Eugene Stoner and His Wondrous AR-10 – RESTORED 1958 Armalite Promotional Video

    Why yes, that IS Eugene Stoner firing a belt-fed 7.62mm AR-10.

    The Armalite AR-10 is the original lightweight 7.62mm combat rifle – a space-age amalgam of aluminum, steel, and advanced plastics capable of a rate of fire of 800 rounds per minute and weighing just a hair over 7 pounds, unloaded. Its younger, 5.56mm caliber brother, the AR-15, is today perhaps the dominant rifle design in the West, but the .30 caliber AR-10 is the one the started it all, the progeny of Eugene Stoner’s brilliant design and Fairchild’s advanced manufacturing.

    AR-10 expert and firearms armorer Vic Tuff brings us something very special indeed: He has released a restored digital version of the original 1958 Armalite promotional video for the AR-10, via The Armourer’s Bench’s channel on YouTube. The full video, embedded below, includes some discussion about the AR-10 from Vic, but the promotional video itself starts at about 9:33:

    In the video, we see two important characters in Armalite’s history. The first is Charles Dorchester, Armalite’s production manager and one of the key figures behind the rifle’s lightweight construction. The second is, of course, Eugene Stoner himself, the brains behind the AR-10’s innovative direct impingement internal piston gas system design, and the man considered the father of the AR-10 and AR-15 families.

    Eugene Stoner and his famous bow tie with the AR-10. Behind him are some AR-7s and some very early AR-10 prototypes.


    Charles Dorchester performs a cold weather test on the AR-10.


    Dorchester appears in one short stress test segment, but Stoner demonstrates the rifle in a variety of conditions and configurations, including as a belt-fed light machine gun.

    I am not sure I’d look that happy after firing a belt-fed AR-10 prone on fully automatic. In my experience the recoil of those weapons is… Considerable.

    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]