Got some time in the shop today and the first thing I tackled was to “Fix” the problems I had last week in my 2-Gun match. I am still not sure if the movement of the front sight base on my Shorty was because I left it loose or didn’t install it in the correct spot. I also am troubled with the fact that whenever I remove the front sight I have to re-zero my gun. I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I recently bought some taper pins and a 2/0 reamer to do some work on my AR-180S project, of course I bought extra pins. I woke up in the midle of the night and thought about pinning the front sight on my 180B. Today I put it in the mill and did the deed. First I milled a flat spot. Then drilled through using a #31 bit. Finally reamed until the pin was flush on the bottom side. Then I cut the pin to length and dressed the end followed by driving it home. Now if I remove the front sight base all I have to do is snug up the bolts, line up and install the pin, and finish tightening the bolts. Everything will be back in the same spot. Since I was on the mill I decided to drill my initial gas port in the 180S barrel. I started with a center drill and then used a #53 drill to finish up.
I was invited by some of my students to join them at the 2-Gun Action Challenge. For those unfamiliar with 2-Gun it is basically a great way to test yourself and your equipment in a dynamic environment. The two guns you need are a pistol and a rifle. I chose a Python and my Shorty 180. I wasn’t planning to win or even be competitive. I just wanted join my friends and do a little run and gun. Lots of both were to be had along with some ducking and crawling to boot. Turns out it was a Vietnam themed event this time and had I been more prepared I might have done ok. The pistol stage for example was limited to 5 rounds. Revolvers could have been competitive in more practiced hands than mine. I was using an old school police rig with dump pouches. Speed loaders or even speed strips would have been a welcome addition.
It was my first time and even though I did badly and my shorty had malfunctions, I had a great time. I shot the Irons category and chose to use the small aperture as I felt it would be more accurate. The distances were too close and I found that was a bad idea. I switched to the large aperture on the next stage and it was at distance. Another bad idea. The shorty was barely able to get two or three shots in a row before it would short stroke. I brought a back up gun but decided to be stubborn and stick with my shorty till the end. As a result I timed out on every stage but almost cleared the last stage, one shot shy. Thinking that I needed to open up the gas port I decided to do an autopsy on it today. As I was stripping it down I noticed that the op rod was way too far recessed into the trunion. Turns out the front sight base was too far forward. Not only did that cause increased travel of the op rod, it covered up part of the gas port. I’m surprised it ran at all. Either I didn’t tighten it enough and it moved forward as it was fired or I didn’t get it in the proper place when I put it back together last time. I’ve been taking it apart a lot lately to take measurements as I have been building my AR180S clone.
I think I am hooked and I am looking forward to next months match. I might keep running the Python and pick up some speed loaders and pouches. I need some sort of mag holder for my rifle mags and I will be ready to go.
I also picked up a universal folding mechanism from Josh at Stormwerkz.com. I used it to fold the pistol brace on my 180B pistol. I’m liking it so far just handling it around the house. Time will tell how it works in the real world. I think I will make it my back up gun at the next 2-Gun.
One last update. I have purchased a limited quantity of original AR180B fire control pins. This has always been a problem for those of us building a Nodak NDS-18S lower from scratch. $20 a pair so shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in picking some up. Get an extra set for spares!
Earlier I wrote an article about an AR-180 Police Carbine lower that had shown up on a Japanese website. Turns out there are pictures of a fully assembled gun on the web. I have seen and shown this gun before but never saw all the pics and therefore I did not know it was the real deal.
Buried deep in the sturmgewehr.com website are a bunch of picture and some of them actually happen to be of a Police Carbine, the semi auto SBR version of the AR-180.
Interesting flash hider and sling mounts on this one. I originally misidentified it as an AR-18S from the two pictures I had seen previously.
This one is serial SS 291 and I was recently sent a picture of one with a slightly higher number. This one also has a standard flash hider. It is almost impossible to know if this is how it left the factory.
The AR-180S project is full steam ahead!
Some time back I purchased a Costa Mesa upper that was still in the white. It was a left over after the plant closed and had never been built. It has some cosmetic issues and I think this is why.
The seller was nice enough to let me borrow an original AR-18S barrel and hand guard retainer. Our agreement specified I could not give out any dimensions. I was more than happy to comply.
He also gave me an incomplete stamping that I worked over to match the original part.
The stamping was torn and on closer inspection I discovered that it was too thick and this explains why it tore when run through the stamping die.
I had an old C MP C barrel that had been converted for use in a 180 and the rifling near the muzzle was in bad shape. Cut that sucker down I say.
Like all of my previous shorties the hand guard cap was the most troublesome. I worked on it today and closed up the gaps and welded them. Then started shaping and trimming and grinding.
I next started drilling the holes.
Then the most interesting part, forming the locating ring.
Stamp should be back in the next four weeks I hope and I really want it up and running in time for the SAR West show.
So far I have not cannibalized any guns to make this. That may not last. At the very least I will need to borrow some parts from another gun.
Still to be done.
Drill and pin the front sight base.
Cut the bayonet lug off the front sight base.
Drill gas port.
Find the proper retaining clip for the rear sight assy.
Make an op rod.
Test fire on my 180B SBR lower or Costa Mesa lower if the stamp is back.
Grin from ear to ear.
Lets call this the “Help Rick Fund His AR-180S Project”
Time to cut loose with some hard to find parts and get my third shorty project kicked into high gear!
Email me for prices at email@example.com
I will leave these up here for a couple weeks and anything left over goes to gunbroker.
First up are new old stock AR-180B bolt carrier assemblies. Brand new, virgin.
Next up are a very limited quantity of our AR-180B lower completion kits that include Original Hammer & Trigger pins.
Early AR-180B knurled charging handles.
Now some vintage parts
Available separately, AR-180 trigger assy, hammer, safety, safety detent, grip screw, and mag catch.
AR-180 Pistol Grips
AR-180 Butt Stock