Fact Sheet - M16A2 5.56mm Rifle
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 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
Features: 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.
Background: The M16A2 rifle is a product improvement of the M16A1 rifle. The improvements are:
heavier, stiffer barrel than the barrel of the M16A1;
redesigned handguard, using two identical halves, with a round contour which is sturdier and provides a better grip when holding the rifle;
new buttstock and pistol grip made of a tougher injection moldable plastic that provides much greater resistance to breakage;
improved rear sight which can be easily adjusted for windage and range;
modified upper receiver design to deflect ejected cartridges, and preclude the possibility of the ejected cartridges hitting the face of a left-handed firer;
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;
muzzle compensator, designed to reduce position disclosure and improve controllability and accuracy in both burst and rapid semi-automatic fire;
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.
RIFLE, 5.56mm, M16A2
REFERENCES: Field Manual 23-9, Technical Manual 9-1005-319-10
1. What is the description of the M16A2?
The M16A2 is a 5.56mm, magazine-fed, gas-operated, shoulder fired weapon. It is designed to fire either semiautomatic or a three-round burst through the use of a selector lever
2. What is the weight of the M16A2?
7.78 lbs, without sling or magazine
8.48 lbs, with sling and 20 round magazine
8.79 lbs, with sling and 30 round magazine
3. What is the length of the M16A2?
Barrel length with compensator, 21 inches
Rifle length with compensator, 39.63 inches
Rifle with bayonet, 44.84 inches
4. What is the maximum range of the M16A2.
5. What is the maximum effective range of the M16A2?
550 meters (point target)
800 meters (area target)
6. What is meant by Maximum Effective Range?
The greatest distance that a weapon may be expected to fire accurately to inflict casualties or damages
7. What is (are) the maximum effective rate (s) of fire for the M16A2 rifle?
Sustained: 12-15 rounds per minute
Semiautomatic: 45 rounds per minute
Automatic (3 round burst): 90 rounds per minute
8. What is meant by cyclic rate of fire?
The rate at which the weapon fires automatically
9. What is meant by sustained rate of fire?
The actual rate of fire that a weapon can continue to deliver for and indefinite length of time without seriously overheating
10. What is meant by maximum effective rate of fire?
The rate of fire that can be maintained without danger to the shooter or the weapon
11. What is the muzzle velocity of the M16A2?
3,100 feet per second
12. What is the recommended minimum basic load, with 30 round magazines, for the M16A2?
13. What types of ammunition can be used in firing the M16A2?
Tracer M196 & M856
14. What type of ammunition do you NOT fire in your M16A2?
Seriously corroded ammo
Cartridges with loose bullets
Cartridges exposed to extreme heat (135 degrees or more), until they have cooled
cartridges with the bullet pushed in (short rounds)
15. What is a stoppage?
Failure of an automatic or semiautomatic firearm to complete the cycle of operation
16. What is immediate action?
Quickly applying a possible correction to reduce a stoppage based on initial observation or indicators without determining the actual cause
17. What is a malfunction?
Failure to fire caused by procedural or mechanical failure of the rifle, magazine, or ammunition
18. What are the three primary categories of malfunctions?
-Failure to Feed, Chamber, or Lock
-Failure to Fire Cartridge
-Failure to Extract and Eject
19. What is remedial action?
It is the continuing effort to determine the cause for a stoppage or malfunction and to try to clear the stoppage once it has been identified
20. What immediate action should be taken for a stoppage?
-Slap upward on magazine to make sure it's properly seated
-Pull charging handle all the way back
-Observe ejection of case or cartridge, eyeball chamber and check for obstruction
-Release charging handle to feed new round
-Tap forward assist
21. What is the purpose of the compensator?
It helps keep the muzzle down during firing and breaks up the muzzle flash
22. Other than on the rifle range, for training, when may your weapon be fired?
You may ONLY fire your weapon as a last resort, when other means have failed or would not work:
-To protect yourself or your partner while on guard if you or your partner are in danger of death or serious bodily harm
