Armalite letter to Marvin Stern 7 June 1963


An interesting bit of history has popped up on the internet.

In this letter, Springfield Armory explains how with the AR15 “devious history” makes it unlike to be adopted by the military, and how it’s effectiveness comes from tumbling bullets.  It is a fun read.

[pdf-embedder url=”” title=”Armalite letter to Marvin Stern 7 June 1963 Stoner 63&64″]


  1. There was a Dr. Marvin Stern who was employed by the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the early 1960s. He was named Assistant Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Strategic Systems in August 1960. By 1961, he was Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Weapons Systems. However, I am under the impression that he bolted back to the private sector by 1962.

    Update: The following link has a profile of Dr. Stern. So he was either working at North American Aviation or free-lancing at the time of the letter. Perhaps Braun was trying to warn Stern off from investing in ArmaLite or taking employment there?

  2. After seeing some additional correspondence related to North American Aviation, Braun was apparently an executive in NAA’s development planning office. It looks like Adams & Co. approached NAA to work out some sort of licensing agreement on behalf of ArmaLite. At the time, this could have only involved the AR-16, as the AR-18 had not been created yet. Just a few days after Braun’s memo, NAA Vice President William H. Cann told Adams & Co. that they were not interested.


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