In 1957, the company Armalite Division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corp of the U.S. Army is a proposal to develop an automatic rifle kalibra.22 (5.56 mm) caliber, low-mass, capable at a distance of 500 meters to break the standard army helmet. Under this program, the designer company Armalite - Eugene Stoner starts developing new rifles on the basis of its earlier development - AR-10 rifle 7.62mm.
Simultaneously engineers firms Sierra Bullets and Remington, in collaboration with Armalite, starting with the development of a new fighting cartridge 5.56 mm based on hunting patronov.222 i.222 Remington Remington Magnum. The new cartridge was originally nazvan.222 Remington Special, but soon gets designation - .223 Remington (5.56x45 mm).
In 1958, the company introduced the Armalite Division, U.S. Army Test, developed by Eugene Stoner, 5.56-mm rifle under the designation of an AR-15.
By reducing cartridge in the new rifle was lowered total weight of weapons, ammunition and increased reduced recoil force. Also design the AR-15 Stoner applied lightweight aluminum alloys and fiberglass, which made the rifle one of the lightest in the world. This weapon was a bit unusual. Catches the eye that the sights were on a special frame for carrying weapons. With this construction, the stock was located on the same line with the axis of the bore, which helped to minimize the force of impact, and resulted to a reduction of the vertical displacement of the bullet when fired.
However, in the tests revealed a number of problems with the reliability and accuracy of fire.
In 1959 a new rifle is sent back for revision, but the company "Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company", which is completely buys rights to its design at the Armalite. And he leaves the firm Yu Stoner Armalite and goes to work in the Colt, where he continued to work on his rifle.
However in 1959 the army has lost interest in the development and Stoner tried to get a gun with a caliber of 6 mm on the program "Personal weapons for special purposes" (SPIW).
Nevertheless, the U.S. Air Force interested in obtaining a compact weapons to arm them guard units airfields, wishes to purchase 8,000 rifles for the security of the Strategic Air Command of the U.S. Air Force (US AF Strategic Air Command security forces) to replace aging M1 carbines and M2.
In 1962, the Agency for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research (Advanced Research Projects Agency - ARPA) purchases 1000 the firm Colt rifles and directs them to South Vietnam to verify the conditions of actual hostilities.
Despite the theoretical advantages, the practical application and hostilities immediately revealed numerous shortcomings. Providers stated that the rifle does not require special maintenance and rifle was quite capricious. For reasons of economy at the initial purchase, the U.S. Army did not order enough kits for cleaning weapons. Besides, again for reasons of economy, badly matched powder (when creating new cartridges for rifles used gunpowder type IMR company Dupont, and the U.S. Army in the manufacture of cartridges, replaced it with a standard powder that was used to reloading 7.62x51mm NATO) gave too much soot, causing the sleeve firmly stuck in the chamber. The liner had to knock out a ramrod that during the fighting led to disastrous results.
identified shortcomings in Vietnam forced developers to reconsider the design of the "black rifle." Chromium plating chamber and the bore increased corrosion resistance and easier cleaning. Type cartridge powder changed to a higher quality, giving less fouling. Introduced a more viscous lubricant, because the standard gun oil in a tropical climate proved unsuitable. 20-cartridge stores have replaced 30 cartridge. This increased the weight of the rifle, but equalize performance with Kalashnikovs Soviet and Chinese production.
| M16 |
In 1963 Colt firm gets contract for production of 19,000 rifles M16 for the U.S. Air Force and 85,000 rifles XM16E1 for the U.S. Army.
M16 rifle was nothing like the original AR-15 with appropriate (Property of US Govt - Property of the U.S. Government, etc.).
Rifle XM16E1 different from the AR-15 / M16 presence shutter loading rod ("forward assist"), took the form a large button on the right side of the receiver.
In 1964, the U.S. Air Force officially take on arms rifle M16, and the U.S. Army takes XM16E1 rifle as a weapon limited standard to fill the time (as it was thought) niche between a previous 7.62-mm M14 rifle and future weapons, created program SPIW.
After military acknowledged program SPIW incorrect, their gaze was reiterated to the development of Stoner.
