The M16 rifle accompanied the US military when they entered the thick jungles and joined the warfare operations of the Vietnam War. What followed was its more compact, Cold War-era brother called the CAR-15 rifle, which Pentagon provided to the US Army Green Berets and US Navy SEALs commandos that later became one of the top modern special forces weapons for good reasons.

M16, Piece of Garbage

Before there was CAR-15, there was the M16.

In 1964, the M16 was introduced to the US military. A year later, these rifles were deployed to be used by the troops fighting in the jungles of Vietnam. It was made of composite plastic with smaller caliber bullets, so it was light with less recoil. One selling point of the gun was that the soldiers could carry more ammunition for the same weight since they were smaller. Another was its rounds supersonic up to 500 yards and capable of penetrating steel plating. There was also a claim that its fully automatic mode could fire up to 800 rounds per minute.

PFC John Henson (Columbia, South Carolina) of the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, cleans his XM16E1 (M16) rifle while on an operation 30 miles west of Kontum, Vietnam. 12 July 1966. [Source: Wikimedia]
M16 was endorsed as a super-advanced gun that didn’t need to be cleaned. Because of this claim, they ditched the cleaning kit. As a result, the rifle would frequently jam as casings failed to eject from the chamber after firing. Many soldiers died while trying to take apart their jammed weapons.