A weapon like no other.
The Stoner 63 was developed by Eugene Stoner, who designed the M16. It was one of the first modular weapons. Using a reversable receiver and interchangable parts, the Stoner could be set up as a Rifle, Carbine, Automatic Rifle, Light Machine Gun, Medium Machine Gun, Fixed Machine Gun and Survival Rifle. Though tested by the different branches of the US military, it didnt pass the test for general infantry use. However the weapon was loved with the Navy SEALs. Designated as the MK23 MOD0, it saw usage as the SEALs primary LMG. "In its day, this added to our firepower like no other weapon could have". A seven man SEAL team would often have 3 Stoner 63s, 2 M60s and 2 assault rifles (M16A1/XM177/AK). Firing 5.56 from 100 round box magazines, the Stoner could shoot from 750 to 1000 rpm. In comparison to the M60, which weighed 23lbs (10kg), the Stoner only weighed 11lbs (5kg). The light weight and volume of fire made it very effective in the jungles and waterways of Vietnam. The SEALs sent reviews of the guns performance to the manufacturers and soon the weapon was improved and designated the 63A. Seals often carried various versions of the Stoner. Drum and modified magazines for larger ammo capacity, paratrooper stock, no stock and shorter barrels were some of the variations seen.
After Vietnam the Stoner 63A stayed with the SEAL teams until the 80's when it was replaced by the M249 SAW.