As a Seabee, you make important contributions to
THE M16A1 AND M16A2E3 RIFLES
the Naval Construction Force (NCF) activities. You are
The M16A1 and the M16A2E3 service rifles (figs. 3-1
important as an individual as well as a Seabee. The NCF
and 3-2) are 5.56-mm, magazine-fed, gas-operated
is made up of individuals like you, working together as
shoulder weapons. Their design provides for either
a team. The ultimate goal of the NCF is success in its
semiautomatic or automatic fire by means of a selector
construction projects as well as the defense of these
projects when needed. Your job is to help achieve that
The M16A1 is equipped with a flash suppressor, but
success and to help provide that defense. You may have
the M16A2E3 has a flash compensator to hold the muzzle
to fight alone; but most of the time, you will work and
down during rapid and automatic firing.
help defend a site with other Seabees under a unit or
The barrel of the M16A1 is covered by two
team leader. You can prepare yourself for defense by
aluminum-lined fiber glass handguards (fig. 3-3). These
acquiring the knowledge and skills needed for using
handguards have notches to permit air to circulate
both individual and crew-served weapons. You, as a
around the barrel and to serve further as protection for
Seabee, are likely to be required to use them; therefore,
the gas tube. On the M16A2E3, the handguards are round
they are discussed in the next two chapters.
and ridged (fig. 3-2), making them stronger and easier
Basic and introductory information about Seabee
to grip. The handguards are interchangeable; the
handguard retaining ring is also specially contoured and
weapons is given so you can load, fire, field strip, and
easier to grip.
clean the service rifle, service pistol, light machine gun,
light antitank weapon, grenade launcher, and mortar.
A "clothespin" biped is issued to, and used by, the
automatic rifleman. The biped attaches to the barrel
This chapter covers functioning, mechanical
directly beneath the front sling swivel (fig. 3-4).
training, assembly and disassembly, loading and firing,
A forward assist assembly (fig. 3-1), located on the
techniques for both the M16A1 and M16A2E3 service
right rear of the upper receiver, permits closing of the
rifles and the .45 caliber pistol.
bolt when the force of the action spring does not.
Figure 3-1.--M16A1 service rifle, 5.56 mm, left and right side views.