The M16 Essay

867 words - 3 pages

The M16

With its light weight of less than six pounds and its powerful
ammunition, small 5.56mm circumference, short 38.80 inch
long body, a whipping 3,250 feet per second muzzle velocity,
and a maximum efficiency range of 460 meters the M16 is the
most versatile standard issue rifle of any army. You may think
that the brains of the government's army may have devised the
plan to make the M16, but it was none other than the brains of
John Hopkins University where the development of the M16 first
began in September of the year of 1948.1
The ability of being selective firing was the main point of
interest for the army. Also another high point is that the
ammunition must be able to pierce a steel helmet from 500
meters away.2
The military appointed Mister Eugene Stoner to design
the rifle since he was a soldier but had been decommissioned
after the war. The gun that was more or less being improved
was the heavy, high caliber, selective fire capable, M14. Its
benefits are that it can penetrate a steel helmet at a greater
range. Some disadvantages of the .308 caliber M14 Also Known
As the NATO are that when the gun is shot only the first two or
three shots will hit the target that has been aimed at. This
happens because of the kick or the amount of space the gun
moves when fired this can also be called recoil. In a bullet that
has .308 caliber for the NATO the recoil is a lot. Also since the
ammunition itself is large this means that it weighs a lot. This
also means that a soldier can only carry a little bit of
ammunition into a battle. Maneuvering the weapon was also a
difficulty, due to the weight and size but in spite of the fact of
the M14's disadvantages, the M14 was very reliable. Soldiers
loved this about the standard issue M14 NATO.3
Since the M16 used a midgrade .22 caliber bullet, the
army needed something else to give some more kick to the
bullet to penetrate the helmet.4
After many fatal attempts Stoner finally met the criteria
for the new gun. The cartridges were lighter and so was the
gun. The recoil or kick was down to an incredible two inches
from the enormous ten inches put out by the now obsolete M14.
Because the ammunition of the M16 is a lot smaller the
United States soldier can carry a whole lot more ammunition
than he previously could. The lower size and weight means that
the M16 assault rifle is maneuvered better and is also handled
easier.5
Eugene Stoner took many features from other army's
standard issue rifles and made the ultimate weapon above...

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