didn't mean to get anybody up in arms.
Again, I apologize, and will attempt to restrict my questions in the future.
Don't sweat it, you have to remember that at any given time 15% of the population is seriously mentally ill, or far right politically, or extremest in some other area of their lives...
In the case of firearms, forums attract much of that extremest, or chronically paranoid or mentally ill percentile!
This forum is particularly hard on anyone that doesn't speak it's language or share it's very narrow views.
As for your orignal question,
The M-16 is a fully automatic weapon, usually issued to police or military.
The M-16 comes in two basic designs, one is 3 shots in a burst when the trigger is pulled, the second selection is fully automatic meaning it will fire as long as the trigger is pulled and the magazine has ammunition.
An 'AR-15' is usually referred to as the 'Civilian' version of the M-16, meaning most AR-15's have only semi-automatic, or auto loading capacity.
They fire only ONE round each time the trigger is depressed, and you have to let up on the trigger and pull it again to fire the next round.
Now, we can cover two myths about AR rifles...
1. You CAN OWN a fully automatic, military type M-16.
You will have to fill out the property BATFE paperwork, go through a background check, and purchase your fully automatic weapon through an authorized dealer and have it properly registered, but you CAN OWN 'Machine Guns' or fully automatic firearms.
Many of us 'Class 3' owners and dealers will be at Knob Creek Gun Range in Kentucky this coming weekend (10-11-12-Oct.) for a legal machine gun shoot
2. Not all 'AR-15' rifles are 'Semi-Auto' or 'Civilian Legal'.
M-16 is a US Army Designation, and the Air Force was the first branch of the service to pick up the AR style rifle, still called their fully auto 'AR-15' for several years after they were adopted.
'Assault Weapon' is usually a misnomer.
Depending on what you want added to, or attached to, your rifle will depend on it's 'Legality'.
In the last 'Gun Ban', things like threaded barrels for screw on accessories were not legal.
You simply pin on or weld on the accessory and it's legal.
'Pistol Grip' stocks were deemed 'Illegal', and this was quite easily circumvented by using a 'Thumb Hole' stock.
Collapsing or Folding stocks were deemed 'Illegal' and this was easily circumvented by pinning the 'Collapsible' or 'Folding' stocks in place with a 10¢ roll pin that could be removed with a punch or finishing nail in about 5 seconds if need be.
Large capacity REMOVABLE magazines were deemed 'Illegal'.
This was very easily circumvented by using a NON-Detachable magazine that still loaded from the top with stripper clips.
Many people in California, Oregon and Washington state found out the hard way, but some of the smarter guys plugged the gas tube and added an upper receiver housing that used a left side bolt handle to charge the weapon after each round, and that was legal so they got to keep their rifles when most of the 'Sheep' turned theirs in.
There were also a couple of 'Pump Action' forearm makers that converted the AR-15 over to pump action, and since it was no longer an 'Automatic Weapon', they stayed legal.
As for AR-15 rifles, there are tons of web sites that will have about every kind of information you can think of, (Correct & factual, or not!)
AR-15 rifles are fun to shoot, reasonably reliable and accurate out of the box.
They can be hard to clean, but they are easy to tune and upgrade for accuracy.
They usually shoot a common caliber, but don't confuse .223 Remington with 5.56MM NATO chamberings!
The 5.56mm round is dimensionally very similar to the .223 Rem round, and it will load in place of the NATO round, but it uses a type of powder that burns faster and will often jam the action of a rifle chambered for .223 Rem.
Also remember that laws can change very quickly, and a good quality AR-15 rifle being a fairly expensive purchase, you should consider that carefully before buying.
With over 75% of GUN OWNERS saying they would support an 'Assault Weapons Ban', that is a pretty large voting block that can change things very quickly!