Gun Review Armalite M-15TBN lead
Gun Review: Armalite's M-15TBN 5.56mm

Gun Review: Armalite’s M-15TBN 5.56mm

Armalite's next-gen M-15TBN packs cutting-edge enhancements for the ultimate in precision!

Reports of a new “M16A5” have floated around the internet and at least one print publisher, but so far they have been unsubstantiated rumors. The Marine Corps ACMR (Armorer Conversion Marksman Rifle) has been billed as the A5, but as the name implies, it is really just a locally rebuilt A4. Officially, there isn’t a new rifle. Lots of people have their idea of what the A5 should look like. I personally think that ArmaLite has already built it.

Eugene Stoner’s AR-15 has become the longest-serving battle rifle in American history, and it is still going strong. To date, suggested replacements are little more than enhancements to a design that continues to dominate in precision-oriented “Across the Course” service rifle and speed-oriented 3-Gun competitions. Given the high level of refinement the AR-15 now enjoys, my bid for an ideal M16A5 would be to incorporate what we’ve learned about these rifles since the 1990s. That rifle should look like ArmaLite’s M-15TBN.

The M-15TBN is a compilation of features found in the best AR-15s. Take everything that made the AR-15 dominant in High Power competition and accurate to 600 yards, such as a full-diameter barrel with a .223 Wylde chamber, a two-stage trigger and a free-floated handguard to avoid point-of-impact shifts, and add an adjustable, yet rigid, stock that still supports good shooting positions. Keep the barrel short enough for fast handling characteristics without sacrificing ballistic performance and have Picatinny rails along the top and sides for mounting any sight and accessory needed. The M-15TBN is good enough to supplant the M16A4 Modular Weapon System (MWS), the M4 series and Squad Designated Marksman Rifles (SDM-Rs), incorporating the best features of each into one package.

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