-To prevent the actual theft of a weapon
23. What procedure should you follow if you must fire your weapon?
-Order the person(s) to halt before firing
-If you must fire, place your weapon on SEMIAUTOMATIC
-Aim to disable
24. If you must fire your weapon, what two things should you never do?
DO NOT fire a warning shoot
DO NOT fire if you are likely to hit an innocent bystander
25. What are the three basic steps of proper rifle maintenance?
26. What two things do you inspect the rifle for?
Cleanliness and serviceability
27. What do you use to clean the M16A2?
CLP, swabs, pipe cleaners, brushes, patches, and cleaning rods
28. What type of lubrication do you use on the M16A2?
-CLP (cleaner, lubricant, preservative) used for -35 degrees Fahrenheit & above
-Lubricating Oil, Arctic Weapons (only used during the coldest Arctic conditions)
29. What are the three levels of lubrication for the M16A2?
30. What are the two steps for the maintenance of the M16A2 magazine?
-Wipe dirt from the tube, spring, and follower
-Lubricate the spring only
31. What are the steps of a safety check on the M16A2 (clearing your rifle)?
-Weapon on safe
-Lock bolt to rear
-Visually inspect chamber
-Allow bolt to go forward
32. What is contained in the individual weapons cleaning kit?
Carrying case, small plastic bottle of CLP, bore brush, chamber brush (general purpose), set of cleaning cods (consists of a handle-rod, three extension rods, and swab holder), cleaning brush and swabs
33. Who is responsible for cleaning the individual's weapon?
The individual who is assigned to the weapon, not the armorer, armorer only cleans and takes care of the unassigned weapons
34. What is your weaponís serial number?
35. At what distance is the battlesight zero set?
36. What does the front sight adjustment correct for?
Elevation (up and down)
37. What does the rear sight adjustment correct for?
Windage (right and left)
38. What is the name of target used for zeroing?
25 meter zeroing target, M16A2
39. How many clicks of the windage or elevation does it take to move the strike of the bullet one square on the 25 meter target?
40. What positions are available on the M16A2 selector lever?
41. With the M16A2 selector level on burst, how many rounds does the M16A2 fire on each burst?
Three (3) rounds
42. On the M16A2, the rear sight consists of how many sight adjustments?
2: windage knob and elevation knob
43. The larger aperture on the M16A2 marked 0-2 is used for what?
Moving targets and limited visibility
44. If battlesight zero has not previously been determined on the M16A2, what setting must be placed on the weapon prior to zeroing?
Initial sight setting (Mechanical zero)
45. How is the Initial sight setting (mechanical zero) placed on the M16A2?
-Set the front sight post so that the base of the post is flush with the well
-Center the rear sight aperture with the tick mark on the receiver
-Set the elevation knob to 8/3 plus one click
46. Upon completion of the zero range, what adjustment must be made to the rear sight elevation?
The elevation must be turned one click back to 8/3 for field fire
47. Which rear sight aperture is used for zeroing the M16A2?
The unmarked aperture
48. What marksmanship exercise is the commanderís primary tool to evaluate integrated marksmanship performance of the unit?
The record fire range
49. What is the critical step in the Armyís overall marksmanship training strategy?
To train the trainers first
50. What are the eight steps in the functioning of the M16A2?
Feeding, Chambering, Locking, Firing, Unlocking, Extracting, Ejecting, and Cocking
51. What are the eight changes on the M16A2 in reference to the M16A2?
-Selector lever (safe, semi, burst)
-Barrel is heavier
-Handguard and stock are made of a different material
-Hard pad on butt of stock
-Front sight post is now squared
-Brass deflector added
-Compensator helps keep muzzle down during firing
52. What are the four marksmanship fundamentals?
53. Should your trigger finger touch the receiver of the M16A2 rifle when firing?
54. Describe the correct breathing technique while zeroing (and when time is available to fire a shot) for the M16A2?
Inhale, exhale normally and hold breath at the moment of natural respiratory pause. The shot must then be fired before feeling any unpleasant sensations from cease breathing
55. Where should the eye be focused for correct sight alignment?
On the front sight post
56. What happens when the trigger finger is touching the receiver while firing the M16A2 rifle?
The rifle will be misaligned with the target at the moment of firing
57. What are some training devices and exercises are available for rifle marksmanship training?
-Riddle sighting device
-M16 sighting device
-Blank firing attachment
-Dime (washer) exercise
-Training films, TEC lessons, and videotapes