The Carbine Rifle, also known as the M4 and M16, is a rifle featured in every GTA game since Grand Theft Auto III. It is useful in almost any situation, boasting accuracy, power and magazine capacity. Throughout the games, the models differ slightly, along with zoom capability, rate of fire, and power.
Design and Performance
GTA III's rendition resembles the Armalite AR-10. This version is an inaccurately modeled and exaggerated weapon, with an exceptionally high rate of fire and a 60 round magazine. It has higher damage than the AK-47, which is somewhat untrue as the M4/M16 fires a 5.56mm round and the AK-47 fires a higher caliber 7.62mm round.
Vice City's rifle is modeled after the Colt 733, but called M4 in-game (which is inaccurate as the M4 was not introduced until 1994). It appears to have an aftermarket crane stock. Originally, a beta assault rifle that resembled an M16A2 was meant to be in the game but was later replaced by the current model. The M16A2's model can still be found in the game files and can be seen in the intro cutscene.
San Andreas reuses the model from Vice City, again called M4 in-game (and again inaccurate). This version has a drastically lowered rate of fire that is unusual for the rifle, but is still highly effective as a weapon. It also has a 50-round STANAG magazine. In the mission Stowaway, a government agent is shown holding a camouflaged Colt M16A1. This however, is never available to use in-game.
Yet again the model is reused in Liberty City Stories and named M4. The only change since San Andreas is that the fire rate has been increased.
Vice City Stories features an M16A1, named Assault Rifle in-game. It uses the same model from the San Andreas mission Stowaway, sans the camoflague. Lance Vance mentions the M4 during a mission, which is an anachronism. It functions just as all previous renditions have.
GTA IV features an M4A1, titled "Carbine Rifle" in-game. This version is accurate both in timeline and overall features, including weapon specs such as rate of fire, magazine size, etc. Unlike previous iterations, the carry handle has been replaced with an picatinny rail with an aftermarket drum sight mounted to it. It has the longest range of any non-sniper weapon in the game. It has "Property Of Liberty City Arms" stamped where the magazine release is normally found, probably a reference to the "Property Of U.S. Govt" stamped on its real-life counterpart. Performance wise, the Carbine Rifle is stellar. Accuracy and fire rate are both high, along with damage. It is highly effective in close to mid range, with accuracy dropping off at long range. Accuracy is even higher when crouched, allowing the player to fire it fully automatic while being able to hit the target reliably. This is somewhat untrue as carbine rifles are shortened versions of already long rifles such as the AK-47, so the range from the M4A1 is not as far as the AK-47, but the M4A1 likely has better muzzle velocity despite lower caliber so range is in a somewhat accurate to real life.
GTA Chinatown's rendition is difficult to identify, but it it has a full stock and long barrel, and the triangular hand guard as seen on the HUD suggests it is a Colt M16A1. It has tremendous power, more akin to that of a machine gun, and it has a fifty round magazine, like the San Andreas incarnation.
The Carbine Rifle returns in Grand Theft Auto V, this time seemingly inspired on the HK416 assault rifle, as seen in multiple screenshots, artworks and in the gameplay trailer. It is known that it will have at least an extended magazine (That allows up to 60 bullets per mag - Possibly being 30 bullets on a normal one), a supressor and a grip as attachments. Also, judging by the gameplay trailer, it seems to have a much faster and realistic rate of fire than it's predecessors.
In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City it is used for the first time in Rub Out, where Lance gives Tommy an M4 to kill Diaz. After the mission it can be bought at the Downtown Ammu-Nation. Then during Cop Land, a police officer and two soldiers are seen using the rifles. They can also be seen at Fort Baxter Air Base being wielded by soldiers.
In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, it is used in various missions (most notably when Lance uses it in Blitzkrieg Strikes Again), and can be bought at Ammu-Nation upon unlocking Ocean Beach following From Zero to Hero. Soldiers at Fort Baxter Air Base can once again be seen wielding the rifle.
- Rockford, Staunton Island - Available to buy from Phil Cassidy's Army Surplus after completion of Arms Shortage.
- Bedford Point, Staunton Island - In the walled off area in the southeast part of the Liberty Tree Offices, where the mission Kingdom Come takes place. (Use the nearby Moonbeam, park it by the lowest part of the wall, climb the Moonbeam, and jump over the wall to access).
