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M16A4

Assault rifle

M16A4

The M16A4 is a standard-issue rifle used by the US Marine Corps

 
 
Country of origin United States
Entered service 1998
Caliber 5.56 x 45 mm
Weight 3.4 kg
Length 1 000 mm
Barrel length 508 mm
Muzzle velocity 922 m/s
Practical rate of fire 40 - 80 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Sighting range 800 m
Range of effective fire 600 m

 

   The M16A4 assault rifle is produced by Colt company. It is a version of the M16A3. The only significant difference is that the M16A4 lacks full-auto firing mode, but instead has a 3-round burst mode. The M16A4 was adopted by the US Marine Corps in 1998. It was a standard-issue USMC weapon until 2015, when it was replaced in this role by a more compact M4 carbine. The M16A4 rifles are still used by support and non-infantry marines. This weapon has been exported to some countries, including Thailand, Tunisia and Turkey.

   The M16A4 is a gas-operated weapon. It is chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. A number of lightweight materials are used in construction of this weapon in order to save weight. Interesting feature of this weapon is that its barrel is in the same axis with the buttstock. This feature reduces muzzle climb and increases accuracy, as the recoil force is directed backwards, rather than upwards.

   A fire mode selector is conveniently located above the pistol grip and is operated by a thumb. It has positions for "safe", "semi-auto" and "3-round burst". After a Vietnam War the US military examined use of their M16 assault rifles in combat. It was determined that firing on full-auto past 3 rounds largely resulted in a waste of ammunition. So a full-auto firing mode was replaced with 3-round burst mode. Furthermore current training stresses that semi-auto fire should be used almost exclusively, while automatic fire being used only in close quarters. Full-auto mode is present on the M16A3 assault rifle, however only a relatively small number of these weapons were adopted by the US Navy SEALs, US Navy Seabees, and some other units.

   A charging handle is located at the rear of the receiver and does not reciprocate when the gun is fired. Ejection port is located on the right side.

   In the early 1960s, when the original M16 assault rifle was introduced during the Vietnam War, it had serious reliability issues. However eventually most of them were fixed. The M16A4 is a reliable, accurate and comfortable weapon with an ergonomic design. In 2002 during reliability tests the M16A4 failed and malfunctioned only 61 times out of 69 000 rounds fired. That's an impressive result. Further tests conducted in 2005 and 2006 showed that the M16 rifle on average fires approximately 5 000 rounds between stoppages.

   This weapon is fed from the standard M16-type 30-round magazines. This assault rifle is also compatible with standard NATO magazines.

   The M16A4 comes as standard with a solid buttstock. Because of internal design this weapon can not be adapted for a folding stock. Only a telescopic stock can be used. In 2014 a limited number rifles with adjustable telescopic buttstocks were issued to the US Marines.

   The M16A4 has got a full-length Picatinny type scope rail. This weapon is equipped with a detachable carrying handle, that has built-in iron sights. However it is typically used with various scopes, rather than the standard iron sights. The M16A4 is compatible with a variety of scopes and night vision devices. This weapon has an effective range of 600 meters when using standard NATO ammunition.

   There are Picatinny-type accessory rails for various add-ons, such as vertical grips, laser pointers, tactical flashlights, bipods and so on.

   Flash hider is the same one as used on the previous M16A3 and M16A2 assault rifles. This weapon can mount a knife-bayonet. The M16A4 is compatible with an M203 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher.

 

 
M16A4

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M16A4

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M16A4

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M16A4

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M16A4

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