Reader Pics: New Sharpshooter Kit

Got an email the other day and I knew y’all would be interested in it.

A brand new Sharpshooter kit.


This one is packaged as coming from Timberline Hawk and differs in construction from my example. The hand guard cover is improved by the addition of Velcro to allow it to be removed easily. The butt stock cover is the real pain in the ass to install. If I made a new version of this I would certainly use Velcro for that as well.

Just for fun I am including a pic from the movie Daylight’s End showing a Sharpshooter in use.


Lost ArmaLite Part 2

The most obvious and interesting thing about serial number 021 AR18S is the hand guard. Lets have a closer look.

The hand guard is made of wood and is the only one I have seen like this. What wasn’t apparent until these auction photos surfaced was that it is made of multiple pieces and different materials.

The upper hand guard is much taller than a traditional AR18 part almost making up the entirety of the hand guard itself. This setup does not use a metal retainer like other 18S models do. No picture are shown of the top but I am going to guess there are vent holes and ribs just like the standard pieces.

The left side shows some damage. The right side has a crack that might turn into a break like this.

The front of the hand guard was the most interesting to me. It looks like a different material was used, possibly fiber board. Hopefully something that can withstand the heat. This piece appears to be pinned and glued to the main hand guard and is retained by a protrusion on the front sight base. we will explore the FSB in another article.

What I can’t be sure about is if this piece is slotted so the hand guard can be removed in a normal fashion or if the front sight base must be removed first and the hand guard slid off the front.

The lower piece looks to be made of yet a different type of material. I’m guessing Micarta.

It is retained at the rear my the lug on the trunion but I can not for the life of me figure out how it is attached at the front. Looking closely at the first picture in this article you can make out ribs cut along the bottom. I first thought it might be held on with a screw into the FSB but I don’t find one.

I welcome any comments about things you see that I have missed.

And if anyone wants to buy this gun and let me inspect and document it for posterity just head over and throw in a bid. I’m staying out of this one.

Morphy Auctions


A “Lost Armalite” Resurfaces

I just received an email from a good friend alerting me to a shorty AR-18 that is up for auction but to fully appreciate it we need to check out an article in Small Arms Review titled “The Lost Armalites”

A5689 sold last year Click Here For Details

The Subject of this post is serial number 021.

Check it out Here

I will do a deep analysis of this gun in a follow up article. Stay tuned and subscribe!


AR-180 Police Carbine Part 2

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 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.

ar180_commando ar180_commandobarrel ar180_commandobarrelmarkings ar180_commandodisassembled ar180_commandodisassembleda ar180_commandoejectionport ar180_commandogaspiston ar180_commandogaspistonspring ar180_commandomarkings

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.


Early & Late Armalite AR180B

I was finally able to gets some pictures of examples of the early and late Armalite AR180B.

The most obvious difference is the barrel and this was the only difference I was aware of.

The early 180B is headspaced by turning the barrel in and using a lock nut to secure it in place.


The late barrel has a shoulder machined into the barrel and this shoulder is machined until the headspace is correct when the barrel is tightened against the extension.


What I didn’t expect to see was a difference in the lowers.

The early 180B has an aluminum shell molded into the polymer lower that surrounds the front of the fire control box.


The late 180B has side walls and a small part in the front.


I had seen only one early rifle prior to this at His review done in 2002 when these guns first entered the market has lots of awesome pics that I was able to compare to my early gun. His was serial 200830, a very early gun. Production started at 200000.

One other difference was noticed on my rifle but I dismissed it as the wrong part installed on my gun. The rear sight aperture spring. Mine looked too narrow and looked like it was from a different gun. Then while writing this very article I noticed  the same leaf spring on the one at GunBlast.


Not like the ones on my later guns at all.

EDIT to add a picture showing the sight leaf springs.


Early on the bottom, late on top. Early is bright blue and hangs way over the tabs.

One other thing was noted but will require further investigation. The barrel profile under the front sight base is different. When I get time I will pull the sight bases on my guns and get pics.

Finally the very latest AR180B’s came with threaded barrels and a flash hider. I do not yet have one of these. did another review in 2009 with one of these late guns. You can check it out for yourself here.

My earliest rifle is serial 201383 and the next oldest is 202916 so we know the change happened between these two.

I would love for for my readers with AR180B rifles to take a look at your guns and let me know what features you have. If I can put serial numbers into a spreadsheet I should be able to lock down a what point this transition was made. Shoot me an email at so you don’t have to give out your numbers on the internet.

I would like to know if you have early or late features of each of the features noted in this article.

Early or Late Barrel

Early or Late Fire Control Box

Early or Late Rear Sight Leaf Spring

Factory Threaded Barrel