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Posted: 3/7/2002 12:01:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2002 12:05:26 PM EDT by Carbine_Man]
Is there any "family relationship" between these two?

Robinson Arms M96



Armalite AR180B:



What I'm asking is, did the designers consciously steal some parts of one from the other? Or is there a common design ancestor?

And why would I want to pay $1,500 for the M96 versus $600 for the $600 for the AR180B?
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 1:24:30 PM EDT
Yes, Eugene Stoner designed the AR180 and the predecessor to the M96 (I forget the exact name). I owned the M96 for about a year and then sold it. It did not live up to the expectations of what I thought a $1500 rifle should be. Wish like hell I got a pre-ban AR instead. The AR180b is looking very good to me. The price is right for what you are getting.
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 4:40:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2002 4:52:11 PM EDT by 5subslr5]

Originally Posted By mk1iii:
Yes, Eugene Stoner designed the AR180 and the predecessor to the M96 (I forget the exact name). I owned the M96 for about a year and then sold it. It did not live up to the expectations of what I thought a $1500 rifle should be. Wish like hell I got a pre-ban AR instead. The AR180b is looking very good to me. The price is right for what you are getting.



Actually Art Miller, not Stoner, designed the AR-18 and the AR-180.

Eugene Stoner designed two 5.56mm weapons during his life. The FARC in 1973 which was never produced and the Stoner'86 machine gun (In 1986) which may actually be about go into production.

There is no connection, to the best of my knowledge, between the M96 and the AR-180B.

In the case of ArmaLite, they have produced a post-ban version of the very fine AR-180.
In Robinson's case he copied, externally, a rifle that I believe was made in Singapore. (Maybe the "Expeditionary......?" I can't remember who did actually design the original Singapore rifle but believe it may have been James Sullivan. (I do know Sullivan designed a machine gun called the "Ultimax" for CIS.)
Further I believe but am not certain that "Chartered Industries of Singapore" (CIS) actually manufactured the first Expeditionary rifle.

I bought a new M96 about a year ago, began to hear bad things and sold it while still "NIB".
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 4:52:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2002 5:14:37 PM EDT by ChrisGene]

Originaly posted by 5subslr5:
In Robinson's case he copied, externally, a rifle that I believe was made for Singapore. (Maybe the "Expeditionary......?" I can't remember who did actually design the original Singapore rifle but believe it may have been James Sullivan.
Further I believe but am not certain that "Chartered Industries of Singapore" (CIS) actually manufactured the first Expeditionary rifle.

I bought a new M96 about a year ago, began to hear bad things and sold it while still "NIB".



No, actually your wrong. The M96 is externally a copy of the Stoner 63 system.

The AR-180 is a scaled down, Stoner designed AR-16. (see page 163 of "The Black Rifle") You can hardly give Art credit for designing the rifle. All he did was shrink it.

I would say the two rifles are definetly related.
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 4:54:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ChrisGene:

No, actually your wrong. The M96 is externally a copy of the Stoner 63 system.



Probably you're correct as I was far from sure.
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 5:12:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:

Originally Posted By ChrisGene:

No, actually your wrong. The M96 is externally a copy of the Stoner 63 system.



Probably you're correct as I was far from sure.



Now that I've given this some thought the M96 does resemble the Stoner 62 and the later Stoner 63.
However, the I still believe there's a CIS rifle that was designed after the '62 and '63 that also greatly resembles the current M96.
A rough time line would probably be:
The '62 and then the '63 in about 1962-63
The CIS rifle probably about 1978
The current M96
(Not that any of this matters.)
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 6:28:50 PM EDT
What exactly are the problems with the M96? My understanding was it was essentially an AR with an AK gas system. Is this correct?
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 9:22:00 PM EDT
The M96 is a US made post ban 5.56mm rifle that is loosely based on the modular Stoner 63 Weapon system. The Stoner 63 was designed by Gene Stoner with the Cadillac Gage Corporation after he left Colt (while at Colt, the ar-15 had been designed by Stoner). Stoner was a member of Armalite at one time, but he did not create the AR-16 or the AR-18. Armalite designed the AR-18 to compete with AR-15 for military contracts.
As far as the M96, it is a combination of many features of different rifles. It has a Garand style 2 stage trigger, FAL style adjustable gas system, AR style locking lug bolt, quick detach barrel, and uses AR-15 magazines. It is also modular, allowing the rifle to be converted from rifle, to carbine, to bottom feed, to top feed, and possibly some day to a belt feed.
Although the M96 did have some teething problems initially, as any new rifle design will have, it has evolved into a great weapon in it's most current version (known as the "Recon" variant). The Recon has added a shortened gas system with a stainless steel operating rod and a chrome lined barrel and bore. The trigger is very smooth from the factory. It is easy to field strip, easy to clean, and will keep shooting long after you'd expect a rifle to start to have failures from lack of cleaning. I have no complaints with my M96, and would highly recomend it to anyone who can afford it. Many people would rather opt to buy two post ban AR-15's, or an AR-15 and an AR-18 instead. I will never get rid of M96 because I enjoy shooting it more than anything else. I also have a post ban Daewoo DR200 which is more of an AR meets AK type of hybrid, and it is a great weapon also, but lately I am seriously considering selling the Daewoo because I hate wasting ammo in it when I could be shooting the M96 instead. I got lucky and got a good deal on my M96 used, otherwise I propably wouldnt have bought one due to the steep price. I would recomend trying to get a chance to fire one to judge for yourself. It is a bit heavy, but well built. I find the ZM Weapons rifles interesting also, but they also have high price tags (Even higher than the M96).
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 4:04:04 AM EDT
I've got an M96 and it's well made. Workmanship is excellent. It's a bit lightweight though and I wonder how well the welds will hold up. It's pricy but nice looking. It won't shoot as well as a good AR because the quick change barrel isn't as rigidly held. That's a normal tradeoff and I don't mind it at all.
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 5:09:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bsly:
The Stoner 63 was designed by Gene Stoner with the Cadillac Gage Corporation after he left Colt (while at Colt, the ar-15 had been designed by Stoner). Stoner was a member of Armalite at one time, but he did not create the AR-16 or the AR-18. Armalite designed the AR-18 to compete with AR-15 for military contracts.



