Vintage Colt M16 Promo Video – 1980’s Awesomeness

Like out of a Final Countdown style 1980’s time warp, I stumbled upon this classic vintage Colt M16 promo video a few days ago. Complete with retro woodland camo, steel helmets and manly mustaches, Colt used sweeping shots of their gold dome clad building in Hartford, Connecticut to pump the iconic assault rifle.

I know I am supposed to wax poetically about simpler times, the American industrial complex and the sound of fully automatic rifle fire, but I can’t help but think about the inconvenience of fixed stocks, 20 inch barrels and carry handles versus railed uppers for optics mounting. I did get a kick out of the Jeep rolling over a rifle in a sort of torture test – a trick I’d be unwilling to pull on my own AR15 rifles.

Not being an expert on all variations of the M16, I’d love to hear from our more educated readers about the models displayed in this high-res (sarc) video. I’ll take a 10.5″ commando model, especially if this promo was produced prior to May of 1986.

Vintage Colt M16 Promo Video


vintage Colt M16 promo Video





M16A2 – Wikipedia:

The development of the M16A2 rifle was originally requested by the United States Marine Corps as a result of the USMC’s combat experience in Vietnam with the XM16E1 and M16A1. It was officially adopted by US Department of Defense as the “US Rifle, 5.56mm, M16A2” in 1982. The Marines were the first branch of the U.S. Armed Forces to adopt the M16A2 in the early/mid-1980s, with the United States Army following suit in the late 1980s. Modifications to the M16A2 were extensive. In addition to the new rifling, the barrel was made with a greater thickness in front of the front sight post, to resist bending in the field and to allow a longer period of sustained fire without overheating.

The rest of the barrel was maintained at the original thickness to enable the M203 grenade launcher to be attached. A new adjustable rear sight was added, allowing the rear sight to be dialed in for specific range settings between 300 and 800 meters to take full advantage of the ballistic characteristics of the new SS109 rounds and to allow windage adjustments without the need of a tool or cartridge. The weapon’s reliability allowed it to be widely used around the United States Marine Corps special operations divisions as well. The flash suppressor was again modified, this time to be closed on the bottom so it would not kick up dirt or snow when being fired from the prone position, and acting as a recoil compensator.

The front grip was modified from the original triangular shape to a round one, which better fit smaller hands and could be fitted to older models of the M16. The new handguards were also symmetrical so that armories need not separate left and right spares. The handguard retention ring was tapered to make it easier to install and uninstall the handguards. A notch for the middle finger was added to the pistol grip, as well as more texture to enhance the grip. The buttstock was lengthened by 5⁄8 in (15.9 mm). The new buttstock became ten times stronger than the original due to advances in polymer technology since the early 1960s.

Original M16 stocks were made from fiberglass-impregnated resin; the newer stocks were engineered from DuPont Zytel glass-filled thermoset polymers. The new stock included a fully textured polymer buttplate for better grip on the shoulder, and retained a panel for accessing a small compartment inside the stock, often used for storing a basic cleaning kit. The heavier bullet reduces muzzle velocity from 3,200 feet per second (980 m/s), to about 3,050 feet per second (930 m/s). The A2 uses a faster twist rifling to allow the use of a trajectory-matched tracer round. It has a 1:7 twist rate. A spent case deflector was incorporated into the upper receiver immediately behind the ejection port to prevent cases from striking left-handed users.


LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Twitter: @gunboxready
Instagram: @tfb_pete


  • SS109

    The velocity of SS109 62grain M855 definitly is higher from a 20″ barrel, unless its underloaded (maybe older propellant?).

    • SS109

      Or theyr just running at like 52kpsi not 55 in this case.

      • Nicks87

        I believe 52K psi is correct.

        • autofull– kevin horning

          i have owned a registered a2 bought from colt since they became available in, i think 80. it was in my no. three inventory when i quit the biz. i will always prefer the clayco ak47 conversion over it. just my two cents after almost 40yrs of ownership and shootin. just my two guys. kevin.

