-GB Turns out my P2000 VS USP video from 2014 still holds up, but the M4’s have seen a number of changes since then. In 2015 the M4A1-S had a load of stats changed, then in 2016 the second-shot update changed both of these rifles. Time to see how they compare now. They both cost the same $3,100. They both do the same amount of damage and armour penetration, and let you run at the same 225 unit speed. But this is where the similarities end. The M4A4 obviously has a lot more ammo. 30 rather than 20 in a magazine, and then 90 instead of the M4A1’s 40 in reserve. So clearly, if you’re the sort who sprays everywhere, unrelenting and without remorse, then the M4A4 is a much better option. It’s also better in deathmatch since you won’t have to reload quite so frequently. The standard firerate for rifles is 667 RPM. It’s only with the AK and M4A1-S that it’s the lower 600 value.

Now this isn’t a clear-cut case of the M4A4 being better. This is a matter of 2 different playstyles! It’s nice to have the larger magazine and faster firerate of the M4A4, but giving the M4A1-S a lower firerate helps to keep that 20-round magazine going a bit longer, and also gives the weapon more time to recover after every shot, which will make it more accurate to spray with. Until you run out of bullets 10 shots early. I can show you comparisons of the two but I urge you to come up with your own decision about which you prefer. Here are the recoil patterns of both. The first 3 shots are pretty much dead on, but from the 4th onwards you’ll need to start compensating vertically. Unlike, say, the Galil VS the Famas, the M4’s have the same recoil pattern as each other. But you still have to practice each separately, since it’s smaller for the M4A1-S, meaning that you’ll have to move your mouse less distance to counter it out.

So for the experienced player it shouldn’t make much difference, but for players improvising, the M4A1-S’s recoil will be the easiest to compensate for. Which ironically makes the weapon with the fewest bullets the easier to spray and pray with. And since it runs out of ammunition sooner, the pattern cuts off mid-way and you only ever see the final swing back to the left with the M4A4. Onto damage now. They may have identical stats, but you’ll always do more damage with the M4A1-S because the damage-drop-off is just 1%- same as the AWP! The lowest value in the game, in fact. The M4A4 features 3%, meaning that the damage dealt will reduce by 3% with every 500 units the bullet travels. Here’s a little diagram showing the difference that this makes. While every other rifle tags for 56%, the M4A1-S does 60%! In other words it will slow enemies down more if shot. It doesn’t make MUCH of a difference, but it’s there. And of course the M4A1-S is quieter and stealthier, too.

Provided you’re using the suppressor WHICH YOU REALLY SHOULD BE DOING. Here is how the two rifles compare, at different distances. And notice how you can’t see any tracers from the M4A1-S, either. These could possibly give away your position sooner if using the M4A4. And lastly: Accuracy. Not to be mistaken for the recoil pattern, since accuracy cannot be improved through compensating mouse movements. And for this, the M4A1-S wins by a tiny, tiny amount when stood or crouched still, and by a bit more when moving. Here I am, testing first shot accuracy from a distance of 2048 units. And here are the results up-close, so you can compare the two guns. Here I am spraying from 1024 units, recoil pattern disabled to show the best results you can hope for if you can compensate fully with your mouse.

And lastly, run and gunning from 256 units using a nifty forwards-teleporter trick that I DIDN’T have when doing these tests in 2014. So NYEH. I’ve improved in one way since then at least. Oh and removing the suppressor is a BIG MISTAKE. The M4A1-S is normally a bit better than the M4A4. But removing it makes it that amount WORSE than the M4A4, negating any of the benefits of the M4A1 in the first place. Apart from one thing. For some reason, the one stat to improve is running accuracy. Without the suppressor your inaccuracy is now about half way between the rifles and SMGs. This improvement is still eaten away a bit by it being worse in every other way, but it stands: the M4A1, without suppressor, is the best rifle to run and gun with. In a lot of ways, the differences between these two rifles mirrors those between the P2000 and USP-S. One has a bit more ammo, the other, slightly better accuracy. With the pistols I never felt that the differences were big enough- your playstyle would remain the same using both.

But the M4’s certainly handle differently from one another. The M4A4 is the safe bet, with its faster fire-rate and more ammo capacity. But the M4A1-S is the smart decision. Its shots are more accurate and its damage drops off slower. And it can run and gun nicely without the suppressor. Valve have carefully adjusted the balance of these two to the point where it’s hard to say which is better any more. The M4A1-S will of course appeal to people who are accurate, and to try-hards who think they are. I would personally go for the M4A4 because I do find the extra ammunition comforting.

We’re talking about a 50% larger magazine here, guys! Perhaps you find yourself going through cycles where you’re better with one and then the other. In which case you should probably accept that the differences you feel are mostly psychological and that getting a decent skin for your choice will help just as much..

As found on Youtube