In-depth comparison: M4A4 vs M4A1

In Counter Strike: Global Offensive, the counter-terrorists have a tough choice to make, which is selecting whether to use the M4A4 or the M4A1-S as their primary rifle. We would be looking at the pros and cons of each rifle to help players in choosing the right weapon.


First off we would talk about the M4A4. The M4A4 was available for purchase in the game ever since it came out. It has a price tag of $3100 and its magazine has an ammo capacity of 30 bullets and two extra magazines in reserve, which allows prefiring or spraying through a smoke without running out of ammo at later parts of the round. 
It has a moderate recoil and is fairly accurate even at medium or long range; one can easily take an enemy out if they fire in bursts, but its damage will start to fall off at long range. Spraying is only recommended when someone is at close range or when the enemy team is rushing you.
Controlling the spray of the M4A4 is not really difficult as its spray pattern only has the vertical recoil to worry about; it does have a bit of horizontal recoil but it just comes back around and usually resets itself in a sense. 
The spray pattern (left) and recoil compensation (right) for the M4A4.


The M4A1-S was the counterpart for the M4A4 that was introduced later on; it featured a silencer, which made it a good choice for people who used to play around in cover and try to confuse the enemy. Once it was released it quickly converted most of the M4A4 users to it, but afterwards the weapon went through multiple changes and now it also costs $3100 and its magazine contains 20 bullets with 40 more bullets in the reserve. This means that you can not really randomly spray through a smoke without risking yourself being caught while reloading or running out of ammo during a critical moment of a round.
The silencer makes up for the low ammo capacity, as it reduces the firing noise and leaves behind no tracers. That would allow you to confuse the enemies by hitting a target and then running back to cover, its quiet noise would sometimes make it hard for the opponents in guessing your position. It is not very effective at close range since it has a low rate of fire, and a small magazine size means that you will just die if you get rushed by 2 or more enemies.
You should not detach the silencer as it will cause the weapon to have more recoil and be less accurate, also it will make its sound louder and produce tracers, attracting attention towards you. A M4A1-S without a suppressor is basically worse than the M4A4 as it would have higher recoil, less accuracy and a low magazine size.
It has a really low recoil and you can easily kill an enemy if you fire three or four bullets in burst at an enemy’s head. If two of them connect with even one bullet landing on the opponent’s head, it should be enough to finish off a player. Its spray pattern is identical to the M4A4 but it has less horizontal recoil. 
The spray pattern (left) and recoil compensation (right) for the M4A1-S.


Now if we compare both of the weapons, then they are just about the same as they deal the same amount of damage, but the M4A1-S has less damage fall-off which means that it is much better for long range engagements. This does not, however, apply to close range engagements as it has a lower rate of fire than most rifles, including the M4A4. Also its small magazine size makes it harder to fend off multiple opponents.
Both weapons can only one shot an enemy if they do not have a helmet but, if they do have a helmet then it would bring them down to very low hp. Because of this most players keep their aim on an enemy’s head and then just fire 3 bullets in burst while pulling their aim down, this allows them to get one shot on the head, bringing the enemy down to a very low hp - afterwards they would need to land one hit on the enemy to kill them, which the remaining two bullets should do.
Damage values for both the rifles.
In terms of accuracy, the M4A1-S has less recoil than the M4A4 and it is easier to control its spray. Also the M4A1-S is more accurate than its counterpart while moving. But you need to be careful when hiding in corners with it, as the silencer increases the weapon length, which might give your position away to the enemy, while the M4A4 has a shorter length and is a lot better suited for close range combats as its damage and magazine capacity allow you to spray at 2 or 3 enemies with ease.
The M4A4 allows you to spray enemies and still have a few bullets left in case someone pops up, meaning there would be less chances of being caught while reloading; meanwhile with the M4A1-S you would have to make each of your bullets count due to its low ammo count: with the M4A1-S you need to make sure that you take out the enemy in as small amount of bullets as possible.
The final results conclude that both of the guns are not in any way stronger than the other, because it all depends on the player's playstyle and the situation they are facing during a round. If they prefer long range fights and attracting less attention towards them then the M4A1-S would be a good choice, but if you prefer holding close angles and sometimes try to make aggressive plays, then the M4A4 is recommended. We hope that this would help you in choosing your preferred M4 and also learn which one is better in which situation.
Credits: Spray patterns courtesy of CSGOSkills and damage values by Counter-Strike wikia.
AuthorHashir Date 1 May 2017, 13:16 Views9412 Comments0
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