Father of the AR15:
The Legacy of Eugene Stoner
His name may not be as recognizable as the late Chris Kyle, but Eugene Stoner is the man behind the design of the AR-15. “American Sniper” Kyle’s autobiograpy and motion picture, depicted Kyle using a sniper variant of the AR-15. It all began in 1954 when Stoner, a World War II veteran, became the Chief Engineer of ArmaLite. Today, not only is the AR-15 extremely popular, AR15 accessories can be purchased separately so gun owners can create a fully customized rifle. It has become a favorite rifle for militaries, sportsmen, and preppers alike.
This infographic captures a synopsis of the proud history of the AR15 rifle:
The U.S. counterpart to Russian, Mikhail Kalashnakov, Eugene Stoner actually first invented the AR10 which was rejected by the U.S. military in favor of the M14 rifle. With the base design already down, the team at Armalite made some changes to the AR10 (the big one was changing the caliber from 7.62 X 51mm NATO to the 5.56 X 45mm NATO cartridge) and arrived at the final product of the AR15. This finalized design is what the U.S. military adopted as what most know as the M16 rifle. While at Armalite, Stoner also designed a survival rifle for the U.S. Air Force that was designated as the AR5 and was later upgraded to today’s AR7 Survival Rifle.
Stoner continued his work with firearms going on to work with well known firearm companies including Colt (who had purchased the rights to the AR15 from Armalite) and Knight’s Armament. He even co-founded the company ARES Incorporated where he had a few other successful firearm designs.
It is safe to say that while not only bringing us the AR15 platform of rifle, Eugene Stoner is an amazing contributor to the modern firearms industry, not only on the military side of things but the sporting side as well.