          • SS109

            What sence did that made in this context..? Sounds incredible off topic.

  • Bill

    THE 1980s IS NOT OLD!!!!!!!

    • PK
    • SP mclaughlin

      We are closer to 2050 than 1980.

      • Tassiebush

        Oh shut up!

      • Blue Centurion

        I guess I never thought of it that way………..

    • iksnilol

      it’s half a century ago.

      Get with the times, old man.

      • Bill

        You wacky kids these days, with your suppressors and MLOK machines…

      • Georgiaboy61

        Aren’t you jumping the gun, no pun intended, just a bit? 1980 is now thirty-seven years in the past. That’s a long time ago, but not even close to fifty years yet. Check in with this story in 2029 and you’ll be able to say “I told you so!”… If I’m still alive by then…. yeah, I’m “that old”!

        • iksnilol

          Yeah, but modern centuries are shorter.

          • Georgiaboy61

            Is that some of the “new math”? Sorry, I missed out on that…. where I come from, a century is still measured as an even one-hundred years, and a half-century as fifty years.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, but, every year is slightly longer than the previous (like some microseconds or something). So to compensate for that we have to shorten next centuries by some years.

          • mig1nc

            Bwhahaha. Common core century.

          • Tassiebush

            You know how everything keeps getting faster. My theory is it’s nothing to do with perception of time as we age. It’s actually some horrific irreversible distortion of time itself with everything genuinely speeding up. The next decade will feel like 5years the one after like 2.5years and so on…;)

          • iksnilol

            I feel like there’s a joke about lasting longer hidden there.

    • Just Say’n

      The producers of the A-Team called, they want their COLT M-16 Promo video back…

      Oh, and EVERYBODY knows 5.56 can’t punch through cinder blocks like that, Fake News!

      • bernardg

        A-Team rarely using M-16 though. They are all about Ruger Mini-14 & Stoner AR-18. Being ex-specops and all.

    • CavScout

      This was grandpa’s favorite youtube vid back in the day. 😉

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Slo-mo grenade-o.

  • LazyReader

    2:47 This is the 5.56 weapon system chosen by the Free world…………..before Germany had a chance to tweak it

    • Joe

      I’d love to see a comparison between the M27 and the Danish Light Support Weapon.

      I remember Colt Automatic Rifle uppers being listed in the Shotgun News for around $800 once upon a time.

      Getting old…

      • jcitizen

        I had an SOT in the ’70s. and I remember some dealers couldn’t even get rid of M16s for 130 dollars a piece!!! Everyone wanted the Ruger class 3 version of the ranch rifle. (NOT ME) You know you getting old when you remember figures like that!

        • Tassiebush

          I feel like my life would have been so much better if I’d been born 20years earlier.

          • jcitizen

            I was pretty lucky, but every time we got a new attorney general, we had to jump through hoops to get him to issue an opinion, so the BATF would allow our transfers.

    • Samuel Millwright

      By tweak you mean break right?

      Or did you mean regress it by 3 decades plus when pistond etc were actually new…?

      • ostiariusalpha

        The short stroke gas piston was invented by the incredibly talented and prolific Ferdinand von Mannlicher in 1900, the specific type of piston that HK uses is based on the one Eugene Stoner created for the AR-16 in 1962 (patent filed in 1963: US3198076). So either way you look at it, there’s nothing “new” about the HK gas piston.

  • Porty1119

    Those that find fixed stocks, 20″ barrels, and carry handles inconvenient must not have used them before. Use inside vehicles or with body armor not counted.

    • Xanderbach

      As someone who was issued an M16A2 and worked from the back of a HMMWV box, my opinion doesn’t count. So I can freely say the damned thing was too goddamned huge, and finding space for the damned thing was an exercise in itself. 13E FDC.

      • Markius Fox

        “‘ey! Could I use one of those outlets to charge the batteries for my MP3 player?”
        – 13B to a 13E on the gun line

        Sorry for the tangent, it’s obligatory for us Redlegs.