In 1966, the firm Colt gets a government contract to supply 840 000 rifles, totaling nearly 92 million U.S. dollars.
| M16A1 |
With an installed 40-mm grenade launcher
February 28, 1967, the U.S. Army officially adopted the rifle takes XM16E1 under the designation "US Rifle, 5.56mm, M16A1".
In 1981, the company is developing a version of the rifle Colt M16A1, adapted for the SS109 cartridge caliber 5.56x45 mm NATO (5.56x45 cartridge improved version mm, designed by Belgian Fabric National and adopted as a single bullet to the armies of NATO), and passes it to test the U.S. Army under the designation M16A1E1. This rifle differed from the M16A1 thicker and heavier barrel with 1:7 pitch rifling (the previous model step was rifling 1:12), improved iron sights, new forearm and butt, as well as replacing the continuous fire mode (bursts) mode cutoff queue after 3 rounds.
| M16A2 |
With an installed 40-mm grenade launcher
1982 rifle M16A1E1 receives formal designation "US Rifle, 5.56mm, M16A2", and in 1983 and 1985 are brought into service the Marine Corps and the U.S. Army M16A1 instead.
In 1994, the U.S. military weapons began to receive new versions of the M16 - rifle M16A3 and M16A4, with the so-called "flat" ("flat top") receiver, in which the integrated carrying handle replaced by guide type Picatinny, designed to install a variety of sights, including the removable carrying handle with iron sights type M16A2. Otherwise identical M16A4 rifle M16A2, M16A3 whereas characterized by the fact that, instead of cut-off mode has three shot fire bursts of any length (as M16A1).
| M16A3 |
Carrying handle is removed, store disconnected
rifle series M16 / AR-15 is an automatic or semi-automatic weapon with an air-cooled barrel, power from detachable box magazine and automation based on a gas engine. Fires from a closed bolt.
gas operated design Eugene Stoner has no gas piston in the traditional sense. Powder gases are discharged through an opening in the wall of the barrel and gas tube stainless steel discharged into the receiver. The rear end of the gas tube before firing enters a special nozzle (gas key), mounted on top of the slide frame. At the moment of firing the powder gases pass through the gas tube and fall through the orifice into the cavity inside the bolt. This annular cavity located around the shank of the shutter and the front side of the thickened part of the shutter is limited and rear - the wall of the bolt. Gas pressure within the cavity causes the bolt carrier to start moving back, initially relatively fixed shutter. This movement using figure groove in the slide frame and into a leading pin him to the gate turns the gate, bringing his lugs (number 7) out of engagement with the barrel shank. After tripping the shutter with a trunk full slide group (the bolt and bolt carrier) continue to move back under the influence of the residual gas pressure in the chamber and due to the inertia of these parts. During this movement of the barrel is extracted and ejected cartridge cases out and compresses the return spring located in the butt. Under the influence of the return spring returns slide group forward, feeding into the trunk and a new cartridge in the barrel end of the movement, rotating bolt locking. On all cartridges are fired in the store automatically slide group remains in the rear position due to the presence of the slide stop mechanism, automatically activated feeder shop and off manually using the buttons on the left side of the receiver.
| M16A4 |
T-cocking lever, located at the rear of the receiver on the butt, and does not move during firing.
Starting with the M16A1 (HM16E1) rifles are on the right side of the receiver dosylatel shutter designed for manual shut-off valve while the force of the return spring is not enough for this (eg, clogged the chamber). Rammer has the form button with a dog on the opposite end interacting with notches on the right side of the bolt.
ejection port closed spring-loaded dust shutter automatically opens when cocking the shutter. And starting with the M16A2, behind the window to eject shell casings appeared projection reflector designed to allow comfortable shooting from the left shoulder. For M16A1, which did not have such a device in the U.S. Army had a special removable reflector installed if needed for weapons for a couple of minutes.
Trigger trigger, fairly simple in design. Modes are selected using the trigger three-position (on military weapons) or DIP (the civilian) switch on the receiver on the left, above the pistol grip. Switch for military weapons has the following positions: "safe" (fuse), "semi" (single shots), "auto" (automatic fire, M16A1) or "burst" (fire off in the 3 shots for the M16A2).
