Guns

Best M16A4 Clone: Buyers Guide & FAQs

The M16A4 is a gas-operated rifle and is the fourth generation of the M16. It offers supreme performance and reliability but is unavailable to the general public because of laws and jurisdictions. Hence, the rise of the legal M16A4 clone.

The best M16A4 clones offer performance similar, sometimes even better, to the original M16A4. However, finding and reviewing M16A4 clones should be treated with the utmost diligence, as cheap knockoffs and poorly built clones are found in abundance. Luckily, when you find a quality M16A4, you can modify individual parts exactly to your preferences, thanks to the modularity of the rifle.

In this guide, we discuss the best M16A4 clones based on our own experience and the strict HuntersHalt review guidelines. We also discuss some modifications you can add to your clone to boost its performance.


What Is The M16A4?

The M16A4 is the fourth generation of the M16 series. The M16 series is a gas-operated, magazine-fed, select-fire rifle that served the US military since 1997. The M16A4 boasts enhanced accuracy, durability, and adaptability, making it a favored choice for armed forces as well as people who want an M16A4 clone.


Why Do People Want M16A4 Clones?

As mentioned, the M16A4 is immensely popular due to its excellent performance, and civilian gun enthusiasts also wanted a taste of the M16A4. But it is difficult to acquire an authentic military-issued select-fire M16 rifle legally wise.

Consequently, M16A4 clones sprung up, which allowed people to legally own and build their own M16A4 that closely resembles the military version – providing a sense of nostalgia and authenticity.

However, as more and more people started looking for M16A4, we saw a rise in cheap and poor-performing M16A4 clones. Therefore, if people want M16A4 clones, it is important they only buy one of the bests out there, as it will save you a lot of headaches in the future.


5 Best M16A4 Clones

After testing countless M16A4 clones, we finally constructed a list of the best-performing M16A4 clones – providing good value for money and catering to everyone’s specific needs. Here are the 5 best M16A4 clones you can buy.

  1. FN M16 M16 Rifle – Editor’s Choice
  2. COLT .223 REM/5.56 AR-15 RIFLE – Best Value
  3. STAG 15 RETRO 20″ RIFLE – #1 Military Proven Rifle
  4. PSA PA-15 20″NITRIDE A2 RIFLE – Most Durable
  5. PSA 20″ RIFLE KIT – Best Build Kit
HuntersHalt: #1 Pick
Best Value
#1 Military Proven Rifle
4.9
4.8
4.7
Pros:
  • Meets U.S. military specifications.
  • Extremely durable
Pros:
  • A2 fixed buttstock for a classic look and feel.
  • Durable - it even has a 4150 Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium Steel barrel
Pros:
  • Made to mil-spec standards
  • Neat features
  • Double heat shields for enhanced durability.
HuntersHalt: #1 Pick
4.9
Pros:
  • Meets U.S. military specifications.
  • Extremely durable
Best Value
4.8
Pros:
  • A2 fixed buttstock for a classic look and feel.
  • Durable - it even has a 4150 Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium Steel barrel
#1 Military Proven Rifle
4.7
Pros:
  • Made to mil-spec standards
  • Neat features
  • Double heat shields for enhanced durability.
Lasso Brag

1. FN M16 Military Collector 5.56mm NATO M16 Rifle

HuntersHalt: #1 Pick
FN M16 Military Collector 5.56mm NATO M16 Rifle
4.9

As low as $64.67/month with credova

Pros:
  • Meets U.S. military specifications.
  • Extremely durable
Cons:
  • Premium Pricing
Shop on PrimaryArms Shop on Brownells
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting us - we really appreciate it!

The FN M16 is the best M16A4 clone I tested and immediately reminded me of the classic military-grade rifle. Its design and performance replicate the nostalgia and efficiency of the M16. Additionally, with the 20″ chrome lined barrel and quality craftsmanship, you know you’ll have impressive reliability and accuracy.

The FN M16 is ideal for avid collectors who want a historically accurate replica or for those who just want to connect with history on the range with a reliable semi-automatic rifle.

Regarding the cost of this clone, you’ll need to be prepared to break the bank a little if you want the best M16A4 clone. The price is a reflection of the quality – the FN M16 Military Collector 5.56mm NATO M16 Rifle costs $1,789.00. All-in-all, it is a fair price for what you are getting – a premium rifle with premium features.

