Colt AR15A4 5.56mm Rifle

31Colt AR15A4 5.56mm Rifle

By Tim Wing

The U.N. Spacy’s AR15A4 rifle, was the final descendant of the ArmaLite AR-15 first fielded by the U.S. Army as the M16 in the mid-sixties. The original AR15 was a select-fire, 5.56×45mm rifle with a 30-round magazine. In 1963, the M16 entered United States Military service and in 1969, the M16A1 replaced the M14 rifle to become the U.S. military’s standard service rifle. The AR15A4 first entered service with the U.S. Army as the M16A4. For the first five years of the existence of the U.N. Spacy, the AR15A4 served as the main battle rifle along with the French FAMAS. Both of these rifles were eventually replaced by the AR-21. However, in recent years the AR15 is still a household name with gun enthusiasts and is often used with 223 or 556 ammunition. These ammunition types are widely used with MSRs and ARs, although they are vastly different calibers.

Robotech Art 2 - 013The AR15A4 fired the improved 5.56×45mm NATO (M855/SS109) cartridge and featured a host of improvements over the M16A2 on which it was based. These improvements included improved front and rear sights, Redesigned ergonomic stock, pistol and four grips, a new flash suppressor, polymer 30 round magazines and an ambidextrous safety. Over time, several variations of the rifle became available for gun enthusiasts as did the rounds that could be fired. This piece on 300 blk vs 556 succinctly describes the differences between the classic 5.56 NATO and the .300 BLK that has gained popularity over recent years. Originally though, the rifle was gas operated by the traditional direct gas-impingement system and could fire in either semi-automatic or three round bursts. A carbine version of this rifle, known as the CAR-15A3, was also adopted by the UN Spacy in limited numbers. If you are interested in learning more about the AR15 and its maintenance, you can visit this website to read more.

  • Type: Assault rifle
  • Place of origin: United States
  • In service: 1962–present (all)
  • Users: Canada (as the C8A4), Columbia and the United states (as the M16A4) and the UN Spacy (as the AR15A4)
  • Designer: Eugene Stoner and L. James Sullivan
  • Designed: 1956
  • Manufacturer: Colt’s Manufacturing Company, General Motors Hydramatic Division (AR15A4)
  • Produced: 1959–2011 (all)
  • Number built: ~8 million (all)
  • Specifications (AR15A4)
  • Weight: 2.76 kg (unloaded), 3.49 kg (loaded)
  • Length: 100.3 cm
  • Barrel length: 50.8 cm
  • Cartridge: 5.56×45mm NATO
  • Action: Gas-operated, rotating bolt (direct impingement)
  • Rate of fire: 12–15 rounds/min (sustained), 45–60 rounds/min (max semi-automatic), 700–950 rounds/min (cyclic)
  • Muzzle velocity: 948 m/s
  • Effective firing range: 550 m (point target), 800 m (area target)

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Original artwork by: Tim Wing and Don Yee. (M16A1 illustrations taken from TM 9-1005-249-10 – Operator’s Manual For M16, M16A1)

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing