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Automatic Rifle


The M16A1 automatic rifle


Model M16A1 M16A2 M16A3
Caliber 5.56-mm
Cartridge type 5.56 x 45 mm
Dimensions and weight 
Total weight (with empty magazine) 3.18 kg 3.40 kg 3.85 kg
Overall length 990 mm 1 000 mm 1000 mm
Barrel length 508 mm 508 mm 510 mm
Fire characteristics
Bullet initial speed 990 m/s 930 m/s 948 m/s
Rate of fire 950 rpm ? 600 - 940 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 150 rpm 40 - 150 rpm 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 20, 30 rounds 20, 30 rounds 30 rounds
Sighting range 500 m 800 m 800 m
Range of effective fire 460 m 550 m ?
   An AR-15 automatic rifle, developed by E. Stouner, who was working for the Armalite company. Several years later Colt company bought a license to produce this rifle. Later in 1962 the AR-15 was designated as the M16 when it was sent to the US Army for trials. After a long trial period including trials in Vietnam it entered service with the US Army in 1967 as the Colt M16A1. Recently the M16 with it's variants is in service with over 50 countries worldwide, including Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and many other. It is one of the best firearms automatic rifle in the world.The M16A2 automatic rifle

   The main feature of this rifle was a small-bore cartridge type with an understabilized bullet due to the barrel rifling. When such bullet hits target it looses stability and starts tumbling making deep lacerated wounds.

   The other important feature of the M16 is its progressive design. It's barrel is on the same axis with the buttstock what prevents riffle from tossing after every shot. This feature greatly increases it's fire accuracy.

   Rifles trigger mechanism is very similar to one used on the M1 Garand. It executes single and automatic fire.

   The M16A2 slightly differs from the M16A1. It is completed with two types of the trigger group: semi-automatic and automatic fire, or  semi-automatic and three shots burst. Rifle's barrel has better bullet's stability and penetration. Furthermore it's barrel is suitable to fire standard NATO SS109 rounds. It has new sight, intended for 800 meters range. Foregrip, and buttstock and pistol grip are made from harder materials. Furthermore foregrip has a different shape. Riffle is fitted with a new, more effective muzzle brake. Cartridge case ejection port is completed with a deflector to prevent an empty case hitting the face.

   The M16A3 automatic rifle is intended for all types of forces including special forces. It resembles design of the M16A2. The main difference between these two rifles is a multipurpose accessory rail on the M16A3 instead of the rifle's carrying handle. Although it do not prevents from using a carrying handle mounted on top of the rails. Its main advantage is an ability to mount various sights on these rails with an ability to lower a sighting line closer to the barrel and consequently increasing the fire accuracy. This rifle fires in single and automatic firing modes only.

   The M16A4 is similar to M16A3 except the fire mode selector. It executes single or three round burst fire.

   The M4 and M4A1 Carbines are a shortened versions of the M16A2.

   All variants of the M16 automatic rifle are completed with the dioptric sight, although US marine with the M16A2 automatic rifleevery ther type of sight can be fitted. Automatic rifles can be also fitted with the M203 40-mm underbarrel grenade launcher and knife-bayonet. Some types of the flash hiders are used to cut barbed wire by inserting the wire inside the flash hider and firing.


   It features very good fire accuracy. Carrying handle makes it more comfortable to carry in the battlefield. Rifle is well balance, and has very weak recoil.


   Not too reliable design, tends to jam.

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