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M16 - Army Basic Training

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by gspman, Nov 30, 2011.

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  1. gspman

    gspman Member

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    I have a question I hope someone out there can me with. What is the standard configuration M16 that is used during basic training? I want to build out an AR15 with the same configuration or most common configuration. ie:barrell type, length, ect.

    gspman

    Dave Pagel
     
  2. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Barfin pretty well summed it up on the current military rifle. If you want info on the M16, send "Brian In Oregon" from here on TS.COM a PM. He has built a M16 copy and it turned out great. He is very versed on his firearms and may be able to help you. I have plans to build one myself although i haven't even started the venture. I want to build a Vitenam era M16(semi-auto copy).
     
  3. quartering

    quartering Active Member

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    ar15.com
     
  4. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    You'll have to define your time period, because the M16 family has evolved over three and a half decades of service.

    There are two basic rifles, both of which were used for training:

    During the Vietnam era the standard was the M16A1. This had a shorter fixed buttstock, triangular handguards, and the rear sight was adjustable only for windage, though it had a flip aperture for short and long range. Barrel length is 20".

    The next model that came out in the 70's and 80's was the M16A2. It had a slightly longer stock, the forend was round and ribbed, and the rear sight was adjustable for elevation as well as windage. It had a somewhat heavier barrel. I say somewhat because while the exposed part of the barrel was heavier, the barrel under the handguards was the same "pencil" barrel as tne M16A1.

    Both of these rifles are still used today, though the M16A1 was pretty much relegated to reserves and the National Guards, plus a lot given to our allies. Many were sold surplus, minus the lower receiver and full auto parts.

    Then there are the carbines.

    The original production carbine was the XM177E2. It is often called the "CAR" model. The military version had a 10.5" barrel with a primitive sound suppressor (it was not very efficient but it was sure rugged). The stock was a aluminum telestock with two positions - open and closed. The forend was short, round and ribbed. The rear sights were like the A1.

    The later carbine was the M4. This was redesigned with a different barrel profile, being thicker in some places and thinner in others. The barrel has two places where it reduces diameter quite a bit, which is its weakness. These reductions are for adding a grenade launcher. Barrel length for military issue is 14.5". True m4 models have enlargened feedramps. The buttstock has evolved, and was a bit larger than the original CAR telestock, and made of plastic. The buttstock had four or later six adjustment positions. The rear sights were like the A2. Later versions have a flat top receiver with a Picatinny rail. This is a milspec scope base similar in concept to the Weaver. It will actually accept Weaver parts, but there are dimensional differences. This allows detachable carry handles or optics to be installed. Because of more and more night actions the military has been using illuminated red dot or tritium type sights.

    Retro Black Rifle is a website that covers the older M16 models. Click the link and then go to the Military Rifles section for the M16A1 and the Carbine section for the XM177E2. Note that this website covers vastly more of the older models than these, but most others were prototypes or limited production. I'm not aware of anyone actually making these today, so you'd either have to buy a used one, or build one from parts, new or surplus. There is a cottage industry going to retro parts. Colt made rifles and carbines in these configurations, but both command high prices. For the time period, the only other company making copies was SGW, which later became Olympic Arms. Quality varies greatly with these early clones, because originally they were reverse engineered for dimensions, plus cast receivers were used.

    The M16A2 and M4 models are readily available.

    Bushmaster makes target versions of the M16A2, in various configurations. The barrels are heavier than the original A2 barrel. These are good, accurate rifles for tactical training and target shooting. Note that the A2 version has a fixed carry handle like the original M16A2, while their M3 option has a removable carry handle so a scope can be installed, making these more versatile but not true to the original M16A2. Rock River Arms also makes an M16A2 version, as well as a flatop, which they call an A3. There are other makes, these are just examples.

    Numerous companies make M4 clones. The Bushmaster M4 Patrolman's Carbine is probably the closest they make to the original M4 design. However, the M4 has evolved quite a bit, and the military has allowed many units to make their own alterations to these guns, so there are numerous versions of the M4 that would be correct. Rock River does not make a true M4 pattern. Theirs use a different barrel profile (they lack the grenade launcher reductions). But CMMG makes an M4 clone that actually has a 14.5" barrel, but it has a permanently welded on flash hider to make it a legal 16" barrel.

    For someone on a budget, Del-Ton makes an M16A2 pattern rifle in original and flat top configuration, as well as <a href="http://www.del-ton.com/DTI_16_DTI_4_Rifle_p/rftm16-0.htm">a 16" M4 pattern with a 16" barrel and removable flash hider, as well as other M4 configurations.

    Note that for Del-Ton a chrome lined bore is optional at extra cost, something that's worthwhile if you plan to shoot the gun a lot. Other makes often include a chrome lined bore as standard. Consult the specs.

