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Posted: 10/3/2003 1:58:20 PM EDT
I am curious as to the technical reasons for why Stoner used a pistol grip on the M16 as opposed to the traditional hunting rifle style of stock/grip. Was it just for faster target acquisition, or were there other reasons? I personally feel it is much easier to stay on target with the pistol grips.

The reason I am curious is because the pistol grip makes a lot of people think "this gun is made for shooting people, why don't you buy a regular rifle unless you mean to shoot somebody" and I'm wondering if this claim is validated
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 2:43:21 PM EDT
The first Stoners were made for varment hunting and were in cal 222. If some a hole thinks the weapon is evil because of a pistol grip that does give better control of the weapon, that is his/her problem and ignorance, not yours. Good shootin, Jack
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 3:00:48 PM EDT
Probably a combination of better controllability in full auto fire and the presence of the buffer tube. Actually, for fast target acquisition the traditional grip is probably better – you don’t see many trap or skeet shooters with pistol grip type shotguns.
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 3:37:14 PM EDT
Having the recoil directed in a straight line through the buttstock to the shoulder helps control muzzle rise. This configuration necessitates the pistol grip and the elevated sights. "Sporting" rifles have a dropped stock which places the eye in line with sights just on top of the receiver, and puts the trigger hand below the receiver.
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 3:40:12 PM EDT
Just tell those people what I tell them... "Of course this rifle is for shooting people silly!" Some people just dont get it.
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 3:49:19 PM EDT
I think the major reason was control.
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 3:53:08 PM EDT
The major reason would be the AR15's in line design. How would you construct a standard style stock and still maintain the buffer system?
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 6:33:11 PM EDT
What Lumpy said. Besides... why should we still have a gun design that is basically from the times of strapping a barrel and lockwork onto a piece of wood? The AR-15 is ERGONOMIC. The pistolgrip allows a more natural position of the wrist and arm, as opposed to the conventional "hunting rifle" stock. But yes, it is necessitated by the inline design of the AR-15. Tell them the rifle is for Homeland Defense, no hunting purposes intended.
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 6:38:32 PM EDT
I feel that the pistol grip also makes it easier to tuck in your elbows, thus narrowing your stance. That is one of the ideas behind the forward vertical grips also. I could be wrong though, this is all IMHO
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 9:00:10 PM EDT
Hi guys, would the STG 44, AK47, and FN FAL given ArmaLite a clue as to the future of shoulder fired weapons?
Link Posted: 10/3/2003 9:33:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ballistik: Hi guys, would the STG 44, AK47, and FN FAL given ArmaLite a clue as to the future of shoulder fired weapons?
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Those as well as a lot of other weapons, including some that had been in use by the US for a long time like the Thompson and Grease Gun SMGs.
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 4:13:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/4/2003 4:14:35 AM EDT by Yojimbo]
Well, man is the most dangerous animal on earth... It would be stupid to ignore the ones at the top of the food chain! Regardless, the pistol grip puts the hand and arm in a stronger and more natural bio-mechanical position so you can shoot better for longer periods of time.
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 5:38:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hoplophile:
Originally Posted By ballistik: Hi guys, would the STG 44, AK47, and FN FAL given ArmaLite a clue as to the future of shoulder fired weapons?
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Those as well as a lot of other weapons, including some that had been in use by the US for a long time like the Thompson and Grease Gun SMGs.
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oooo I completely forgot about the thompson...very well made point Ballistik and Hoplophile
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 6:07:06 AM EDT
It was for the "CDI" factor!
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 6:19:35 AM EDT
"Having the recoil directed in a straight line through the buttstock to the shoulder helps control muzzle rise. This configuration necessitates the pistol grip and the elevated sights. "Sporting" rifles have a dropped stock which places the eye in line with sights just on top of the receiver, and puts the trigger hand below the receiver." I like this answer the best.
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 6:21:47 AM EDT
[b]Stoner DID NOT design the AR-15/M-16.[/b] Those weapons were designed by James Sullivan and Bob Fremont. Stoner detested the .222/.223/5.56mm round as he did not believe that round was adequate for military use. As an example, Stoner did design the Stoner62 in 7.62X51. However, Sullivan and Fremont designed the Stoner63. Stoner only designed two weapons in 5.56mm during his long career. One was the FARC which was never produced and the other was the Stoner 86 which is also not likely to be produced.