    • iksnilol

      Find me one trooper in the 21st century that doesn’t use body armor or vehicles.

    • Bill

      They certainly work if the vehicle is a police car and the body armor is soft and under the uniform. Maybe not the most convenient, but certainly serviceable.

    • Guy

      Nowadays one is not allowed to use a carry handle as it violates military firearms safety of keeping your dominant hand on the weapon whenever possible. Even the SAW carry handle is outlawed. Not saying this is correct or not, just the way it is 🙂

      • Anonymoose

        You can loop your thumbs through it when you’re low-crawling.

  • Qoquaq En Transic

    I notice the opening picture is of a Colt Model 750 open-bolt LMG.

    I own one, and it’s an excellent weapon.

  • LazyReader
    • Rock or Something

      Flip that 3 around and you have FARCE. Maybe why it didn’t end up “the shape of things to come”.

    • Joshua

      I would buy a rifle like that if it was decent and available at a reasonable price,

    • Just Say’n

      Bet they’d sell a boatload of them in Columbia.

  • Disgruntled

    Colt commandos are 11.5’s.

    • Anonymoose

      Actually the original ones were a flat 10 inches because it was half the M16 length, but then they switched to the 11.5″ to give it more dwell time. Then in the early 2000s the SEALs just had to be different and use the 10.3″ which had the same cycling issues as the original 10-inchers, so the military ones have enlarged gas ports. Later on lazy companies that measure things in halves instead of tenths came up with the ubiquitous 10.5″ barrel. There were also various <10" pistols and weird things made by other companies in the 80s and 90s. One benefit of the 11.5" over the 10.3" other than reliability is that if you have the actual 4.5" "moderator" (or a reasonable facsimile like the Griffin Armament one) and a grenade ring, you can mount an M203.

      • Disgruntled

        All true.

        Still though,

        12.5 master race.

      • mig1nc

        My understanding is that the only reason for the 10.3″ barrel length was that it was the shortest barrel you could use with the standard carbine length gas system and front site base while being able to attach the then standard issue silencer. Which I think was the Knight’s NT4? Not 100% sure on the can.

        Also, by the way, the crane spec for the gas port on the Mk18 CQBR is 0.070″ which is not very big and is not intended to run cheap weak civilian ammo.

        • Anonymoose

          That makes sense, but the gas port also erodes much quicker than on other carbine models. Normal gas port size is supposed to be 0.062″.

  • Anonymoose

    You must be new here.

  • B. Young

    Love the ~2.1??? seconds of the Colt LMG! That LMG has a huge diameter barrel like ~1-1/2″ it’s like a bull-bull barrel! Frankly the funky music would have made me buy anything they were selling-lol.
    (LMG has the square hand guard and vertical forward grip)

  • Monies

    Use the round as it was intended. 10.5 inch bbl fired 5.56 sucks. It barely has more balls than carbine fired 9mm. And I’m not sure. If I were into ARs I would rather have one with enough barrel to propel the round as intended without the rifle having 10 pounds of worthless rail laden garbage hanging off it.

