Sites: GlobalSpec.com | GlobalSpec Electronics | CR4 | Electronics360
Login | Register
The Engineer's Place for News and Discussion®

Previous in Forum: Fundamentals of the Moment of Inertia   Next in Forum: Collisions and Energy Transfers
Close

Comments Format:






Close

Subscribe to Discussion:

CR4 allows you to "subscribe" to a discussion
so that you can be notified of new comments to
the discussion via email.

Close

Rating Vote:







19 comments
Participant

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4

How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/22/2007 10:37 AM

How does a M-16 Carbine work?

Register to Reply
Pathfinder Tags: M-16 carbide weapons
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
United States - Member - I am a Yankee Doodle Boy. Engineering Fields - Manufacturing Engineering - Old School is the best school. Safety - ESD - Safety Mgr that keeps the peace Hobbies - DIY Welding - My Motto:

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Broken Arrow, OK, USA
Posts: 825
Good Answers: 23
#2

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/22/2007 4:07 PM

LOL Pull trigger it go boom.

Anything in from of it go dead.

Joking aside I have no idea how it works but would like to kow myself.

__________________
If necessity is the mother of invention then is laziness the mother of necessity?
Register to Reply
Power-User
United States - Member - USA Engineering Fields - Control Engineering - Never enough money

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 294
Good Answers: 4
#3

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/22/2007 10:20 PM

Very well which is why I own one.

Give google and wikipedia a try for information.

Register to Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: WV-USA
Posts: 59
#4

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 12:38 AM

Are you talking about the M-16 military rifle? Its a direct blowback extraction system. This eliminated the mechanical linkage of previous semi/full auto U.S. military rifles, M-1 Garand, the M-1/2 carbine, the M-14 as well as the world famous Russian Kalishnikov (originally a German design). A tube redirects pressure from inside the barrel during firing ("blow back") to the bolt, kicking the bolt back and activating the extractor, ejecting the empty cartridge. Unfortunately, the early ammunition used during the Vietnam war didn't burn so clean, all those dirty gases also went onto the bolt, extractor, the unfired cartridges and, worst of all, directly into the combustion chamber. The internal works of the M-16 tended to "carbon up" like a spark plug. The extractor might go backwards but slip off the stuck brass cartridge. The M-16 had a pivot pin which would open up the rifle to access the bolt from the rear for routine cleaning. You could see a spring in the stock normally pushed the bolt back into the front. If a previous round stuck in the chamber after firing, and if the bolt traveled forward it would simply push a fresh round up out of the clip and into the unextracted empty round. The jam now had three components: a fresh round, a spent round up front, and a bolt now preventing disassembly of the rifle itself! The M-16 had a three piece (assembly required) cleaning rod. Compare this to a Kalishnikov with a one piece cleaning rod conveniently located underneath the barrel. There are at least two opposite opinions concerning the M-16, both utilized swearing. The M-16 is a completely different weapon now supposedly. I'm not at this point qualified to render judgement forty years later, but I hope the troops have a much more reliable weapon than I had.

__________________
EJay
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Power-User

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: High Point,N.C. USA
Posts: 186
Good Answers: 1
#5
In reply to #4

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 3:53 AM

You are not going to beat the M14. (or the Garand for that matter) James

__________________
"WORKS FOR ME"
Register to Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - New Member Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Technical Fields - Education - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 615
Good Answers: 17
#8
In reply to #4

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 9:17 AM

Hold the phone. I have never personally field stripped a Garand. However, I am intimate with the AK (Saiga .308) and the M1 Carbine.

Both rifles are gas operated. The AK is most similar in design to the M-16, albeit without the tight tolerances and with considerably more gas loss. It is the very sloppy nature of the AK that makes it so indestructible.

As for the M-1 carbine, although also gas operated it is a completely different design.

Neither weapon has any more of a "mechanical linkage" than the M-16.

Please, someone correct me if I am wrong.

