I recently received the M16/M4 Handbook from Blackheart International and I have to give my most positive review to this well written and easy to understand pocket manual.
I have 30 years with the M16/M4/AR15 platform and I was pleasantly surprised with this small manual. It is not a rehash of prior military manuals, and I place it equally with Green Eyes, Black Rifles which I reviewed in a previous post.
First the important stuff. Its a 3×5 ish spiral bound printed on what appears to be water resistant paper and heavier paper for front and back covers. Its got full color and black and white pages. Its easy to read, even for older eyes and is written in a conversational tone
Surprisingly most soldiers and Marines have no idea how their issued weapon works and this manual covers the operation of a Direct Impingement Gas System with diagrams and text.
Ballistics in both the M4 and M16 are covered well, with no fluff added. Just the facts concerning the bullet once it leaves the barrel
Maintenance is short and to the point for users in the field. No majic scenarios and special lubricants necessary, just keeping the working parts clean. I will not cover the what’s and whys here, suffice to say buy this book.
The Malfunction section reduces the common issues like stuck cases, bolt over base, double feed etc are broken down to 3-4 step drills which can be done in the dark by feel, instead of the common ” hold up your hand and the range safety will help you”, taught to new users everywhere else I have received basic instruction in the use of this system.
Canting and its down range effects, target drills and barricade shooting are all discussed. As well as building your own training barricade and practice target selection.
Again I will not give specifics, buy this little book.
Where I think this book will be a mandatory addition to user kits, is the Annex’s which cover not only sight adjustments and down range effects for the iron sights but the most common optics, lasers and military issued lights and aiming pointers. Carrying 3-4 manuals and trying to determine how everything works together is no longer an issue once operators understand how each system works in training. This manual on the range and you are functioning as an entire system without multiple experts on each firing point getting everything calibrated together
The authors taught myself, with 30 years of experience in the military and LE, something new about this weapon. What it important is an open mind, and leaving the know it all attitude at home when given the opportunity to learn from those more experienced in the system. My own observation is all of this should have been taught at Basic Training to every new user.
The M16/M4 Handbook from Blackheart International should be included, with the manual in the box with every AR rifle sold in America. It picks up from the issued field manual and takes the owner to another level of knowledge with the system.
I wish I’d been given this knowledge 30 years ago at Ft Benning. I cant give a higher compliment than so.