Why M-16 rifle for over 40 years serving in the U.S. Army?

Why M-16 rifle for over 40 years serving in the U.S. Army? Probably because nothing better to just not .

This catchy profile can not be mixed up with nothing. That is why armed U.S. Army on Feb. 8, 1964, automatic rifle M-16 still carries its arduous duties, not only in America but also far beyond its borders. This rifle, officially adopted in the armies of more than 20 states.

And many people know her story?

In the beginning was ... ArmaLite AR-1 Parasniper , The distant ancestor of the legendary M-16 - rifle very similar to the M-16 design, developed under the standard cartridge 7,62 NATO (7,62 x 51). Further test samples, however, did not get, but that this development has given a series of experimental automatic rifles. AR-3, AR-5, AR-7, AR-10 and, finally, ArmaLite AR-15/Model 601 - Commercial rifle for hunting small game. This is the rifle came in 1957 for military trials as a rifle for the survival of pilots, crashed over enemy territory. At the same time automatic rifle AR-10 held a competition to replace infantry weapons for the U.S. Army. No AR-15 or AR-10 competition that did not pass (from AR-10 just blew up the barrel), but attracted the attention of the company Colt. And although the military had rejected both options rifles, Colt company still purchased from ArmaLite licensed to produce them. Subsequently, the firm Colt is the acquisition was the most successful commercial acquisition for all of its more than a century.

Modernized ArmaLite AR-15 and calling it a Colt M-16 Model 604 , The firm began to lobby for the introduction of Colt M-16 in the U.S. armed forces. In 1959, Colt was started serial production of M-16 and the civilian version of the rifle. In 1960, Eugene Stoner (Eugene Stoner) - a leading designer AR-15 - left ArmaLite and goes to work in the Colt, continued to modernize their offspring. And then the Vietnam War (which, fortunately for the company Colt) came.

Why M-16 rifle for over 40 years serving in the U.S. Army? M-14
The heavy, clumsy rifle M-14, the basic U.S. infantry weapon of the time, was completely not suited for raids into Vietnam's jungles. The disadvantage of most rifles were added and the lack of ammunition, a heavy bullet "reduced infantryman carried ammunition to indecently small. And then the company Colt warning in advance and "stuffing" to the troops of almost 400 000 light-caliber rifles diminished, not even remotely resemble that of small arms infantry before.

Why M-16 rifle for over 40 years serving in the U.S. Army? M16
Light Rifle of nylon and aluminum alloys was almost one and a half times lighter than the M-14. Weight - less than three kilograms. Cartridges easier almost doubled. Store twice as roomy. The accuracy of fire was never any comparison, because the prototype M-16 was sporting rifle. Stopping light bullets, which began to spin, falling into the enemy, was also significantly higher than the bullets of M-14.

Here is what he wrote in his diary, Major U.S. Army Jack Karslon June 16, 1962: "In my company every newcomer could choose between M-14 and M-16, we could also use the Thompson submachine guns and M-3. But the best weapon was found M-16 with twin using tape stores, as the new 30-round magazine, we could not get.

However, the Vietnam War has revealed some drawbacks M-16. The rifle turned out to be much more "capricious" of their predecessors. A course for new recruits to train caring for a new rifle was quickly increased from 10 to 26 hours. Transverse tears patron, frequent jamming, and even breaks the barrel due to moisture and fine sand ... In addition, the inner surfaces of the chamber on these rifles were nehromirovannye that at the slightest "nedoglyade" was judged in a wet tropical climate of corrosion, with all its sad consequences.

But to the credit of the company by the end of Colt 60's almost all "teething" M-16 rifles were removed. Compared with the main competitor - the AK-47 - it had a higher precision and accuracy of fire, was easier and more ergonomic, and simply more convenient to use.

Why M-16 rifle for over 40 years serving in the U.S. Army? Upgrade F-16 takes about polminuty.Interesnaya unique feature of M-16, which provides many opportunities for its modernization, - application modules in the receiver. Receiver M-16 consists of two halves, connected by two pins, called upper receiver and lover receiver. Upper receiver (in which the slide is inserted into the group) represents the top of the box, which carries the barrel, sights and carrying handle. Lover receiver - is the bottom part of the receiver with neck store, which carries the pistol grip and the body of the return spring.

Thus, if you want a set for a few minutes from a standard rifle with a 20-inch barrel, You can get :

1) carbine with a 12-inch barrel;
2) sniper rifle with a bracket for optics instead of a handle and a heavy 24-inch barrel;
3) rifle with the barrel of 250 to 610 mm (various calibers - from 5.56 to 10mm).

Because the sight is set on the receiver, rather than on the trunk, enough in advance to fit all the interchangeable pieces for one set. Zeroing in a change of configuration is not required.

The advantages outweigh its disadvantages rifles. And the M-16 rifle has become weapon number 1 in the U.S. Army for decades to come.

On this basis a carbine M-4, light machine gun (M-16A2HBAR), allowing use as a shop, and machine-gun belts, sniper rifles, with more precision mechanics; Colt M-231, a sort of "bleed" M-16 to fire through loopholes armored personnel carriers and a number of special weapons and commercial non-military purposes. For example, SR-47, under the "native" for the Kalashnikov assault rifle cartridge. The number of devices for "body kit", for example, the sights, do not lend themselves to account. 40-mm barrel-attached grenade launcher XM-148 has been shortened it for reasons of convenience of use on M-16 rifle and was named the M-203. It is for the M-16 is designed even "rifle" a gun.

And yet, everything becomes obsolete, at least morally. And here in the late 80-ies of XX century, the American military finance program codenamed ACR (Advanced Combat Rifle - Advanced Combat Rifle"). The task: to compare the existing advanced technologies in the field of small arms, including Caseless, mnogopulnye and other modern munitions, in order to enhance the use of small arms and replace the M-16 rifle in the XXI century. The tests revealed that none of the competitors does not exceed the M-16 so, to begin a large-scale rearmament of the army. According to experts, M-16 will consist of the U.S. Army at least until 2015.

So "old" M-16 so far and has their arduous duties in both Americas, Australia, Europe, Asia and even in the countries of the former USSR. But initially it was only a rifle for hunting small game!