USMC M-16 Technical Manual

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In July , the U.

Equipment Categories

Developed by the United States Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center and the Army Research Laboratory in , it is tan colored with blue follower to distinguish it from earlier, incompatible magazines. Unfortunately it was prone to breakage and getting entangled in vegetation. The design was later changed to close the end to avoid this and became known as the "A1" or "bird cage" flash suppressor on the M16A1. Eventually on the M16A2 version of the rifle, the bottom port was closed to reduce muzzle climb and prevent dust from rising when the rifle was fired in the prone position.

The M16's Vortex Flash Hider weighs 3 ounces, is 2. The threaded barrel allows sound suppressors with the same thread pattern to be installed directly to the barrel; however this can result in complications such as being unable to remove the suppressor from the barrel due to repeated firing on full auto or three-round burst. The M mounts on the muzzle, bayonet lug and front sight post of the M The latter produces a 4 to 5 foot tear gas cloud on impact. The main advantage to using Ring Airfoil Projectiles is that their design does not allow them be thrown back by rioters with any real effect.

The M is no longer used by U. The M16 is The newer M9 bayonet has a clip-point blade with saw teeth along the spine, and can be used as a multi-purpose knife and wire-cutter when combined with its scabbard. The M3 bipod continues to be referenced in at least one official manual as late as , where it is stated one of the most stable firing positions is "the prone biped [sic] supported for automatic fire.

In March , the U. By the mid s, other armies were looking at Mstyle weapons. A NATO standardization effort soon started and tests of various rounds were carried out starting in M round. M16 rifle. Many NATO member nations, but not all, subsequently developed or purchased rifles with the ability to accept this type of magazine. They come in the "standard" type which are propelled by a blank cartridge inserted into the chamber of the rifle.

They also come in the "bullet trap" and "shoot through" types, as their names imply, they use live ammunition. The rail comprises a series of ridges with a T-shaped cross-section interspersed with flat "spacing slots". Scopes are mounted either by sliding them on from one end or the other; by means of a "rail-grabber" which is clamped to the rail with bolts, thumbscrews or levers; or onto the slots between the raised sections. The rail was originally for scopes. However, once established, the use of the system was expanded to other accessories, such as tactical lights, laser aiming modules, night vision devices, reflex sights , foregrips, bipods, and bayonets.

The weapon that eventually became the M16 series was basically a scaled down AR with an ambidextrous charging handle located within the carrying handle, a narrower front sight "A" frame, and no flash suppressor. Colt's first two models produced after the acquisition of the rifle from ArmaLite were the and , and these rifles were in many ways clones of the original ArmaLite rifle in fact, these rifles were often found stamped Colt ArmaLite AR, Property of the U.

Government caliber. There was also a limited purchase of s, and a number of both of these rifles found their way to a number of Special Operations units then operating in South East Asia, most notably the U. Navy SEALs. The only major difference between the and is the switch from the original inch rifling twist to the more common inch twist.


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These weapons were equipped with a triangular charging handle and a bolt hold open device that lacked a raised lower engagement surface. The bolt hold open device had a slanted and serrated surface that had to be engaged with a bare thumb, index finger, or thumb nail because of the lack of this surface. Air Force continued to use the ArmaLite AR marked rifles in various configurations into the s.

This was the first M16 variant adopted operationally, originally by the U. Air Force. It was equipped with triangular handguards, butt stocks without a compartment for the storage of a cleaning kit, [] a three-pronged flash suppressor, full auto, and no forward assist. Bolt carriers were originally chrome plated and slick-sided, lacking forward assist notches. Later, the chrome plated carriers were dropped in favor of Army issued notched and parkerized carriers though the interior portion of the bolt carrier is still chrome-lined.

The Air Force continued to operate these weapons until around , at which time the Air Force converted all of its M16s to the M16A2 configuration. Army XM16E1 was essentially the same weapon as the M16 with the addition of a forward assist and corresponding notches in the bolt carrier. The M16A1 was the finalized production model in and was produced until To address issues raised by the XM16E1's testing cycle, a closed, bird-cage flash suppressor replaced the XM16E1's three-pronged flash suppressor which caught on twigs and leaves.

Various other changes were made after numerous problems in the field. Cleaning kits were developed and issued while barrels with chrome-plated chambers and later fully lined bores were introduced. With these and other changes, the malfunction rate slowly declined and new soldiers were generally unfamiliar with early problems.

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A rib was built into the side of the receiver on the XM16E1 to help prevent accidentally pressing the magazine release button while closing the ejection port cover. This rib was later extended on production M16A1s to help in preventing the magazine release from inadvertently being pressed. The hole in the bolt that accepts the cam pin was crimped inward on one side, in such a way that the cam pin may not be inserted with the bolt installed backwards, which would cause failures to eject until corrected.

The M16A1 saw limited use in training capacities until the early s, [] [] [] but is no longer in active service with the U. The Marines were the first branch of the U. Modifications to the M16A2 were extensive. In addition to the new rifling, the barrel was made with a greater thickness in front of the front sight post, to resist bending in the field and to allow a longer period of sustained fire without overheating. The rest of the barrel was maintained at the original thickness to enable the M grenade launcher to be attached.

