The CAR-4 assault rifle is a primary weapon available in PAYDAY 2.
The CAR-4 is the most versatile assault rifle in the game. While it only possess average stats in all regards, its primary strength is that every part of the weapon can be customized, allowing for either all-rounder or specialized builds. With these options, the CAR-4 is a welcome weapon for any character build.
The CAR-4 is the second primary weapon unlocked and is a straight upgrade of the beginning AMCAR in almost every category.
With the large number of modifications available from the base game and DLCs, the CAR-4 is the most versatile primary weapon in the game. As well as being able to mod it for high damage and/or accuracy, it can also be modded for high concealment, making it an excellent companion on stealth heists.
Also, unlike most fully automatic weapons, it has clear and precise iron sights, making a sight modification largely optional. The only reason for a custom sight would be the need for magnification for long-range shooting, the stablity rating bonus, and personal preference.
The tips below generally don't cover stability except in a very general way because skills (the player's own and those of others on the team) frequently change stability by large amounts.
The Exotique Receiver can be added to any configuration for +2 dam and +2 stb with no other penalties, and so should always be added if you have it.
Adding the Auto Fire (+2 dam, -2 acc) mod to any configuration will trade off some accuracy for slightly more damage. However, this will disable the single-shot fire mode that some players find useful for sniping and conserving ammunition.
This is typical combat configuration built with many parts from the Gage Mod Courier DLC, with high damage (40), maximum accuracy (18), maximum stability (25), high magazine size for sustained fire (60), but very poor concealment. In the right hands, it can be more ammo efficent than even LMGs due to higher accuracy, use of sights, and selective fire.
This build may be of use in certain specific situations, for example:
when carrying the OVE9000 saw as a secondary weapon (with Carbon Blade aced), a silenced high-concealment CAR-4 will perform better than almost any concealment 30 secondary weapon. This should be considered in the context of the specific skill build used, as certain skills boost certain weapon classes.
Detection risk with a saw and a concealment 30 weapon can be as low as 19 with the right skills/perks.
when running Shadow Raid, as silenced burst damage may be required to quickly kill alerted Murkywater guards. While other available weapons are often better for this purpose (a silenced Deagle for instance) very few of the useful alternatives achieve such high concealment nor are available at such a low reputation level.
A suppressed stealth CAR-4 may be particularly useful for players using a suppressed Locomotive 12G shotgun as the CAR-4 will perform much better at range and reduce the risk of accidentally breaking glass behind a guard.
Following the release of the Butcher's AK/CAR mod pack, it is possible to build a very high damage CAR-4 (capable of 60 damage per shot without skills/perks) at the cost of very poor accuracy (2), for use as a close-range weapon. Maximum stability helps maintain some performance at medium range, but the build is best used for "room clearance" combat and paired with a high accuracy secondary weapon for dealing with threats which the player cannot get close to.
The build functions as a very mobile alternative to a light machine gun, offering great performance at close range and allowing the distance to be closed very rapidly as there is no movement penalty. Good ammo pickup and a large magazine ensure that damage output is very sustainable when used aggressively.
The CAR-4 is likely a composite of the M4A1 and the LR-300 assault rifles, with its default state resembling the M4A1 and closely resembling a LR-300 when the Aftermarket Special handguard and Folding Stock are added.
Normally it is impossible to fit weapons of the AR-15 family with a side folding stock since they all use a cylindrical recoil buffer tube that extends 20cm from the rear of the receiver, the weapons cannot function without it and it normally restricts them to using either fixed or telescoping stocks. However the ZM LR-300 was specifically designed to be able to accept such a stock and has an adapted buffer system to accommodate this feature.
The front sight along with the entire gas block is removed when a Foregrip/handguard mod (sans the Aftermarket Special) is installed. An AR-15 derivative like the CAR-4 cannot fire normally without the gas block and the bolt has to be manually actuated after each shot instead of how the weapon works in the game. This is almost certainly a developer oversight.
It is one of the two weapons whose name derives from the AMCAR-4, the other being the AMCAR.
The CAR-4 is frequently used by both Law Enforcers and is Chains' default weapon if he is controlled by the AI.
The CAR-4s used by the AI is a bit odd compared to the ones available to the players. While it uses the standard parts plus a Holographic Sight, the Tactical Laser Module is mounted on top of the weapon's handguard instead of on the right side, and the barrel used by the AI is much shorter than the short barrel mod available, barely protruding from the handguard and resembling the ultra-short 6 inch barrels used with Colt Commandos (or from an ingame standpoint the Para), instead of the 10-inch short barrel available to players. The handguard itself appears to have been extended (compared to the regular CAR-4 handguard), and strongly resembles the Tactical Handguard available for the AMR-16.
As it shares the lower receiver model with the AMCAR, the AMR-16 and the Para, the model name AR-15 can be seen stamped onto the side of the CAR-4.
There is a drum magazine for the CAR-4, Ak 5, AMR-16, Queen’s Wrath and Para in the game files based on the C-MAG. It is accessible only by editing the games files. Functionally, this mod is similar to the CAR Quadstacked Mag in that it increases the weapon's magazine capacity greatly, making it akin to a Light Machine Gun, but with no movement penalty. It is not fully known why the drum mags have been disabled for all the weapons other than the games engine cannot switch between reload animations for each magazine modification on the same weapon, but a possible reason is that the drum mag clips through the player's suit arms when equipped.
It uses, like most guns, a few matching parts: the Tactical Stock, Ergo Grip, Tactical Mag, and the Tactical Laser Module, all using a bright tan.
In the Gage Assault Pack update, OVERKILL changed the CAR-4's reload animation; the charging handle isn't pulled anymore on empty reloads, the bolt release is pressed to chamber a new round instead.
The "Mall Ninja" achievement refers to a term in the shooting community that describes a shooter who puts a ridiculous amount of modifications on an otherwise poor quality weapon. This is a rather appropriate term for a fully modified CAR-4 since it starts out as relatively cheap, low tier weapon but can become incredibly powerful on higher difficulty levels if it is modified enough.