For the first time, they spoke about a new machine gun relatively recently. 09.10.2017/2017/7,62 The Firearm Blog published a note stating that Knight's Armament (KAC) presented at AUSA XNUMX a prototype of a new XNUMX NATO machine gun. It was reported that the new product was developed based on previous models of the company (Stoner LMG and LAMG), so it borrowed many technical solutions from them. It was also reported that, despite the increased dimensions of the new product, there is a general external resemblance to previous models. In the note they were called "younger cousins."
The main changes affected the dimensions of the bolt box, barrel and belt feed unit, which were modified under the NATO 7,62 × 51 cartridge. The larger machine gun model has become heavier. It was stated that the new machine gun will weigh about 5,7 kg (12.5 lbs), which is still significantly less compared to even the upgraded single machine gun FN M240L. (The following is a table for comparing weight and dimensions.)
Knight's Armament LW-AMG
According to KAC representatives, at the time the exhibition opened, the official name had not yet been approved for the new machine gun model. The term "Medium Assault Machine Gun" was used as the working name. However, in the end, the product received the designation LWAMG (LightWeight Assault Machine Gun) - a lightweight assault machine gun.
An important point: at AUSA 2017, a mass-scale layout printed on a 3D printer made of aluminum (3D printed sintered aluminum) was demonstrated. This publication was announced by an employee of the company Trey Knight. He added that real samples are "at a very early stage of development." But work will continue, as the company currently feels an increase in demand for machine guns for 7,62 mm cartridges. According to him, over time, they will gradually displace systems for 5,56 mm ammunition.
The author is not known for certain the exact date of the announcement of the LWAMG machine gun chambered for 7,62 mm. However, it can be confidently stated that the current model was ready no earlier than 2018. Agree that for several months it is almost impossible to bring the sample from a very early stage of development to pre-production. Be that as it may, a new machine gun was produced, and his photos with the main performance characteristics were added to the manufacturer's website.
The following is a brief comparison table with Knight's Armament machine guns and the FN M240 family.
At the request of the customer, the company Knight's Armament is ready to produce versions of machine guns LWAMG chambered for 6.5 × 55 (.260 Remington) and 6.5mm Creedmoor.
Knight's Armament ChainSAW
ChainSAW (chain saw) - a strange experimental model, built on the basis of the Stoner 96 system. Consists of a machine gun with tape power and a grenade launcher. The first prototype of the “chainsaw” was presented at the SHOT Show in 2009.
ChainSAW with 200 round box, PBS and Spike's Tactical Havoc Grenade Launcher for 37 mm grenades
KAC ChainSAW only involves shooting from the hip. This is evidenced by the massive handles mounted above the barrel and instead of the stock, as well as a long belt that should be thrown over your shoulder. Bipods, as you see, are absent. It is noteworthy that the machine gun trigger is located in the back of the receiver: where the butt is usually attached.
The author is completely incomprehensible why so many Picatinny rails have been installed on the “chainsaw”. Of course, it is possible to establish a collimator sight, but there will be no benefit from it. LCU or tactical flashlight? It is unlikely that anyone would think of shooting this machingan at night, striding to its full height. Unless for mounting an action camera. But why? Shooting shooting results?
Pay attention to how inconveniently the trigger of the grenade launcher is located. Photo: popgun.ru
Pay attention to the location of the trigger
The author believes that ChainSAW is not suitable for local conflicts, let alone for military operations in the city. But with such a machingan, you can wet the monsters in a reckless shooter like "Serious Sam". By the way, the developers of at least two computer games did not lose sight of ChainSAW:
Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013)
Rifle Robinson Armament M96
In 1996 (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) Robinson Armament was registered. The abbreviation RobArm is often used. The company was small, and even as of 2009 only 15 people were working in it. The founder was Alex Robinson. He studied business law at the University of Utah, graduating in 1989.
In 1999, Robinson Armament offered the market a semi-automatic rifle chambered for 5.56x45 mm NATO ammunition (kits for adapting to Soviet ammunition 7,62 × 39 and 5,45 × 39 were produced. There was also the possibility of choosing the barrel length. Along with changing cartridges, the bolt needed to be replaced , the trunk, the store and the receiver shaft of the store.) Having studied weapon, many expressed the opinion that the solutions implemented in the Stoner 63 weapon complex were borrowed in the Robinson Armament rifle. Some believed that the rifle was a remake or even plagiarism of the Stoner system. Let's try to figure it out together.