With incomplete disassembly
made of two halves - the top (upper receiver) and bottom (lower receiver). Both halves are made of machined aluminum forgings (some commercial models have a receiver of aluminum alloy). Connect the two halves occurs via two cross pins - front (pivot - pivot pin) and rear (razborochno - takedown pin). For partial disassembly rear pin is squeezed from left to right using any suitable object, including - cartridge, and then receiver "breaketh" around the front of the pin, then it can be removed from the bolt group and a handle for loading and inspect and clean the rifle . Front for further disassembly the pin is pressed in a similar manner, and the receiver is broken down into two parts.
Sights M16A1 include fly round on the basis of the gas chamber, closed at the sides by two "ears". Diopter rear sight - CO, L-shaped, designed to range of 250 and 400 meters, and is located in the carrying handle. The front sight is adjustable for height, and the rear sight has a mechanism for introducing lateral correction (only for bringing weapons to normal combat). Fly on the M16A2 is generally similar to M16A1 gunpoint, but has a rectangular cross section. Diopter rear sight also, rocker, but to a range of amendments introduced by means of a drum as a whole, and two apertures designed for different shooting conditions - with good lighting (lower) and low light (large).
M16A3 and M16A4 instead of the integrated handle made rails for mounting a variety of sights type Picatinny (MilStd -1913). If necessary, this guide can be mounted removable carrying handle with iron sights identical rifle M16A2.
| M16A4 |
carried weapons from a box-lane stores. Originally shops were aluminum, capacity for 20 rounds. Later, there were aluminum and steel magazines for 30 rounds. In addition, there is a considerable range of shops of various sizes are produced for commercial sale - 7 and 10 ammunition for civilian weapons, and 40-round box mag and drum cartridge 100-120 (including 100 double-cartridge drums Beta-C 120 and US-made Insert drums Chinese production).
arresters at the earliest models M16 - trehschelevye with open forward slots on M16A1 - chetyrehschelevye with closed front slits on the M16A2 - pyatischelevye. Arrestor can be installed on the bayonet model M7 or M9.
rifles M16A1 and M16A2 is possible to install a 40 mm grenade launcher singly M203. Grenade launcher mounted under the barrel of a rifle instead of the standard forearm. For firing a grenade launcher, mounted on a rifle special additional sights.
forend, pistol grip, butt arms are made of impact-resistant black plastic.
handguard on M16A1 rifles and early Bole - triangular cross-section, of the two non-interchangeable halves, left and right. M16A2 handguard on circular section of two interchangeable halves, top and bottom. Inside the handguard has aluminum heat-liners.
Butt in M61A2 is slightly longer than the M16A1. In the butt plate has a door covering the compartment for accessories for cleaning and care of the weapon.
rifle rifle with a removable strap.
M16 rifle in the world arena weapons twentieth century compared to its main adversary - the Soviet Kalashnikov rifle had greater precision and accuracy of firing single shots, was more comfortable and easy to handle. On the other hand, the M16 demanded much more care, better ammunition. Especially in terms of reliability in severe conditions (dirt, dust) AKM also excelled M16.
lower and upper modules
One of the main advantages of the design Yu Stoner should recognize its exceptional flexibility. Thanks to its modular design, actually consisting of two major modules - the "top" (the upper part of the receiver, barrel, gas outlet, handguard, sights, slide group) and "lower" (the lower part of the receiver, trigger mechanism, a buffer with return spring, pistol grip, butt), capable of being very fast reconfiguration rifle. So, on the one corresponding to the standards of "lower" part can be set tops itself with trunks of varying lengths (from 250 to 610 mm) caliber (.22 LR, 7.62x39 mm, 9x19 mm, 10 mm Auto, .50 AE, and many others not Considering native 5.56h45 mm), with an integral or removable carrying handle. This is especially important for customers in civil and police markets.
In the U.S. armed forces, army-type M16 rifles were adopted by U.S. police and widely exported. They used the armies of more than 70 states (including special purpose entities).
significant amount of M16 was put into service in Israel.
M16 carried out under license in the Philippines and South Korea.
Diemaco Canadian company established production licensing options under the designation M16 C7 and C8 for the Canadian Forces and for export.