Military Pay Scale Military Ranks Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines

Colt M16A4

Automatic Rifle / Assault Rifle

Infantry / Small Arms

1 / 6
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS image network.
2 / 6
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS image network.
3 / 6
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS image network.
4 / 6
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS image network.
5 / 6
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS image network.
6 / 6
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS image network.

The M16A4 is the latest incarnation of the M16 series of automatic rifles which debuted during the Vietnam War - and the current standard issue assault rifle of American forces.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 5/3/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The M16A4 is the fourth incarnation of the now-successful M16 series of automatic assault rifles. The M16 system that debuted during the Vietnam War, and all the drawbacks contained therein, has now evolved to become a refined and consequently more lethal version of the original weapon. The M16 is fielded in all its varying forms with armies across the globe - a reach similarly enjoyed by the competing AK-47/74 and all its major variants and derivatives. The M16A4 has replaced the M16A2 series in all US military service branches, though the M16A2 is still available in considerable numbers. The M16A4 is the official standard assault rifle for the US military having seen combat service in all American engagements since its inception in 1990.

The M16A4 differs from the M16A2 mainly by way of a removable carrying handle which can be replaced by a span of universal MIL-STD 1913 rail which can be coupled with a Knight's Armament M5 RAS handguard adapter rail system (the latter creating the M16A4 MWS - "Modular Weapon System" - designation). The M16A4 is a much more modular weapon adaptable to a wide variety of battlefield roles through various mountings that can include specialized optics, flashlights, aimers and grips. Like all of the M16 family firearms, the M16A4 can also fit the M203 40mm grenade launcher under the barrel, increasing the tactical lethality of the operator and offering the weapon system a dual-role capability with direct and indirect methods of attack.

The M16A4 shares performance statistics on par with the preceding M16A2, itself an evolution of the Vietnam War-era M16A1. Muzzle velocity is approximately 3,110 feet per second. The weapon retains the widely accepted 5.56x45mm NATO standard cartridge through a 30-round capacity detachable box magazine (curved). Weight increases just one pound with a fully-loaded magazine, bringing the overall combat weight of the system to a manageable 8.5lbs. The M16A4 also retains the adjustable front and rear sighting installations allowing for an effective range of about 600 meters. Firing selections are limited to semi- and burst-mode capabilities with a standard safety issued as well (the M1A1 offered full-automatic fire). Like the M16A2, the M16A4 is a gas-operated, rotating bolt (direct impingement) weapon. An optional shoulder strap eases transport.

Despite several promising designs appearing to overtake the M16 line, all have fallen short of US military needs and budget requirements, meaning that the M16A4 should retain a viable presence in the American inventory (as well as its allies) for the foreseeable future.


Colt Defense - USA
National flag of Greece National flag of Iraq National flag of Malaysia National flag of Tunisia National flag of Turkey National flag of United Kingdom National flag of United States Greece; Iraq; Malaysia; Turkey; Tunisia; United Kingdom; United States
- Frontline / Assault
Overall Length:
1,000 mm (39.37 in)
Barrel Length:
508 mm (20.00 in)
Weight (Unloaded):
7.50 lb (3.40 kg)
Iron Front and Rear; Optional Optics
Gas-Operated; Semi-Automatic; Select Fire
Muzzle Velocity:
3,110 feet-per-second (948 meters-per-second)
700 rounds-per-minute
Effective Range:
1,968 ft (600 m; 656 yd)
M16A4 - Base Series Designation; modernized version of the M16A2 series.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2021 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.

Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-