Bsly,
first let me tell you that's the best write-up on the M96 I've seen. Been a while since I've been to their site but you're info is better than anything posted there last time I looked.
----------------------------------------------

STONER, Eugene - don't want to pick Stoner's accomplishments to death but there's just so much wrong information floating around about what he either did or did not design.

First just a broad statement. Eugene Stoner did not believe the 5.56mm cartridge to be suitable for military use. Stoner believed in the 7.62.

AR-10 7.62 - Designed by Eugene Stoner

AR-15 5.56mm - designed by James Sullivan and Bob Fremont

AR-16 - 7.62 - designed by Eugene Stoner

Stoner - 62 - 7.62 - designed by Eugene Stoner

Stoner - 63 - 5.56mm - designed by James Sullivan and Bob Fremont

AR-18 - 5.56mm - designed by Art Miller

AR-180 - 5.56mm - designed by Art Miller

Notice the trend in the guns above designed by Stoner - all 7.62.
------------------------------------------------

A small point that might be of some interest.

For RUGER, James Sullivan designed the Mini-14 and the Model 77. Both models have sold over one million units.
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 8:26:47 AM EDT
Were James Sullivan and Bob Fremont members of what was known as the Stoner Design Team? I wonder if maybe much of the reading material I have learned from doesn't loosely refer to the designers as a team under the name Stoner, instead of as individual team members. Very interesting info none the less. I found the Ruger information most interesting. Amazing to me how so many great rifles evolved from the ideas of a few people as they moved around and worked with different manufacturers over the years.

I am quite new here at the AR-15 forums, although I have lurked for several weeks. The AR-15 forums offer a huge diversity in general firearms discussion, as well as a wealth of information on just about everything and anything, so here I am looking forward to learning from others experiences and opinions and hopefully sharing some of my own if and where I might have anything useful to contribute. I also spend lots of time at the FALfiles forums, and the biggerhammer forums (particularly the M96 forum, which is fairly small in comparison).

Link Posted: 3/8/2002 9:11:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2002 9:17:10 AM EDT by 5subslr5]

Originally Posted By Bsly:
Were James Sullivan and Bob Fremont members of what was known as the Stoner Design Team? I wonder if maybe much of the reading material I have learned from doesn't loosely refer to the designers as a team under the name Stoner, instead of as individual team members. Very interesting info none the less. I found the Ruger information most interesting. Amazing to me how so many great rifles evolved from the ideas of a few people as they moved around and worked with different manufacturers over the years.

I am quite new here at the AR-15 forums, although I have lurked for several weeks. The AR-15 forums offer a huge diversity in general firearms discussion, as well as a wealth of information on just about everything and anything, so here I am looking forward to learning from others experiences and opinions and hopefully sharing some of my own if and where I might have anything useful to contribute. I also spend lots of time at the FALfiles forums, and the biggerhammer forums (particularly the M96 forum, which is fairly small in comparison).



Bsly,
most of us "lurked" for a while before surfacing .
Welcome !

You'll find nothing (not) but total agreement among members.

John Peck, Art Miller, Bob Fremont, John Sullivan and others often worked with Stoner although they did considerable work away from Stoner also - Ruger is an example for Sullivan.

As I've posted above Eugene Stoner just didn't believe in the 5.56mm for the military and, with only two exceptions designed 'ONLY' 7.62.
(The two exceptions were the FARC in 1973 and the Stoner '86 in 1986 - both were 5.56mm weapons.)

A good example is Cadillac Gage. Stoner must have gotten to C-G in 1961 where he designed the
Stoner 62 - again in 7.62. In 1963, when C-G decided they wanted a 5.56mm gun in comes Sullivan and Fremont and they design the Stoner '63.

I've never been able to find out for sure who designed the first .22 at ArmaLite but believe it was John Peck and/or Art miller. That gun was labeled the "Stoppette" and was in .222. (I have once seen this rifle labeled the "AR-11" and sequentially that makes sense.)

I too have always been amazed that ArmaLite attracted so many truly excellent people into the company as they never had very much money to work with and virtually no production facilities. Probably the attraction was at ArmaLite new and radical ideas were the norm.


(ArmaLite (Sullivan and Fremont) also designed the 5.56mm cartridge - a modified .222 Remington.)
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 9:16:17 AM EDT
Bsly, welcome to the board. It is obvious you have a lot to add and I look forward to your further posts.
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