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Robinson M96 Coming Back?

Robinson M96 Left Side

This was sent to us by a reader. A member of the Robinson M96 Facebook page posted a email from Robinson Arms stating that the management was considering bringing the M96 rifle back into production.

E-mail Posted from Robinson Arms about M96
E-mail Posted from Robinson Arms about M96

For those not familiar, the M96 is a modern take on the original Stoner 63 used by the Navy SEALS during the Vietnam War. While not an exact copy, the M96 does give the civilian user a fairly close copy.

Original Stoner 63 Machine Gun. Very Rare.
Original Stoner 63 Machine Gun. Very, Very Rare.

Like the original Stoner, the M96 was user configurable. Besides the quick-change barrel feature, there were plans to release a belt-feed kit and a top-feed kit like the Bren-gun. To my knowledge, neither of these kits actually were made for mass production before the line was closed.

Robinson M96 Right Side
Robinson M96 Right Side. The magazine catch system is different.

Why did Robinson shut down the M96 to begin with? I believe it was a couple of reasons. The first being the Robinson rifle did suffer from some significant teething issues. Off the top of my head, I recall there being broken firing pins and other breakage problems.

The second reason, IMO, is Robinson made a big play for the new Service Rifle Contract and they put all their energies towards that end. Many of you have heard of their submission, the Robinson XCR. Yes, we are talking about THAT Robinson. Same dude. Same company.

The service rifle contact has gone nowhere, and the XCR has meet with tepid commercial sales. But I am sure they have noticed how many inquires they get weekly asking about the M96 rifle sales, parts, upgrades and production.

SEAL Team 1. Vietnam. Notice the Stoner 63's
SEAL Team 1. Vietnam. Notice the Stoner 63’s

I’ll be the first to admit that if the M96 comes back, I would jump all over the conversion kits. Especially the top-feed configuration. Why? Well…we have a unfired M96 still in the box. Somewhere in the back of the armory. Maybe I’ll dig it up and show our readers what it’s about.
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