A subsidiary of Fairchild Engine and Aircraft Corporation, founded in 1920 by Sherman Mills Fairchild, ArmaLite’s mission was to produce small arms concepts to be sold to external manufactures.
President of ArmaLite, George Sullivan, leased a workshop in California, hired employees, and soon work began.
The AR-10 was in the shadows. At the foundation of ArmaLite, in that small workshop, they began crafting a lightweight survival rifle prototype known as the AR-5.
Years later George Sullivan would meet Eugene Stoner, who fabricated lightweight aircraft designs.
When Stoner was not producing aircraft designs he was designing rifles off the clock. This would lead to collaboration between Sullivan and Stoner.
Around this time, the United States Army was ready to upgrade its rifle.
World War II was won by the M1 Garand. The Garand was a powerful rifle but the U.S. Military realized it was time to enhance their firearm technology.
The M1 Garand won the war but the Military needed a rifle that was lightweight, accurate, and fully automatic.
This led to the formation of the Rifle Steering Committee, formed by NATO, which founded the Army’s Lightweight Rifle Program. Competition between gun makers led to many designs being submitted to the military, each vowing for their rifle to be adopted by the military.
These designs were excellent but one competitor's design gained the complete attention of the U.S. Military.
Eugene Stoner’s AR-10.
Stoner’s AR10 swayed away from the M1 Garand traditional wood stock. The AR-10 system accented a recoil compensator, a straight-line stock design in addition to a
flash suppressor, elevated sights, and an adjustable gas system.
His original design was completed in 1955. An issue in the design included a composite barrel made of aluminum and steel. Untried trials by ArmaLite discovered a burst during a torture test that was executed by Springfield Armory in 1957.