The M4 rifle is a shortened M16 carbine and is by far the most common weapon found in the hands of US forces today. Rangers carry the M4 and utilize the new SOPMOD 2 package, which includes the EO Tech 553 holographic reflex site, LA-5 infrared laser, foregrip, the M3X visible bright light (tactical light) and associated accessories. Also included is the Elcan Spector telescopic sight, which is adjustable from 1 power to 5 power via a throw lever on the side of the optic. While this is an interesting idea, nearly all Special Forces troops leave these sights in the card board boxes to collect dust and simply use the EO Tech 553. We felt that the Elcan was a little bit too much and perhaps over engineered. Now, if we had been facing long range engagements in Afghanistan, rather than precision raids in Iraq, maybe we would have felt differently. Along with the EO Tech, the LA-5 is much smaller than the PEQ-2 and together these are the most valued items in the SOPMOD kit.
The Ranger Load Carrying System, or RLCS, is manufactured by Eagle Industries and issued to each Ranger upon assignment to one of the three Ranger battalions. Coming in a massive, oversized dufflebag, the RLCS kit contains everything you need and then some. Body Armor carrier, magazine pouches, grenade pouches, hydration pouches, assault pack type kit, a sub-belt for survival gear, and much more all crammed into this thing. This kit is similar but not identical to the SFLCS kit bag issued to Special Forces troops. The most noticeable difference between the two is that the RLCS is green, while the SFLCS is tan.
Latest update on webgear: Rangers have apparently ditched the RLCS and embraced Multi-Cam kit. My information is that they are still rocking the “Ranger” green plate carrier but with Multi-Cam pouches. Also, DCU/ACU uniforms have been discarded in favor of Crye Precision Multi-Cam uniforms.