1) Based off the AR-15 and necessitated by the need for a superior weapon to that of the enemy, the M16 made its debut in the Vietnam War.
2) The M16 was an icon for protagonists in movies and TV, a symbol for democracy, and it became the image for American or NATO forces for decades to come.
3) The 7.62 (x 51mm NATO round) was a heavy round, and soldiers found it difficult to maneuver through a battlefield and retain their stamina while carrying scores of heavy clips.
3a) The bullet’s weight also slowed its velocity, which caused its trajectory to drop and made it vulnerable to wind resistance.
4) A major reason an upgrade was needed was the weapon’s ammunition capacity and reload speed. Reloading the M1 was time-consuming and had to be done with careful precision.
5) If the only issue at hand was that the United States had inferior weapons to the AK-47, why would the military not just adopt the Kalashnikov AK-47 as a standard issue rifle? .........The U.S. military’s goal was not to match the enemy’s ability, but rather to create a superior rifle. Using Soviet weapons would not tip the scales.
6) The M16 was ergonomically a superior weapon to the AK-47 in almost every way. Reloads on the M16 were faster, getting empty weapons and vulnerable soldiers back into the fight much quicker.
7) Dr. Martin L. Fackler conducted tests at the Wound Ballistics Laboratory in San Francisco, California in 1990, and determined that while the AK-47’s penetrative power was superior, it actually caused less damage to the human body. His studies confirmed what Eugene Stoner had envisioned with his weapon design. The large mass of 7.62 rounds propelled it clean through flesh, creating a clear path that could be easily patched up. A shot from the M16, however, with its lighter round, would create more internal bleeding. Once the lighter round hit a solid target, it tumbled, which created massive internal bleeding. This could not be fixed during a firefight and required surgery to repair.
8) The M16 proved to be a superior weapon to that of the enemy’s AK-47. The M16 excelled in crucial comparisons between the two rifles — namely in accuracy at long range, accuracy in fully automatic fire, quick reload capabilities, its lighter weight (both for the rifle itself and for its ammunition), and the damage possible against an enemy force. Having the M16 also gave American soldiers an edge over the Viet Minh because it served to boost soldiers’ confidence during a firefight, which helped eliminate complete reliance on the squad’s machine guns.
One mention of "pistol grip" in the entire article:
As opposed to the M16, which had just a small switch on the left side, accessible by the user’s thumb while holding the pistol grip.
In conclusion - The M16 in Vietnam: A History of the Necessity of its Creation? As a weapon of war to KILL PEOPLE!