View Full Version : M16 information needed

Strapped with HKs
September 24, 2002, 03:47 PM
i have a research paper to write for my defense economics class. i decides to do it on the economics of the M16. I need a good place to start with information on weight, capacity, accuracy, range, cost, misfire ratios, jamming problems, life, repairs.

basically i need to find any and everything out about this rifle. any recommendations of sources would be appreciated (i am not opposed to reading a book or five, i am in college right?)

thanks a lot

September 24, 2002, 03:57 PM
Try www.ar15.com. They have several forums on the AR family.


September 24, 2002, 04:17 PM
The Black Rifle (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0889351155/qid%3D1032902027/102-6767641-0530545)
by R. Blake Stevens

Available through Interlibrary Loan to a Campus Library near you. :)

September 24, 2002, 04:17 PM
you prolly want a copy of a book called
"The Black Rifle"
The Black Rifle M16 Retrospective

by R Blake Stevens and Edward C Ezell
Enhanced Second Edition, 1992
416 pages, 441 illustrations

A chilling study of small arms development and procurement in the post-Ordnance US small arms environment, wherein OSD 'whiz kids' arrogantly called the tune and shooting watermelons at a picnic passed for engineering development. Beginning with the Black Rifle's forebear the ArmaLite AR-10, through the small caliber/high velocity (SCHV) program at Aberdeen Proving Ground, the .22 Gustafson carbine, the .22/NATO T48 and the Springfield and Winchester .224 rifles, this is an in-depth examination of the many controversies surrounding the 5.56mm M16 'package' - where it came from: what it is; what it is not, and why.

September 24, 2002, 04:30 PM
You can compile a lot of information with internet sources as well as books for the M16.

For internet I'd recommend searching under...

Eugene Stoner

I'd also troop over to a bookstore and find a copy of Janes Infantry Weapons.

This link also has some information on it and makes for interesting reading.

Go down to the Saga of the M16. Part 1 and 2.

If we have some active duty guys here they could also give you some numbers from the CTT manuals on ballistics and ranges as well as weapon characteristics.

Good Shooting

September 24, 2002, 05:42 PM
Would be interesting to what the McNamara effects were on the M16 adoption and evolution for the purpose of trying to determine how much money was wasted on a poorly deployed/developed weapon.

Supposedly they were instrumental in helping to dictate how the M16 was fielded after adoption, part of the reason behind why they weren't manufactured with chrome plated chambers(like they should have been, especially for a humid almost tropical climate) and why the powders were screwed up which lead to all sorts of headaches.

In the end, you've gotta wonder how much money they wound up spending to fix the M16 because they originally tried to cut corners and save some money. The very problems with the M16s early on were likely a result of a bunch of a "know it alls" trying to dicate what a weapon does and doesn't need by looking at the numbers on the bottom line, in the end they'd probably have saved the country money by doing things correctly in the first place and fielding it like it should have been.

September 24, 2002, 06:57 PM

September 24, 2002, 07:22 PM
This minght get you off to a start.

The current standard issue rifle of the US military is the M-16 A2
Primary function: Infantry weapon
Manufacturer: Colt Manufacturing and Fabrique Nationale Manufacturing Inc.
Length: 39.63 inches (100.66 centimeters)
Weight, with 30 round magazine: 8.79 pounds (3.99 kilograms)
Bore diameter: 5.56mm (.233 inches)
Maximum range :3,600 meters Maximum effective range:
Area target: 2,624.8 feet (800 meters)
Point target: 1,804.5 feet (550 meters)
Muzzle velocity: 2,800 feet (853 meters) per second
Rate of fire:
Cyclic: 800 rounds per minute
Sustained: 12-15 rounds per minute
Semiautomatic: 45 rounds per minute
Burst: 90 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 30 rounds
Unit Replacement Cost: $586

Also here is some text about the history and function of the rifle.

General dissatisfaction with the M14 and numerous studies led the Army to the development of a light weight weapon capable of firing a burst of small caliber bullets with a controlled dispersion pattern. Although opposed by the Ordnance Corp, the Armalite AR-15 was adopted by the Secretary of Defense as the 5.56mm M16 rifle. The M16 was selectable for full and automatic fire. The M16 was to have had the same effective range as the M14 rifle it replaced, but it was most effective at a range of 215 yards (200m) or less. The M16 used a 5.56mm (.223 cal.) cartridge in 20- or 30-round magazines. There were a number of problems encountered during initial fielding, but better training, preventive maintenance, and several design changes, resulted in the weapon that has become the standard issue rifle of the US Army , with some 3,690,000 having been manufactured.
The M16A2 semiautomatic rifle is the standard by which all military rifles of the future will be judged. This variant of the M16 fires a three-round burst in semiautomatic operation. The system incorporates an adjustable rear sight which corrects for both wind and elevation, a heavier barrel with 1-in-7 rifling, and a muzzle compensator to prevent muzzle climb during semiautomatic operation. The M16A2 is capable of firing all NATO standard 5.56mm ammunition and can fire 40mm grenades when equipped with the M203 Grenade Launcher.

The M4/M4A1 5.56mm Carbine is a lightweight, gas operated, air cooled, magazine fed, selective rate, shoulder fired weapon with a collapsible stock. A shortened variant of the M16A2 rifle, the M4 provides the individual soldier operating in close quarters the capability to engage targets at extended range with accurate, lethal fire. The M4 Carbine achieves over 80% commonality with the M16A2 Rifle and will replace all M3 .45 caliber submachine guns and selected M9 pistols and M16 rifle series.

