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Loading the Magazine

Magazines are available with a capacity of 20 or 30 rounds and may be loaded with any amount up to that capacity. 'he magazine follower has a raised portion generally resembling the outline of a cartridge. Cartridges are loaded into the magazine so that the tips of the bullets point in the same direction as the raised portion of the follower (fig. 3-48).

A magazine charger and magazine charger strip (fig. 3-49) are provided to facilitate loading of the magazine.

Figure 3-48.-Loading cartridges into the magazine.

The magazine charger is connected to the magazine and is fully seated. The charger strip is inserted into the magazine charger until it is fully seated. Pushing on the top cartridge will force cartridges into the magazine.

Loading the Rifle

with the weapon cocked, place the selector lever on SAFE. The magazine may be inserted with the bolt either open or closed; however, you should learn to load with the bolt open. This reduces the possibility of a first-round stoppage and saves the time required to chamber the first round by pulling back the charging handle.

Open the bolt and lock it open as previously described. Hold the stock of the rifle under the right arm with the right hand grasping the pistol grip and point the muzzle in a safe direction. With the left hand, insert a loaded magazine into the magazine feedway. Push upward until the magazine catch engages and holds the magazine. Rap the base of the magazine sharply with the heel of the hand to ensure positive retention. Then release the bolt by depressing the upper portion of the bolt catch as previously described The bolt, as it rides forward, will chamber the top round

Figure 3-49.-Luading cartridges into the magazine with the magazine loading strip and charger.

If you load the rifle with the bolt closed, you chamber the top round by pulling the charging handle fully to the rear and releasing it.


Do not "ride" the charging handle forward with the right hand. If the handle is eased forward from the OPEN position, the bolt may fail to lock. If the bolt fails to go forward fully, strike the forward assist assembly with the heel of the right hand.

Unloading the Rifle

To unload the rifle and make it safe, place the selector lever on SAFE, press the magazine catch button and remove the magazine, pull the charging handle to the rear, inspect the chamber to make sure it is clear, lock the bolt carrier to the rear by depressing the lower portion of the bolt catch, and return the charging handle forward.

Remember, the rifle is clear (and therefore safe) only when no round is in the chamber, the magazine is out, the bolt carrier is to the rear, and the selector lever is on the SAFE setting.

Gun Maintenance

A clean, properly lubricated and maintained M16Al rifle will function properly and fire accurately when needed. To keep the rifle in good operating condition, you must take care of it properly and maintenance must be performed according to set procedures. Procedures for the care and cleaning of the rifle can be found on the 3-M Systems MRCs or in the Army's TM 9-1005-249-10.

Maintenance of the M16A1 rifle is generally the same as for other small arms previously discussed. The bore and chamber must be kept free of residue and foreign matter. Inspect, while cleaning and lubricating, all sliding or working surfaces for burrs, cracks, or worn areas (repair or replace as necessary) and lubricate with a thin film of lubricant. Remove dirt, rust, grit, gummed oil, and water as these will cause rapid deterioration of the inner mechanism and outer surfaces.

Figure 3S0.-Remington M870 shotgun.


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