This oddball variant of the M-16A1 was modified from a standard M-16A1 in 1974 to fire an experimental cartridge (essentially a standard 5.56mm NATO round necked down to 4.32mm). The idea was to further lighten the M-16A1 as well as the ammunition. This experimental M-16A1 was never given an official designation. The M-16A1 was simply rebarreled to fire the 4.32mm ammunition, and the bolt and chamber were also modified for the same purpose (in the case of the bolt, most of the modifications were in the bolt face; the bolt and bolt carrier assembly were otherwise almost a standard M-16A1 bolt carrier assembly).
This experimental M-16A1 also had some other unusual features – the carrying handle was removed and replaced with a reflex collimator sight, barrel was tipped with a muzzle brake, and it used a 3-round burst setting in addition to a full-auto setting. (The 3-round burst setting was the only feature kept, and reappeared on the M-16A2 in a simplified form; however, a similar sight was used on the Colt ACR.) 30 of these rifles were so modified, and extensive field trials were done with them. Despite the fact that the objective of lighter weight was achieved, and the collimator sight made the modified M-16A1 quite accurate, the bullet was simply too light in weight, and was highly subject to long-range dispersion from wind due to that light weight; it also did not have the damaging potential of even the lightweight 5.56mm NATO round The cartridge and the rifle were therefore dropped from testing.
Colt M-16EZ Assault Rifle
The M-16EZ is a crude copy of the M-16A1 issued to US militia units starting in 1999.
They were built by both Milgov and Civgov so that their militia forces could have something that is better (and gives them more credibility) than deer rifles and shotguns. They are made from reconditioned parts that were originally tagged by the US military as too worn out for military use, and what newer parts were still available. They vary in quality and appearance, often having wooden stocks and handguards, telescopic sights, and other modifications limited only by imagination. Unfortunately, due to the generally poor condition of the parts involved, they also vary widely in reliability and performance. The figures given below are for an average
(The M-16EZ could also be used in other Twilight 2000 campaign areas, or even in some Merc 2000 or Dark Conspiracy games, representing the sort of weapon that sometimes appears in various parts of the world -- a crude copy of an existing weapon built in local machine shops, or even someone's garage.)