Country of origin
5.56 x 45 mm
1 000 mm
Practical rate of fire
40 - 80 rpm
Range of effective fire
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
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
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
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.
is fed from the standard M16-type 30-round magazines. This assault
rifle is also compatible with standard NATO magazines.
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.
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
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