CL Stoner LMG

AirsoftSurgeon
Stoner
by Herman
aka DolphinCommand

Stock
Specifications
FPS
???m/s
(stock fps may vary)
Length:
???mm
Barrel
Length:
 ?
Weight: ???g

Ammo
capacity:

???
rounds


The
Stoner Rifle, A tale of three weapon systems:
When
you mention the word “Stoner” to an Airsofter, most
of them will look at you, wondering why you have just shouted
at them and then reply “Oh you mean the SR-16?” At
this point you may see someone in the background chuckling and
shaking their head.

Okay,
so the Knights Armament SR-16, is sort of known as the Stoner
Rifle, but in actual fact, it’s not THE Stoner Rifle. For that
we’ve got to look back into the depths of time.. meet the Real
Stoner…

Eugene
Stoner was a man with a mission, a weapons designer at heart,
he was responsible for a good number of designs that are still
on the market. Eugene was responsible for the AR-10, a Space
age looking rifle (for the 1950’s anyway) chambered for the
7.62 x 51 NATO cartridge which unfortunately missed out on sales
due to the dominance of the FN-FAL and the HK G3, in fact some
of you might even recognise the AR10…. (is that an SR-25 in
your pants or are you happy to see me?).

‘Never
mind’ thought Eugene, and as the world warmed to the lighter
5.56 NATO cartridge, he put the AR10 back on the drawing board,
re-chambered it for the lighter smaller cartridge, called it
the AR-15 and told the company that he worked for (Armalite)
to start selling it. The AR-15 was eventually adopted my the
US military (oddly, the Airforce and the Marines first, then
the Army) as the M-16, and the rest… well it’s history!

Eugene
didn’t rest on his laurels though. By this time, he was already
working on a follow-up to the AR-15 – something that would rock
the foundations of small unit tactics.

But
first he produced the AR-7, a survival rifle that could be quickly
disassembled and stowed inside a pilots survival pack, this
too was taken up by some US military commands.

Now
the Vietnam war was in full swing, Eugene looked at the lessons
learned from the Korean war and decided there was a need for
something that fulfilled the needs of a small unit, better then
the current combination of assault rifles and machine guns,
a force multiplier if you will.

Up until
now, the main rifle used by American Forces was the M14, essentially
a 7.62 version of the venerable WWII vintage M1 Guarand, with
the added select fire capability (which was soon deleted as
it made the M14 nigh on uncontrollable) However, the M14 was
big and bulky, the M16 that was beginning to replace it had
the right idea.. light, easy to manoeuvre and easy to control,
the “Back Dragon” as the Viet Cong had nicknamed it!
Even so, the M16 was found with its 24″ tube to be a little
bit too long in some situations leading to a range of cut down
“Commando” variants.

The
Aussies that participated in Vietnam had the right idea with
their Commonwealth pattern Bren guns.

However,
it wasn’t very versatile – squads that patrolled the Vietnamese
rain forest would also have heavier back up such as the M60
“Pig” which frankly was bloody heavy and a pain in
the arse to haul around; in fact the M60 was in some ways too
good a machine gun, more of a heavy support weapon, than something
that could supply organic firepower in a squad. Still, it was
used as a close support weapon with some success, and yes, there
was the good ol’ Ma Deuce M2 .50 cal but that was more of a
fixed emplacement machine gun ;) .

What
was needed was something that could fulfil all the roles of
an assault rifle, carbine, light machine gun and heavy machine
gun, all rolled into one and at the same time have the ability
to change from one to the other with minimum fuss or hassle
– a complete “Weapons system”.

Imagine
if you will the following scenario: a squad goes into the boonies,
their rifles configured as rifles, one or two in light machine
gun format, the squad finds an enemy tunnel system/command village,
they reconfigure to carbines and attack, after taking the village,
they are tasked with defending it, so they quickly change their
rifles into belt fed machine guns and bed down into fixed emplacements,
while they wait for reinforcements to be choppered in.

