American M16 used in the British Army

I have a picture (Circa 1979) of a British Troop serving in Hong Kong having a M-16 by his side. I did not know M-16 is standard issue in the British Forces. Just being curious.

Here is the picture

Thank you very much.
The M16 was issued to some units working in the jungle. I suppose that HK could fall into this category.

Nice also to see a Larkspur headset and hand mic.... a re-tune every 15 minutes and a radio check every five is one fail safe method of keeping the operator awake on stag...... a couple of years later and Clansman meant lots of rest and lazy operators...... god I'm getting old!
P-P you are not getting old, I have fond memories of Larkspur and radio checks. Recently assisted a consultant surgeon to fit Larkspur into a saracen he aquired as a toy without the knowledge of his wife. Bless him :?
Memory did not fail me, however it took time.

I think the Paras had M-16's in Aden,Borneo,Malaya and Hongkers - and usually in Patrols Coy....but that was a long time ago...
British Army adopted AR15 before any branch of the US armed forces. Used mainly in Borneo initially but subsequently distributed wherever required. All gas-axed in 1994-5.
We used to use the M16 in COP in South Armagh in the mid eighties. Dunno why, we just did. Fell by the wayside when we got the L85. I think it was becasue it had an auto facility and the elephant gun didn't (officially; unless you'd 'sorted' the sear out ;) ).
I used them in Stanley Fort Hong Kong. 1980-1981 Also Bn COP in South Armagh etc as late as 1985. And we also had a few in the Falklands 1982.

"Nice also to see a Larkspur headset and hand mic.." I remember tuning into the BBC and hearing the Magic Roundabout blaring out one wet afternoon outside Glassdrummond!

Ah them were the days....


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My battalion changed our trusty muskets for AR 15 in Malaya, at JWS Johore Bahru. They arrived in cardboard boxes, with a red plastic dust cap on end of rifle. We thought they were toys. Right up to the time we fired them!
Took them to Borneo and they were pretty good apart from a couple o faults.
Had a slight protuberance on firing pin, so that when mag was taken off, then put back on and weapon cocked, it was wise to rotate the top round, otherwise after aboy three cockings it went bang!
Other than that was good for the job. Light and handy.


I used several and all had seen some serious service, there is a spot at the rear of the magwell where sweat and insect repellant wore away the metal. They were all AR15s MoD Purchase as opposed to M16 US Govt Purchase from Colt after Armalite went bust.
I did two or three times get my hands on an M16A1 marked as such, 2 were delivered in 87 to our pln. They had the closed end flash hider, forward assits and finger support on the pistol grip. The Oc and 2 i/c used to blag them as the HK53 turned out to be bluidy heavy in comparisom.
ARB was the sole access to M203 though and we had to carry the M79 as well if it was needed.
We had a few knocking around my unit in the mid eighties, we also had some Brens and there was a rumour that there was an old vickors hidden in the unit armoury....personally I didn't like it, seemed like a toy in comparison to the trusty elephant stopper.
def issued to me in ni omagh..1979 -80..cop .troop..
nice weapon. and it didnt rust like the slrs..
used them in hong kong 81 we were anti tanks (wombat ) stanly fort every one else used SLR,s i think it was to replace SMG,s over there , every thing else was shit kit though 36 pattern webbing and small pack
we used them in hong kong 81 anti tanks (wombat) think it replaced the SMG plastic piece of shit but very light i posted this before but dont know where it went bit pissed sorry


Pupgreen I reckon I had your old one as in 86-88 COP in Omagh and mine definetly rusted, especially after five days of drainage ditch.


Allegedly the Diemaco (SP?) although some of them are still marked Colt Canada, not that I have seen or handled any you know!

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