An application was filed on January 29, 1997, and on May 4, 1999, patent No. 5900577 for "Modular, multi-caliber weapon system" was received. In the column “inventor” the founder Alex Robinson and Darin G. Nebeker are indicated.
Robinson's modular, multi-caliber weapon system. Pay attention to the location of the store in the style of "Brena". Source: Patent No. 5900577 of 1999
In the document, the inventors refer to Eugene Stoner's patents: 2681718 (for 1954), 3097982 (1963) and 3198076 (1965) and point out the differences between his and his invention. Unlike the Stoner 63 system, which exclusively uses NATO standard 5,56 cartridges, the Robinson system allows the use of not only NATO 5,56 ammunition, but also Soviet 7,62 × 39 and 5,45 × 39 cartridges. In the future, it is possible to develop modifications for pistol cartridges .45 ACP, 9 × 19 Parabellum and .40 S&W, as well as hunting cartridges in the range from 5,56 × 45 (.223 Remington) to 7,62 × 67 (.300 Win Mag) ...
This property reminded the author of the Russian Cheetah submachine gun, which was developed on the basis of the AKS-74U. Thanks to a set of interchangeable bolts and return mechanisms, the Cheetah had the ability to use about 15 (fifteen!) Types of pistol cartridges of 9 mm caliber of different power.
On "IN" article about the Cheetah software was published in 2014 year.
Another difference stems from the previous one. The Robinson system provides for the use of both NATO standard and Soviet-style magazines, as well as cartridge belts for the mentioned cartridges. Achieved by replacing the shutter and magazine or tape feed mechanism.
Another difference lies in the reciprocating spring, which is located around the rod of the gas piston. For clarity, the inventor gives as an example similar springs on a Beretta 70 pistol and on a SIG SG 550 rifle. In the Robinson system, depending on the selected ammunition, it is possible to change gas pistons, return springs, gas tubes and other details corresponding to the cartridges. In this case, the same bolt box is used.
A clear comparison of the shutters of the two systems. On the left is the Stoner 63 shutter, on the right is the Robinson M96. Pay attention to the presence of a combat spring in the M96
Comparison of shutters from a different angle. On the left is the Stoner 63 shutter, on the right is the Robinson M96. The Stoner 63 has a shark fin protrusion
In addition, the Robinson system is capable of firing, including with a closed shutter. Regardless of whether tape or store food is used.
For the US civilian arms market, this is a very important point, since the United States prohibits the free sale of weapons firing from an open bolt. The reason is that it can be converted too easily from a semi-auto weapon to a full-auto weapon.
In addition, the platoon handle in the Robinson system is characterized in that its use is provided for both left-handed and right-handed (ambidextral). Accordingly, the platoon mechanism itself is different from that in the Stoner system.
Other differences are also listed in the patent, but I think it’s enough of the ones indicated above. I note curious facts related to patent rights and trademarks.
- as you already know, the authors of this invention are Alex Robinson, and Darin Nebecker;
- produces weapons company Robinson Armament Co (registration year 1996) from the city of Salt Lake City. Founder - Alex Robinson;
- The patent holder is the company ZDF Import Export (1994), also from the city of Salt Lake City. The contact person for ZDF is Alex Robinson;
- The owner of the four trademarks Robinson Armament uses is RMDI, LLC (2004), also from Salt Lake City. The contact person for RMDI is the same Alex Robinson.
Moreover, the two companies have legal addresses that match completely.
Trademarks owned by Alex Robinson: XCR, EXPEDITIONARY, and M96 EXPEDITIONARY.
He also owns the Robinson Armament logo with the motto “Aut pax aut bellum” (“Either peace or war”).
However, let us return to the fact that in 1999 Robinson Armament almost immediately after obtaining a patent offered the market a semi-automatic rifle for 5.56x45 mm NATO cartridges. The full name of the product is “M96 Expeditionary Rifle”, which literally sounds like “Expeditionary Rifle”.
The encyclopedia says that expeditionary forces are part of the armed forces of one state, deployed to the territory of another state with the aim of conducting military operations. According to the author, these include some formations of the U.S. ILC, the Foreign Legion, as well as the limited contingent of Soviet troops in Afghanistan and others. For civilian weapons, the term “expeditionary rifle” is nothing more than an advertising move.
