Vietnam manufactures M16 and M4 rifle clones!

I came across Imperial Defense, a British company, who manufacturer M16 and M4 clones.

Imperial Defense MG4A5 (M4 Carbine clone)
Imperial Defense MG4A6 (M4 Commando clone)

According to this post at the forum, the guns are manufactured in Vietnam! This makes Vietnam the second communist country to manufacture M16s.

I would guess that the guns are copied off China’s Norinco CQ 5.56 (M4A1 clone).

This is not the first time a Vietnam company has manufactured clones of Western weaponry. They notably manufacture a Lee Enfield clone, the AIA M-10, much to the frustration of American Lee Enfield enthusiats who cannot import the rifle due to BATFE rules which ban firearm imports from Vietnam.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Greetings from Texas,
    Interesting. I also seem to recall either North Vietnam or China making a copy of the Thompson. I have talked to a couple of GIs that described Thompsons way to crude to have come from the US.
    They fired and cycled, just nasty looking!

    • Arthur, thats interesting – I never heard of that before

  • Mike Riley

    Hi, long time listener, first time caller. I live up here in snowy Canada and have a MG4A5. When I bought it I was under the impression that it was made in England. It says “made in England” on the receiver. I do remember hearing something about some parts being made in ‘nam and assembled in England but I can’t remember.

    It is nicer than a norinco for sure. It is also not as nice as a well made American AR. Mine has a 14.5 inch chrome lined barrel, marked for 5.56 a heavy duty m16 style bolt and bolt carrier. Removable carrying handle, etc.
    The mags are total crap, they came with a piece of coat hanger wire jammed inside and welded in place to limit them to 5 rounds. I chucked them right away and got a bunch of rra 10 round pistol ar mags which are for some reason allowed up here.

    • Mike, that is very interesting! I did not realize they made civilian versions or that they were exported to Canada.

      Does it function fine?

  • Vak

    Actually, the vietnamese are quite good weapon manufacturers. I once read an article in some gun rag about some 1911 made in vietnam. The catch ? It was chambered in 7.62×25 tokarev !

  • Kyle

    Guerrilla workshop guns, including “Thompsons,” were quite common in China and Vietnam. It’s my understanding that in Vietnam by 1967 or 1968, the supply lines were sufficiently well-established that the workshop guns were basically a thing of the past.

    The Chinese made a huge array of copycat weapons of varying complexity up until the late ’40s. It’s a real mixed bag r.e. quality. A friend has a copycat Mauser .32 that is just beautiful. It wasn’t one of those arsenal builds – it looks like it was made with mostly hand tools. But a ton of TLC was put into it, and it was custom made for one of his Chinese forebearers.

    The crudeness of the weapons varied depending on who actually built them, for which purpose, when, and how. It was also pretty common for damaged weapons to be salvaged via home-spun repairs. Thompsons are on the complicated side, but a friend’s father who was in Vietnam from 1961 through 1968 had both an M1A1 that had been “sanitized” as well as a local knockoff that was about 60% factory. The only parts that were homespun were the receiver, stock, and some of the fittings and small parts.

    J. David Truby has a few books with details on guerrilla workshop guns –
    “Zips, Pipes and Pens” and “Improvised Modified Firearms” are the ones that come to mind. You can… often… find “samples” in PDF form online.

    • Kyle, very interesting.

  • Keith

    (sing-songy) IIIIIIIRONYYYYY!

  • Lance

    I know of some Vietnamese military units get quallifed if left over M-16A1s even know they use SKSs and AK-47s. I also know that the Vietnamese Navy is buying and feilding AK-74s. Im not surprised to see Vietnam make clones. Im a bit surprised they are current spec and not based on older A1s. Im glad that the US dosnt get these clones I feel it keeps americans working to make american rifles. If not they all would be made in asia.

    I hope one day the people there and there good people there dump communisum and worn out AKs and go NATO and a new US allince aginst the real enemy china.

    • Nguyễn Việt Sơn

      Sorry bro, but SKSs not use by Viet Nam people Army. SKSs use by militia.

  • Mike Riley

    It does function fine. I’m not an expert but a friend of mine who is a gunsmith says it is pretty high quality. According to him it is pretty close to a colt m4. I have put about 3000 rounds through it with no malfs. I’m not really sure about accuracy but freehand I can hit a 8×8 gong all day at 100 yards.

  • real-Viet guy

    That ‘s all about Chinese , I’m pretty sure . You know what ? VC is the CC clone baby . Look at their flags , look at their Army Uniforms and look at their both C.Party . Like father like son men ! Now , The Chinese Company and People ,they live and work ,a lots in Vietnam .


    • Fack-the-genius

      Vietnam’s flag has first more than China’s flag about 3 years!
      Please read and learn more history, genius!

  • novichock

    I recall that a few months back I read that some US advisers where going to Vietnam to help them beef up their counter-terror and anti-drug trafficking departments.

    And IIRC the Vietnamese Navy has recently participated in a couple small exercises with the USN.

  • AK Fanboy

    “real-Viet guy”, I guess you forgot about the border wars between Vietnam and China in the 1980s!

  • Sam Suggs

    Im happy about the way things tuned out in vietnam however the area could have been saved from the horrors of a comunist dictatorship had the war been fought right a our school system and our media cannot accept