I was contacted by a reader about doing a shorty conversion on his AR180B and he mentioned that he was in possession of an Original Sterling AR180S. Unfortunately the upper was in pieces. Turns out he had given the Sterling and the AR180B to another gunsmith to do the conversion on the B. Some time later, after finding out the conversion had not been started, he took back his stuff and wasn’t sure how to put it back together.
It also happens that since the 80’s this Sterling has been living less than 5 miles from my house! What are the odds?
So he brought all the stuff over and we put it back together for him. I also got a good look at some of the unique features of this awesome SBR.
The hardest part of the conversion process for me was always the front hand guard retainer. Nice to get a look at an original up close.
Original proof marks, in case anyone had any doubts.
The hand guards have to be hand fit to the retainer.
The thing that absolutely blew me away was the hand guards. Unique perforated heat shields and something else I have never seen before, extra vents cut into the lower hand guards. If you have ever shot a shorty AR180 then you know how hot the hand guards get. What an elegant solution Sterling came up with.
By the way we have seen this gun before on this very blog. I just didn’t know who owned it. Turns out these were from a long ago add on gunbroker when the current owner was flirting with the idea of selling it.
Now I just need to talk him into selling it to me!