    • Georgiaboy61

      Stoner’s original design got around the Geneva/Hague Convention prohibition on expanding/hollow-point ammunition by designing a 55-grain projectile with cannelure which was intended to fragment into a blast cone of high-velocity fragments upon hitting the target. The trade-off, design-wise, is that the effect was only produced at 2750 fps or above impact velocity. Below this cutoff, the round was still lethal, but it was optimally lethal above it. During the 1970s, M855 62-grain FMJ “green tip” was introduced, and by the time of the Battle of Mogadishu, there was dissention in the ranks over the erratic lethality of this round in combat.
      The older projectile designs absolutely required as much muzzle velocity as possible to function optimally in combat. However, advances in ammunition technology have given new life to short-barreled ARs such as SBRs, AR SMGs and AR pistols.
      Open-tip match rounds such as the 77-grain Sierra Match King BTHP, which are designed for precision/match use, are constructed in such a way that they perform similarly to hollow-points, when the 3-4 “petals” of copper/gilding metal open up. Since this effect is an artifact of the manufacturing process of how BTHP is made, and not intention, OTM has been ruled as legal under the rules of land warfare. OTM projectiles are now favored by special operations personnel and others for their ability to expand reliably across a wide range of velocities, high down to low.
      Because of this, they work very well from SBRs and carbines as well as from traditional style rifles with barrels of 18-20 inches or greater.
      The other breakthrough has occurred in solid projectiles, such as the solid copper/copper alloy bullets offered by firms such as Hornady, Barnes and others. These, too, have ideal performance characteristics from a wide variety of barrel lengths. They are favored by many police department SWAT teams and other tactical shooters who need “barrier-blind” performance through automotive glass, for example. This design has also found favor in the special ops community.

      • H.C.

        The Mk262 77gr SMK does not expand, It’d designed to fragment just like most military ammo, even though it’s OTM. The Optimized 70gr TSX or Brown Tip that JSOC is using does what you are referring to and the 50gr version of that round is probably the best domestic law enforcement round for shorter barrels. Optimized, means the petals have been constructed so that they do not break off in auto glass, making them out standing barrier blind rounds as well as great at expanding.

        • Georgiaboy61

          Re: “The Mk262 77gr SMK does not expand, It’d designed to fragment just like most military ammo, even though it’s OTM.” I would call the petals opening up and breaking off “expansion,” but your mileage may vary, of course. Thanks for writing.

          • H.C.

            Look at tnoutdoors9’s gel test video of Mk262. Does that look anything like expansion? It’s a mass of fragments. There are no petals, that’s TSX with petals.

    • mig1nc

      Are you kidding me? Even at lowly .223 pressure from a 10.5″ barrel it has literally double the energy of a 9mm standard pressure round (~800 vs. ~400 ft-lb). And modern rounds like the Nosler bonded or TSX will fully expand down well below 2K FPS giving you an effective range of over 200 yards… From a 10.5 barrel and a maximum point blank zero at the same.

      Not to mention it can defeat soft armor.

      This FAR exceeds the capability of 9mm SMGs and is why they are pretty much obsolete at this point.

  • Widgt

    Run over by an empty 1/4 ton no problemo. Run over by a HETT…not so much. Some things you just cannot un-see.

  • Tassiebush

    Testing my memory (could be way off) but I think this video was actually posted a few years back by Claymore. He had some link to the video.
    Edit: holy shitsauce I was right!

  • Geoff Timm

    How did they get 55 gallons of napalm into a 40mm grenade? Geoff Who never fired a round like that when I was assigned an M203.

    • iksnilol

      You get the napalm rounds when you hit 5th prestige, after the tiger camo unlock.

  • Douglas Pickerell

    Can we all take a moment and thank god for HD video

  • Asdf

    The porn music makes it.

  • Realist

    I wanna know what these two Soldiers did w/their K-Pots.

  • autofull– kevin horning

    so sorry, never mind.

  • Blue Centurion

    And what the hell is wrong with a Mustache!

  • CavScout

    Wow! Did you see how that M16 blew up that shack?!?!

  • MikeA

    Its a shame Connecticut has become so gun unfriendly and driven away good companies with great jobs for skilled workers.

  • DW

    …Lets throw this heretic out the airlock

  • claymore

    Dude you missed it. That is me in the video and it is already on the firearms blog video channel LOL. Video Made in 1986.

  • jcitizen

    That did give me a headache with it switching back and forth like that.

  • Brenton Leekley

    The A2 was a fine weapon. I carried the standard and one with the M203. It’s too bad the M4 has a neutered 14.5″ barrel… the USMC taught us to shoot past 90 yards effectively; it’d be nice if the NATO ball cartridge was useful at 100 yards in that short barrel