The M16A2 is the rifle I grew up on, as it were. I learned drill, maintenance, and marksmanship upon it in the halls of MCRD San Diego and Camp Pendleton. It was a well worn, more purple than black, absolutely abused and put away wet rifle.
And it worked.
The M16A2 was several brilliant and simple concepts pulled together into a solid rifle.
It had flaws, certainly. The stock was too long for most users, especially in armor. The burst fire trigger was a hot garbage invention that made bean counters happy and riflemen sad, trigger break weight was gritty and unpredictable. But rifle worked. It shot and it hit what you shot it at if you did it right, consistently, out to 500 yards.
With. Iron. Sights.
It was the step away from the dependable rudimentary A1 that took new ammunition and a new take on sights to expand the effective range envelope of the light 5.56 rifles.
The Army was grumpy about the change too, and I find that amusing. The stock A2 is obsolescent today but could be pressed into service rather effectively (better than the poor schmucks getting mosins in Ukraine).
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