Sounds
like a dream doesn’t it? Not for Eugene Stoner, taking the bull
by the horns he developed the ultimate rifle weapon system…
the Stoner Rifle

Eugene
had been working on something for quite some time before this
in parallel with the M16, the Stoner 62. However, like the AR-10
it was chambered for the 7.62mm NATO, which was becoming very
unfashionable. After a swift redesign, the Stoner 63 was born.
Eventually it was adopted in American military speak as the
XM22 (or XM23 for the cut down commando version).

The
Stoner made its debut as the Stoner M63 A1 in early 1963, having
won a contract with the US Navy. The Navy looked at the Stoner
concept and thought that they could really use it, especially
for the highly trained SEAL units that were now heavily involved
in the Vietnam conflict. SEAL teams were well funded and highly
motivated, and if anyone could use the Stoner to their advantage,
it would be them!

The
M63 was a revelation for SEALS, whole squads were sometimes
equipped with M63’s giving the lucky SEAL team a disproportionate
amount of fire power for their size, equipped as they were with
the early precursor to the Beta C-mag, the Stoner “Snail”
magazine contained 150 rounds of 5.56 NATO. One well known anecdote
about the Stoner/SEAL combination was that if a SEAL patrol
was ambushed by the VC, the SEAL team would simply dive for
cover and then put down extreme firepower in a 360 degree radius,
simply emptying the Stoner magazines into the unseen enemy.
With up to four Stoners with snail magazines in each SEAL team,
the VC learnt to avoid SEAL patrols, and with such amazing firepower
who could blame them! If the enemy were really unlucky one of
the Stoners might be carrying one of the special “Soft
plastic” magazines, that held even more ammunition!

But
what made the M63 so special?
One of the main
things was the fact that it was so light. Compared to the standard
machine gun of the period, the M60, the M63 gave away over 10
kilos of weight. In drawn out jungle patrols, weight was life
or death, after all, if your machine gun weighed ten kilos less,
you could either carry 10 kilos more ammo and pack a bigger
wallop, or move over rough terrain ten kilos lighter, and probably
survive for longer! In the 1960’s this was a complete revelation,
“light” support weapons of the time simply did not
exist, or were big and unwieldy, for example, the Bren saw service
in the Vietnam conflict arming many of the Australian troopers
that leant a hand, and it was much lauded by the Americans.
So much so, that the M63a1 could be reconfigured into a top
magazine loading “Bren” configuration – easy to fire,
easy to aim and low to the ground. The only problem, if it could
be called a problem, was the fact that the Bren ran off 30 round
magazines and was not a belt feed, as such, sustained fire was
somewhat lacking. The Stoner sorted this problem out by being
belt feed or with its 150 round snail magazine, or it could
act as a Bren clone with its own 30 round magazines.

Notice
above I said “Bren” configuration.. .. and I also
said that the M63a1 could be belt fed…. and 30 round Magazine
fed?

That’s
where the M63a1 earned its “Weapon System” moniker.
Eugene dreamt up a series of innovative quick release catches
that meant that a Stoner could be pulled apart and rebuilt into
a different type of weapon very quickly with only a minimum
number of part. If a trooper wanted a carbine, he could. If
he wanted a rifle, he would. If he wanted a heavy machine gun,
he did.

The
NAVY seals loved their Stoners, the USN Biographies and photos
concerning that period are littered with references to the Rifle
citing its incredible combat effectiveness and the way that
it was well ahead of its time, however, not everyone liked this
“super weapon”.

The
US Army also decided to trial the Stoner during the Vietnam
conflict but they never really got on with it. In the end they
cited the fact that it was too complex, too expensive, too hard
to maintain, unreliable and prone to malfunction, deciding instead
to stay with the M60. If you notice however, many of these same
concerns were levelled at the M16 and oddly, these concerns
were due to similar reasons. In NAVY SEAL use, the Stoners were
treated with due reverence, and were highly appreciated, as
such a high level of training was given to the SEAL operatives
in the correct maintenance of the M63a1. So much so, contemporary
literature records that “SEALS would clean their Stoners
so methodically it was almost religious..” or “the
SEALS were anally retentive about cleaning the M63a1 and would
do so on a daily basis”. This was needed as the Stoner
was built to extremely high tolerances and was very much a precision
built weapon.