Pros:

  • Meets U.S. military specifications.
  • Extremely durable

Cons:

  • Premium Pricing

FN M16


2. COLT .223 REM/5.56 AR-15 RIFLE – AR15A4

Best Value
COLT .223 REM/5.56 AR-15 RIFLE - AR15A4
4.8

Norton Shopping Guarantee

Pros:
  • A2 fixed buttstock for a classic look and feel.
  • Durable - it even has a 4150 Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium Steel barrel
Cons:
  • Heavy (7.7 lbs) and cumbersome for some individuals
Shop on PSA Shop on Brownells
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting us - we really appreciate it!

COLT – yes, please! Right from the start, when I held and shot with COLT’s AR15A4, I could tell that this rifle is a testament to the brand’s longstanding commitment to quality. What impressed me most is the rifle’s perfect balance between tradition and modernity. The design features a throwback to the full-size AR-15, giving you a sense of nostalgia blended with a taste of modern innovation.

While the COLT can be a collector’s item, I found it more adept at tackling range shooting and home defense than impressing your fellow gun enthusiasts. Still, it remains a nice “bragging piece.”

At $1,576.99, the COLT .223 REM/5.56 is more affordable than its number one counterpart. It offers a good balance between price and features, and as I’ve said, you can still use it as a collector’s item while taking it to the range and defending your home.

Pros:

  • A2 fixed buttstock for a classic look and feel.
  • Durable – it even has a 4150 Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium Steel barrel.

Cons:

  • Heavy (7.7 lbs) and cumbersome for some individuals.

Colt 223 Rifle


3. STAG 15 RETRO 20″ RIFLE WITH CHROME PHOSPHATE BARREL IN 5.56MM

#1 Military Proven Rifle
STAG 15 RETRO 20" RIFLE
4.7

As low as $48.76/month with Credova.

Pros:
  • Made to mil-spec standards
  • Neat features
  • Double heat shields for enhanced durability.
Cons:
  • Not a fan of the cost-effective phosphate coating
Shop on StagArms Shop on Brownells
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting us - we really appreciate it!

I always enjoy shooting with Stag rifles; maybe it’s the name that allows me to connect with my hunting nature or just the general quality of the rifles. Needless to say, the Stag 15 Retro, with its 20″ chrome and phosphate barrel, is a rugged and reliable rifle. Shooting with this rifle, I could tell that the designers wanted to pay homage to the traditional design while still ensuring performance isn’t compromised.

The Stag is perfect for shooters who are just entering the collector’s scene and still want a high-quality rifle without breaking the bank.

At $1,349.99, you get immense value out of the Stag 15 Retro – offering a transferable lifetime warranty and infinite shot barrel guarantee. This allows you to rest assured that you can shoot as many rounds as you want with the rifle and even transfer the weapon to your son or daughter and still receive service and warranty from Stag – now that’s value!

Pros:

  • Made to mil-spec standards, including the trigger, charging handle, and stock.
  • Neat features – A2 buttstock with trap door for storage and a sturdy A2 pistol grip.
  • Double heat shields for enhanced durability.

Cons:

  • Not a fan of the cost-effective phosphate coating – it saves money in the short term, but it requires regular maintenance to ensure it upholds its protective qualities. However, the chrome-lined barrel does ensure extra corrosion protection.

4. PSA PA-15 20″NITRIDE A2 RIFLE-LENGTH 5.56 NATO

Most Durable
PSA PA-15 5.56 NATO CLASSIC AR-15 RIFLE
4.6

Purchase Protected By Norton Shopping Guarantee

Pros:
  • Durable 4150V Chrome
  • Lightweight option -weights 6.5 lbs.
Cons:
  • Not a very ergonomic design
Shop on Palmetto State Armory
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting us - we really appreciate it!

At number four, we have the palmetto state armory (PSA) PA-15, which is a no-nonsense rifle that gets the job done. Holding the rifle in your hand and looking at everything from the rear sight to the bolt carrier group, it is evident that this rifle’s build quality is commendable, especially considering its budget-friendly price.

This rifle is perfect for you if you are on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice performance. The PSA PA-15 definitely offers value, and at $999.99, it’s a great value option without skimping on essential features.

Pros:

  • Durable 4150V Chrome Moly Vanadium steel barrel with a nitride coating
  • Lightweight option -weights 6.5 lbs.

Cons:

  • Not a very ergonomic design

5. PSA 20″ RIFLE LENGTH 5.56 NATO 1/7 NITRIDE A2 FREEDOM RIFLE KIT

Best Build Kit
PSA 20" RIFLE A2 FREEDOM RIFLE KIT
4.5

Purchase Protected by Norton Shopping Guarantee

Pros:
  • Nitride finished barrel for accuracy and durability.
  • Comprehensive kit
  • Assembling helps you learn your rifle
Cons:
  • Requires assembly (not for everyone)
Shop on PSA
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting us - we really appreciate it!

