The Black Rifle: M16 Retrospective 
The Black Rifle

The Black Rifle: M16 Retrospective
By R. Blake Stevens and Edward C. Ezell
Collector Grade Publications, 1994

Format: Hardcopy
Pages: 400 pages
ISBN: 0-88935-115-5
Dimensions: 8.5" x 11"


Currently in its second printing, The Black Rifle is the definitive resource on the history of the AR-15/M16; what it is, what it isn't, where it came from and why. This enhanced second printing was created using an enhanced grade of materials, and aside from the invaluable content, is a work of art. It currently covers up to the M16A2.

R. Blake Stevens is the founder and President of Collector Grade Publications Incorporated, and to date the author of eight published books on modern military small arms. Edward C. Ezell, Ph.D., is the Curator/Supervisor of the Division of Armed Forces History, National Museum of American history, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. As well as contributing to a number of prestigious periodicals, Dr. Ezell is the current editor of perhaps the world's most famous gun book, Small Arms of the World.

Table of Contents:

  • Postwar origins of the small caliber, high velocity (SCHV) concept
  • The lightweight era truly dawns
  • The SCHV concept comes of age
  • A mid-stream change of horses
  • First blood
  • The Army gets "a little bit pregnant"
  • The fateful plan to bank on the SPIW
  • The first 130 changes to the AR-15
  • Tackling the chamber pressure problem the hard way
  • The further adventures of the TCC
  • From SAWS to first deployment
  • A tiger by the tail
  • The fit hits the shan
  • Some parallel developments
  • The golden age of R&D
  • The hard way one more time
  • The great rights issue - the "politics of procurement"
  • Broadening the black rifle's wartime production base
  • An examination of the "end run" method of procurement
  • Through a glass darkly
  • Offshore production of M14 and M16 rifles
  • Enhancing the capabilities of the M16A1 rifle/ammunition system
  • The third-generation M16
  • The Canadian C7 rifle - a reasoned view from the North
  • Appendix
    • Accessories and ancillaries
    • Epilogue

Not enough can be said about this book; if you only buy one book on the AR-15/M16, make sure this is the one!

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