XM207
US Army Stoner
In Army hands however, this did
not happen. First of all, there was not an appreciation as to
how effective the Stoner could have been – this in turn led
to less training, and less cleaning. This was also not helped
by the fact that at the time the M16, which had recently been
adopted as the standard US battle rifle, was being touted as
a “self cleaning rifle” (it wasn’t) and was being
used with US Army manufactured ammunition that was made from
age old (some say it dated from the American Civil war – but
more likely the Korean conflict!) artillery gun powder that
burnt dirty, therefore slowly leaving dirty barrels and so much
fouling that M16s would regularly jam. The Stoner was of course
fed on the same fodder, and suffered similar results. But while
eventually the problems with the M16 were solved the M63a1 was
dropped by the Army. On the other hand, the USN was happy to
purchase over 1200 examples for use onboard their ships for
their Elite NAVY seals and some lucky marines also got to use
it for the next few decades

The
Stoner soldiered on for the next 30 years as the NAVY seals
primary special support weapon, up until the M249/240 SAW was
introduced. In fact, the US navy and US Army put the M63a1 Stoner
up against the brand spanking new M249 in torture tests. Although
the M249 won in the end, many pundits reckoned that this was
due to the fact that the Stoners were well over 30 years old
and had been shot every day of their lives and were perhaps
a little “tired”. Having said that the M249 has taken
on a lot of the Stoner’s features. Its light (compared to older
support weapons), it can be belt or magazine (30 round M16)
fed, and many forces use it with a high capacity canvas “Magazine”
that holds a belt of 150 rounds of 5.56 NATO. Déja Vu?
Or a case of great minds thinking alike?

Of course,
it is now the Year 2002, and the US Special Operations command
has tendered for a new “Light Support Weapon” for
use on their covert missions, one of which is the M249, another
of which is known as the “KNIGHTS STONER 5.56 LMG”….
Thats right, the Stoner is back!

But
what happened in the intervening 30 years?

One
of the main things that is often forgotten about the Stoner
weapon system was the fact that it was incredibly good to shoot.
It was light and yet well designed so it soaked up recoil, but
at the same time as it was designed also as a support weapon,
it could also make the most of the “intermediate”
cartridge it had been paired up with. This is similar to the
way that the current generation of LSWs, like the L86 and the
M249, which are more accurate and longer ranged in comparison
to their rifle counterparts, due to the special set up of the
barrels and other abnormal additions.

Robinson
M96 Expeditionary™ Rifle:
Seeing a niche in the
market for a rifle that was as good looking and as good shooting
as the Stoner, Robinson Ordnance decided in the 1990’s that
it was time to reintroduce the Stoner to the shooting public,
well in the US at least!

Weighing
in at 4.2 kg, the Robinson was a about a kilo lighter then the
original Stoner, mainly due to new materials and construction
techniques. Essentially the only thing that could be swapped
over from an original Stoner would be the butt stock, having
said that the Robinsons’ is much nicer. Robinson deleted many
of the superfluous and over complex parts of the Stoner, but
retained a lot of the good parts – the bolt continues to fire
from the closed position allowing for furious accuracy (1.5″
at 100 yards is a bad score). Owners of the Robinson have publicly
stated that it is a wonderful rifle to shoot being easy to use,
easy to maintain and startlingly accurate, it regularly out-shoots
Armalite’s straight out of the box. The Robinson can also be
quickly changed over into Bren configuration, which makes for
easy sustained fire on the range, the low down configuration
also allows you to keep your eye on the target while changing
magazine, unlike on a bottom fed rifle, like the M16. The Robinson
is also available in Russian 7.62×39 using AK 47 magazines –
something that Knights’ considered doing this year with their
own SR-47.