For all the DIY shooters out there, this one is just for you! At number five, we have the PSA 20″ A2 freedom rifle kit. This kit is equipped with the complete works for making your own “service rifle” – from a rifle buffer to a recoil spring and rail covers.

After successfully building the rifle, I was amazed by its performance on the range, plus it gave me pride in shooting something I know I assembled.

This rifle, or should I say kit, is perfect for those who want to build their own rifle, tailoring it to their preferences. While it takes extra time to build the PSA 20, it does offer good value for money – so much so that it is hard to get one in stock, and you usually have to act fast when stock does indeed become available.

Pros:

  • Nitride finished barrel for accuracy and durability.
  • Comprehensive kit includes everything needed.
  • Assembling it allows you to educate yourself on the intricacies of a rifle.

Cons:

  • Requires assembly, which might not be for everyone.

How We Review M16A4 Clones?

When we review M16A4 clones or any optic or rifle on HuntersHalt, there are certain parameters they should adhere to before getting the green light from us.

These factors include the build quality of the M16A4, what material it’s made of – polymer, T7065 aluminum, etc. – and how well it is constructed. We don’t like seeing loose-fitting parts or rattling noises when operating the rifles.

We also check its reliability in different environmental conditions – snow, wind, rain, dust – the rifle should perform optimally in all these conditions. Next, we also check how compatible the clone is with the original parts, as it is a representation of how closely the clone resembles the original M16A4.

Another important review factor is the value the rifle offers. We look at factors such as price point and how features are included with those price points, and we also compare it to its competition to determine how well it is priced.

Next, we take it to the range and measure its accuracy with no modifications – it should at least have close groupings within 50 yards. Finally, we add modifications and determine how easy it is to attach accessories and how well it responds to the added accessories, performance-wise.


What Modifications Can You Make To Your M16A4 Clone?

You can make a lot of AR modifications to your M16A4 clone. Thanks to the modularity of AR rifles, you can modify everything from adding adjustable rear sights to changing the forward assist and shape of the detachable carry handle.

However, the modifications that impact performance most are replacing the complete upper receiver and adding custom optics to your rifle, such as red dot sights and magnified scopes.


Can You Replace The M16A4 Upper Receiver Group?

Replacing your M16A4 upper receiver group is quite easy. Replacing the upper receiver is done for a variety of reasons, including adding a more efficient bolt carrier group, reducing the weight of your weapon by adding a lighter upper receiver group, or changing the material to a more durable one, such as aluminum from polymer.

Just make sure the one you replace it with is compatible with the lower receiver and accessories, such as your red dot sight.


Can You Use A Red Dot Sight On An M16A4?

Red dot sights are ideal for M16A4s. Attaching a quality AR red dot sight to your M16A4 provides you with a quality and reliable aiming point. These sights offer the advantage of improving target acquisition rate, situational awareness, performance at low light conditions, and accuracy at ranges exceeding 20 yards.


Can You Use Magnified Scopes On An M16A4?

Magnified scopes have long been used on M16A4s. They are especially helpful at improving long-range precision and target identification at distances beyond what the naked eye can effectively interpret. However, it is important that you use a quality magnified scope on your M16A4 that doesn’t have too much magnification power.


How Much Magnification Should You Use On An M16A4 Scope?

The best rifle scope magnification for your M16A4 scope should be something along the lines of 1-4x. This magnification range allows you to shoot accurately at medium ranges while still being able to shoot at longer ranges without compromising the agility of the rifle. When you mount scopes exceeding 5x magnification, they become too big for your M16A4 rig, and this can make your weapon cumbersome.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do M16A4 Clones Perform As Well?

Yes, if you buy a quality clone like the FN M16 military clone and those made by aero precision, it can even perform better than the original. But it is crucial that you conduct thorough research before buying a clone, making sure it delivers where it matters most - shooting performance.

Are M16A4 Clones Legal?

Yes, M16A4 clones are legal. However, it is important that you double-check whether it is legal in your state, as legalities vary by jurisdiction.

How Much Do M16A4 Clone Cost?

M16A4 clones can cost anywhere in the range of $800 to $1800+, depending on the build quality, brand, and features you want in the clone.

The Bottom Line

The M16A4 and its high-quality clones are the pinnacle of engineering in modern firearms, blending performance with adaptability. Whether for recreational shooting, professional competition, personal defense, or simply as a collector’s item, the platform offers endless possibilities for customization and utilization. However, it’s vital to understand your needs, local regulations and to invest in a quality clone that aligns with the genuine M16A4 characteristics.

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

Leave a Comment