L. James Sullivan

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Leroy James Sullivan
Nationality American
Other names Jim Sullivan
Occupation Firearms designer
For other people named James Sullivan, see James Sullivan (disambiguation).

Leroy James Sullivan is an American firearms inventor. Going by Jim Sullivan, he is noted as a designer of several 'scaled-down' versions of larger firearms. He is largely responsible for the Ultimax 100 light machine gun. He also contributed to the Ruger M77 rifle, and the M16,[1] Stoner 63, and Ruger Mini-14 rifles (scaled from the AR-10, Stoner 62, and M14 rifle respectively). Sullivan has since 2007 become very critical of the M16 and M4 rifles that he co-designed.[2]

Sullivan joined Armalite in 1957 starting as a draftsman. After Eugene Stoner's rifle the AR-10 had been completed and began production by Artillerie Inrichtingen, having discovered discrepancies in the carrier, being unprotected in drop tests and over heating. So Sullivan's first task was redesigning those features in a position to ensure the guns reliability.

In 2014, Sullivan provided a video interview regarding his contributions to the AR15&M4 family of rifles, but also illustrates the deficiencies found in the rifle in it's current configuration. In the video he demonstrates his "Armswest LLC modified M4" whose enhancements which he believes are necessary to rectify the issues with the weapon. Proprietary issues aside, Sullivan has claimed (without details as to how) the weapon can fire from the closed bolt in semi-automatic and switch to open bolt when firing in fully automatic improving accuracy, he's also increased the weight of the bolt and cyclic components of the gun (while retaining the weapons 8 pound weight) for heat resistance. Rate of fire is reduced 30% both to save ammunition and reduce barrel wear, the reduced rate also renders the weapon vastly more controllable. [3]