Accurate Armory's LE Light carbine sets itself apart from others with a twist rate of 1:7 and reduced overall weight.

This quality carbine meets or exceeds Mil-Spec standards for barrel, receiver, chamber, bolt, front sight, and anodizing. The bolt is high-pressure tested and magnetic-particle inspected to ensure durability. The carrier and gas key are chrome lined, and the key is properly staked—it won't shoot loose. The weapon operates with a mid-length gas system. This means you have a rifle that's built to endure harsh shooting conditions. The rifle ships with one Magpul PMAG to ensure a reliable ammunition source.

As the name implies, the LE Light carbine weighs less than a standard M4. To achieve this weight reduction, the weapon arrives with Accurate Armory's Tactical Intent TI7 stock and two Magpul accessories—the MOE forearm and polymer trigger guard. Don't knock the MOE stock for arriving without rails; you can install Magpul's polymer Picatinny rails in the cut outs on the forearm. This reduces weight and allows you to install mounts where you want them; it also helps you avoid the sharp edges of a solid rail.

The TI7 one-piece includes wide cheek rests that double as storage areas for batteries or small spare parts. For a sling, you'll find a built-in ambidextrous quick-detach point or two attachment slots. To ensure the carbine stays where you mount it, there's a rubber butt pad.

My test model arrived from a three-gun match, so it has a few additional items over the base LE Light. This one shipped with a Yankee Hill flip-up rear sight, Magpul Angled Fore Grip (AFG), sling, Ergo Grip, and quick-detach sling swivels. These items would add approximately $250 to the price of the LE Light.

The heart of the LE Light is the 1:7-twist barrel. Unlike many of the M4s on the market today, this M4 has a standard M16 light-contour barrel that reduces the weight of the weapon to just under 7 pounds with an optic mounted. If you add SureFire's Scout Light on a Magpul MOE mount, the LE Light is a tad over 7 pounds. If you add an optic and light, your duty carbine will tip the scales at over 8 pounds. You'll feel the pound-plus difference if you have to carry this firearm for several hours.

Some would argue that the light-contour barrel doesn't perform as well as a heavier M4 profile barrel. I would argue all day they're wrong. I fired hundreds of rounds through the LE Light at distances ranging from 5 to 200 yards, and it performed with amazing accuracy. The carbine consistently kept all shots inside the "C" zone of an IPSC (International Practice Shooting Confederation) target, when I did my part with a good sight picture and solid mount. At 200 yards, rounds were hitting within a 6-inch area.

From a rest—using the same ammunition from Black Hills or Atlanta Arms & Ammo—the LE Lite shot sub-3-inch groups at 200 yards with a Burris XTR (Xtreme Tactical Riflescope) 1-4X. With a 10X optic, this carbine will shoot sub-MOA at 200 yards. At 100 yards, it shoots half-inch five-shot groups. At 50 yards, one hole groups. This is nearly "match grade" accuracy from a duty carbine with a low-power optic. With the XTR, the reticle is lighted and can function as a precision optic or red dot for Close Quarters Battle (CQB).[PAGEBREAK]

Since this is an M4 and many agencies prefer red dot, I tested the carbine with EOTech's XPS2. This is a holographic red-dot sight that's built to deal with harsh conditions and continue functioning. In addition to being nearly bulletproof, it's fast and accurate. This is an ideal optic for CQB use. The circle-dot reticle is fast and precise.

A case could be made that the heavier barrels of a true M4 or a competition rifle will shoot more accurately and be less prone to getting excessively hot. Typically, you'll engage targets at 50 yards or closer with a duty M4. The weapon must still give you long-range accuracy if needed. While the 5.56mm round will give you deadly accurate shots at longer distances, a 400-yard shot isn't realistic.

There will be many legal questions that the operator will have to answer, such as why did you engage the suspect at that range? The average precision shot in law enforcement averages less than 50 yards and the 5.56mm cartridge has poor performance at extreme ranges. The operator must question their skill to make an extremely long-range shot and the legal reasons for doing so.

The gas system also makes the LE Light ideal for duty. This M4 uses a mid-length gas system rather than the "carbine" length of the M4. The longer gas system makes the firearm more reliable because the gas pressure is reduced and the bolt speed slows down. The bolt moving too quickly is what causes many of the feeding issues, which can be be even more pronounced when using a suppressor.

A mid-length gas system has another feature that many overlook—reduced recoil and recoil pulse. Reducing recoil reduces muzzle rise and increases shot-to-shot speed when accurate follow-up shots are required. M4s with a mid-length gas system and suppressor have virtually no muzzle rise. This is also true when using the BCM muzzle brake shipped with the carbine.

An advantage of the longer gas system is the longer forearm. This allows you to have an extended reach on the weapon, which gives you a more stable shooting platform and faster transition from target to target. This is the reason why more trainers and three-gun competitors use this technique with longer forearms—you can mount longer forearms on carbine-length systems as well.

Out of the box, the LE Light is a nearly perfect duty firearm. It's accurate, reliable, fast handling and retails for $891.

Accurate Armory's M4 LE Light Specs:

Caliber: 5.56mm

Barrel: 16 inches

Twist: 1:7 right-hand

Overall length: 36 inches

Trigger: Single stage

Weight (empty): 6 lbs.

Magazine: 30-round PMAG

MSRP: $891.50


50 yards100 yards
Atlanta Arms & Ammo, 77-gr. AMU 0.55 inches 1 inch
Atlanta Arms & Ammo, 60-gr. Vmax 0.60 inches 1.25 inches
Black Hills, 77-gr. Match HP 0.57 inches 0.9 inches
Black Hills, 75-gr. Match HP 0.59 inches 1 inch
Black Hills, 69-gr. MatchKing 0.55 inches 1.1 inches


Scott Smith
Scott Smith

Retired Army MP

Scott Smith served as an active-duty Army MP and in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard as a security policeman. He serves as a federal police officer for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

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Scott Smith served as an active-duty Army MP and in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard as a security policeman. He serves as a federal police officer for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

View Bio