The M16A2 was the rifle I entered service with. May 2007 I was handed a mostly purple FN M16A2 with scarred handguards and no finish left on the exposed barrel. This was the US fighting rifle standard and the M16A4 and M4/M4A1 were not in wide circulation yet. Most of the ones in US hands were already forward in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they were kept there since they were in short supply. The advanced optics stayed in country too.
So yes, back in my day I shot with iron sights.
The M16A2 personifies what 5.56, good range set irons, and a 20″ barrel can accomplish. Speed helps the system beat wind at greater distance. The mass of the system keeps recoil very low.
The ability to repeatedly place rounds onto target at the limits of a weapon’s effective range are a hallmark of a shooter who knows what they are doing and can complete the shot process. The rifle can hit 600 meters (as shown in the video) and the A2 has an 800m setting for an “area target”
What Josh and Henry show here is the combination of a rifle’s raw potential, decent environmental factors, and familiarity with what all the tools of the system can bring together. It nicely showcases how all the parts of a shooting system matter, especially the shooter.
A familiar rifle is a comforting thing. That old saw about “beware the man with one gun, he probably knows how to use it…” has a kernel or two of truth when it comes to a knowledgeable shooter. Ownership doesn’t equate to skill, but skills will tend to bias one towards a system they are comfortable running all the controls for, even if it isn’t the latest and greatest. One must be objective, one must be self honest, one must be humble about how honed the skills are. Lots of owners out there, far fewer users.
Chasing gear is fun, but nothing replaces proficiency.