Although
being semi auto only, the Robinson has retained its roots with
the Stoner, by being designed with a feedable disintegrating
belt. To date, Robinson have not yet released the adaptor to
allow the Robinson to do this! Still, it’s the thought that
counts.

The
Robinson is also available in ‘Recon™ Carbine Format’, featuring
green furniture, and of course harking back to the carbine version
of the original Stoner. Great designs never die, they are simply
remade!

The
Stoner 86:
In the clarity of the 1980’s Eugene
stoner continued to refine the ‘Stoner Weapon System’, addressing
concerns raised in the past two decades. Taking concepts and
in some cases parts from the M16, the M60, and even the FN MAG
and FN 240/249, Stoner simplified the system. Now the Stoner
would simply concentrate on what it was best at, being a light
weapons system. Refining the bolt, the gas regulator was done
away with, after all, only one type of barrel (the LMG type)
would be used. The Bren top loading system was retained, as
it was still the magazine system that still made sense (at this
point the British Army was still using the Bren in 7.62 Format
as a LMG. In fact in recent conflicts, obsolete Bren rifles
were pulled from storage and used in Afghanistan and the Gulf!).
If top loading was not an option, then the module could be swapped
out for a belt link module that allowed the M86 to use linked
belts…

The
revolutionary snail magazine was thrown out of the window, as
the M249 has pioneered the “belt in a box” concept,
where a belt of disintegrating link 5.56mm NATO was packed into
disposable plastic box. A few tweaks and polishes later ARES
Engineering and Eugene Stoner presented the Stoner M86 to the
public eye. Although originally marketed for the military there
were very few takers, and only a limited production run took
place.

Eventually
Eugene Stoner went to work for Knights, and ARES went into the
“special conversion market”, they are now currently
marketing the “Shrike” a 5.56mm NATO disintegrating
link adaptor for M16’s which seems to have a lot of similarity
with the modular concept of the Stoner 86.

The
Stoner LMG:
Eventually the Stoner made its way
back home to KNIGHTS manufacturing who at the current time manufacture
the SR-15, based on Eugene’s AR-15 and of course the SR-25,
the SR-25 being based on the AR-10 and firing the 7.62mm NATO
cartridge instead of the 5.56mm NATO. The SR-25 has even found
favour with the USMC, the Marines choosing it as their current
sniper team spotter weapon, to provide area defence for a sniper
and to “take the shot” if the sniper’s M40a1 falls
over or if a double tap is required.

During
the late 70’s and early 80’s while Cadillac Gauge tried to keep
the Stoner Weapon System alive, Eugene Stoner continued to refine
the concept. By the time Knights once again picked up the concept,
the SWS was a 21st Century weapon.

The
collaboration between Knights and Stoner became knows as the
Knights Stoner 5.56 LMG. Originally these were simply M63’s
with KNIGHTS manufactured receivers. Updating the concept to
current manufacturing specifications. Acheiving limited production
for “special customers” rumours persist that the Knights
Stoner is now back in service with the current generation of
US Navy SEALS and that may be quite true.

Recently
the US Special Operations Command put out a series of tenders
for special equipment to equip all US special forces. Now the
US SOCom aren’t a force in their own right, but they do control
and quartermaster, for most of the Elite Units in the United
States. That is to say that the US navy SEALs, the US Rangers,
“Delta Force” et al, all have their shopping done
by SOCom, this of course represents one hell of lump of money,
allowing SOCom to commission exactly what they want, when they
want. The famous Heckler and Koch Mk.23 Mod O Offensive Operations
Pistol was one such item. Interestingly, the M63a1 was once
referred to as the Mk.23 LMG by SOCom.

One
of the items asked for was a Special Operations Light Machine
gun – and guess who decided to enter this competition? That’s
right, KNIGHTS STONER!

