The Stoner 63 machine gun is one of the most powerful U.S. military weapons platforms you may never have heard of. Developed by AR-15/M16 designer and small arms legend Eugene Stoner and Cadillac Gage in 1963, the Stoner 63 mainly saw combat in the hands of Navy SEALs during the Vietnam War. Only 4,000 of the 5.56mm modular weapons system were ever produced.
In 1968, SEALs serving in South Vietnam reported to the Navy that they needed more firepower. Back in the United States, the service’s engineers rushed to help, crafting various weapons and accessories, including some particularly weird looking magazines.
From the legendary M1 Garand to today’s M4 and M16 rifles, standard-issue infantry rifles have been the ubiquitous icons of the troops who carried them. But throughout America’s wars, some decidedly non-standard small arms have been put into service when a particular situation or circumstance calls for a unique weapon.