Military Rifle Part Specifications

The M-16 is a commonly used rifle in the military.

The United States military utilizes a diverse array of weaponry, but the M-16 is the most commonly used assault rifle and is recognized by soldier and civilian alike. The popularity of the M-16 is not unwarranted. It is a quality firearm that boasts intelligent design, as well as excellent engineering. While there are several different M-16s in use today, the M-16A4 is the most recent.


The M-16A4 barrel is made of 4140 steel and is chambered to fit 5.56 mm NATO rounds although it will fire .223 mm rounds as well. Its muzzle velocity is 3,110 feet per second. The overall length of the barrel is 508 mm and comprises almost half of the total length of the gun, which is 1,000 mm overall.


The M-16A4 uses a gas-operated rotating bolt action to fire. The M-16 gas block is manufactured from 6061 T6 aluminum and incorporates the 1913 picatinny rail on top. The M-16A4 fires between 700 and 950 rounds per minute. The receiver is composed of the “upper” and “lower” receiver and is made of aluminum. A “rotating bolt” action is the firing mechanism which rotates and locks into place upon contact with the breach.


The front sight is held in place by a Tri-Point clamping mechanism. The rear sight is held in place the same way and has two range settings for targets 250 and 300 m away.


The M-16A4 is fed using a box magazine. Its standard clip size is 30 rounds, but it is compatible with 10- and 40-round box magazines. The 100- and 120-round drum magazines can be attached to the M-16A4, but these are more commonly found on the civilian market than in the armories of the United States military.

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Changes From the A2

Internally, the M-16A4 is identical to the M-16A2. The primary difference between the two rifles is the removable carrying handle that comes with the A4. Otherwise, specifications such as muzzle velocity, clip size and adjustable sights are all the same.