For clarification, ireland here, not American. I do know a little bit around guns, yet not all that much. We do have actually private gun property here, yet nothing armed forces grade. It's just something I've wondered around because I've viewed it in movies and also games.

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The american military nomenclature device is screwy, and requires part contextual knowledge.

The main point of distinction is the the M-16 is a "rifle" when the M-4 is a "carbine".

Rifles, Carbines, Handguns, machine-guns, grenade launchers, ect. All have actually their own, independent and parallel design (M) designations.

The M-16 is the 16th "Rifle" adopted since the military moved come this naming conventions, when the M-4 is just the fourth "carbine" adopted.

Also, it's nice much difficult to legitimate buy any kind of full auto in the US, therefore the civilian market doesn't particularly care around M designations.

This. Also, more recent doesn't median better. A the majority of times the improvements in newer models have the right to be cost, or reliability, or something and it could sacrifice preventing power or even accuracy because that them.

The M-16 is the 16th "Rifle" adopted since the army moved to this specify name conventions

...and every couple of decades, they come increase with brand-new naming conventions and also start whatever over, make it practically impossible to make feeling of every little thing if you shot to look in ~ it together a solitary numbering system.

Ah, i see. I wasn't aware of the difference in between a rifle and also a carbine. That makes sense, thanks!

They're different species of weapons, therefore the models execute not match. The M4 is a carbine rifle, the M16 is a rifle. The M4 is a lighter, much shorter version the the M16A2 assault rifle, which itself is a variation of the M16 rifle.

Note the "assault" in this instance method "capable of selective fire".

If it helps to think of it differently, "M4" additionally applies to a specific combat shotgun. It complies with the same design naming system, yet it's one entirely various weapon.

I tried reading up top top it but im still not sure.

I believe the M4 is a carbine model and also the M16 is a rifle model.Perhaps it is why over there is a difference. Together in, the version 4 carbine is newer than the model 16 rifle.

Found some stuff here

If us look in ~ the typical M4A1 Carbine, the weapon's designation is accurate Carbine, model 4, modification 1. Then if we look in ~ the M16A1 Rifle, we can see the full designation must be Rifle, design 16, change 1.

Thanks, i didn't recognize a rifle and also a carbine to be two different things. I just thought they were interchangeable interchangeable terms, like "handgun" and also "pistol."

Good question, I'm not exactly sure, but someone will certainly hopefully chime in and correct me. The M16 is a moniker the the us armed forces stamped to change the M14. This rifle could've to be anything, they just made decision to go through the Armalite select fire rifle. The M4 is a carbine, it's significantly shorter that the M16, I think the upper and lower room the same, however it's purpose is because that CQC. Probably there was a M2 or and also M3 that was a much shorter rifle that it replaced. To my expertise neither the these weapons are easily accessible to the general public. You have the right to however build your very own AR platform and also have very similar cosmetic and functional elements to every one (except you acquire 2 shooting modes rather of 3).

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Maybe there was a M2 or and also M3

M2 Carbine was a full-auto variation of WW2-era M1 carbine

M3 to be a weird version of M2 with early infrared night vision border (prepare for WTF).


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