Weapons used by the U.S. Armed Forces
Mission of the M16 Rifle
Deter and, if necessary, repel adversaries by enabling individuals and small units to engage targets with
accurate, lethal, direct fire.
Entered Army Service
Description and Specifications
The M16 is a lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed rifle designed for either automatic or
semi-automatic fire through use of a selector lever. There are four variants – the M-16A1/A2/A3/A4. The
M-16A2 incorporates improvements in iron sight, pistol grip, stock and overall combat effectiveness.
Accuracy is enhanced by incorporating an improved muzzle compensator, three-round burst control, and a
heavier barrel; and by using the heavier NATO-standard ammunition, which is also fired by the squad
automatic weapon. The M-16A3 is identical to the M-16A2 but has a removable carrying handle that is mounted
on a Picatinny Rail (for better mounting of optics) and is without burst control. The M-16A4 is identical to the
M-16A2 except for the removable carrying handle and Picatinny Rail.
Caliber: 5.56 mm
Weight: 8.8 lbs (includes sling & one loaded magazine)
Range: 800 meters for an area target / 550 meters for a point target
Colt Manufacturing and Fabrique Nationale Manufacturing Inc.