Saturday, 17 August 2013

M16 rifle

Type     Assault rifle
Place of origin     United States of Americ
Weight     7.18 lb (3.26 kg) (unloaded)
8.79 lb (4.0 kg) (loaded)
Length     39.5 in (1,000 mm)
Barrel length     20 in (508 mm)
Cartridge     5.56×45mm NATO
Action     Gas-operated, rotating bolt (direct impingement)
Rate of fire     12–15 rounds/min sustained
45–60 rounds/min semi-automatic
700–950 rounds/min cyclic
Muzzle velocity     3,110 ft/s (948 m/s)[4]
Effective range     550 meters (point target)
800 meters (area target)[5]
Feed system     20-round box magazine:
(0.211 lb [96 grams] empty / 0.738 lb [335 g] full)
30-round box magazine:
(0.257 lb [117 g] empty / 1.06 lb [483 g] full)
Beta C-Mag 100-round double-lobed drum:
(2.2 lb [1 kg] empty / 4.81 lb [2.19 kg] full)ica



 M16 rifle
The M16 rifle, officially designated Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16, is the United States military version of the AR-15 rifle. The rifle was adapted for semi-automatic, three-round burst, and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. The rifle entered United States Army service and was deployed for jungle warfare operations in South Vietnam in 1963,becoming the U.S. military's standard service rifle of the Vietnam War by 1969, replacing the M14 rifle in that role. The U.S. Army retained the M14 in CONUS, Europe, and South Korea until 1970. Since the Vietnam War, the M16 rifle family has been the primary service rifle of the U.S. armed forces.

The M16 has also been widely adopted by other militaries around the world. Total worldwide production of M16s has been approximately 8 million, making it the most-produced firearm of its caliber. As of 2010, the Army is supplementing the M16 in combat units with the M4 carbine, which is itself a shortened derivative of the M16A2.

Overview

 The M16 is a lightweight, 5.56 mm, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed assault rifle, with a rotating bolt, actuated by direct impingement gas operation. The rifle is made of steel, 7075 aluminum alloy, composite plastics and polymer materials.

In the early 1960s, the U.S. Air Force's rifle, the M16, and the Army's XM16E1, were the first versions of the M16 rifle fielded. Soon, the U.S. Army standardized an upgrade of the XM16E1 as the M16A1 rifle, an M16 with a forward assist feature and other improvements requested by the Army. All of the early versions were chambered to fire the M193/M196 cartridges in the semi-automatic and the automatic firing modes. This occurred in the early 1960s, with the Army issuing it in late 1964. Commercial AR-15s were first issued to Special Forces troops in spring of 1964.
A U.S. soldier on NBC exercise, holding an M16A1 rifle and wearing an M40 Field Protective Mask. Note the receiver, forward assist and the barrel flash suppressor.

The M16A2 rifle entered service in the 1980s, being ordered in large scale by 1987, chambered to fire the standard NATO cartridge, the Belgian-designed M855/M856.The M16A2 is a select-fire rifle (semi-automatic fire, three-round-burst fire) incorporating design elements requested by the Marine Corps:an adjustable, windage rear-sight; a stock 5⁄8 inches (15.9 mm) longer; heavier barrel; case deflector for left-hand shooters; and cylindrical handguards. The fire mode selector is on the receiver's left side.

The M16A3 rifle is an M16A2 rifle with an M16A1's fire control group (semi-automatic fire, automatic fire) that is used only by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard replaced their upper receivers with A2 receivers in the mid 90's, but retained the full auto capability by mounting the new A2 upper receiver on the old full auto lower receiver.[citation needed]


The M16A4 rifle was standard issue for the United States Marine Corps in Operation Iraqi Freedom after 2004 and replaced the M16A2 in front line units. In the U.S. Army, the M16A2 rifle is being supplemented with two rifle models, the M16A4 and the M4 carbine, as the standard issue assault rifle. The M16A4 has a flat-top receiver developed for the M4 carbine, a handguard with four Picatinny rails for mounting a sight, laser, night vision device, forward handgrip, removable handle, or a flashlight.

The M16 rifle is principally manufactured by Colt and Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (under a U.S. military contract since 1988 by FNH-USA; currently in production since 1991, primarily M16A2, A3, and A4), with variants made elsewhere in the world. Versions for the U.S. military have also been made by H & R Firearms[14] General Motors Hydramatic Division and most recently by Sabre Defence. Semi-automatic versions of the AR-15 are popular recreational shooting rifles, with versions manufactured by other small and large manufacturers in the U.S.

