What can be told about M16A1?
The original M16A1 had been known since the Vietnam War right before M16s became available for civilian use. It was the first, improved version of M16, which took care of several weaknesses noticed in the original design:
Breech-lock mechanism. The new M16A1 now had a mechanism for supplying breech-lock to the breaching line and an improved buffer. That decreased the speed down to 750-850 shots per minute but at the same time it eradicated such issues as breech-lock rebound and misfire.
New flash suppressor. The new flash suppressor had closed slots and proved to be more reliable.
Corrosion-resistant breech-lock. The breech-lock of M161A1 was covered in chrome to prolong its usability and protect it from corrosion.
Reduced barrel twist rate. After going from 356mm to 305mm, the M16A1 got a better stability. However, this change also increased the M16A1’s spray pattern at the distances above 400m.
New elements. The M16A1 was equipped with a bayonet knife socket, a 30-round mag and a silencer for firing standard (not subsonic) ammo.
The original M16A1 was a part of the US military ammunition from 1967 to 1985. So, one can say that the classic M16A1 was the iconic rifle of the Vietnam War and served its country for good 18 years. No wonder that it’s highly popular even nowadays.
But how easy it is to purchase an M16A1 rifle, not to mention pick the right mag loader?
Frankly speaking, it’s not easy. If you’re looking for an original, military-issue rifle, you can only go this route:
- Look for a collector (note that this collector should possess an M16A1 made before 1986. Only then you can be sure that you’re buying an original model)
- Have around 25,000,000 USD on your bank account. Or even more. Depends on how well you negotiate on the price. But be sure that the collector won’t part with a treasure like the original, military-made M16A1 eagerly.
- Pay for your FFL license so you could start transferring money safely.
- Do a lot of paperwork. Pay even more fees.
- Endure months of background checks and other important procedures before you get your approval.
Get your M16A1 rifle and get started with buying a fitting mag charger and ammo.
That’s a lot of work. Is there a faster way to buy a M16A1? If you have been a dedicated firearm enthusiast, you know that no, there isn’t. It may take less time if you buy a replica of M16A1. Yes, it was released by Colt in 2016. While it’s as costly as the original M16A1, you may not have to wait that long until it’s delivered to you. Also, keep in mind that M16A1 Reissue is a limited edition, so by now you might still end up trying to coax it out from collectors.
But good things are worth the wait, after all, aren’t they?
Well, let’s talk about more pleasant things. What kind of accessories should you pick for M16A1 - speedloader boards or heavier chargers? Is it possible to find a M16A1 mag charger that would be compatible with different types of ammo? Is it possible to get a M16A1 loader that would perform well with the rifle and other supported weapons?
The world of firearm accessories is developing non-stop and new solutions keep arriving to the market. However, when people talk about M16A1, it’s not the mag speed loader they bring up first — it’s the cleaning kit. Yes, like all M16s, M16A1 is highly demanding and requires a proper cleaning kit.
What should a good M16A4 cleaning kit include?
- A cleaning rod (a 4-piece one for more effective cleaning)
- A utility brush
- Pipe cleaners
- A patch pool
- A chamber brush
- A pack of cleaning wipes
- A bottle of oil
Speaking of other accessories that can provide more entertainment and/or comfort, we suggest adding:
- A laser scope (for some fun at the shooting range)
A M16A1 speed loader board that goes well with other calibers and basically can be used with other rifles at your disposal. There are many universal options offered by different manufacturers, so if you really want to find the best option, you can watch M16A1 magazine loader video reviews and compare each M16A1 speed loader with other mag loaders.
- An M16A1 repair and maintenance manual. Enough said, never leave your home without it. No matter how skilled you are with a rifle, M16A1 is still a rifle that requires extra care and caution. Sometimes you may not be able to detect the issue without some assistance, so get that book and keep it around.
We hope this short overview was useful to you! If you’re a lucky M16A1 owner, make sure to share your comments and impressions. If you want to submit an article about this rifle — or any firearms-related topic — feel free to contact us!