Indiana’s own Eugene Morrison Stoner cut his teeth in small arms as a Marine Corps armorer in World War II and left the world some of the most iconic black rifles in history.
Born on Nov. 22, 1922, in the small town of Gosport, just outside of Bloomington, Indiana, Stoner moved to California with his parents and graduated from high school in Long Beach. After a short term with an aircraft company in the area that later became part of Lockheed, the young man enlisted in the Marines and served in the South Pacific in the Corps’ aviation branch, fixing, and maintaining machine guns in squadrons forward deployed as far as China.
Leaving the Marines as a corporal after the war, Stoner held a variety of jobs in the aviation industry in California before arriving at ArmaLite, a tiny division of the Fairchild Engine & Airplane Corporation, where he made soon made his name in a series of ArmaLite Rifle designs, or ARs, something he would later describe as “a hobby that got out of hand.”
The U.S. Air Force has released some more details about their very neat GAU-5A Aircrew Self Defense Weapon. Fundamentally, it is an M4 with a folding pistol grip and quick-detach barrel/handguard that takes down and stows, with four mags, into a 16 x 14 x 3.5-inch ejection seat compartment.
More in my column at Guns.com.
Looking for a takedown rifle that packs away to the size of a loaf of bread, weighs in at under 3-pounds, and still provides enough firepower for small game? Well, get in line with the rest of the world because it would appear that with the cult success of the Henry survival rifle and the Chiappa Little Badger, nowadays, everybody’s looking for a versatile rifle they can shove in a backpack.
But with all the recent interest in prepper long guns, it’s important to remember that these rifles are not brand new designs by any stretch. The AR7, the Air Forces’ favorite backpack .22, has been around for over fifty years, looks almost identical to the newest survival rifle offerings and, unsurprisingly, is still going strong.
Read the rest in my column at GUNS.com