How to Field Strip a M 16 Service Rifle

The M16 service rifle is a lightweight, gas operated, air cooled, magazine fed, shoulder fired weapon. It uses 5.56mm NATO rounds (.223 for the civilian equivalent). In the Marine Corps, this weapon is our life. In order for the rifle to function properly and not jam, it must be cleaned and maintained regularly. In order to clean the weapon, you must first take it apart or field strip it. Here is how:


  1. 1
    Lock the bolt to the rear. You will need to depress the lever on the charging handle and pull the charging handle all the way rearward. While holding the charging handle all the way in the rearward position you will need to push the bottom portion of the bolt catch located on the left side of the magazine well.
  2. 2
    Push the rear dis-assembly pin, located above the pistol grip. This will allow the rifle to pivot on the forward dis-assembly pin for a “shot-gun” effect. This will come in handy if you just want to pull the bolt out.
  3. 3
    Repeat step 2 on the front dis-assembly pin located above the magazine well. This will separate the upper and lower receivers.
  4. 4
    Separate the upper and lower receivers by pulling them apart.
  5. 5
    Remove the upper and lower hand grips by pulling down on the O-ring located in front of the magazine well while pulling the hand grips away from the barrel.
  6. 6
    Remove the bolt carrier group by pulling the charging handle to the rear. The bolt carrier group will come with it and should fall right out. Place it aside for further dis-assembly.
  7. 7
    Remove the charging handle by lining the détentes up with the recesses in the upper receiver housing and pulling downward.
  8. 8
    Remove the buffer assembly from the lower receiver. Use the charging handle to depress the lip holding it in the stock.
  9. 9
    Pick up the bolt carrier group. Remove the firing pin from the bolt carrier by pushing the firing pin retaining pin from left to right and removing it. The firing pin will fall right out. The retaining pin is very small. Make sure to put it in a safe place. A good place to put it is in the grooves of the charging handle.
  10. 10
    Remove the bolt located inside the front of the bolt carrier by simply pulling it out.
  11. 11
    Remove the cam pin located at the front of the bolt carrier by turning it so that it clears the gas tube and then pull it out.
  12. 12
    Removing the extractor pin and extractor is not necessary for field stripping a rifle. One can easily render the bolt unserviceable by losing the spring found under the extractor. Cleaning these parts in garrison, however, is recommended.
  13. 13
    Open the compartment in the butt-stock by depressing the latch. If the latch is hard to release, use the charging handle to depress it.


  • Make sure the weapon is CLEAR before you begin this procedure

Article Info

Categories: Pictures