1958 ArmaLite AR-10 Promotional Film

In the first part of Vic’s special episode on the AR-10 we brought you a remastered version of the fascinating 1958 ArmaLite/Fairchild promotional sales film made for ArmaLite salesmen, like Sam Cummings and Jacques Michault, to show to prospective buyers of the new rifle. Back in the 1990s Vic was lucky enough to scan Michault’s copy the film and has recently remastered with better image quality.

Below you can find the video, time stamped to begin at the promotional film (although I highly recommend you watch the entire video for Vic’s introduction to the early history of the AR-10).

Lets break the video down, with the help of some screen captures. The film opens with a rifleman emerging from the sea, firing as he advances. The film then explains Fairchild’s background and beings to explain the features of the rifle.

Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (16).Movie_Snapshot
Arrows point out some of the AR-10s controls
Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (17).Movie_Snapshot
A close up of the rifle’s bolt and carrier
Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (20).Movie_Snapshot
A set of scales is used to demonstrate how the AR-10 (plus 50 rounds) is equal to an M1 Garand

The film then shows several shots of the rifle’s lower receiver being milled.

Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (4).Movie_Snapshot
The milling of the rifle’s aluminium-alloy forged receiver

None other than the rifle’s designer himself, Eugene Stoner, then takes an AR-10 from a wall display and proceeds to completely disassemble it.

Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (6).Movie_Snapshot
Stoner standing in front of a display board holding three AR-10 prototypes and AR-5s and an AR-7 survival rifle

Stoner completely strips the rifle, its muzzle device and its magazine before Charles Dorchester, ArmaLite’s production manager, demonstrating the rifle’s operation and subjects it to sub-zero temperatures and once again firing the rifle.

 

The film then shows the rifle being used in a variety of roles:

Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (26).Movie_Snapshot
AR-10 being fired with a scope mounted to the carrying handle
Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (27).Movie_Snapshot
The AR-10 being fired from a bi-pod in the light support role, feeding from 20-round magazines, the AR-10 LMG could easily be switched between magazine and belt feeding by removing the belt feed assembly
Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (28).Movie_Snapshot
An ENERGA rifle grenade being fired from the AR-10, the US Army had adopted the ENERGA as the M28 rifle grenade in 1950.

Stoner then covers the rifle with sand before running five magazines through the rifle in quick succession to demonstrate reliability:

 

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The rifle is then submerged in mud (with its dust cover closed) and demonstrated again.

Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (32).Movie_Snapshot
AR-10 covered in mud

The film then shows how simple field stripping and cleaning is before Stoner demonstrates the belt-fed variant of the rifle:

Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (41).Movie_Snapshot
A rifleman demonstrates the AR-10 in its belt-fed configuration, changing position several times before switching to feeding from magazines. Note also the ‘backpack’ belt box and controlled chute/feedway
Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (40).Movie_Snapshot
Stoner firing the belt-fed AR-10
Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (39).Movie_Snapshot
Stoner with a happy grin on his face before opening up with the AR-10,
Fairchild Armalite AR10 Promo (15).Movie_Snapshot
Note the bolt link port in the lower receiver

Don’t forget to check out the full episode and the accompanying blog here!

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