CoD Cold War M16: Best Loadout, Best Class, and How to Make it Automatic

The M16 has come a long way since its illustrious beginnings in Call of Duty 01, changing forms many times along the way. While not for everyone, the M16 returns to potent form this time around in Black Ops Cold War as a tactical rifle beloved for its ability to all-but insta-kill opponents at long range and, when kitted with the right attachments, perform as an all-around optimal murder machine.

Down below, we’ll run through some of the best attachments for fitting out your M16, how it stacks up against the AUG, and if there’s any way to make the M16 fully automatic in Black Ops Cold War.

Related: Cold War Choices, Consequences, and Endings [Explained]

Best M16 Loadout and Class Setup

M16 Best Loadout Black Ops Cold War - GIf showing Circle Kill

Best M16 Attachments for Cold War

  • Muzzle: Muzzle Brake 5.56
  • Sight: Kobra Red Dot
  • Barrel: 16″ Strike Team
  • Underbarrel: Field Agent Foregrip
  • Stock: SAS Combat Stock
  • Handle: Airborne Elastic Wrap
  • Magazine: 45 Round Speed Mag

This attachment loadout is designed to minimize recoil, double-down on the M16’s performance at long range where it already excels, and round out some of the cons of its burst-fire mechanic with extra reload time.

The Muzzle Brake 5.56 and Field Agent Foregrip drastically reduce the kickback of the weapon and bring recoil down to almost zero, while the 16″ Strike Team significantly extends its effective range.

The Airborne Elastic Wrap gives ground in Shooting Move Speed and Sprint to Fire Time in lieu of an ADS Boost and huge Flinch resistance — prioritizing methodical, longer-range encounters over surprise close-range instances.

The SAS Combat stock gives the M16 better Shooting Move Speed at the cost of hip-fire accuracy — again promoting a more at-range playstyle that coincides with the 16″ Strike Team and Kobra Red Dot.

Aug vs M16 Cold War

M16 Best Loadout Black Ops Cold War - GIf showing quick kill

The M16 has always been a perennial frontrunner in the race for long-range supremacy, capable of contending with sniper rifles and other tactical rifles at a distance while remaining equally deadly at medium range.

Where the M16 finds itself lacking is, of course, at shorter ranges where the cost of missing a single burst can make the difference between life and death — especially against automatic weapons and short-range specialists like shotguns or SMGs.

The AUG is another tactical rifle with a surprisingly wide overlap with the M16 in overall performance. At medium range the weapons are essentially interchangeable, while at distance they alter only slightly in their overall damage output: the AUG hits slightly harder while the M16 boasts a minor edge in rate of fire. What sets them apart, for us, is the recoil pattern.

The M16 with and without a full kit of optimal attachments, sports a more contained and predictable recoil pattern that gives it the slightest advantage. This minute edge over the AUG is magnified at longer ranges where one off-target bullet in a burst can be the difference between success or blood-spattering failure, and why we would, when hard pressed, recommend the M16 over the AUG.

But the M16 and the AUG are, for all intents and purposes, so similar otherwise that it would be prudent for each player to make their own individual assessment. It’s hard to make an objective case as to which weapon is, flat-out and across the board, “better.”

Which of the two tactical rifles feels better? What weapon seems to net you the most success? You’ll have to do some trial and error of your own — but know that you can’t go wrong with both. They’re so alike it’s actually strange that Treyarch designed them that way.

How to Make the M16 Automatic in Black Ops

M16 Best Loadout Black Ops Cold War - GIf showing Zombies kill

Unfortunately, there is no way to make the M16 fully-automatic in Black Ops Cold War — a fact that might put down a few veterans of the franchise. The closest you can get to a fully automatic M16 in Black Ops Cold War is in Zombies, where you can fully Pack-a-Punch the weapon to boast a 130 round magazine with a 6-round burst fire that absolutely shreds. It’s not automatic, but it’ll spit enough hellfire at your enemies to more than make up for it.

And there you go! A few ideas on how to get the most juice out of your M16 when running it in campaign, multiplayer or zombies. Just remember that the weapon is just a tool — it’s how you use it that counts. For a whole lot more Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War tips, tricks, guides and walkthroughs, be sure to check out our Black Ops Cold War archives!


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Will Heydecker is a writer, screenwriter and illustrator who still likes dragons. As part of his bitter war against adulthood, he likes to distill art, gaming, technology, and entertainment info into digestible topics people actually enjoy reading.

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