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, Beta C-mag 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 overheating, Sullivan's first task was redesigning those features in a position to ensure the gun's reliability.

In 2014, Sullivan provided a video interview regarding his contributions to the AR15 and M4 family of rifles, but also illustrates the deficiencies found in the rifle in its current configuration. In the video he demonstrates his "Armswest LLC modified M4", whose enhancements 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 has also increased the weight of the bolt and cyclic components of the gun (while retaining the weapon's 8-pound weight) for heat resistance. The rate of fire is reduced 30% both to save ammunition and to reduce barrel wear; the reduced rate also renders the weapon vastly more controllable.[3]