Named for the experimental Model 656 “Special Low Profile” marksman variant of the M16A1 from the Vietnam War, the M656P is a marksman variant of the M16A5P.
Like the M16A5P, the M656P is used by the United States Colonial Marine Corps and most other countries of the Nations United Interplanetary Military Force. They are issued to squad marksmen whenever fighting in an area where combat ranges are expected to exceed 200 meters.
|Weapon Designation:||Marksman Rifle, 5.6mm, Pulse-Fired, M656P|
|Place of Origin:||United States|
|Manufacturer:||Colt Arms Manufacturing|
|Weight:||7.4 lb (3.36 kg)|
|Length:||39.5 in (1,003 mm) (fixed stock/collapsible stock open)|
35.5 in (901 mm) (collapsible stock closed)
|Barrel Length:||20 in (508 mm)|
|Action:||Gas-operated direct impingement, electronically ignited cartridges|
|Rate of Fire:||700 rounds/min cyclic|
|Muzzle Velocity:||3,013 ft/s (918 m/s) with M5-677 round|
|Muzzle Energy:||1,552 ft/lbs (2,105 Joules) with M5-677 round|
|Effective Range:||1,000 m (1,093 yd)|
|Feed System:||30-round detachable box magazine|
|Sights:||4-12x40mm integral scope, back-up iron sights|
Immediately after the M16A5P was accepted as the United States Marine Corps’ standard rifle, a marksman variant was requested. The M656P was developed and accepted for issue in just over a year, coming into service in mid-2031, alongside the M950P, a heavy-barrel version of the M16A5P.
The M656 is an M16A5P with three specific modifications to make it more suitable for marksman purposes: a match-grade barrel, a different upper receiver with an integrated scope mount, and a collapsible stock with an adjustable comb (cheek) rest.
The M656P’s barrel is virtually identical to the barrel used on the M16A5P. The primary difference is the rifling itself. Instead of a 1:9 twist rate, the M656P’s barrel has a 1:7 twist rate to properly stabilize the heaver M5-677 round. The M5-677 cartridge utilizes a 77-grain fluted boat-tail cartridge which is considered both accurate and effective out to 1,000 meters.
The M656P does away with the traditional raised front sight block and carrying handle with its integrated rear sight and replaces them with a different upper receiver with an integrated scope mount and a rear flip-up iron sight, and a flat gas block with a front flip-up iron sight. The scope used is a Leupold Optics AN/MTTS-13 (Magnified Telescopic-Targeting Sight), which is an improved version of the Leatherwood/Redfield Adjustable Ranging Telescope used on the XM21 sniper rifle in the Vietnam War, and is designed so that zooming in on a target so that it appears in the reticle a certain way will automatically adjust the scope to compensate for range and bullet drop. The scope has 4-12x magnification, with a 40mm objective lens. In addition to this, the scope’s computer has target recognition capabilites similar to the M336 targeting computer used on the M45 and M56 Smartguns, and can both transmit target data to or receive data from nearby smartgun operators. It can be replaced with the AN/MTTS-13N, which is identical in capabilities but also has a passive night vision mode for operations at night time, at the cost of larger size and greater weight. After Leupold shut down in 2059, the design plans for both scopes were acquired by Colt Arms Manufacturing and production continued under the same names.
The M656P is built with an M4-style collapsible stock, but with the addition of an adjustable comb (cheek) rest. This allows the user to adjust the stock to better fit their needs to get the best cheek weld possible on the stock for the best use of the scope and resultantly, the highest possible accuracy.
The M656P is capable of using all of the accessories meant for the M16A5P, and in addition is issued with a M3A1 clamp-on bipod. This simple bipod is a lightened, strengthened version of the M3 bipod used in the Vietnam War and is mounted by squeezing the legs together and opening the jaws until they slip over the barrel. When not in use, the bipod is stored in a pouch, which holds it in the closed position. The M3A1 is also used on the M950P heavy-barrel assault rifle.