History 

ArmaLite sold its rights to the AR-15 to Colt in 1959. The AR-15 was first adopted in 1962 by the United States Air Force, ultimately receiving the designation M16. The U.S. Army began to field the XM16E1 en masse in 1965 with most of them going to the Republic of Vietnam, and the newly organized and experimental Airmobile Divisions, the 1st Air Cavalry Division in particular. The U.S. Marine Corps in South Vietnam also experimented with the M16 rifle in combat during this period. The XM16E1 was standardized as the M16A1 in 1967. This version remained the primary infantry rifle of U.S. forces in South Vietnam until the end of direct U.S. ground involvement in 1973, and remained with all U.S. military ground forces after it had replaced the M14 service rifle in 1970 in CONUS, Europe (Germany), and South Korea; when it was supplemented by the M16A2. During the early 1980s a roughly standardized load for this ammunition was adopted throughout NATO (see: 5.56×45mm NATO).

The M16A3 is a fully automatic variant of the M16A2, issued within the United States Navy. The M16A2 is currently being supplemented by the M16A4, which incorporates the flattop receiver unit developed for the M4 carbine, and Picatinny rail system. M16A2s are still in stock with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, but are used primarily by reserve and National Guard units as well as by the U.S. Air Force.[citation needed]

The M16 rifle design, including variant or modified version of it such as the Armalite/Colt AR-15 series, AAI M15 rifle; AP74; EAC J-15; SGW XM15A; any 22-caliber rimfire variant, including the Mitchell M16A-1/22, Mitchell M16/22, Mitchell CAR-15/22, and AP74 Auto Rifle, is a prohibited and restricted weapon in Canada.

The first issues of the rifle generated considerable controversy because the gun suffered from a jamming flaw known as “failure to extract,” which meant that a spent cartridge case remained lodged in the chamber after a bullet flew out the muzzle. According to a congressional report, the jamming was caused primarily by a change in gunpowder that was done without adequate testing and reflected a decision for which the safety of soldiers was a secondary consideration. Due to the issue, reports of soldiers being wounded were directly linked to the M16, which many soldiers felt was unreliable compared to its precursor, the M14, which used stick powder, varying from the M16's utilization of ball powder.

 Project SALVO

In 1948, the U.S. Army organized the civilian Operations Research Office, mirroring similar operations research organizations in the United Kingdom. One of their first efforts, Project ALCLAD, studied body armor and the conclusion was that they would need to know more about battlefield injuries in order to make reasonable suggestions. Over 3 million battlefield reports from World War I and World War II were analyzed and over the next few years they released a series of reports on their findings.

The conclusion was that most combat takes place at short range. In a highly mobile war, combat teams ran into each other largely by surprise; and the team with the higher firepower tended to win. They also found that the chance of being hit in combat was essentially random; accurate "aiming" made little difference because the targets no longer sat still. The number one predictor of casualties was the total number of bullets fired. Other studies of behavior in battle revealed that many U.S. infantrymen (as many as two-thirds) never actually fired their rifles in combat. By contrast, soldiers armed with rapid fire weapons were much more likely to have fired their weapons in battle. These conclusions suggested that infantry should be equipped with a fully automatic rifle of some sort in order to increase the actual firepower of regular soldiers. It was also clear, however, that such weapons dramatically increased ammunition use and in order for a rifleman to be able to carry enough ammunition for a firefight he would have to carry something much lighter.


Existing rifles met none of these criteria. Although it appeared the new 7.62 mm T44 (precursor to the M14) would increase the rate of fire, its heavy 7.62 mm NATO cartridge made carrying significant quantities of ammunition difficult. Moreover, the length and weight of the weapon made it unsuitable for short range combat situations often found in jungle and urban combat or mechanized warfare, where a smaller and lighter weapon could be brought to bear faster.

These efforts were noticed by Colonel René Studler, U.S. Army Ordnance's Chief of Small Arms Research and Development. Col. Studler asked the Aberdeen Proving Ground to submit a report on the smaller caliber weapons. A team led by Donald Hall, director of program development at Aberdeen, reported that a .22 inch (5.56 mm) round fired at a higher velocity would have performance equal to larger rounds in most combat. With the higher rate of fire possible due to lower recoil it was likely such a weapon would inflict more casualties on the enemy. His team members, notably William C. Davis, Jr. and Gerald A. Gustafson, started development of a series of experimental .22 (5.56 mm) cartridges. In 1955, their request for further funding was denied.

A new study, Project SALVO, was set up to try to find a weapon design suited to real-world combat. Running between 1953 and 1957 in two phases, SALVO eventually suggested that a weapon firing four rounds into a 20-inch (508 mm) area would double the hit probability of existing semi-automatic weapons.

In the second phase, SALVO II, several experimental weapons concepts were tested. Irwin Barr of AAI Corporation introduced a series of flechette weapons, starting with a shotgun shell containing 32 darts and ending with single-round flechette "rifles". Winchester and Springfield Armory offered multiple barrel weapons, while ORO's own design used two .22, .25 or .27 caliber bullets loaded into a single .308 Winchester or .30-06 cartridge.

 

 

 



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