Stoner 63 Found In Turkey By MAC

When you travel abroad, there’s no telling what you might find. Tim of the Military Arms Channel was visiting the MKE factory in Turkey, when he stumbled upon an extremely rare original Stoner 63 rifle sitting in an arms locker. The very short video he made to document the encounter is embedded below:

The Stoner 63 was one of the early competitors to the AR-15, and the first serious competitor chambered for the .223 Remington/5.56mm cartridge. Previously, the AR-15 had competed against the Winchester LMR and a Springfield lightweight rifle design, neither of which were chambered for the .223 Remington*. The Stoner 63 saw action in Vietnam, and was nearly adopted by the United States Marine Corps. However, standardization of the AR-15 rifle eventually went forward, and the M16 became the US standard rifle in 1970.

The central design feature of the Stoner 63 is the ability to convert the rifle into a belt-fed machine gun. The purpose of this was not so much to enable to user to convert from one configuration to another, but to reduce the cost of the light machine gun variant because so many parts would be mass produced for the rifle variant weapons. However, the weapons could be configured by the user, and in that respect they are a 1960s-era example of the modularity that has become so popular today.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • echelon

    Nice find!

    That’s like my favorite gun in Black Ops…

    I didn’t watch the video, so one wonders how one of those ends up in Turkey…

    • CowwadoodyRules!

      MKE must’ve called in a resupply code they found in a lost pack of Mountain Dew and got that sweet Stoner as a bonus perk! Sooo jelly right meow.

  • Herr Wolf

    “That’s one big Turkey”- black guy in Ghostbusters

    • Winston Zeddemore

      “We’d like to get a sample of your brain tissue.” -white guy in Ghostbusters

      Seriously? You turned a slightly funny play on words into a sadly constructed movie reference, but you couldn’t be troubled to find out the character’s name?

      Hint: Google “black guy in Ghostbusters”
      (It’s the first six results)

  • Vitsaus

    I’ve never handled one before, but I’ve always thought it was one of those “what could’ve been” guns. Interesting concept, often glowing reviews by the few who ever used them in combat capacity, and a generally mean as hell looking thing.

  • hikerguy

    If that rifle could talk I’d bet it would tell us an interesting story. Looks in immaculate condition.

  • mikee

    Why hasn’t someone taken up the cudgel and put the Stoner 63 weapons system back into production after such a long time considering its reputation for excellent reliability? Surely a semi-automatic is also feasible?

  • ghost

    That looks a lot like a rifle.

  • Hank Seiter

    And here I thought Stoner’s AR-180 was cool. Just had my Howa out today making routine center-of-mass plate hits out to 300 meters with standard M193 ball ammo.

    I’ve always like the Stoner 63 and its ability to morph according to the mission confronting the soldier in possession of said weapon on the battlefield. At a local gunshow about fifteen years ago a Class III dealer had the complete Stoner 63 weapon system on his table and it was displayed with the belt-fed upper. Got to actually hold it. Pretty cool.

    I believe the Robinson M96 Expeditionary Rifle was an attempt to create a semi-auto version of the 63. Unfortunately its creator truncated the manufacture of said line of rifle and no longer supports it with spares.

  • petru sova

    Too bad they do not make an exact replica in semi-auto. It would be neat to feed it by belt even though it would be a semi- auto and then switch it instantly back to clip fed. Naaa, the greed monger stock holders would force the factory to make the receiver out of junk plastic that would crack wide open after a couple of clips were fired through it.

  • maodeedee

    Looks like a nice rifle. Now if it were chambered in something other than .223 such as 6.5 Grendel you’d really have something.