History and Design
The A4 is the latest in a long-running line of variations of the MIRA rifle, which originally stems from 2008. During this time, the Democratic Union Department of Defense had hosted the Future Combat Rifle Program in order to replace the aging M16 series of rifles currently in service with all military branches. The Department of Defense had hosted the program as a result of numerous concerns and complaints from commanders that the M16A2, A3 and A4 rifles currently issued to soldiers were becoming outdated in comparrison to the modern battlefield needs. Sabre Arms participated in the competition against local and international groups. Nightwolf-Cooper offered their SAR series of rifles, while Bushmaster offered the M4 Carbine, Heckler & Koch the G-36C, and Styer their AUG series of carbines: all four manufacturers, alongside of Sabre Arms, entered the judging phase of the competition.
Initially, while all offered rifles boasted good field results, judging military representatives expressed conerns over the use of the 5.56x45mm cartridge in FCRP offerings. Reusing the 5.56mm cartirdge would be economic in the short term, yet the arguement was presented that a new and more powerful cartridge would have to be introduced to compensate for modern improvements in personal armor. Upon removing all 5.56mm competitors from the picture, judges were now forced to sit between the SAR and MIRA line of rifles. Neither had gained incredible attention domestically, although the 6.8mm cartridge they had been chambered for had gathered significant attention amongst western gun culture.
During the final phase of judging and testing of both rifles, the MIRA showed favorably in the eyes of the military judges. It could easily provide accurate, down-range fire at up to 550 meters in comparison to 500 for the SAR, and stayed accurate for area targets at up to around 620 meters. The usage of polymer components meant that unlike the more traditional SAR, it weighed in at a lighter weight of 8 lbs. versus 10 lbs. Muzzle velocity was estimated to be 3,250 feet per second in comparison to the SAR's 3,200 feet per second, although the rate of fire of 800 for the original MIRA was outclassed lightly by the 810 rounds per minute delivered by the SAR. However, the most important draw for judges was the feature of an ambidextrous charging handle plased towards the front of the rifle.
The MIRA-A1 was selected as the winner of the FCPR by the Department of Defense and began service with the Democratic Union Armed Forces in late 2008, with the rifle entering widespread use in 2010. It immediately saw popularity amongst soldiers, marines and sailors who were issued the rifle, primarily for its combination of low-recoil stopping power and initially high customizing ability. Several picatinny rails were mounted on the rifle, and allowed for more personalization than the previous M16 series of rifles. The A1, however, did hold some flaws: primarily, the original stock was non-adjustable and was cited as uncomfortable by some users who disliked the lack of adjusting on the stock.
Nevertheless, the MIRA saw extensive popularity in the DU, and became well-known amongst civilian sporters and collecters who heard of its capabilities from the military. The 6.8mm round outpassed the popularity of the 5.56mm and .223 cartridges in civilian use, and soon became the go-to round by 2014. The MIRA-A1 being a military select-fire rifle, the A2 variant was drawn up and soon sold in-place of copies and modified military surplus rifles and can now be found stocked by countless gun stores. Seeing the popularity of the rifle amongst both military and civilian users, the Department of Defense drew up several more contracts with Sabre Arms for the production of the MIRA, including additional updated variants to compensate for needs in modification.
The A4 variant was devised in 2022 and implemented in 2023, after the A3 variant was seen as null and void after six years of service. While the initial A3 variant had improved by adding the adjustment capabilities to the traditional A1 stock, the A4 replaced the stock entirely and was issued with an entirely new design. The rifle was also given a new forward iron sight that was a result of complaints of the first, although the rifle maintained the use of adjustable and removable sights to compensate for the addition of optics. The magwell of the rifle was also given light improvements in the aim of making it more friendly towards traditional NATO Stanag-styled magazines alongside of the offered use of Magpul P-MAG's.