The Institute of Military Technology has posted an awesome video about Eugene Stoner. I hope that fans of the AR-180 will love it as much as I do.
What’s been happening at AR180S.com?
Just busy as all get out.
Shipped out the first batch of AR180 Lower Parts Kits. I hope that leads to more AR-180 enthusiasm as more NoDak lowers get sold and more Stormwerkz adapters get sold, and finally uppers begin to come out of the GunLab. I’m sure that there will be a time soon that you will be able to build your own AR-180 from scratch.
Chuck has a few extra Bolt Hold Opens and I will be posting those up for sale individually after I get them in my hands.
Work has me traveling all over since one of our trainers left to teach at a community college and I am filling in for him in the Pacific Northwest. Hopefully we will get a new person to take over that territory and I can stay closer to home.
I am looking to build a second shorty upper and I hope to bring you details as the build continues.
I have a 180B stripped upper and found an HBAR AR15 barrel as a starting point. This will allow me to turn the profile to exactly what I want and not have to sleeve the barrel under the gas block like my first one. I will also be extending the hand guards a fraction of an inch to match the original AR-18S lower hand guard that I have. This will become the standard length an will allow me to design an endcap and they won’t have to be custom made for each gun.
You can see in this picture how the hand guard is long enough to retain the reinforcing rib.
I am also toying with the idea on an even shorter version with hand guards cut off at the first rib.
This matches the description of the AR-18K but I have never seen a picture of said weapon.
If anyone has any info about these short versions, please drop me a line. I would love to chat about it.
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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.
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.
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.
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 GunLab.net ,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.