Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Colt, FN America tapped for M16A4 production for foreign military sales

FN America and Colt’s Manufacturing have been tapped for M16A4 rifle production for foreign military sales customers.

In a statement Wednesday, the Department of Defense said both companies will compete for each order of the $383,3 contract to provide M16A4 rifles for Afghanistan, Grenada, Iraq, Lebanon and Nepal.

“Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of April 28, 2025,” a service news release states.


The M16A4 rifle is the fourth generation of the legendary M16 series weapon system and is the world standard by which all other weapons of this class are judged.

The rifle is chambered to fire the 5.56x45mm (.223) NATO cartridge. It is a select fire rifle having semi-automatic and three-round-burst fire capabilities. Cartridges are magazine fed, and firing is achieved via a direct impingement gas operating system.

Interesting feature of this weapon is that its barrel is in the same axis with the buttstock. This feature reduces muzzle climb and increases accuracy, as the recoil force is directed backwards, rather than upwards.

Initially, the M16A4 weapon system was developed at the request of the United States Marine Corps to improve on the M16A1 and went into large scale production by 1987.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.