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How to tell the difference between AR-15 and M16

This is a discussion on How to tell the difference between AR-15 and M16 within the AR Talk forums, part of the Long Gun Talk category; to me they look the same...and do the same...I don`t know anything about carbines, rifles or machine guns..can you give me a help...wich is for ...

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Old 06-21-2007, 07:38 AM   #1
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How to tell the difference between AR-15 and M16

to me they look the same...and do the same...I don`t know anything about carbines, rifles or machine guns..can you give me a help...wich is for military purposes...rapid fire, single fire..caliber.etc.-
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:57 AM   #2
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M-16 is the US military designation for the Armalite AR-15 rifle.

If you are talking about identify ones you commonly see in the US the M-16 has the full auto or 3 round burst position on the safety, the AR-15 in it's civilian variants does not.

There are numerous variations of the M-16/AR-15 including the carbines like the CAR-15 and M4 and the rifles like the M-16A1, M16-A2, and M16-A4.

Honestly I don't know enough about the minor differences to list them all. It probably would take a large book to do so.
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Old 06-21-2007, 08:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vafish View Post
the M-16 has the full auto or 3 round burst position on the safety, the AR-15 in it's civilian variants does not.
that`s what I thought...thanks vafish
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anhiciano View Post
that`s what I thought...thanks vafish
That's a generalization. When people refer to the M16 they are generally talking about the military full auto or 3 round burst rifles, the AR15 is generally the semi auto version available for civilian sales. But to confuse things there are full auto versions of the AR-15 that were sold to civilians with the proper registration and paperwork prior to the ban on new manufacture and the full auto versions of the AR-15 are still available to Law Enforcement agencies.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:29 AM   #5
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There are minor difference between a civilian AR and a military M4 or M16.

On the lower receiver there is an addition hole just above the safety. This hole is were a hammer block (often call an auto sear) goes that help ensure the hammer does not follow the bolt close causing a misfire in full auto or three round burst. Many of the civilian versions of the lower receiver not only do not have the hole they also leave a shelf in the back of the receive. In addition to drilling the hole for the hammer block you would also have to machine out this addition material to install the auto sear.

An animate GIF of an AR-15 Trigger group.



An animated GIF of an M-16 Trigger group.



Most M4 or M16 bolt carries have a bit more material on them making them heavier. This slows the cyclic rate again to help control the weapon in full auto or burst mode. I believe part of the extra material is also what disengages the auto sear.

The top bolt carrier is a typical AR-15 carrier. The bottom is an M-16 bolt carrier. The middle one is some special Colt carrier



I also believe that M16 may use a slightly different buffer but I am not sure on that. I now the M4 uses a difference buffer and recoil spring to fit within the collapsible stock but most AR-15 using a collapsible stock use the same buffer and spring. I am sure there are other minor differences but the trigger group and bolt carrier are the two big ones I know of.

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Old 06-21-2007, 11:59 AM   #6
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My bushmaster must have an M-16 bolt then...
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephis View Post
My bushmaster must have an M-16 bolt then...
Many AR15's come with M16 bolts. They are not an exclusive part nor frowned on by the ATF. An M16 FCG on the other hand...
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephis View Post
My bushmaster must have an M-16 bolt then...
I think I had heard that Bushmaster did this especially on CAR versions and shorter The Carbine and short barrel ARs because the gas port is so close to the chamber cycle extremely fast due to higher pressures in the gas system. By using the heavier m-16 bolt carrier they may be trying to slow down the cyclic rate to make the recoil less sharp.

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