US Air Force M16 Annual Training Video – Circa 1967

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Complete with corny acting and a Garand-type ping to each fired shot, below is the Annual Training video from the US Air Force circa 1967. The video showcases original M16s (not even the A1s were mentioned).

Interestingly, it showcases the original detachable bipods and the carry-handle optic. Further, it shows the original underbarrel grenade launcher, the M-148.

“With the accuracy of a Sniper Rifle”… my how the times have changed.



Nathan S.

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

Nathan can be reached at Nathan.S@TheFirearmBlog.com

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Mystick

    That instructor reminds me of a very young R.Lee Ermey…

    • MrEllis

      He never addressed anyone as “maggot!”

  • Joel

    Waffle magazines!

  • FWIW: The USAF didn’t use the XM16E1 or M16A1, so there was no reason to mention them.

  • My Grandpa was in the USAF from 1949 to 1970 reaching the rank of Master Sgt. and spending a lot of time in Vietnam. He said the reputation of the M-16 rifle was so atrocious that almost every man went out of their way to try and acquire something else. He himself got lucky and grabbed a grease gun.
    I have showed him my M16A1 asking if it brings back memories and he said, and I quote “get that junk sh** out of my face,” jokingly.

    • CommonSense23

      Curious what your grandfather did in the airforce.

      • Something to do with the military mail service. After he left the Air Force he went to work for the post office until retirement. He won’t talk much about it but he did mention to me one time how he saw action during the Tet Offensive and that was one of the few times during the conflict when he was legitimately scared.
        He is still around and doing well but won’t talk about his military service or firearms (he doesn’t care for the latter much). What he WILL talk about is how bad the post office has gotten sine he worked there, lol.

        • smartacus

          cool, I went from USAF to USPS.
          When I left the post office 13 years ago, morale was utterly non-existent.

    • iksnilol

      If I acquire a M16A1, I intend on converting the upper to bolt action (disabling the gas system) and get a modern upper if I want to use the giggle switch.

  • Grindstone50k

    Is that the same narrator for the infamous “The Missile Knows Where it is” video?

    Nowadays they just kill you slowly with powerpoint.

  • Sulaco

    Don’t think I saw this video but the class looks REAL familiar from back in 72…

  • TVOrZ6dw

    Wow- good stuff.

    I was in the Army (85 – 94), but I don’t remember getting any “fire from the hip” training. 🙂
    I thought that those original rifles without any add on’s were remarkably clean looking.

    • MrEllis

      I was hoping someone did a roll.

  • Lance

    The USAF never adopted the M-16A1 same as it never adopted the M-14 in the 50s. The M-16A1 was the Army, Marine Corps version of the M-16. USAF used COlt model 601 and 602s for the M-16 they used from 1962 threw the mid 60s. The USAF in the end after the Army adopted the M-16A1 and certain parts for the military M-16 lower receiver was standardized, the USAF adopted the Colt model 604, in ways the USAF M-16. The 604 was almost the same as the M-16A1 but it excluded the forward assist the Army and Marine Corp version had. It also standardized the birdcage flash hider retiring the 3 pronged version. Both Colt 603 and 604 were reguarded as M-16A1s by the Pentagon. And Colt 604s saw use from the late 60s till around 2004, when M-4s replaced older (none A2) M-16s in air force use. Though some A1s may have seen use by the air force when loaned by the Army for combat USAF personnel.

    Notice they mention 30rd mags. from 1963 till 1968 only 20rd mags where used. 30rd mags where adopted but belays in production made sure the 30rd mag didn’t reach solders, airmen, sailor and marines till 1969.

  • Steve Martinovich

    That video needed some Troy McClure.

  • mosinman

    My father served in the USAF in the 80s and was issued one of these M-16s/602s
    He said they looked beat to Hell but shot very nicely up to 500 yards ( kind of important when you’re only issued 4x 20 rounders for a combat load.)

    • MrEllis

      They let my mom shoot once in the AF during the ’80s, she did so bad they never bothered again. To be fair, if the barbarians were at the gates and it was down to my mom to provide the last line of defense from her desk… well, I’d start brushing up on the old Russian. If I remember correctly they didn’t even shoot in basic.

      • mosinman

        That’s odd really , you’d think they’d keep instructing her till she improved. I do recall my father speaking about shooting practice in basic and qualification (I’m not sure how many times they had to qualify a year) during his period of service.

        • MrEllis

          Let’s just say there were most likely different standards back then for the sexes and the units. I asked, she never shot a weapon in basic training and she remembers shooting because we lived in England at the time and some off-shoot (no pun) of Greenpeace was protesting at the range (A Royal Military Range that was also a sometimes sheep pasture) and laying naked in front of the targets. I think a water cannon was involved…

          The military is a bit more co-ed these days then it was in days of yore. It seems absurd to us in a modern light, but she was in basic some time in the late ’70s. I had a hard time believing it as well but unless she’s been hiding her T1 Ops status from me this whole time and only pretending not to know anything about guns except for how loud they are I’m gonna have to believe her on this one.

          • mosinman

            Yeah you’re probably right