Stoner 63, 63A, & Mk23: History and Mechanics

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Forgotten Weapons

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The Stoner 63 is a firearm surrounded by a tremendous amount of mythology. It was Eugene Stoner's big project following on the AR-15, and it was a brilliant piece of engineering - a single modular receiver which could be assembled into a half dozen different configurations:

Carbine
Rifle
Automatic rifle ("Bren")
Light machine gun
Medium machine gun
Vehicular/coaxial machine gun

The ingenuity required to make all of these different variations work on a single receiver is momentous, and the fact that the resulting gun is heralded as one of the best machine gun designs ever made really cements Stoner's legacy as a brilliant firearms designer. In today's video, we are going to look at all the different configurations, and also examine the changes between the original Stoner 63 system and the 63A versions which would come after the USMC combat trials in Vietnam. We will also look at the third iteration, the Mk23 as adopted by the US Navy SEALs. I owe a tremendous thanks to Movie Armaments Group in Toronto for being given access to this virtually 100% complete Stoner kit!

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