The ARES FMG is a folding submachine gun designed by Eugene Stoner while he was an owner of ARES Incorporated. Stoner designed the gun for concealment and covert use, describing it as a “businessman’s personal defense weapon”. Allegedly, Stoner had the idea of a defense weapon for VIPs and CEOs following the numbers of kidnaps of many of such persons in South America during the early 1980s.
The Ares folding submachine gun was attempt by a gun manufacturer to create a completely compact submachine gun weapon system. Eugene Stoner, the developer of the M16 rifle and M63 Stoner light machine gun (a Vietnam-era light machine gun alternative to the M60 GPMG) ran the project through his Ares, Incorporated gun firm.
The basic concept revolved around the idea of arming civilians, in particular businessmen whom were sometimes the targets of kidnappers, with a concealable submachine gun-type weapon system.
The basic blowback firing action is said to be acceptable for a system this size and the weapon was chambered for a variety of 9mm rounds. A rate of 650 rounds per minute is reported, with an effective range between 250 and 400 feet. A 20 or 32-round cartridge system could be fed into the weapon. The pistol grip is hollow and is where the box magazine is fed through.
The Ares folding submachine gun is folded by pushing a lock button and bringing the rear part of the gun system forward and down over the pistol grip, then folding both parts in under the barrel section. To unfold the system, the user pushes two unlocking buttons on the front part of the weapon (making up the barrel) and pull the weapon casing backwards then up. No fixed sights are afforded the shooter. The system folds down to 10.3 inches in length (262mm). The system can be made ready to fire in 3-5 seconds.
Though never put into production, at least five working versions were produced and tested. No variants are known is exist beyond these and none have ever been reported to be used in actual conflict. Though the concept might be sound, it obviously did not generate enough interest in the gun market to be designed further.
The Dave Boatman-produced M-21 folding submachine gun and the Russian PP-90 all follow the same type of design philosophy though the Stoner-designed FMG is the most recognizable of the three.