A new adjustable rear sight was added, allowing the rear sight to be dialed in for specific range settings between and meters to take full advantage of the ballistic characteristics of the new SS rounds and to allow windage adjustments without the need of a tool or cartridge. The flash suppressor was again modified, this time to be closed on the bottom so it would not kick up dirt or snow when being fired from the prone position, and acting as a recoil compensator.

The front grip was modified from the original triangular shape to a round one, which better fit smaller hands and could be fitted to older models of the M The new handguards were also symmetrical so armories need not separate left- and right-hand spares. The handguard retention ring was tapered to make it easier to install and uninstall the handguards.

A notch for the middle finger was added to the pistol grip, as well as more texture to enhance the grip. Original M16 stocks were made from fiberglass-impregnated resin; the newer stocks were engineered from DuPont Zytel glass-filled thermoset polymers. The new stock included a fully textured polymer buttplate for better grip on the shoulder, and retained a panel for accessing a small compartment inside the stock, often used for storing a basic cleaning kit. The A2 uses a faster twist rifling to allow use of a trajectory-matched tracer round. A spent case deflector was incorporated into the upper receiver immediately behind the ejection port to prevent cases from striking left-handed users.

Army concluded that three-shot groups provide an optimum combination of ammunition conservation, accuracy, and firepower. Otherwise it is externally identical to the M16A2. The M16A4 is the fourth generation of the M16 series. It is equipped with a removable carrying handle and a full length quad Picatinny rail for mounting optics and other ancillary devices. Marine Corps.


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  • Army field manuals. A study of significant changes to Marine M16A4 rifles released in February outlined several new features that could be added from inexpensive and available components. In , Marine units were provided with a limited number of adjustable stocks in place of the traditional fixed stock for their M16A4s to issue to smaller Marines who would have trouble comfortably reaching the trigger when wearing body armor.

    The adjustable stocks were added as a standard authorized accessory, meaning units can use operations and maintenance funds to purchase more if needed. The Marine Corps had long maintained the full-length M16 as their standard infantry rifle, but in October the switch to the M4 carbine was approved as the standard-issue weapon, giving Marine infantrymen a smaller and more compact weapon. Enough M4s are already in the inventory to re-equip all necessary units by September , and M16A4s will be moved to support [25] [] and non-infantry Marines.

    In Vietnam, some soldiers were issued a carbine version of the M16 named XM These versions were also known as the Colt Commando model commonly referenced and marketed as the CAR The variants were issued in limited numbers to special forces, helicopter crews, Air Force pilots, Air Force Security Police Military Working Dog MWD handlers, officers, radio operators, artillerymen, and troops other than front line riflemen. The The M4 carbine was developed from various outgrowths of these designs, including a number of The XM4 Colt Model started its trials in , with a barrel of The weapon became the M4 in Officially adopted as a replacement for the M3 "Grease Gun" and the Beretta M9 and M16A2 for select troops in , it was used with great success in the Balkans and in more recent conflicts, including the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters.

    The M4 carbine has a three-round burst firing mode, while the M4A1 carbine has a fully automatic firing mode. Colt also returned to the original " Commando " idea, with its Model , essentially a modernized XME2 with many of the features introduced on the M16A2. The C7 is a further development of the experimental M16A1E1. Like earlier M16s, it can be fired in either semi-automatic or automatic mode, instead of the burst function selected for the M16A2. The C7 also features the structural strengthening, improved handguards, and longer stock developed for the M16A2.

    M16 Function Check

    Diemaco changed the trapdoor in the buttstock to make it easier to access and a spacer of 0. The most easily noticeable external difference between American M16A2s and Diemaco C7s is the retention of the A1 style rear sights. Not easily apparent is Diemaco's use of hammer-forged barrels. The Canadians originally desired to use a heavy barrel profile instead. The C7 has been developed to the C7A1, with a Weaver rail on the upper receiver for a C79 optical sight, and to the C7A2, with different furniture and internal improvements.

    The Diemaco produced Weaver rail on the original C7A1 variants does not meet the M "Picatinny" standard, leading to some problems with mounting commercial sights. This is easily remedied with minor modification to the upper receiver or the sight itself. Since Diemaco's acquisition by Colt to form Colt Canada, all Canadian produced flattop upper receivers are machined to the M standard.

    Marines ditch iron sights, consider new marksmanship training tables

    The C8 is the carbine version of the C7. Following trials, variants became the weapon of choice of the British SAS. It is based on the M16, and was originally conceived as an improvement based on the Colt M4 carbine family issued to the U. The HK was used by U. It differed from the basic M16A1 primarily in being optimized for maritime operations and coming equipped with a sound suppressor.

    USMC Technical Operative Manual for M16

    Most of the operating parts of the rifle were coated in Kal-Guard , a hole of 0. The HEL M4 vented gas directly from the action, requiring a modified bolt carrier. A gas deflector was added to the charging handle to prevent gas from contacting the user. Thus, the HEL M4 suppressor was permanently mounted though it allowed normal semi-automatic and automatic operation.

    If the HEL M4 suppressor were removed, the weapon would have to be manually loaded after each single shot. On the other hand, the Mk 2 Mod 0 blast suppressor was considered an integral part of the Mk 4 Mod 0 rifle, but it would function normally if the suppressor were removed.