting a good solid shouldering. Since the sling wraps around to the opposite side, it helps stabilize the weapon when slung hands free. It keeps the receiver from wanting to roll away from your body.


Further down the rabbit hole are NP3+ coating options. Either doing select parts of the entire weapon will smooth out the action. This will increase your speed some and you'll be able to stay on target more consistently. It's hard to describe, but the action feels less jerky through the shot cycle. Like instead of the bolt hitting the hammer and meeting resistance, it's super smooth and cycles to the rear in one motion. It's certainly more reliable with lower dram rounds and more forgiving to poor maintenance.


Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great info! I am running some of the same things you guys are, but there is a lot of good info to digest here. I was running an RMR but ditched it for the Aimpoint after having issues in the rain. The rain drops got down in where the emitter was and all I could see were red splashes of light all over the screen. It was fine once it dried out, but shooting in the rain was problematic.


I am definitely eyeing that MI mount and was considering ditching the SideArmor setup if I did. I am currently running two Carbon Arms Pinwheel setups on my belt, so I don't even use the sidesaddle.


I am definitely going to look into the trigger components mentioned. I already have the Carrier Comp oversized bolt handle (why do you say "mythical?"), and GG&G bolt release. I ordered a Taran Tactical oversized safety and extended carrier, but they are on backorder.


I really appreciate the feedback. It has given me some items to research and some good ideas for improving my setup.


Thanks again and feel free to add more.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're lucky to have a carriercomp charging handle. They're probably worth their weight in gold. Someone offered me 500 dollars for mine a few years back.


You'll notice an immediate difference in removing the shell carrier. Some roll their eyes and say you should do more push-ups if a pound bothers you. They don't realize it isn't about the weight, but how fast and how in control you are of the barrel swing when moving from target to target.


Interesting feedback about the rmr. I never ran into that since I live in Arizona. I'd probably live with it and use the co-witnessed irons if necessary if the dog was obstructed. Absolutely get a weather seal for the battery compartment too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I have an M-4 that I've used on several 3-Gun matches. While I have ordered many of the upgrades discussed above, my biggest complaint with the gun is the ghost ring sights. To me it obstructs my vision in trying to quickly acquire the targets. While I'm sure folks would recommend a red dot/RMR sight to alleviate this, I'm not ready at this point to go in that direction. So far I've removed the rear sight housing and front sight blade. Can anyone recommend a front fiber optic sight that will work on the front site platform? HiViz makes a direct replacement for the M-4 but the FO tube is very small in diameter and reviewers say it's pretty much worthless. I'm willing to do a little grinding, drilling and tapping as necessary (on the sight, not the gun!. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Truckcop. The Big Dot is close but no cigar. I'm thinking of ordering a Glock FO sight or a shot gun bead replacement FO sight...something with a screw-on attachment that I can fix the front platform. I'm "looking forward" to the costly and frustrating trial and error experience! ;-{)

I know, I should have bought an M-2 to begin with...I fell in love with the sexiest gun alive and couldn't be denied. Live and learn!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...
So far I've removed the rear sight housing and front sight blade. Can anyone recommend a front fiber optic sight that will work on the front site platform? HiViz makes a direct replacement for the M-4 but the FO tube is very small in diameter and reviewers say it's pretty much worthless.


Have you thought about using a See All Open sight or their Nite sight?


See All

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...