Considered the largest leap in technological advancement of weaponry. The M-16 introduced the 5.56x45 which replace the large 7.62x51 used in the M14. The smaller round fired at a velocity of 3,100 feet per second and when entering the human body, it would fragment into 3 pieces creating an extremely large wound channel with a much lighter kick and more accuracy. M-16 was noted as an unreliable rifle during Vietnam. The reason for this is because of the ball powder that they used in the ammunition. It would swell up causing the casings to bend and stove-pipe in the chamber. After introducing the new stick powder ammunition, reliability problems faded away slowly. The M16 evolved from a light select-fire (semi-auto/auto) to the M16A2 which included a steel barrel, more rifle twist for increased accuracy and velocity, and three-round burst instead of automatic which although sounds worse, troops prefer three-round burst over automatic any day. The most recent addition to the armory was the M16A3(Auto)/A4(Three-Round Burst) which includes a removable carrying handle with a rail system on top of the reciever to mount any optic that accepts standard rails. The M16A4 also includes the KAC M5 rail system which allows you to mount lasers, flash lights, vertical grips, etc., allowing the M16 to be more of a modular weapon for each soldier.
The U.S. Marine single handed took down a platoon of insurgents with his M-16.
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