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 6:30:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/4/2003 6:45:21 AM EDT by 5subslr5]
Originally Posted By 3rdtk: The first Stoners were made for varment hunting and were in cal 222. Good shootin, Jack
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3rdtk, The "Stoppette" (AR-11) was the first weapon in the SCHV (Small Caliber High Velocity) family designed by ArmaLite and was in .222. (Stoner also did not design this weapon as this rifle was designed by Robert Enewold.) The Army made a minor change in their specs and the .223 cartridge had to be made to conform to the new specs. (We have a member here "gus" whose father did much of the design work on the .222 cartridge.) The .222 rifle was designed to be presented to the military and was not designed for varmint hunting. 5sub
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 6:32:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By knightsar: I think the major reason was control.
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Agreed. Please remember, Stoner DID design the AR-10 and control, on full-auto, was a problem.
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 6:39:22 AM EDT
The main reason for that design was, the use of the buffer and drive spring. Stoner was heavily influenced by the MP and STG series German guns of world war 2. But what made it a final design for the AR series rifles was Melvin Johnson. Stoner's early prototype rifles (pre -Armalite days) had a conventional design and shape, and utilized wood stocks. This is evident by Stoners M8 rifle that was developed in 1948-49. From a distance the M8 resembles a mix M14/M1 Garand. But with close examination, the M8 has a John Garand Gas system, blackened aluminum receiver, straight cycling bolt and bolt carrier assembly and a multi-lugged bolt, similar to that of an AR10/15. The bolt lug design was borrowed from Stoner's Mentor, Melvin Johnson. After Stoner was hired at Armalite, he built a staff of engineers and consultants, which led to the development of the now famous AR10 and AR15. Johnson was a firm believer of a straight cycling action and to utilize the space located in the buttstock, such as the drive spring and buffer. Johnson realized that this design worked best, which was evident in his M1941 LMG. The rest is history. ls
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 6:53:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By LordStoner: The main reason for that design was, the use of the buffer and drive spring. Stoner was heavily influenced by the MP and STG series German guns of world war 2. But what made it a final design for the AR series rifles was Melvin Johnson. Stoner's early prototype rifles (pre -Armalite days) had a conventional design and shape, and utilized wood stocks. This is evident by Stoners M8 rifle that was developed in 1948-49. From a distance the M8 resembles a mix M14/M1 Garand. But with close examination, the M8 has a John Garand Gas system, blackened aluminum receiver, straight cycling bolt and bolt carrier assembly and a multi-lugged bolt, similar to that of an AR10/15. The bolt lug design was borrowed from Stoner's Mentor, Melvin Johnson. After Stoner was hired at Armalite, he built a staff of engineers and consultants, which led to the development of the now famous AR10 and AR15. Johnson was a firm believer of a straight cycling action and to utilize the space located in the buttstock, such as the drive spring and buffer. Johnson realized that this design worked best, which was evident in his M1941 LMG. The rest is history. ls
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LS, no disagreement on your major points. However, even on the AR-1 and AR-3 Stoner was using fiberglass stocks. As you indicate, Stoner brought both these rifles with him to ArmaLite. I recently learned the first AR-10 was designed in about 1953 and was chambered for the 30-06. In 1955 Stoner modified the design to accept the 7.62 round. Wish I knew more about Melvin Johnson.
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 7:41:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 5subslr5: LS, no disagreement on your major points. However, even on the AR-1 and AR-3 Stoner was using fiberglass stocks. As you indicate, Stoner brought both these rifles with him to ArmaLite. I recently learned the first AR-10 was designed in about 1953 and was chambered for the 30-06. In 1955 Stoner modified the design to accept the 7.62 round. Wish I knew more about Melvin Johnson.
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5sub- I'm glade you partially agree with me. In my earlier post, I never said that Stoner brought the AR1 or AR3 to Armalite. In fact, The AR1 was partially prototype before Stoner's employment. The M8 was a solo project he was doing as a hobbyist. The story through my understanding was; Stoner was at the local range tinkering with his M8, when George Sullivan and Tom Tallifson (inventor of the foam filled/fiberglass shelled stock for the complete AR series) were test firing the AR1 and meet up with Stoner for the first time. Sullivan was impressed with Stoner's skill and offered him a job. Yes, Stoner was a firm believer of the .30-06 and usually worked the cartridge in on his earliest prototypes. Also, the M8 used the BAR magazine Pictured below is an AR1 with fiberglass/foam filled stock and barrel with steel liner. Below the AR1 is Stoner's prototyped M8 with wood stock and carbon steel barrel. In the rifle is a 8-round modified BAR magazine with a 20-round BAR magazine shown below. [img]http://www.gunsnet.net/album/data/500/18991M8.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 10:30:54 AM EDT
LS, ArmaLite has an AR-1 but I know nothing about the M8. (FYI Tom T. is back and currently consulting with ArmaLite on various projects.)
