The M16 rifle, officially designated Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16, is the United States military select-fire adaptation of the AR-15 rifle. The rifle was adapted for semi-automatic and full-automatic fire. Colt purchased the rights to the AR-15 from ArmaLite, and currently uses that designation only for semi-automatic versions of the rifle. The M16 fires the 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge. The rifle entered United States Army service and was deployed for jungle warfare operations in South Vietnam in 1963, becoming the U.S. military's standard service rifle of the Vietnam War by 1969, replacing the M14 rifle in that role. The U.S. Army retained the M14 in CONUS, Europe, and South Korea until 1970. In 1983 with the adoption of the M16A2, the M16 rifle was modified for three round bursts, with some later variants having all modes of fire and has been the primary service rifle of the U.S. armed forces.
The M16 has also been widely adopted by other militaries around the world. Total worldwide production of M16s has been approximately 8 million, making it the most-produced firearm of its caliber. As of 2010, the Army is supplementing the M16 in combat units with the M4 carbine, which is itself a shortened derivative of the M16A2.
Assault weapon is a political and legal term that refers to different types of firearms and weapons, and is a term that has differing meanings, usages and purposes.
In discussions about gun laws and gun politics in the United States, an assault weapon is most commonly defined as a semi-automatic firearm possessing certain cosmetic, ergonomic, or construction features similar to those of military firearms. Semi-automatic firearms fire one bullet (round) each time the trigger is pulled; the spent cartridge case is ejected and another cartridge is loaded into the chamber, without requiring the manual operation of a bolt handle, a lever, or a sliding handgrip. In this context an assault weapon often defined as having a detachable magazine, in conjunction with one, two, or more other features such as a pistol grip, a folding or collapsing stock, a flash suppressor, or a bayonet lug. Most assault weapon definitions are limited to rifles, but pistols or shotguns may also fall under the definition(s) or be specified by name.
A STANAG magazine or NATO magazine is a type of detachable firearm magazine proposed by NATO in October 1980. Shortly after NATO's acceptance of the 5.56x45mm NATO rifle cartridge, Draft Standardization Agreement (STANAG) 4179 was proposed in order to allow the military services of member nations easily to share rifle ammunition and magazines during operations, at the individual soldier level, in the interest of easing logistical concerns. The magazine proposed for standardization was originally designed for the U.S. M16 rifle. Many NATO member nations, but not all, subsequently developed or purchased rifles with the ability to accept this type of magazine. However the standard was never ratified and remains a 'Draft STANAG'.
The standard capacity of a magazine is 30 rounds. STANAG-compatible magazines can be made to almost any capacity, though those used for military service usually hold 20 or 30 rounds of 5.56x45mm NATO ammunition. 40 and 50-round box magazines as well as 90-round drum magazines and 100-round Beta C-Mag drum magazines designed to comply with STANAG 4179 have also been manufactured. Magpul recently filed a patent for a STANAG-compatible casket magazine and another was released by SureFire in December 2010 as the High Capacity Magazine (HCM) with an ammo capacity of 60 to 100 rounds. A Surefire 60-round magazine has reportedly been used in combat in Afghanistan.
The CQ is a variant of the AR-15 rifle manufactured by the Chinese arms company, Norinco. According to the Norinco website, the rifle is officially known as CQ 5.56.
An assault rifle is a selective fire (selective between semi-automatic, automatic and/or burst fire) rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are the standard service rifles in most modern armies. Note the difference between the assault rifle and the battle rifle. Assault rifles use smaller cartridges and are used at closer ranges than battle rifles. The larger sized rifle cartridges used in battle rifles make fully automatic fire more difficult. Fully automatic fire refers to an ability for a rifle to fire continuously while the trigger is pressed; "burst-capable" fire refers to an ability of a rifle to fire a small yet fixed multiple number of rounds with but one press of the trigger; in contrast, semi-automatic refers to an ability to fire one round per press of a trigger. The presence of selective fire modes on assault rifles permits more efficient use of rounds to be fired for specific needs, versus having a single mode of operation, such as fully automatic, thereby conserving ammunition while maximizing on-target accuracy and effectiveness.
Examples of assault rifles include the StG 44, AK-47, M16 rifle, QBZ-95, FAMAS, Heckler & Koch G36, and Enfield SA80.
Military technology is the collection of equipment, vehicles, structures and communication systems that are designed for use in warfare. It comprises the kinds of technology that are distinctly military in nature and not civilian in application, usually because they are impractical in civilian application, have no legal civilian usage, or are dangerous to use without appropriate military training.
It is common for military technology to have been researched and developed by scientists and engineers specifically for use in battle by the armed forces. Many new technologies came as a result of the military funding of science. Weapons engineering is the design, development, testing and lifecycle management of military weapons and systems. It draws on the knowledge of several traditional engineering disciplines, including mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mechatronics, electro-optics, aerospace engineering, materials engineering, and chemical engineering.
Military science is the theory, method, and practice of producing military capability in a manner consistent with national defense policy.]citation needed[ Military science serves to identify the strategic, political, economic, psychological, social, operational, technological, and tactical elements necessary to sustain relative advantage of military force; and to increase the likelihood and favorable outcomes of victory in peace or during a war. Military scientists include theorists, researchers, experimental scientists, applied scientists, designers, engineers, test technicians, and other military personnel.
Military personnel obtain weapons, equipment and training to achieve specific strategic goals. Military science is also used to establish enemy capability as part of technical intelligence.