NEWS | Feb. 21, 2020

M16-Series Rifle, M4/M4A1 Carbine: Food for Feeding Thought

Dear Editor,
I recently helped a unit with their pre-mobilization training.  I noticed several instances of M16-series rifle and M4/M4A1 carbine misfires because of how the weapons were loaded.
TM 9-1005-319-10 (Aug 16) shows how to load the M16 and M4 with the bolt in the closed or open positions.  But it’s the final step for either procedure that Soldiers mess up.  They forget to tap the forward assist to ensure the bolt is locked in the forward position.  If you don’t do that, you risk a misfire or other malfunction. 
In my opinion, the best way to load the weapon is to lock the bolt to the rear, push the charging handle forward, lock in a magazine, and push the top of the bolt catch.  That lets the buffer and action spring feed, chamber and lock a round from a fully compressed position. 
One other thing I noticed was Soldiers doing press checks.  They pull back slightly on the charging handle to see if a round is in the chamber.  If you’ve loaded correctly, you don’t need to do a press check!
Finally, Soldiers need to remember the importance of lubrication.  Lubing weapons with CLP like it says in the TM will greatly reduce malfunctions.
CW2 Kyle Gleason
Editor’s note:  That’s a load of good info.  Thanks, Chief.