M16A1 5.56mm rifle

This item is HIRE ONLY for use by a recognised Film, TV, Commercials or Theatre production company.




The M16 rifle, based on the original AR15 rifle designed by Eugene Stoner and made by Armalite, was first adopted into service in 1963, replacing the M14… as the M16A1.

Chambered for the 5.56mm cartridge, and made by Colt, the M16A1 rifle can selectively fire single shots or full auto.

The first issues of the rifle generated considerable controversy because the gun suffered from a jamming flaw known as ‘failure to extract,” which meant that the spent cartridge case remained lodged in the chamber after being fired.

According to a congressional report, this was caused primarily by a change in the cartridge propellant which was not sufficiently tested and reflected a decision whereby the safety of the soldiers was a secondary consideration.

The M16A1 rifle with appropriate ammunition became a much more dependable weapon but it took a long time to overcome the poor start. It improved to the extent where it was used by certain special forces, including the SAS during the Falklands in 1982.

Helpful Info

Regarding dates and period correctness, the M16A1 is closely associated with US forces from 1963, especially throughout the Vietnam War, and also subsequently in their various deployments until the mid 1980’s.

Foxtrot example shown is a Colt made M16A1 assault rifle chambered in 5.56mm, it is fitted with very dark grey polymer furniture and all metal parts are in a military phosphate finish.

Film Set Notes

M16’s are reliable and actor friendly. A dramatic bonus is that with regular blank loads you can safely get the camera in, really close to a firing M16… not an option with many other weapons.