M16: the main assault rifle in history

American M16 has saved a lot of boring evenings Russian tragic, hoarse, disputes about whether it surpasses the famous "Kalashnikov" and is only suitable trophy to hang on the wall. Today we will have a small tour of the main weapons of a potential adversary. Yes, yes, the same.

M16: the main assault rifle in history

The birth of a legend

M16: the main assault rifle in history

And let the one who says it issued a circulation of about 8 million gun - not worthy of naming the legendary, throw the first stone at me. Initially, the development of long-term military order took koroporatsiya "ArmaLite". Engineer Eugene Stoner, who led the project, based his previously developed their rifle AR-10, designed for 7.62mm. Soon the first model AR-15 (military engineers generally not known visionary), brilliantly fail the first field tests.

The first batch of the AR-15 was intended Forces Special Response

There would be the end of the fairy tales and, as funding for the subsequent completion of the project the guys from "ArmaLite" did not exist - as well as the continuation of at least some development. Fortunately, very timely on the scene (who do you think?) Concern "Colt's Manufacturing Company". In 1960 under the same title rifle again it falls to the court dressed in khaki public.

M16: the main assault rifle in history

At this time, it is so impressive Gen. Eugene Leme, he orders the first batch of 8000 pieces. Two years later, the US Agency for Advanced Research (ARPA, later - DARPA, responsible, inter alia, for the appearance of creep-video-robot dog), sends thousands of AR-15 in Vietnam. And there, on the top, too, all is going well. Thus, an automatic rifle, developed by Colt arrives at the US Army under the designation M16.


M16: the main assault rifle in history

M16 rifle is still made of aluminum, steel and plastic. Cleaning tools, hidden in the butt. They, incidentally, was not on the first variations of weapons: "Colt's Manufacturing Company" advertised as the reliability of the product, that the US military simply refused cleaning kit.

The first version of the M16 military rifle not suitable for use in combat

This led to a very big problem in the same Vietnamese front: due to the accumulation of soot powder rifle barrel is simply bursting from the shot. The same fact is usually given in all variants of "kitchen debate" supporter forces Russian weapons: AK, they say, already in Vietnam showed their prowess.

M16: the main assault rifle in history

Features M16:

- Ground: 2, 88 kg. - Length: 969 mm.

- Magazine capacity: 30 rounds

- Size: 5, 56 mm.

- Patron 5, 56h45 mm.

- Rate of fire: 650-750 rounds per minute

- Effective range: 450 meters

The pros and cons of

M16: the main assault rifle in history


The main disadvantage of the rifle virtually all experts (including, and pillows) Number of unreliability of the system in the field. Followed by dissatisfaction with the dimensions - the weapon and in fact has too long barrel that could interfere with the transport of soldiers. However, this problem is solved by a rifle patch to version M4.

The main problem is the receiver is made of light alloys, where a crack may occur even during normal situations. Repair of such damage is not podzhlezhit general. M16 stores do not have high reliability: in fact, reliable operation is ensured only when the add gear is not more than the 28th ammo - nominal at 30.


Despite the above factors, there have M16 and its advantages. In particular, the accuracy of fire as much as 25% more than the AK-47 and higher sighting range. In general, the rifle is much more like a professional weapon than the same AK-47.

However, it is not clear whether it is possible to consider it a plus: in mass use of fail-safe and simple weapons may well perform better more accurate, but capricious opponent.

The most prominent modification


M16: the main assault rifle in history

First of all, it is worth pointing already mentioned above, a shortened version of the rifle - a model M4. Although the weapon was modified on many fronts (receiver and barrel process itself have been significantly modified), the biggest change has become, after all, the total length of the weapon. Shortened barrel and teleskopiruyuschy butt of the rifle made more suitable for the modern battlefield. Moreover, in additional equipment to the M4 began to include the M203 grenade launcher, which significantly increased the combat power of the unit. Unfortunately, the technology could not solve the underlying problem: the weapon was still afraid of dirt.

the SIG 516

M16: the main assault rifle in history

This development was in charge of the US subsidiary of the German weapons Concern. The Germans came to the very practical: in the first place, the designers have tried to resolve the main problem of the rifle, using no direct vent, and the piston with a short stroke.

Barrett REC7

M16: the main assault rifle in history

The US company Barrett Firearms develop models REC7 with the expectation of a complete replacement of obsolete M16. Engineers have implemented all the necessary improvements (including thinking about stem material, the gas piston and chrome plating necessary parts). In addition, Barrett REC7 made taking into account the existing realities of combat rifles sizes are not shackled soldier and do not interfere with him during loading and unloading of equipment.

Pirate version of

Enterprising citizens of a friendly (and remembering the adage about seeing the wise fight between two tigers from the mountain tops - and the world) in China are nice, not only numbers, but also built-in ability to pirated copy everything on his way and will be somehow sold. Local CQ 5, 56 - almost an exact copy of the American M16. The smallest modifications undergone handguard, butt and pistol grip. It's funny that the Iranian company DIO released their version of the American classics under the name DIO S-5, 56 - and copying it is not the original, but with the Chinese crafts.


Future in the original rifle virtually none. M16 just does not meet current realities. However, almost all currently approved by the US military forces operating time anyway use the rifle as a base. These are already adopting

FN SCAR and the HK G36, and which use materials and technical characteristics, can be considered a kind of futuristic incarnation of the classic M16.