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.
Work progresses sporadically since I am mostly only able to work on this during the weekends. I formed a thicker front hand guard retainer and tried my hand at silver soldering for the first time. Got a little carried away with the amount of solder but at least the centering sleeve is not gonna come loose.
A quick glass bead to clean it up and off to my tabletop park tank. (stainless bowl from goodwill on a hot plate)
I also modeled up a set of fixtures to hold the front sight base and receiver for drilling and reaming the taper pins. Didn’t quite get it perfect the first time so I adjusted the model and printed another one.
Cut down a set of hand guards and we are almost there. Looking the part now.
Need another flash hider so I better get that modeled up as well.
Having built 5 shorty uppers so far I can say it is getting easier. I’ve worked out the bugs but even now I discover new things. What did I learn this time? I learned that the curves of an original AR180 upper hand guard are different than the AR180B. This is the first time I have cut down an original upper hand guard and now it makes sense why the retainers I have milled out of aluminum do not match pictures I have compared them to.
I as well as many others have pondered what the AR-180 would have become if it had the same development as the AR-15.
I think I may have found the answer.
The Remington/Bushmaster ACR Advanced Combat Rifle
Designed by MagPul and named the Masada the rights were sold to, and the civilian version is made by Bushmaster.
I snapped a few pics before I left town but it has many features that are directly decedent from the 180.
More pics to come and I hope to get them both to the range to compare them side by side.
Work progresses on the AR180S Pistol Grip and I am almost happy with the result but in between test prints I do other stuff to keep my mind busy.
How about a 9mm blowback version of the AR180? Sounds like fun! I think this could be an easier way to build a 180 since bolts and carriers are hard to source. I think this bolt could be made with less sophisticated machines and from less expensive steel.
The pistol that got me thinking about this some years back , the 9mm Australian Automatic Arms SAP 9mm.
What do y’all think? AR15 magwell adapter, Slightly modified. (Shown with my long neglected square tube prototype)
3D printed prototype bolt that uses an Uzi extractor and retaining pin.
Trunion design that has the barrel entering from the rear and utilizing a press fit. Although there would be room to fit a cross pin if needed.
What I am thinking it would look like. Maybe a DOE style hang guard retainer and front sight?
Got a 9mm barrel blank from Green Mountain and a chamber reamer from MidwayUSA.
Still have some work to do on the bolt design as I discovered it would not lock the hammer onto the disconnector. I really love being able to print some stuff and test fit it before making stuff out of metal.
Project 2? Selling some stuff to finance all these projects.
I have a very limited supply of Sterling 20 round steel mags for sale. $120 each shipped with tracking. PayPal gladly excepted if you kick in a bit to cover the fees.
Other spare parts as well, just ask for my price list.
Shoot me an email through the contact form if you are interested.
When I was first contacted by reader Mike I didn’t think a cam pin for a 180 could be fashioned from an AR15 part. I was wrong. Here is what Mike did to build his own “Fully Operational Cam Pin”. (Thinly veiled Star Wars reference)
Like any good home builder he took some measurements and made a drawing.
AR-180 Bolt Cam Pin
Then commenced to cutting metal. Anything from hand tools to machine tools would certainly work. Dealers choice.
Great work Mike!