I’ve gotten quite a few folks emailing me to ask how to find parts on

They still have some AR-180B parts and many are on clearance. There won’t be any more once these are gone.

The best advice I can give you is to look in your manual and find the part number for the part you want and search for that. The break down can be found on pages 8 – 12.


Your second option is to do a search for 180B. That brings up many parts but will leave you somewhat lacking when you consider that some parts used on these guns are actually AR15 parts.

Armalite re-configured their site a few months back and there are no longer direct links on the homepage to the 180B parts. They are still there if you know how to search.

AR180B Parts & Accessories

Now some other interesting information can be gathered from looking at the manual, the part numbers are in three different formats. This gives us a clue as to their origin.

Parts with a four digit number are the same as Original AR-180 Parts. They may or may not have been left over stock but they are a direct replacement.

2641 Operating Rod

Parts with an eight digit number are 180B only parts.

1882000 Front Sight Base

Finally parts with six digits and are prefaced with letters are AR15 parts that were used on the 180B.

EU0190 Front Sling Swivel

So there you go. Get them while they last, or at least before I buy them all.



New E-Mail Address and a Cool Tool on GunLab

In addition to coughing up the cash to renew my domain and my wordpress subscription, I also added a new email address.

You should all be getting your correspondence from me there (if I did it right).

Feel free to drop me a line there if you want to share your AR-180 information and if you have any questions.

If you are not already a subscriber, please drop your email in the box on the right and you should get added to my list.

Chuck at has just put up an article about a cool fixture used to machine the cam slot in the bolt carriers of early AR-18’s.

Go give him a read. I admire the skill of the tool and die makers that built these guns. True masters and a skill that this country is loosing.


Thanks again to all those who have purchased the AR180 Lower Parts Kits. The small profit from the sale of these helps keep this site running.

AR-180 Lower Parts: Now Shipping

The first batch of parts are ready to go.

I’ve sent emails to all those who wanted to be put on the pre-buy list.

If you didn’t receive one, let me know.

Hit me up through the contact page and I have a few more kits in this batch that are ready to ship.

$125 shipped per kit in the CONUS, AK and HI slightly higher.




AR-180B Shorty Project Pt. VIII: The New AR-180S

A quick update on the AR-180B Shorty Project or what I like to call it, the New AR-180S.

I had some time to attend a therapy session in my shop this past weekend and I have to say it was successful.

I have been bothered by the hand guards on this gun from the very beginning and I finally decided to do something about it.

I have tried and failed to make a retainer for the hand guards out of sheet steel like the originals. I’m good with my hands but I am no body man.

I have long thought about machining a retainer from aluminum but a figured in could only be done with CNC, which I don’t have.

I decided that I would throw caution to the wind and try to mill it manually on my mill. Whats the worst that could happen?

For reference, this is the method I am trying to emulate.


My original, and always temporary method, was to take the end of the cut off piece and glue it inside the remaining piece. It has already broken once and was coming loose again.

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I started with a piece of 6061 and laid out the shape a needed.


I squared up the sides then drilled out my holes and checked to see if I had my dimensions correct.


I then moved my end mill down to the depth I wanted and followed my layout lines using both knobs at the same time. This is where the therapy came in. It took a lot of concentration but in the end I think I did a pretty good job, if I don’t say so myself.


I made sure it actually fit the hand guards.



I then flipped it over and shaved it down to .035″, the same thickness as the steel retainer.



Then I trimmed up the sides on my porta-band.

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And finished up with some flap disc and file work.


A final test fit.



Since I have no way to anodize I shot it with my favorite substitute, Rust-Oleum Dark Grey Primer.


And here she is an all her glory the New AR-180S!



I can’t tell you how much better the hand guards feel. They have always moved a little and never felt secure.

Now they are rock solid.

Fingers crossed that I can get some time this weekend to go shooting. I hasn’t had a round through it since it was a pistol.




AR-180B Shorty Project Part VII

It’s been far too long since I updated y’all on the project that launched about the same time as this blog, The AR-180B Shorty Project.

I was not entirely happy with the VZ-58 stock and although I want a folding stock, I could not resist attaching an original AR-180B butt stock to see how it looked and handled.

I could not be happier. I’m hoping to get it to the range now that it has cooled off and put it through it’s paces.

As shown, with an empty magazine, it is weighing in at about 6.5 lbs.

Shown with the GunLab lower completion kit, which should be ready to ship soon.

Make sure you hit me up and get your name on the list to save your spot. Just use the Contact form at the top of the page.

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I need to make a hand guard cap and park the flash hider (it is painted currently) and I will call this one done.

Lessons learned by taking on this project?

I actually found an original AR-18S lower hand guard and discovered that my reverse engineered from pictures attempt was off by about 3/8″.

The placement of the front sight block is further back than it should have been and I can’t replace these hand guards with 180’s because of where the stiffening ribs are.

I guess I will just have to build another one!

Much thanks to those who helped make this project possible.


NoDak Spud

Retro Arms Works

And a special mention to Ian at Forgotten Weapons for the inspiration to write about these cool weapons. I ran into Ian and Karl at the last gun show and I have to say, they are a couple of really nice and knowledgeable guys. I hope to get this particular gun closer to completion and let them shoot it. If anyone can find it’s flaws, they can.