Eugene Stoner

Eugene Stoner

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Eugene Stoner

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Eugene Morrison Stoner (November 22, 1922 - April 24, 1997) is the man most associated with the design of the AR-15, which was adopted by the US military as the M16. He is regarded by most historians, along with John Browning and John Garand, as one of the United States’ most successful military firearms designers of the 20th century.

Eugene Stoner attended high school in Long Beach and afterwards worked for the Vega Aircraft Company installing armament. During World War II, he enlisted for Aviation Ordnance in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the South Pacific and northern China.

In late 1945 he began working in the machine shop for Whittaker, an aircraft equipment company, and ultimately became a Design Engineer. In 1954 he came to work as chief engineer for ArmaLite, a division of Fairchild Engine & Airplane Corporation. While at ArmaLite, he designed a series of prototype small arms, including the AR-3, AR-9, AR-11, AR-12, none of which saw significant production. Their only real success during this period was the AR-5 survival rifle, which was adopted by the United States Air Force.

In 1955, Stoner completed initial design work on the revolutionary AR-10, a lightweight (7.25 lbs.) selective-fire infantry rifle in 7.62 x 51 mm NATO caliber. The AR-10 was submitted for rifle evaluation trials to the US Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground late in 1956. In comparison with competing rifle designs previously submitted for...
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