Battlefield 3 Weapon Guides: M16A3

Hello there.

Welcome to my first Battlefield 3 weapons guide.

Today, we're going to be looking at the default assault rifle of the assault kit, the M16A3.


 In the real world of fire arms, the M16A3 is a select-fire variant of the previous rendition of the M16 rifle, the M16A2. The M16A3 features the M16A1 trigger group for safe semi-auto and fully auto modes.

The M16 platform in general, is a very famous weapons in the US military.

It is a light weight 5.56mm air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed assault rifle built with a rotating bolt. The M16 is part of the AR-15 platform of rifles developed by Colt in 1959.

The first versions of the M16 proved to be troublesome for any users of the combat rifle; jamming flaws which resulted from a change in gunpowder which was made without proper testing, and although the weapon was told to be 'self-cleaning' reports arose of soldiers being wounded were directly linked to the M16 rifle.

The M16 was used quite a bit during the Vietnam War, which lasted 2 decades.

Although the M16 did have issues, Colt would later make more variants with more improvements to the rifle.

Currently, the M16A4, the fourth generation of the M16, is adopted by the U.S. Marine Corp. It is the current issue rifle in both the MCRD of San Diego and Paris Island.

Game Performance

In game, the M16A3 pre-patch, was a great default weapon for many players who wanted to play as the team medic.

The weapon had low recoil, a fast fire rate, decent reload speed and one could even get away without putting on an attachment of any kind.

Post-patch, the weapon has increased recoil and is more difficult to control.

The patch has not affected the damage of the M16 however.

Up close, you will deal 25 units of damage per shot. At long range, you will deal 18.4 units of damage; the bullets will travel at a rate of 650 meters per second, with a fire rate of 800 RPM.

You will deal the maximum amount of damage up to 14 meters, the damage will fall somewhere in the middle from 15 meters up to 44 meters. Past 44 meters you will begin to deal the lowest amount of damage of 18.4.

Reload speed is pretty good for an assault rifle, at just 1.8 seconds when loaded and 2.75 seconds if the magazine was emptied.

The M16A3 has a recoil value of .26 up, .1 left and .4 to the right. This translates into recoil rising up and slightly to the right. Be careful though, you could lose control of the weapon and end up shooting the air before you land those finishing shots.

To help you stay on target, even with the  recoil. The weapon has some "ehhh" iron sights.

It's a pretty small sight picture for the iron sights on the M16, you should always consider taking an optic.

Recommended Attachments

The M16A3 is a pretty decent assault rifle post-patch. The issues it has is the increased recoil, the small sight picture of the iron sights and somewhat lack of long range ability. The recoil issue and lack of long range ability can be slightly cured, the downside is you can only pick one attachment over the other, leaving one issue present on the M16a3 while the other remains.

To combat these issues.

I recommend the Reflex Red Dot Sight or the Kobra Red Dot Sight. The RDS is unlocked after 50 kills with the weapon and the KRDS is unlocked after 235.

Both red dot sights will give a better sight picture, allowing for more accurate target acquisition of opponents.

Here now is where you have to make a choice.

If you want to have more long range ability, go with the Heavy Barrel.

The Heavy Barrel is unlocked after 20 kills it will increase the range of the weapon, the accuracy and reduces the bullet drop of the weapon.

If you want to reduce the recoil of the M16a3 you should use the Flash Suppressor.

The attachment will eliminate the muzzle flash of the weapon and reduce the vertical recoil of the weapon.


I absolutely loved the M16 before the patch. It was my go to American assault rifle; a high fire rate weapon with low recoil that had good long range ability.

Now? It's a high fire rate weapon with moderate recoil with a lack of long range ability.

I did find myself struggling to get any kills at certain points, sometimes I would be blasting an opponent full of holes but the recoil stepped in and I lost the fire fight.

It isn't the worst assault rifle by any stretch of the imagination.

At best, it's a decent assault rifle with some issues that can be cured by using the right attachments.

Thank you for reading.

This has been my first Battlefield 3 weapon guide, join me later when I'll be reviewing the M4A1 of the Engineer kit.

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