DIY guns usually fall into one of two categories. Most of the time when we are talking bout DIY guns we either get horribly botched creations that you see on Hot Gat or Fudd Crap, but sometimes you’ll also get some cursed guns like the toggle-locked belt-fed monstrosity we took a look at earlier. Long-time TFB Reader and TFBTV subscriber Stubbs usually has creations that fall into the latter category of heavily modified or bastardized firearms. However, he recently contacted me over our TFB Discord channel to show me his latest creation and I personally think that this is one that might have actually made Eugene Stoner himself proud. Today, we’ll be talking about Stubbs’ latest DIY creation, the S96S top feeding AR which was inspired by the Stoner 63 modular weapon system.
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The S96S – DIY Gun That Would Make Eugene Stoner Proud
The Stoner 63 is a somewhat legendary rifle but it usually doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves since it had a relatively short service life within the ranks of the United States military. However, thanks to popular video games like the Call of Duty: Black Ops series, the gun has seen more recent interest because of its inclusion in the series.
One very unique aspect of the original Stoner 63 is its ability to be configured to feed on the bottom, from a belt, or from a top-feeding magazine. The latter is the configuration that TFB reader Stubbs decided to model his own S96S rifle after. While the KalashaBren (Made by TheAKGuy aka Brandon Hererra) was not a direct inspiration, the recent release of a video featuring it inspired Stubbs to finish his build and get it working.
I also want to address the top feeding AK bren. I’ve wanted to make a mondernized stoner 63 like this for years, and while the Ak bren nor the original bren itself was not the original inspiration, it did motivate me to finish mine, and I don’t want to dunk on the AK Guy. The ak bren was a fun project that has to deal with factors of the AK that make it much less modular than an AR. Neither one will ever be practical in today’s world but both are for fun.
Stubbs is very proud of his latest creation and he has also been quoted as saying that the rifle itself has “Violent Sexual Energy.”
So what exactly went into the S96S modernized Stoner 63 Clone? We’ll dig into the components that Stubbs threw together in order to make this rifle and perhaps this might inspire you to attempt a build of your own. Last I checked, Stoner 63 rifles were still cool but they seem to be in short supply these days (Robinson Armament makes current production models).
S96S Design Concept
Stubbs made use of a 3D printed lower receiver and commonly available AR-15 parts for the build. The core of the build is centered around a 3D printed lower receiver (which happens to be on the upper part of the rifle). The files for the receiver, handguard, and grip assembly can be found on Defcad soon when Stubbs posts his files there. The 3D printed parts (handguard, receiver parts, grip assembly, etc) were all printed in PLA+ and the total print time between all the various parts clocked in at around 35 hours.
The lower is populated by standard AR fire control group components that have been modified to fit/work within the smaller space and inverted positioning. While the lower is much different than a traditional AR, the upper is completely unmodified and can be used and assembled like normal.
The S96S uses an ar15 magazine catch, bolt catch, and a modified AR15 mil-spec trigger group. The design was changed so no more welding is needed to make the rifle fit together. In order to make the trigger fit, Stubbs cut the actual trigger part off the trigger so it doesn’t stick out of the top. The safety has a cut takedown detent inside it. The trigger linkage is curved to go around the deflector, with an optional straight one included for slab-sided uppers.
The pistol grip assembly bolts onto the uppers Picatinny rail, leaving a few slots open on the front. The safety blocks the trigger, which is a simple lever. Since it’s solid, this means the entire trigger linkage won’t move and fire the gun if set down sideways. Though an impact that breaks it may fire so it isn’t invincible.
The hardware needed is M5 bolts and nuts of any style, and the quarter-inch captive ball detent pins common on 3D printed guns. The optional polymer handguard is meant to go over a free float forend to make it look like the original monolithic heat shield of the 63.
Stubbs’ Thoughts on his creation
Stubbs always has interesting takes on his creations as he did with his glow-in-the-dark 22LR AR pistol build. This Stoner 63 clone is no different in that respect and he had a lot to say about how he named this rifle and why he decided to do this build.
The name of it ( S96S ) is based on Eugene Stoner originally wanting to name the stoner 63 the M69W, as it reads the same when the reciever is flipped over. 69 doesn’t actually correspond to a year and mine doesn’t either. I wanted to use the letter S since my actual name and Stoner could both be referenced.
Eugene Stoner was born in the 20s and many period MGs were top fed magazines, and this feature persisted well into WWII. This is incredibly practical from a prone position, and most likely why he went with it.
When comparing the original Stoner 63 with Stubbs’ S96S, the similarities are very clear and I think with a bit of solid engineering work a solution to invert the fire control group could be done and top-feeding Stoner 63 rifles could be a reality again. Go ahead and let Stubbs know what you think of his creation down in the comments!
The S96S – DIY Gun That Would Make Eugene Stoner ProudThe Firearm Blog is written by Luke C. for www.thefirearmblog.com