- Cedar Grove, Shoreside Vale - On the back porch of the pink house (fourth from the west) at The Homes.
- Cochrane Dam, Shoreside Vale - Near the top of the stairs for the west dam platform (not the top of the Cochrane Dam power house) at the base of the Cochrane Dam.
- Delivered to safehouses after collecting 90 Hidden Packages.
GTA Vice City
- Prawn Island - In Studio B (behind the moon lander) at the InterGlobal Films complex.
- Starfish Island - In the small room at the bottom of the Vercetti Estate's stairwell east of the main entrance after the completion of Rub Out.
- Downtown - Available to buy from Ammu-Nation after completion of Rub Out ($5,000).
- Little Haiti - In the middle of a cluster of shacks in the center of the North Haitian Neighborhood (just south of Auntie Poulet's house behind the house with the Voodoo in front).
- Little Havana - At the west side of the red and white building directly across the street west of Cafe Robina ( where Tommy took Phil to during Boomshine Saigon ).
- Fort Baxter - Wasting some of the Soldiers will give a decent amount of M4 ammo.
GTA San Andreas
- Los Santos International Airport, Los Santos - Next to the runway, there are three white and yellow striped "ramps". Between those which are placed at the end of the runway.
- Palisades, San Fierro - Behind the northernmost house next to the beach.
- Area 69, Bone County - Behind a staircase leading to a control tower.
- Pilgrim, Las Venturas - On the roof of the hotel.
- The Four Dragons Casino, Las Venturas - In front of the casino if all 50 Horseshoes are collected.
GTA Liberty City Stories
- Newport, Staunton Island - Among the containers at the docks and east of an unique stunt jump. It's located between the containers that are placed towards the Big Shot Casino.
- Bedford Point, Staunton Island - Available to purchase from Phil Cassidy's Fully Cocked Gun Shop for $5,400 once the player beats the mission "Friggin' the Riggin'".
- Available at each safehouses after collecting 90 hidden packages.
GTA Vice City Stories
- Vice Point - Behind the building next to northernmost empire site.
- Vice Point Mall, Vice Point - Available to buy from Ammu-Nation for $5,400 but the price is decreased to $4,050 when the player beats Phil's Shooting Range.
- Fort Baxter - Killing soldiers will make them drop their weapons.
Grand Theft Auto IV
It can be purchased from the back-alley gun shops for $5,000 and each additional magazine will cost $100. It can be purchased from Little Jacob for $3,500 with each additional magazine costing $70. The Carbine Rifle can also be acquired from NOOSE Tactical Response Unit Officers, FIB Agents and certain LCPD Officers, specifically those who guard places of high security such as The Statue of Happiness.
- Bohan Industrial - Can be found in one of the offices inside the abandoned warehouse where the player rescues Roman from the mission Hostile Negotiation.
- Algonquin Bridge - Can be found atop the roof of the Pedestrian Walkway on the Algonquin side, from the subway tunnel entrance.
- Easton - Can be found well-hidden behind some trash cans on the east side of Grand Easton Terminal. The trash cans can be reached quickly through an alley on Jade St.
- Leftwood - Can be found underneath the pier where the strip mall is situated off Beaverhead Avenue. The strip mall can be seen from the cliff where Niko executes Aiden O'Malley during the mission Tunnel Of Death.
- Tudor - Can be found in a small loading dock area on the north side of the old Sprunk factory.
- Tudor - Can be found atop the northern superstructure of the old rail bridge that spans the river which divides Tudor and the Acter Industrial Park.
Grand Theft Auto V
- In the Playstation 2 version of GTA III, the M16 has a green aiming cursor, but in the PC, Xbox and iOS versions of the game, the green cursor is replaced by a circle and a dot.
- Strangely, the M4 in GTA IV has two reload animations. When Niko is standing while reloading, he will pull the charging handle, but when crouching while reloading, he takes "out" the magazine, puts "another" in and pulls the charging handle. There is no confirmed reason for why there are two reload animations, but it is speculated that it is for balancing reasons, as the player is much more effective while crouched. This oddity is also present on the AK-47.
- In GTA IV, the bottom of the Carbine Rifle's magazine is stamped with the words "Stop Chillin Start Killin".[ ]