By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
All photos contained in this article were taken by DefenseReview.com, and are copyrighted. DefenseReview.com owns the copyright on these photos. The photos were shot with a Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability).
September 7, 2010
Updated on 12/22/10.
DefenseReview (DR) ran into Reed Knight II (Reed Knight Sr.), Reed Knight III (Reed Knight Jr.), and Keven Boland at the Knight’s Armament Co. (KAC) booth at SOFIC 2010 (Special Operations Forces Industry Conference 2010), and they showed us a few KAC tactical goodies, including the KAC Stoner LMG 5.56mm NATO (5.56x45mm NATO) lightweight belt-fed light machine gun (LMG)/squad automatic weapon (SAW), KAC M1110 SASS (Semi-Automatic Sniper System) 7.62mm NATO (7.62x51mm NATO) carbine with telescoping buttstock, and the KAC SR-16 CQB select-fire 5.56mm AR SBR/PDW (Short Barreled Rifle/Personal Defense Weapon).
We’ll start with our photos of the KAC Stoner LMG 5.56mm, and try to follow this article up with two more containing photos of the KAC M110 SASS Carbine and KAC SR-16 CQB SBR/PDW, respectively. The Stoner LMG is a slick little belt-fed LMG/SAW package. At only 10 lbs (4.5 kg), it feels very light in the hands, and is the lightest belt-fed machine gun Defense Review has ever handled.
In fact, it’s very close in weight to DefenseReview’s favorite mag-fed (magazine-fed) LMG/SAW, the ST Kinetics Ultimax 100 MK5 LMG/SAW, which utilizes a proprietary 100-shot drum mag (drum magazine), but can also utilize standard 4179 STANAG AR-15/M16 box magazines with a converter. The Ultimax was designed and developed specifically for the Singaporese army by the legendary gun design and development team of Jim Sullivan (L. James Sullivan) and Bob Waterfield. Previously, Sullivan had designed and developed the original Armalite AR-15/M16 assault rifle with Bob Fremont while working at the original Armalite company under the also legendary Gene Stoner (Eugene Stoner) (who would later go on to design and develop the Stoner LMG), and then go on to design and develop the Stoner 63 / XM22/E1 5.56mm NATO light machine gun (LMG) for Stoner at Cadillac Gage. The Stoner 63 was the world’s first modular machine gun.
No wonder DR likes all three weapons! All three were designed and developed by true firearms geniuses. Jim Sullivan and Gene Stoner are two of the greatest firearms designers/engineers that have ever lived. They’re both right up there with Hiram Maxim of Maxim Machine Gun fame and John Browning of Colt M1911 pistol (a.k.a. Colt 1911 pistol), M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), Winchester Model 1894, Winchester Model 1897 pump-action repeater shotgun, Browning Hi-Power pistol, M1895 Colt-Browning machine gun, and Browning M2 “Ma Deuce” .50 BMG HMG (Heavy Machine Gun) fame, among others (MANY more, actually).
Unfortunately, DefenseReview hasn’t had the opportunity to fire it under adverse conditions at high round count, so the weapon could just be a lot of hype. Then again, maybe it’s the heat. Assuming it works as advertised, it would be nice if Knight’s would be willing to release a civilian-legal semi-auto-only version that doesn’t cost a gazillion dollars.
In any case, here’s what the KAC website has to say about the Stoner LMG:
“The Stoner Light Machine Gun (LMG) is a shining star in the Stoner line-up. It belongs to a class generally lighter than other LMG’s and is highly mobile and portable for individual soldiers. Stoner LMG is one of the first belt-fed 5.56mm LMG and as the result, weighs considerably less and conclusively the ultimate compact LMG.
The Stoner LMG was developed by Eugene Stoner in the early 80’s to rival the FN in Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) trials.
The design of the Stoner LMG pays homage to the legendary Stoner 63. Eugene Stoner’s initial goal was to develop a light weight machine gun as a supplementary weapon for infantry soldiers to discharge greater volumes of continuous automatic fire than their usual standard firearms.
Eugene Stoner was determined to make the LMG a better and leaner LMG than the Stoner 63. KAC took Stoner’s design a few steps further after years of R&D. Their dedication finally paid off. The current KAC Stoner LMG is light weight and yet a powerful machine gun that tops its peers. Extensive tests conducted on the Stoner LMG have proven its superior controllability thanks to its light weight, the lowest in the LMG class ever developed. KAC Stoner LMG is not yet in full scale production, but can certainly meet client demand for increased portability and controllability, a step up from the currently in service 5.56mm machine guns.”
OPERATION: Gas-Operated Belt-Fed Full-Auto
RATE OF FIRE: 550 rpm
MAGAZINE TYPE / CAP: Belt
WEIGHT (w/o MAGAZINE): 10 lbs / 4.5 Kgs
OA LENGTH w/ STOCK RET. : N/A
OA LENGTH w/ STOCK EXT.: 35 1/4″ / 90 cm
BARREL LENGTH: 12.5″ / 32 cm
Company Contact Info:
Kevin S. Boland
Military/Government Product Liaison
Knight’s Armament Company
701 Columbia Blvd
Titusville, Florida 32780
Phone: 321-607-9900 ext 1365
Knight’s Armament Co. (KAC)
701 Columbia Blvd
Titusville, FL 32780-7902
For Domestic Calls: 321-607-9900 ext. 1330
Foreign Sales: 321-607-9956
Military Sales Email: email@example.com
Commercial Sales Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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