Stoner 63 Rifle Series

Made by Cadillac Gage Co. during the 1960's designed by Eugene M. Stoner. The Stoner 63 is a family of small arms that used the same "system", which essentially means they use one design, using the same components to make a full range of weapons. The Stoner 63 series comprised of 7 different models which all fire 5.56 mm,
  • Stoner 63 Carbine
  • Stoner 63 Rifle
  • Belt Fed Stoner 63 Light Machine Gun
  • Magazine Fed 63 Light Machine Gun
  • Belt Fed Stoner 63 Medium Machine Gun
  • Magazine Fed 63 Medium Machine Gun
  • Stoner 63 Fixed Machine Gun

The Stoner 63 series used a conventional gas system. For the rifle and carbine the gas system is assembled above the barrel, which lowers the recoil line. for the machine guns the gas system is below the barrel. The first barrels were all 20" except for the carbine which was 15.7" but as they continued production, several more lengths, and styles were made. The barrels for all models of the Stoner 63 were "quick change" designed. Both the Rifle and the carbine shoot from an closed bolt, the machine guns are assembled in an open bolt style, an ingenious way to fire ammunition from plastic belts. One belt holds 150 rounds, and as the gun would fire the plastic holding the bullets would virtually disintegrate.
The only disadvantage to the Stoner 63 Rifle and Carbine is weight. They weighed almost as much as a 7.62 mm rifle of the day, because all the guns used the same components and machine guns need heavier, stronger components, the rifle and carbine were necessarily heavier than need be, but extremely strong. Beacause of the uniform design of the stoner 63 series, you could transform a standard stoner rifle into a heavy machine gun, or any of about 15 different models of the Stoner 63 if you needed to.

A civilian model similar to the Stoner 63 is made by Robinson Armament, called the M96.

mucht of the information on the Stoner 63 was taken out of NRA Rifleman magazine Feb 1968

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