-A-

__________________
question everything
Register to Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: WV-USA
Posts: 59
#10
In reply to #8

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 9:56 AM

All the weapons in this discussion are gas operated, that's not the difference or a difference. The Garand, M1 carbine, AK, etc. use a gas operated mechanical linkage to actuate the bolt. The M-16 used uses gas pressure directly, via a metal tube, from the barrel to the bolt to activate the bolt. The AK has very little in common with the M-16 other than it is an assault weapon.

__________________
EJay
Register to Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - New Member Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Technical Fields - Education - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 615
Good Answers: 17
#12
In reply to #10

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 10:16 AM

OK. Now we are arguing an increasingly finer point.

The bolt of an M-16 rotates, correct? What we have referred to until this point as a bolt is actually an assembly. The bolt, in both cases, is held by a piston/slide. The piston extends into a gas tube. The dimensions and design specs are vastly different, true. Kind of like a moose and a deer. However, basic function remains the same.

The M-1 carbine is the only rifle sited to use gas pressure indirectly, via a little piston that smacks a linkage that moves the bolt.

So far, IMHO, the M-16 design is the most elegant. Definitely the prettiest design of all mentioned. All thing considered, I'll keep my Saiga .308

-A-

__________________
question everything
Register to Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: WV-USA
Posts: 59
#14
In reply to #12

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 10:38 AM

Look into the M16's doorway you can see the gas tube near the combustion chamber when the bolt is pulled back. The bolt is actuated by the gas pressure from that tube. It is not actuated via a mechanical device. The M16 and the AK bolts both rotate. The bolt in the AK is held by a very substantial "piston/slide". Its like an arm from the elbow down: the "elbow" of the arm is actuated by the gases from the barrel, the fist encases the rotating bolt. The gases are kept away from the combustion chamber mechanisms by the AK's design; the gases are directly ported into the combustion chamber mechanisms in the M16 design which is why its called "blowback" design. Both the weapons are gas operated.

__________________
EJay
Register to Reply
Guru
United States - Member - New Member Engineering Fields - Mechanical Engineering - New Member Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Hobbies - Target Shooting - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Technical Fields - Education - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 615
Good Answers: 17
#15
In reply to #14

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 10:56 AM

EJay,

I am afraid furthering this discussion would require a side by side tear down and parts comparison. I think the conversation would be fun.

My hat is off to you Sir. Thank you for your service to our country.

Respectfully,

-A-

__________________
question everything
Register to Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: WV-USA
Posts: 59
#17
In reply to #15

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 1:25 PM

It would definitely be a lot of fun. Thanks for the appreciation, I don't make it a career, but I'm pleased to have done my military service honorably. Learning any system design is never ending fun, teaching system design is for wiser folks than me though!

__________________
EJay
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 398
Good Answers: 1
#9
In reply to #4

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 9:25 AM

As I recall, the military had a lot of unused gunpowder that it recycled for M-16 ammunition when the gun was first introduced. The older powder was mixed with newer powder and used to load the bullets. Unfortunately it proved to be defective. When ammo loaded just using newer powder was tested, the failures were decreased by a couple of orders of magnitude.

The big advancement of the M-16, besides the small size high velocity rounds, is that the barrel is in line with the rifleman's shoulder. Hence the gun's muzzle does not have the tendency to bounce upward when firing making rapid semi-automatic and fully automatic fire much more accurate. Previous style rifles have the barrel inline above the shoulder and every time it is fired there is a force generated that wants to rotate the rifle muzzle upwards. Tests had shown that in the heat of battle with conventional rifles usually only the first round had any affect, the rest being fired over the enemy's head. The M-16's design changed that. So now the troop not only could carry much more ammo (due to the smaller size), the effectiveness in action was much higher.

