Controversy erupted immediately and continued for years. Reports from Vietnam of jamming led to questions of reliability. Investigation proved jams resulted from not cleaning the rifle, and that it was not a self‐cleaning weapon as manufacturers claimed. Some complaints indicated that the small 5.56‐caliber 55‐grain bullet lacked adequate impact. Conversely, others charged the ultrafast munition caused inhumane internal damage to its victims. Soldiers eventually adapted to the M‐16 and accepted its capabilities along with its shortcomings.
In the 1990s, the model M‐16A2 was still the standard small arm for the United States. The 7.78‐pound rifle is equipped with a 30‐round magazine and fires a 62‐grain bullet with an effective range of 550 meters.
[See also M‐1 Rifle; Vietnam War: Military and Diplomatic Course; Weaponry, Army; Weaponry, Marine Corps.]
Ivan V. Hogg , Military Small Arms of the 20th Century, 1981.
"M‐16 Rifle." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/m-16-rifle
"M‐16 Rifle." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/m-16-rifle
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