AR-180 Derivative: Australian Automatic Arms

Many weapons can trace their lineage back to the AR-180. Some of this is somewhat convoluted and hard to follow. Such is not the case with the Australian Automatic Arms series of guns.

The story starts with Charles St. George and Leader Dynamics. In the late 70’s St. George along with his partners, started Leader Dynamics and manufactured among others, the T2 MkV.


This gun bears a striking resemblance to the AR-180 both inside and out. Charles St. George even says he was largely influenced by the AR-180 in this interview from Ian at Forgotten Weapons.

The company was dissolved and the rights to to produce these guns was sold to Australian Automatic Arms in Tasmania. Some minor modifications were made and production commenced.

Unfortunately, the timing could not have been worse as the Assault Weapons Ban stopped importation in 1993. It has been reported that the Australian government shut down and closed the plant shortly after that.

Only about 700 of these particular SAP pistols were ever let into the country.

This pistol in particular happened to call out from me from a table at my local gun show a few weeks back. She came home with me.






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One improvement I particularly like it that the self contained bolt carrier/guide rod assembly. I makes field striping that much easier and you can’t loose any springs!

One interesting thing about this design that is not readily apparent, the gas system is offset to the right to make room for the charging handle. You can clearly see this in the picture of the bolt carrier group.

I will be bringing you more information on this gun and how it compares to our beloved AR-180 soon. For now,enjoy the pics.

Subscriber Pictures #5

These picture come from Shane and I have to publicly apologize for not getting them posted earlier.

Besides the fact that he has an excellent Costa Mesa gun, he has an awesome case to put it and his accessories in.

If anyone has seen a case like this before and can shed some light on its origins, Shane as well as the rest of us, would like to know.

Please leave comments with any info you might have and if my spam blocker catches yours and you don’t see it post, hit me up on the contact form and I will get it handled.















Subscriber Pictures #4

These come from a self professed AR-180 Fanatic, John.

With 14 rifles I would say his diagnosis might be accurate, at the very least, he has a severe case of RBRD.

That’s Retro Black Rifle Disease for those who are unfamiliar with the acronym. A disease that I too, suffer from.

Here is just a sampling of some of his collection from the last time he pulled them out of the safe.

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I especially like his early Howa. I hope to have one of those myself someday.

He likes to shoot his ,which is what they were made for, and reports great success with steel case ammo.

He also has a surplus of parts, accessories, and guns for sale so send me a message via the contact form if you are looking for anything and I will put you in contact with him.

Thanks again for all the e-mails and suggestions. Keep them coming and don’t forget to subscribe and comment.

AR-180B Bolt Carrier Groups For Sale

I have recently come across a very limited supply of complete AR-180B Bolt Carrier Groups and I have decided to offer them to my readers first before putting them up on Gunbroker. As many of you know these are impossible to find new anymore with the bolts being the hardest part to source. I have seen the bolts themselves go from $100 stripped to $135 complete.

These can also be used in original guns with a few modifications and the bolts are a direct drop in replacement.

Some are new and show no signs of being in a gun and the others don’t show much wear at all. You will not be disappointed with any that you receive but it is first come first served.

$225 each, shipped and insured in the CONUS. AK and HI extra. Use the contact form to reach me and we can discus payment options.


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Most worn of the lot

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AR-16 : Father of the AR-18

Some of you may not know but the AR-18 was not the first stamped steel rifle that Armalite made, that distinction goes to the AR-16.

This gun was also the last gun designed by Eugene Stoner before he left Armalite. That’s right, he was not one of the designers of the AR-18 as many have maintained.

First a little background.

Armalite never wanted to be in the business of building weapons but rather to design them and license the manufacturing to someone else. After selling the patents for the AR-10 and AR-15 outright to Colt’s, they quickly determined that they needed another design to license but it could not use the direct impingement system that they no longer held the rights to. They also decided to design a weapon that could be built on machines that required less skilled labor and fewer machining operations.

This lead to the AR-16 with only the bolt and trunion requiring complex and skilled machining operations.

Only three guns were reportedly built and only two known today. Both in the possession of Knights Armament.

Thanks to my good friend Chuck over at ,who actually took these photographs,  we can show you an up close look at these fine weapons.

I think it is easy to see the family resemblance to the AR-18.

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