Knight’s Armament Stoner LMG (Finally) Enters Production

    The KAC Light Machine Gun is a weapon that appears in media often, but has so far existed in the real world as a prototype only. Knight’s Armament Company announced at the 2016 SHOT Show that the thirty-year development of the weapon was nearing its conclusion and the LMG would soon be offered on the military market. Larry Vickers covers the new machine gun via his YouTube Channel:

    Development of what would become the KAC LMG was begun by ARES, Inc, founded by famous AR-10 designer Eugene Stoner in 1986. Based in part on Stoner’s Stoner 63 weapon system produced by Cadillac Gage, the weapon, then known as the ARES Stoner 86, abandoned the Stoner 63’s convertibility features to create a cheaper, more reliable dedicated belt-fed 5.56mm light machine gun. However, this design failed to achieve a market, and Eugene Stoner partnered subsequently with Reed Knight’s Knight’s Armament Company to produce an improved variant, finalized as the KAC Stoner 96 LMG. The Stoner 96, also called the KAC LMG, languished without a buyer from the mid-1990s until today, appearing in Knight’s catalogs for nearly 20 years but never achieving enough orders for serial production. In 2016, KAC announced a finalized version that they reportedly are bringing to the military market.

    The KAC LMG incorporates the same constant-recoil system developed by Jim Sullivan, designer of the AR-15 along with Robert Fremont, and used in the Ultimax 100 magazine-fed LMG.

    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. He can be reached via email at [email protected]