Mongo's Machine Gun Pages Stoner 63A Survival Rifle


The Stoner 63 Survival Carbine was an experimental version of the Stoner 63 made for the Air Force in 1964 (prior to the introduction of the 63A modifications). It was intended to be used by downed Air Force pilots for escape and evasion, but only 1 prototype is know to have been produced. The survival carbine was produced by Eugene Stoner, Bob Gaddis and Jim Sullivan at Cadillac Gauge in Costa Mesa, California. The requirements set down by the Air Force for the Stoner Survival Carbine were:

  • Fit into an envelope no longer than 15 inches
  • No higher than 6.5 inches
  • Three 30 rnd. mags
The quick-change barrel was the key to its ability to fit into 15-inch package. This meant that the barrel itself could be 15 inches long. The shortest barreled Colt available at the time was 10 inches (XM177 series), but the overall length when broken down was over the 15-inch limit. It's other advantage over the XM177 series was that it used a side folding stock. The XM177 was limited to a semi-collapsible stock due to the buffer tube running part of the length of the stock.
Points of Interest:

The specified size required that some changes needed to be made to the standard Stoner 63 in both barrel and receiver. The gas tube was shortened and welded onto the front site block, and the standard hand guard was omitted. A special receiver was made with a shortened ventilated section, leaving the receiver only 15 inches in length. Because of the shortened length, the standard non-reciprocating cocking handle could not be used. It was replaced by a fixed top mounted cocking handle that cycled with the bolt carrier. Due to the new cocking handle it was also necessary to shorten the rear site base. To meet the 6.5-inch height requirement, approximately 1 inch of the pistol grip was removed.

The new gun was shown to the Ranger attachment at Field 9 at Eglin Air Force Base, where it was thoroughly tested with a variety of ammunition and functioned perfectly during the tests. Before it could be shown to the US Army, Eugene Stoner moved to the main Cadillac Gauge facility in Warren, Michigan, and took the Survival Carbine project with him. The Survival Carbine was demilled when Cadillac Gauge left the small arms business. Luckily the parts were kept and have recently been reassembled into a Post86 DS machine gun.

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