    Anyway, take a look at the Retro black Rifle page. You may find a version you like better than a standard military issue. For example, I built a clone of the Colt 605 Carbine (the ORIGINAL carbine) from parts.
     
  5. Oscar Ray

    Oscar Ray TS Member

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    The original M16 was designated the AR15 and did not have a forward assist and had a 3 pronged flash hider. It did not arrive in RVN with a cleaning kit which caused a few problems. It was then updated to the M16A1 with a tear drop forward assist, the round forward assist was later adopted along with the A1 flash hider. Triangle handguards were the standard until the 80's when the updated M16A2 came out, they changed to the round handguard and A2 flash hider and heavier barrel.

    Oscar
     
  6. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Well, not quite. The M-16 was mainly used by the USAF:

    Colt marked all of their early guns "AR15", but finally left that designation off of the M16A1.

    Up until that point, the model was stamped on the gun as well.

    The original Colt Model 601 was stamped "Model 01".

    The Model 602 was stamped "Model 02".

    The first limited production model was the Model 603, these being stamped "M-16E1".

    The Model 604 was stamped "M-16" and almost all of them went to the USAF.

    The above all had "Colt AR15" stamped on them as well.

    Later Model 603 guns were stamped M16A1 and had Colt stamped on them w/o "AR15". Also, H&R, Balimoy and Hydromatic (GM) made the M16A1 as well.

    The 601, 603, early 603 and 604 models had open 3-prong flash hiders, of various styles.

    The late 603 (M16A1) had the closed "Birdcage" flash hider. It was designed not only for preventing the snagging of foliage, but to launch rifle grenades.

    There are numerous other small variations between the guns. Retro Black Rifle has detailed lists and photos of the differences.

    As for the heavier barrel, the M-16A2 had the same exact skinny "pencil" barrel as the M-16A1. The difference is that the barrel is heavier only under the front sight tower and out to the muzzle. This helped a bit with accuracy, but the M-16A2 suffered from the same overheating problem during sustained firing as the M-16A1.

    The first real heavy barreled version was the Colt Model 606, the first HBAR. It was marked "Colt AR15" and "Model 06". It was probably designed between the Model 602 and 603, as it has features of both models. This is what the M-16A2 should have had for a barrel.
     
  7. bigbore613

    bigbore613 Active Member

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    Early ones did not have the forward assist feature. Jeff
     
  8. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    In 1966 while going through basic training in the Air Force we used the M1 but in 1967 while stationed in England we used the m16 for marksmanship training. We were told that this gun was built for our needs. Never could get a clear answer as to what made it different from what the Army and Marines used. Jackie B.
     
  9. SF SGM

    SF SGM Member

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    Some good info provided... The M16 was deployed to RVN minus cleaning kits and yes, it did jam. It was upgraded to the A1 which included: forward assist, chrome lined bore and they did away with the 3 prong flash because soldiers where snapping it off while opening C ration cases..LOL Also, if I remember correctly and it has been a lifetime ago, they changed the powder in the ammo from flake to ball type powder.. It fired the standard 55 grain FMJ round.. Loved the Car 15, put a coin behind the buffer and you could burn it up... :) but you had to get the right size or it would not cycle..

    The A2 was a little longer, different sites, round handguard and they changed the twist in the barrel to fire a heavier bullet, I believeit was and still is a 68 grain FMJ..

    It will continue in service for years to come.. You either love it and hate it.. For CQC it is great but when you want to reach out and touch someone, it just doesn't have enough a.. For those of us who have used it, you will never forget that sound of it cycling.. For me, I loved the M14 and cried when they took mine away from me and gave me the 16.. Just my humble thoughts.. Some hated the 14 and loved the 16 because of the weight, rate of fire, etc..

    Van
     
  10. gspman

    gspman Member

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    Thanks Brian and other who responded.

    My son ships off to Basic training in June. I wnated to build an AR15 that would be similar to what he might be using in Basic Training. I have two stripped lowers that I have planned as a Father/son project. I thought it would be cool if I could build his similar to what he would be using in Basic training. Any thoughts?

    Dave
     
  11. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    It will probably be an M-16A2 or an M-4. Depends if the training unit is providing training rifles that remain on base (usually M-16A2) or if the trainees will retain their weapon after basic, which might then be the M-4. There are still some M-16A1s floating around, though many have been given to other countries or stripped for the surplus market. You probably won't have a solid answer until he gets into basic. My guess is that it will be the M-16A2 simply because the sight set up is better for target training than the M-4.
     
  12. andybull

    andybull Active Member

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    Have your son send you the info that you need once he receives the weapon.

    Andy
     
  13. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    My 1962 USMC issue in boot camp was an M1 shortly after recieved an M14 for qualification day. In late 62 I was given an M16 A1
    [​IMG]
     
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