Register to Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: WV-USA
Posts: 59
#13
In reply to #9

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 10:20 AM

That inline barrel was definitely an improvement over the M-14. However, if you compare the old M-1 Garand kickback you will notice the Garand has a more measured and predictable kickback behavior, I think softer, than the M14. The M14 had a strong kick and was three or four pounds heavier (not to mention the ammo clips) than the M16. There was an auto version of the M-14 which was basically uncontrollabe after the first round. Barrel rise was addressed by the M-16's second-generation squirrel cage suppressor to some degree. The Russians were smarter, they just sliced 30ยบ or thereabout piece out of the top of the barrel tip so the gases would push down the lower part of the remaining barrel tip as they naturally deflected upward through empty space created by the cut out. Dozens of smarter applied engineering techniques from a user's standpoint are available in the AK than the M16. The sighting devices are far superior in the M16 derivatives I suspect! My impressions are forty years old but these impressions remain very intense, as our lives depended on these designs when I was in a war zone. In battle sight zero situations the weapon either works or it doesn't and adrenaline erases the fine points of split hair accuracy either by the shooter or by the weapon. The weapon either works or it doesn't./p]

__________________
EJay
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4419
Good Answers: 142
#19
In reply to #4

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/28/2007 8:40 PM

I had a chance recently to talk with a former Russian army officer who worked in some sort of engineering capacity. He said the Russians did one of the acceptance tests on the Kalishnikovs by burying them in wet muck and sand for several days, then firing them for, I think, a thousand rounds. He said only the Russian model would survive this, not the Czech, not the Romanian, etc. According to him (and he exaggerates a bit I think) the secret is that the famous loose tolerance is very precise.

__________________
"Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: UK, Midlands
Posts: 517
Good Answers: 2
#6

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 6:41 AM

By pyrotechnically imparting a large amount of kinetic energy to a small object (projectile) sufficient to make it pass through target materials for the purpose of inflicting significant damage thereto.

__________________
Wish I was here more often.
Register to Reply
Guru
Hobbies - HAM Radio - CE3AM....4X4SW....CE3NSW

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Santiago Chile.
Posts: 845
Good Answers: 7
#7

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 8:59 AM

How does it work? It is largely depend on your geographical position, whether you are going to be part of the bullet trajectory or not.

And BTW, it's not a Carbine, it is a military assault rifle.

Wangito

__________________
Never trade luck for skill.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: "Dancing over the abyss."
Posts: 4884
Good Answers: 240
#11

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 10:16 AM

http://www.archive.org/details/Rifle556mmXM16E1OperationandCycleofFunctioningTF93663

Very dramtically oversimplified: trigger releases spring drivenfiring pin. firing pin crushes primer. primer ignites powder powder combustion creates expanding volume of gas. gas ejects bullet and gas operates bolt and ejects empty cartridge and loads next as it resets firing pin spring. The above movie does a better job than my simplification.

milo

__________________
People say between two opposed opinions the truth lies in the middle. Not at all! Between them lies the problem, what is unseeable,eternally active life, contemplated in repose. Goethe
Register to Reply
Associate

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Brownwood, Texas USA
Posts: 52
#16

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/23/2007 12:16 PM

The blowback method of firearm operation is fairly well known in the firearms field and that method of operation somewhat restricts the speed of fire in full automatic mode. But weapons like the UZI, MAC10 use a different method of operation and fire a lot faster than blowback. I've heard that the bolt never actually closes during fire. How can that be?? What makes them so fast?

__________________
You can lead a horse to water but a pencil must be lead.
Register to Reply
Commentator

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: WV-USA
Posts: 59
#18
In reply to #16

Re: How does an M-16 Carbine Work?

08/28/2007 3:01 AM

If I remember correctly those weapons fire the round when the bolt impacts the combustion chamber because the firing pin is already sticking out.

__________________
EJay
Register to Reply
Register to Reply 19 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

-A- (3); Anonymous Poster (1); double_j_b (1); EJay (6); Howetwo (1); James P. Hollen (1); maxmutant (1); Milo (1); Richard L (1); TVP45 (1); wangito (1); Wrenched (1)

Previous in Forum: Fundamentals of the Moment of Inertia   Next in Forum: Collisions and Energy Transfers