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The M16 family once again appears in Battlefield 3, this time as two separate weapons; the M16A3 which is fully automatic and the M16A4 which fires in three-round bursts.


"The 3rd generation of the M16 has been upgraded with a RIS (Rail Interface System) for mounting accessories and is capable of Automatic and Semi-Automatic fire. Available to front line units engaged in urban combat, the M16A3's low recoil makes a capable all around weapon."

— Battlelog description


The M16A3 appears in most levels where the USMC is present. It is either found without attachments, or with an optic and underslung M320.


The M16A3 is the primary weapon for the hosting player in Operation Exodus (the other player has an M249 SAW) with an M320 and ACOG Scope.


The M16A3 is the standard assault rifle of the United States Marine Corps' Assault kit in Battlefield 3, filling in the same role as the AK-74M which is the Russian Army's starting assault rifle. It can later be unlocked for the Russian Army with 220,000 Assault points.

The M16A3 does the same damage as most Assault weapons. It possesses low kick, low spread, and a relatively high rate of fire. It is capable of rail-mounting either the M320 or the M26 MASS. The M16A3 tends to kick rightwards hard, so the Foregrip attachment is recommended to remedy this. When fitted with a non-magnifying optical sight such as a Reflex or Holographic Sight, the front iron sight is still visible on the weapon.


"This 4th generation M16A4 is equipped with a removable carring handle, a RIS (Rail Interface System) for mounting accessories, and is capable of both 3 Round Burst and Semi-Automatic fire. The original flaws of the M16 design have all but been eliminated and the M16A4 serves as the standard rifle of the USMC. Low recoil with a high rate of fire, the M16A4 is an accurate medium range weapon."

— Battlelog description


The M16A4 is the first burst-fire weapon unlocked. It is available for both factions at 89,000 Assault points.

Though aesthetically identical, the M16A4 differs from the M16A3 in a few notable ways, the foremost feature being its burst, semi-auto fire selector unlike the M16A3 which has a full auto, semi auto fire selector. As of patch 1.04, its stats differ from the M16A3. The M16A4 has only half the spread of the M16A3 when aiming down sights, making it much more viable as a long range weapon. The M16A4 also has tendency to kick rightwards, but not to an extent to M16A3. Still, Foregrip attachment is recommended to remedy this.


For attachments pictures, see M16/Attachments.


  • In the earlier stages of development, the player did pull the charging handle of the M16A3. This also applied to the M16A4 and can be seen in the Fault Line trailers.
  • Both the M16A3 and the M16A4 can use attachments that are unlocked with the other gun, meaning that they effectively share unlocks. The only other weapons in the game that can do the same are the M4A1 and M4.
  • In the campaign, if the game language is set to French, then the M16A3 will be incorrectly referred to as the M16A4 when picked up.
  • The Mastery dog tag shows the M16A2 used in Battlefield 2.
  • The soldier portrait with the M16 shows the gun without the rear sight.
  • When aiming through an ACOG scope, the forward iron sights seemingly disappear, but is still visible when idle at the hip. This applies for both M16 and M4 variants.
  • The M16 has a rail cover on the right side of the handguard.
  • The fire selector is on semi-auto.