The
Stoner is up against stiff competition, SOCom already has large
stocks of Fabrique National manufactured M240’s and M249’s including
special operation variants such as the SPW, however, this time
the Knights Stoner LMG has a lot on its side, pound for pound
it is probably the most effective LMG in the world. Added to
that the design know how and legendary reliability of the Knights
brand has been added to it, providing it with an amazing pedigree,
after all the USMC bought the SR-25 didn’t they? Essentially
the two LMG are very similar, broadly speaking the M249 is FN’s
version of the Stoner LMG, just made in Belgium and marketed
really well!

Back
to Airsoft:
This leads us to the year 2002, and
Airsoft in general. Why hasn’t probably the most amazing rifle
in the world made it into the world of Airsoft? Well actually
it has, KM/Head 1950 produced a limited run (500) of these using
their own gearbox. Billy Bob Chen takes up the story:

“The
Airsoft version is a 800 units limited edition custom made AEG
made by KM. The receiver, outer barrels and other parts that
are metal on the real steel are also metal in the Airsoft version.
The KM Stoner M63A1 uses an original KM designed electric unit.
I assume this means the mech box, gears, and piston are not
based on the Marui design. It uses the Marui EG700 motor and
needs 2 AK batteries to power the gun. What makes this gun unique
besides being a Stoner is the magazine system. It’s a 1200 round
bb magazine hidden inside a soft plastic 200 rd ammo box that
is powered by another EG700 motor and a mini-battery. Yes, a
motor fed 1200 round magazine system. The gun is a little under
1 meter long, 200 mm tall and weights 3.35kg.”

As you
can imagine, these were very popular and are very hard to get
hold of.

However,
there IS an alternative. The CL
Stoner LMG
….

Here’s
the full deal from Clarence himself:

“The
gearbox is a Marui version 3 so that you can easily maintain,
upgrade or tune-up this LMG. The LMG also features a modified
trigger mechanism. When the trigger is pulled, the TOP Box Magazine
will also be activated for auto-feeding, providing you with
lots of firepower.

A
Knights’ Modular Weapon System, is featured on the foregrip
of the LMG, allowing you to mount optional handgrips, laser,
optics and etc.

For
real-steel information please refer to http://www.cornerstone-computing.com/scott/weapons/w_stoner.html.

Price
for this custom Airsoft replica is USD2680 for a state-of-the-art
performance support weapon. The finish of the LMG body is black
anodized. This item is a Limited edition for 99 pieces and each
will come with a unique serial number. Pre-orders are accepted
NOW.

Specification:
Caliber: 6mm BB
Upper Receiver: 6061 Aircraft aluminum
Lower Receiver: 6061 Aircraft aluminum
Modular weapon system: 6061 Aircraft aluminum
Outer barrel: 6061 Aircraft aluminum
Inner barrel: KM 6.04 TN barrel
Hop-up system: Variable hop-up chamber
Grip: Real steel COLT M4
Gear box: Version 3
Motor: EG700
Action: Full automatic only
Loading system: TOP R2500 Electric powered box magazine
Magazine capacity: 2500 rounds
Stock: M4 (4 position adjustable)
Finish: Black anodized
Total weight: 5.5 kg (Without battery & BB)
Muzzle velocity: 330 FPS with 0.2 BB

Other
components include:
– Flip up rear sight
– RIS cover ( Two pieces)
– Vertical grip
– TOP R2500 box magazine
– Sanyo 9.6V 2400 mah battery “







External
Links:
TBA

Site
links:
TBA

Comment
on this article in the forums


Last
modified: Wednesday, May 9, 2001 9:37 AM copyright 2002
ArniesAirsoft




 

Looking for somewhere?
Podcasts
airsoftology
The Airsoft Discussion
Gorilla Airsoft Radio
Airsoft Medicine
SSMG.se Specialist Swedish Military Experience Group
Subscribe to our news

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

News Feeds
Archives