US Department of Defence arms contracts


This report is part of AOAV’s investigation into the US DoD spend on small arms, guns and ammunition from Sept 11, 2001 to Sept 10, 2015. Our research found many discrepancies between the contracts published on the DoD’s website and those found on the Federal Procurement Database System- research that can be read here. For information on what a small arm is, please see here. To understand more about US DoD contracts visit here. The investigation also included an examination of US expenditure for small arms for Iraq, which can be read here, and Afghanistan, sehere.

Attachments are items that can be attached to the small arm. They include items such as sights, suppressors gages, tripods. Often small arms contracts might list an item that comes as part of the order, such as an attachable bipod or grenade launcher. Below are a few of those that AOAV have come across in their research into small arms.

The M203 is a single shot 40mm under barrel grenade launcher designed to attach to a rifle such as the M16, M4 and variants (shown is the M4A1 with M203 attachment). It is designed to provide close fire support against targets, and engage enemies in spaces which cannot be reached by direct fire. When handling the M203, the rifle magazine functions as a hand grip. A second sighting system is added to rifles utilising the M203.

An M205 is a lightweight tripod that can be attached to heavy machine guns and in this sense has replaced much of the use of M3 tripods. The replacement is due to the significantly lighter weight of the M205 – weighing only 34lbs compared to the 50lb weight of the M3.

The M205 also benefits from an enhanced integrated traverse and elevation mechanism that can be operated with one hand. This involves speed and ease of moving the gun and tripod and can hence allow for more accurate target engagement.

The MNVS II is a miniature night vision sight. It is a compact, lightweight, waterproof, advanced electro-optical assembly that provides a magnified (2.25X) night vision image of the target scene along with an LED-type aiming dot.

It is primarily used as a carbine-mounted night sight, which means it can be attached to a small arm such as an M4 Carbine. It can also be used as a handheld pocket scope for observation.


For the data on 14 years of DoD contracts for small arms, ammunition and attachments, please go here.