Larry Vickers Shoots The Stoner 63

The Stoner legacy goes beyond just the AR-15. Several firearms designed either by Stoner or based off his work continue to impress modern shooters at the range and in use. One very notable such weapon is the Stoner 63 LMG, the weapon Larry Vickers has taken to the range for the first time in the video embedded below:

“It has no recoil” is a claim that’s often overused. The video above though, speaksĀ for itself. High speed footage of many machine guns often reveals that they jostle and bump everything from their sights to barrel around, causing vibrations that rock the whole gun from muzzle to butt. Not so the Stoner. I can’t say I have had the pleasure of firing a 63 LMG as Larry has, but I have had the chance to fire an Ultimax 100, another gun designed by Stoner’s protege Jim Sullivan, and found it to have a similar “magic” to that Larry ascribes the Stoner 63 LMG.

EDIT: Larry uploaded his in-depth analysis of the Stoner, that is well worth taking a look at:

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


  • ColonelColt


    • SP mclaughlin

      Frankly, I’d rather have a good 3 minute video than 10 minutes of filler content before the shooting starts.

    • Major Fret

      According to a reply Vickers gave to a Youtube commenter, there is a longer vid on the Stoner coming up.

      • I’m positively salivating in anticipation.

        • LCON

          TFB Mop Boy Please Report to Nathaniel’s office will the TFB Mop boy please report to Nathaniel’s office…

  • Kevin Harron

    Easy to see why it was a favorite with the SEALs in Vietnam.

    • Patrick M.

      Whats hard to see is why anyone went with the SAW

  • Awesome!
    To put it into perspective, a pre-may sample stoner 63 goes for $70,000:
    I imagine that a transferable would be over 100.

  • Giolli Joker

    That’s quite amazing!

  • Airborne

    I’ve heard that political scuttling was the reason it never caught on. Can enlightened readers elaborate?

    • Squirreltakular

      I’d like to know this as well.

      • Pete Sheppard

        The Stoner 63 system (it was easily converted to a rifle, carbine, LMG, MMG, and an electrically-fired MG) was also evaluated by the Marine Corps, and they loved it, but DoD scuttled it, forcing the Corps to go with the M16.

    • Giolli Joker

      What I read was the it was loved by Special Forces but it was believed that the required care and maintenance would have not made it suitable for the average soldier.

      • iksnilol

        Seriously!? That would be hilarious if it wasn’t sad. Those same people thought that the unchromed M16 and dirty powder was a good idea.


      • ostiariusalpha

        Part of the problem is that the Army used the Green Berets as their evaluators. The guys in Airborne operated the rifles just fine, but one of their raison d’etres was to coordinate with indigenous forces on overseas operations. It was these non-U.S. soldiers that the Green Berets felt weren’t going to be able to maintain the equipment.

  • damien

    Why is it so controllable?

    • I would not be surprised to learn that it uses the constant recoil principle. The later Stoner LMG did, Sullivan’s Ultimax 100 does, and Sullivan’s MGX rifle does.

      Note that Sullivan had a direct hand in the Stoner 63.

      • iksnilol

        How does it compare to the KAC Stoner LMG? It is also seemingly based on the constant recoil principle, KAC mentions that there is no impact of the bolt at the end of its stroke. From what I see it is really lightweight (4.5 kg with empty mag) and really short (about 90 cm, about an inch longer than a run of the mill AK). It seems really interesting.

        Would be cool to convert one to 7.62×39 and SBR it.

        • n0truscotsman

          Ive been trying to find more information on that LMG for quite a while to no avail.

          It brings a interesting dynamic into the “lightening the SAW” argument. Versus taking more of a risk with LSAT.

          • iksnilol

            It seems really interesting to me. Compact, lightweight, controllable. Wonder how much it would weigh in 308?

            Would be interesting to actually, y’know, be able to get one. Would also be interesting to convert it to other cartridges. Could be interesting in 6.5 Grendel (especially if using polymer cased ammo). Or a short barreled version (20-25 cm barrel) in 7.62×39.

            Only thing I really know about it is that PMCs like them. Maybe that’s somewhere you can look (if you know any PMCs or something)?

          • n0truscotsman

            Meh, my experience with contractors and LMGs is that what ones they could use, they had RPDs and RPKs. Not bad choices. Never seen anything but those guns (and maybe a odd PKM).

          • iksnilol

            RPDs? How common are those? Have yet to see one in the steel. Have seen multiple PKMs and MG42s (or M53 as we call it here).

            I always liked the concept behind the RPK. Glad to see it works well.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Beautiful video! Larry’s production team is top-nitch!

  • Steve Martinovich

    There was less slo-mo in The Matrix. I keed, I keed, I love Larry… but really

  • uisconfruzed

    OK, minimal felt recoil/jump & lighter than the 249.
    Why isn’t in service today?

    • No requirement for it in the 1960s, wasn’t around in the 1970s when there was a requirement for it.

      • There was a fair amount of Joint Service testing, particularly of the XM207 LMG. However, the Army wanted something longer ranged than M193 Ball, and they weren’t completely convinced of the utility of 5.56mm heavy ball like the IVI 68gr and NWM 77gr. Once the Army started to sidetrack towards the 6mm SAW, the USMC threw up their hands and pulled their funding from further testing of the Stoner. The attitude appears to be that if the Army was going to play games, they could do it on their own dime.

      • CommonSense23

        Saying there wasn’t a requirement for it is a little bit of a stretch. Just the military didn’t see the need for it.

  • Cornelius Carroll

    It. Doesn’t. Move.


  • cs

    Is there anyone producing the Stoner 63 today?

    • KAC still makes an updated version. I’m sure it isn’t in serial production, but if you ordered enough then they would make them.

  • claymore

    And the forward ejection makes it a joy for us “lefties” to shoot just like the two shooters in the video.

  • ostiariusalpha

    Man! I’ve always felt that the the 63 was the Stoner/Sullivan/Fremont team’s Magnum Opus, it was just too good for the world it was born into.