Rifle Robinson Armament M96 Expeditionary Rifle of the first years of release. Includes a security lock that looks like a cable with a bicycle lock. Photo: AR15.com
Rifle Robinson Armament M96 Expeditionary Rifle, right view. A careful study shows that the bolt box is slightly different. Photo (here and below): AR15.com
There are 6 attachment points on the bolt box, as well as on the Stoner. However, in the first, the extreme pair ends above the store, and in RobArm M96 - above the middle of the forearm
The RobArm M96 has a magazine latch on the receiver shaft. On the Stoner 63, it’s located behind the store, like AKM
Please note: the RobArm M96 does not have an ejector window blind. And on the upgraded Stoner 63A, a curtain is installed
Above the barrel, a gas regulator screw is inserted into the hole of the gas chamber. The gas outlet is made differently than on the Stoner 63
On the RobArm M96, a 2-position flag-type fuse. And on the Stoner 63A he was moved in front of the trigger guard
The receiver shaft on the RobArm M96 is the main external difference from the Stoner 63. Pay attention to the cocking handle: it is also different
Node attachment assembly on the Robinson Armament M96. Reminds Stoner 63, M16, AR-18, but there are differences. Photo: Aftermath Gun Club
The Robinson M96 is built in a modular way, equipped with a quick-detachable barrel and looks like a copy of the Stoner 63. However, in terms of parts, the RobArm M96 is so different that only individual small parts are interchangeable between it and the Stoner 63. The disassembly order is also slightly different from the Stoner 63. At RobArm M96, the forend (lower part) is first separated.
Robinson Armament produced the M96 Expeditionary Rifle rifle between 1999 and 2005. Some sources indicate 2011. Moreover, at some point, the rifle suddenly disappeared from free sale. Moreover, the manufacturer, without explanation, stopped supporting its product. On various forums, there are outraged comments from the owners of RobArm M96. Their weapons do not work, but spare parts are nowhere to be found. Owners with great difficulty find used components from private sellers from Stoner 63 from private sellers and thus replace the striker or some other trifle with their M96. True, there are others who even manage to upgrade their M96 rifles.
Robinson Armament M96 with Picatinny Rail
The author does not know the total number of manufactured products. On the forum AR15, one of the participants wrote that no more than 5 thousand units. Of which a batch of 2,5 thousand was produced in 1999, and then in 2003 another 2,5 thousand. RobArm M96 owners were not satisfied with the lack of maintenance and spare parts. Therefore, the manufacturer was inundated with complaints and requests to take action. On one of the forums, one of the owners wrote the following:
- For some reason, the manufacturer behaves as if he had never made the M96.
Some even began to sign online petitions. One of them was published in 2017-2018. But in two years, a rather modest number of signatures was collected.
One of the electronic petitions for the RobArm M96 rifle. Below is the number of signatures for 2 years
We all already know that certain rights and equipment for the production of Stoner 63 belong to Knight's Armament. Perhaps for this reason, Robinson Armament stopped the production and sale of the M96 expeditionary rifle. However, at the SHOT Show 2020 (Jan. 21-24, 2020) at the Robinson Armament booth, a civilian M96 rifle and the same rifle were displayed for demonstration, but in a configuration with the top location of the store in the Bren style. We will discuss it below.
LegendaryGhost (with M96) and RifleNumber13 (with M96 a la Bren). SHOT Show 2020. Source: Robinson M96 FB Page
Company representatives said that RobArm decided to put the M96 complex on sale again. They explained that about 200 slide boxes and many other details are stored in the warehouse, so the process will not take so much time. On the manufacturer’s website, the product page has recently been restored; there is already the opportunity to place a pre-order. So those wishing to purchase a rare sample are in anticipation.
Judging by the manufacturer's statements, we are not talking about resuming production. They have some parts in stock. Missing parts will be sought and procured externally. That is, a limited lot will be offered to the market, collected from residues from around the world. At the same time, Robinson Armaments declares its desire to launch the M96 service program, which is to provide spare parts for existing M96.
Perhaps a rifle / carbine appears on the product page, because the manufacturer offers a choice of barrels of the following lengths: 14.7, 16, 18.6 and 20 inches.
While work was underway on the article, 11.03.2020/96/200 the patent for M63 expired. This invention has become publicly available and has already moved into the category of "Technique". Admonishing and drawing up the same drawings from a patent for another person is a waste of time. It can only be changed, new features added and registered as an analogue. By the way, sometimes there are descriptions of the invention and XNUMX pages each. Most likely, this is how (or almost so) Alex Robinson did in his time, patenting an invention similar to Stoner XNUMX.
The author thanks Olga Chichinova, chief specialist of the Department of Inventions of AGEPI.
To be continued ...