Staying Busy

First I must apologize for not posting more often. Most of my day to day happenings end up on social media. If you are not following me on Instagram then you are missing a lot.

https://www.instagram.com/bigrix/

Lets back up a week or two to my T91 Pistol brace project.

It started with inspiration from Red_McCloud on the retro AR forums. He designed and printed a retro pistol brace and I needed something similar for my shorty T91 clone build.

Red_McCloud version top T91 version bottom

Mine makes use of the butt stock parts available from T91Tactical.com

These two pistol braces are not compatible in case you were wondering. The tube diameter and bottom lug on the T91 stuff is larger in dimensions.

Next I started work on prototyping a straight 180B style charging handle for the BRN-180.

Made a quick one out of aluminum to check dimensions and function. Works fine with one exception. Charging the weapon with a traditional grip when the dust cover is closed causes the dust cover to hit your hand and somewhat inhibits a full stroke. A change in hand position will be required to eliminate this.

Based off some of my 3D printed tools I use in the shop I designed these Field Strip Stands for use with any AR180, AR180B, or AR18. I am going to offer these through AR180Parts.com soon.

Finally I have been strugling to locate fire control parts for some folks so I decided to try something radical and see if I could adapt a drop-in AR15 trigger into an AR180.

I got it physically located so it hit the firing pin at the right angle and cocks correctly when the bolt carrier cycles. I have no idea if it will actually have enough power to fire a primer. Range testing to follow. Ranges are closed in AZ right now. If it does fire I have to figure out how to get the safety to work.

If this doesn’t pan out I will still be able to use parts of this design to work up a set of anti walk pins for the AR180.

Finally I was able to get to the range last week before they closed to shoot my AR18 for the first time.

Experimental Sterling AR180

Reader Robert pointed me towards an interesting gunbroker auction for an Experimental Sterling AR180 with a fixed stock.

Click here

It has an interesting combination of features in addition to the stock. Black paint and a non-welded bolt catch pivot boss, both early features. Welded dovetail scope mount like the later blued model.

I have no information on this model and I am asking if any of you do?

I would be actively trying to buy this except the Corona Virus has hit my work and I will be home for the next 4 weeks without pay. I will be selling off guns and ammo to supplement my savings until we come out the other side. I hope someone in the family gets it as it is an interesting model to add to anyone’s collection.

Previously Unknown Howa Barrel Marking

I was doing some maintenance on my Early Howa AR-180, one of the first 1000, and found a barrel marking that I have never seen documented before.

It was hiding under the operating rod return spring and I never noticed it till I had it removed. What does it stand for? Howa Precision Rifles? I don’t know for sure.

Do you have any thoughts?

If you want to know more about these early Howa AR-180’s check out these older articles of mine.

Proof! Howa AR-180’s Made in 1966

I first talked about this in and article in 2015 http://ar180s.com/the-first-1000-howa-ar-180s/

It was speculated that the Early Howa AR-180’s actually started life as AR-18’s that were first produced prior to 1967. They were blocked from export to the US and that forced Armalite to step up and make them in Costa Mesa. Later this initial order of 1000 rifles were converted to semi auto and then imported in the early 70’s.

I was contacted by Jonathan Ferguson who is the “Keeper of Firearms & Artillery” at the Royal Armouries Museum ,UK. He is researching a book on the evolution of the British Bullpup rifles. One of the early concept rifles used an AR-18 that was converted to a Bullpup.

The best pictures of this converted AR-18 are on the Armament Research site. http://armamentresearch.com/british-enfield-sa80-part-1-mock-ups/

From these photos I could tell it was a Howa but it had been scrubbed of markings. Jonathan was able to find a serial number on the flash hider and my earlier article led him to some interesting documents.

Assuming the flash hider had not been changed he found the the rifle had been acquired for testing in January of 1967. It was only later converted to a bullpup after testing had concluded. This is the first definitive PROOF that these guns existed before 1967! Very exciting news. This is the kind of primary source documentation that prompted me to start this site. It is critically important that these sources be found and the dots connected.

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Jonathan has given permission to post this info but he will be going into much more depth on the subject in his book. I will certainly keep you abreast of any updates I get as to it’s release date.

Reader Build: Cam Pin

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!