Infantry: July 14, 2002


While the AK-47 was the most widely used military weapon of the late 20th century, the U.S. M-16 is assuming that role for the 21st century. The M-16 is lighter and fires a more lethal bullet. Moreover, there have been a wider variety of M-16 models designed and built. In addition to American manufacturers, Canada and Singapore also produce large numbers of M-16s for export. Nations using the M-16 include Australia, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Fiji, Gabon, Greece, Grenada, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Haiti, Ghana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Laos, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, the UAE, Uruguay and Vietnam. Most of the original M-16 patents expired between 1977 and 1986, so anyone can make the weapon these days and more nations are. Even China offers an M-16 clone for sale (called the CQ). Russia makes an M-16 clone, the AK-74, that uses slightly different ammunition. Moreover, unlike the AK-47, the M-16 does not appear on any national flags. 


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