Something I mentioned in another thread drew a response that seemed to indicate it was worthy of follow-up, so I thought I'd run the idea up the flagpole and see if anybody saluted.

Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
We give where we can, right? Since I don't have The Stuff to be a trigger-pulling door-kicker and talk from field experience, what I *do* have to offer is research skill, time and effort. I actually have an idea I'm thinking about pitching to Admin someday about an "M4 Config Database and Clone Cookbook"... the idea being catalog each M16/M4 variant by NSN, then catalog the components and accessories each was built from and kitted out with, and finally for the cloners listing the commercial model-numbers and for Unobtainium like those neat DD FSB-slotted rails for the Mk18, GL/SSC and M4 SOPMOD-II some "look pretty close" alternates for "___ Inspired" builds. (For example, while I'd like to build a pistol version of an NCIS-issue Mk18, most of the FSB handguard options are unavailable, so I'm looking at improvising with the clearancing-as-discontinued VULTOR CASV based on the EOD version. How hard can it be to slap some FDE Duracoat on top of factory Foliage Green? And while not a perfect match, Midwest has a quad that could be called "GL/SSC or SOPMOD-II inspired," so if they could cut that down at the end of the FSB slot I'd have my "Mk 18-inspired Pistol" handguard.)
Quote Originally Posted by VARIABLE9 View Post
Wow. Thats a lot of info!
I think its a good idea, I know people looking to build clones get all technical in their builds.
Plus if it is well researched will lead to less builds being 'off' by bad information!
For example, if we were keeping this on-site as a series of threads I would code tables like this incomplete sample of a CQBR/Mk 18 variant comparison/parts list--the idea is to make things so simple a rookie like me can just look at it and have a complete "shopping list" of recommended parts to track down, buy and assemble for whatever variant piques their interest.
Component Mk 18 Mod 0 and CQBR Block I Mk 18 Mod 1 (and CQBR Block II?)
Upper Receiver Flat-top
Gas Block FSB Lo-Pro: Daniel Defense or Badger Ordnance
Handguard varied, including:
M4 plastic (earliest models)
KAC RIS (SEAL preferred)
Daniel Defense RIS (Ext Carbine, FSB slot)
Daniel Defense RIS II
Flash Suppressor/Brake KAC M4-QD KAC M4-QD

An alternate option might be to set up an M4 Carbine Wiki at someplace like Wikia, where anyone can directly add their own data to the relevant page.

As I noted in the opening quote, though I strive for professional-grade effort and skill in everything I do, I am not actively a firearms professional aside from two years of Executive Protection back in my college days so I cannot contribute from field experience, but what I do have to offer is skill and experience with data collection and assembly shaped by years of experience as a technically-oriented military historian and research contractor, and helping organize the data I can collect from trawling the Net and this community can contribute from experience as manufacturers, dealers, homebuilders and operators might be a chance for me to contribute something of value from my own different little angle. I can't do it all--I'm not sure with all the different variations on accessory outfitting alone no single person could!--but at least maybe I can get the party off to a solid start if this is something worth doing.

Anybody out there have thoughts on the value of such a project, or on refining my rough idea into an actionable plan?