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 10:51:01 AM EDT
5sub- Tom is a great guy. I got to spend a few days with him back in the early 1990's. He's a wealth of knowledge and offer many great ideas for Armalite for stock and magazine development. I wish nothing but good luck for him. [:)] ls
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 1:30:07 PM EDT
Pistol grip is always better but before plastic technology is up to speed, turning a straight line wood stock on a lathe is a much more efficient production method.
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 4:57:05 PM EDT
Apparently the pistol grip is for the control of any full auto small arms. Look at all of the weapons used in WWII and since and you will see only two that did not have pistol grips in their full auto configuration, The M-2 Carbine and the BAR. Some of the BAR's did have pistol grips mounted on the forearm for better "walking fire" control. Even the M-14 had a pistol grip for its designated full auto version, the A1. [url]http://world.guns.ru/assault/as15-e.htm[/url] The carry handle for the AR was put on as a guard for the cocking handle that was located on top of the upper receiver. The AR was shaped the way it was because of the location of the internal parts and the need to work around them. [url]http://world.guns.ru/assault/as16-e.htm[/url] IIRC Eugene Stoner worked as a designer/engineer working on Gatling guns for military aircraft before he started working on small arms.
Link Posted: 10/4/2003 9:08:58 PM EDT
We can put pistol grips on electric drills, hair dryers, pressure washer wands, and soldering irons, because it makes them easier to handle and operate. But for some reason, when a pistol grip is placed on a rifle, it must be for nefarious purposes?
Link Posted: 10/5/2003 6:35:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 5subslr5: Wish I knew more about Melvin Johnson.
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He was a former Marine who designed a semi-auto 30/06 rifle and then a light machinegun prior to the start of WW II. His LMG was actually used by Para Marines in the Pacific campain. His rifle held 10 rounds vs the M1 Garands 8 rounds. However, the Johnson's bigger advantage was that you could replenish the fixed magazine "on the run" with then standard ('03) 5-round stripper clips, whereas with the M1, you usually had to shoot the rifle dry to load the next 8-round en-bloc clip. Ironically, the WW II Johnson suffered the same fate as Stoner's 63 in the late 1960's because the Army had already made a commitment to the M1 Garand/AR-15 while the Johnson/Stoner 63 were brought out a little too late to displace those extant program's momentum.
Link Posted: 10/5/2003 8:39:25 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TAC40: The carry handle for the AR was put on as a guard for the cocking handle that was located on top of the upper receiver. The AR was shaped the way it was because of the location of the internal parts and the need to work around them.
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Not really, Stoner discovered a problem with the prototype of the AR10, which the Germans discovered with the FG42 and Melvin Johnson discovered on the M1941 LMG. The problem, a sighting system that needs to be mounted high, for the shooter to get the proper cheekweld above the buffer tube. The FG42 and M1941 LMG had tall, but fragile flip-up sights, Stoner had early intentions to have a well supported and robust front and rear sight toward, so he wouldn't have the same issues that the Germans or Johnson discovered. Stoner's thought process is evident through the development of prototypes. For example, the AR10 prototypes show the evolution of the carry handle development. Prototype Number 1: tubular construction with sheet metal stampings, utilizing a Johnson style front and rear sight assembly. Side mounted charging handle. Caliber. 30-06 Prototype Number 2: tubular construction with sheet metal stampings, utilizing an optic and constructed like a carry handle. Side mounted charging handle. Caliber .308 Prototype Number 3: The AR10A. First aluminum AR10 prototype feature a formed and integral rear sight and carry handle assembly. This prototype has a side mounted charging handle and was never set-up on the top of the receiver. This was the first major step to the AR10 Platform, for all other designs to follow. Caliber .308 Prototype Number 4: This prototype version led to the Pre production models of the early North Hollywood AR10s. Like number 3, this prototype has an integral carry handle/rear sight platform, but features a newly design and protected charging handle. Caliber .308. So if you look at the evolution of the AR10 in prototype form, you will discover the top mounted charging handle came after the carry handle. ls
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