The M16A2 5.56mm rifle is a lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, shoulder- or hip-fired weapon designed for either automatic fire (3-round bursts) or semiautomatic fire (single shot) through the use of a selector lever. The weapon has a fully adjustable rear sight. The bottom of the trigger guard opens to provide access to the trigger while wearing winter mittens. The upper receiver/barrel assembly has a fully adjustable rear sight and a compensator which helps keep the muzzle down during firing. The steel bolt group and barrel extension are designed with locking lugs which lock the bolt group to the barrel extension allowing the rifle to have a lightweight aluminum receiver.

The M16A2 rifle is a product improvement of the M16A1 rifle. The improvements are:

a heavier, stiffer barrel than the barrel of the M16A1;

a redesigned handguard, using two identical halves, with a round contour which is sturdier and provides a better grip when holding the rifle;

a new buttstock and pistol grip made of a tougher injection moldable plastic that provides much greater resistance to breakage;

an improved rear sight which can be easily adjusted for windage and range;

a modified upper receiver design to deflect ejected cartridges, and preclude the possibility of the ejected cartridges hitting the face of a left-handed firer;

a burst control device, that limits the number of rounds fired in the automatic mode to three per trigger pull, which increases accuracy while reducing ammunition expenditure;

a muzzle compensator, designed to reduce position disclosure and improve controllability and accuracy in both burst and rapid semi-automatic fire;

a heavier barrel with a 1 in 7 twist to fire NATO standard SS 109 type (M855) ammunition which is also fired from the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). This further increases the effective range and penetration of the rifle cartridge. The M16A2 will also shoot the older M193 ammunition designed for a 1 in 12 twist.

I hope this helps a bit. :)


September 24, 2002, 07:26 PM
I thought 1:7 twists were for properly stabilizing the heavier/longer tracers matched to the 62grain SS109? SS109 will fire fine from a 1:9 twist barrel, certainly doesn't require a 1:7, but the tracers on the other hand, those suckers have all the length of an 80grain match bullet.

September 24, 2002, 07:58 PM
You are right regarding the barrel twist and the tracers. SS109 will stabilize just fine in 1:9, it's the freakishly long M856 tracer which is not properly stabilized in 1:9, hence the 1:7 twist.

September 25, 2002, 12:03 AM
A couple more changes to add to SR15's post from A1 to A2.

New front sight. Instead of round the sight is squared.

Forward assist changed from teardrop to round shaped.

Buttstock is longer. Uses A1 buffer tube, but has a spacer. Buttplate also is squared with coarse checkering.

Reinforced lower reciever.

Finger groove added to pistol grip

I kinda hated it when they went to three round burst. It was a lot more fun using the M16A1 for supressive/cover fire. I probably still have an old M16 bipod floating around somewhere.:D

Good Shooting

Strapped with HKs
September 25, 2002, 10:34 AM
thanks guys, keep em comming...

September 25, 2002, 10:59 AM
You can either tape it (it's running this week again, late at night I think?) or order a copy of the recent "Military Firepower" that has a big section on Eugene Stoner, the development philosophy and the entire developmental history of the M-16. Or order the entire Tales of The Gun episode on the M-16.

Far more information and background than anyone would even need.

Don P.

September 25, 2002, 11:35 AM
Won't you get expelled for writing a paper about guns?
Maybe they'll let you stay if you talk about how evil they are at the end, and that only the military should have them :barf:

James K
September 25, 2002, 01:00 PM
Your professor will probably have you expelled if you are lucky, or maybe just exterminated an an enemy of the people.

Seriously, in SR_15_M4's post that bore diameter should be .223 not .233.

The current issue for most units in Afghanistand is the M4 carbine, a shortened M16A2. The number is different because carbines are considered a separate weapon by the Army, and the last carbine was the M3, chambered for the .30 Carbine cartridge and fitted with an infrared lamp and scope. (The M1 was the WWII vintage .30 carbine, and the M2 was the full auto version of same.

The M16 had many problems in the early days, including such zealous promotion by Colt that many users were actually told it was a "miracle" rifle that did not need cleaning and that one shot anywhere on the body would kill instantaneously from shock. (I think there was something about mushroom clouds, wiping out cities, etc., in there too.)

A major goof on the powder used was a big contributor to early failures. Contrary to press reports, it was not due to the Army using "old" extruded powder instead of the new "ball" powder; it was the reverse. The rifle had been designed to use the old powder. Use of ball powder, plus some shortcuts in the production of that powder, caused the gas tubes to clog, disabling the rifle. Worse, the Army, having originally found that the tubes gave no problem (with the old powder) had made no provision for cleaning materials. Later, a "pipe cleaner" type cleaner was issued.

Today, with millions having been spent on it, the rifle is much improved, and very accurate. It is still a relatively low power rifle, but it was designed, and adopted, because it is controllable in full auto fire, which the older M14, with a more powerful cartridge, was not.



Strapped with HKs
September 25, 2002, 04:50 PM
I have already clearde the topic of the paper with my professor, he approved. Turnes out that he was a fighter pilot back a number of years ago. So keep 'em coming fellas! And thanks for the concern!