While making my daily scan of Gunbroker.com I can across this interesting Costa Mesa AR-180.
I had seen it before and dismissed it as a mixmaster gun with a Howa lower or it was using a former AR-18 lower.
You will notice the markings around the safety selector and the fact that the safety stops would allow for 180 degrees of movement.
I was able to figure out the serial from this picture as S3803.
I had to blow it up but I believe it is legit.
I surmise that the Costa Mesa plant was using up all the parts on hand and they used a lower that was originally intended for an AR-18 on this gun. This makes sense when you consider that the last Cost Mesa AR-180 serial was S4067 so this was probably built in the last month of production.
My friend Rich is selling some NOS AR-180 Manuals with bonus copies of some other manuals and inserts over on gunbroker.
I received a couple of these packages in a trade with him and I can tell you they are top notch.
His asking price is less than I feel the NOS manuals should go for so act fast before they are all gone.
He is a great guy to deal with and a longtime AR-180 collector who gives his knowledge freely and without hesitation.
Tell him BigRix sent you.
AR-180 Manual Package
I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving and I will be back with more articles next week.
In the early days of production and sales in Costa Mesa, Armalite offered their own 30 round steel magazines.
These are often misidentified or overlooked because they have no markings at all.
You will notice that the bases plate shown in the picture below have no markings and feature a hole on one end. These are the ones you are looking for. (The top magazine has the incorrect base plate)
Unlike the Sterling magazines, these have no hole on the side of the magazine.
They also feature a unique spot weld design that I have seen on no other magazines. Three equally spaced spot welds are more prominent than the rest.
You will also not that these magazines are designed with a full curve and not the partial curve of the Sterling or M16 magazines.
Good luck with your hunt for these highly desirable magazines.
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