Prototype Australian Automatic Arms Part

I’m really loving the Fusion 360 to 3D printer prototyping. I can’t get enough.

Latest project? Australian Automatic Arms SAP pistol Brace mount.

Still changing some dimensions and printing another one. After I get everything dialed in I plan to print one with 100% infill and use it. I don’t see any reason it won’t work.

Of course the final version will be in black.

Update: Woot! It turned out great!


Latest Happenings at

I just wanted to touch base with y’all to let you know what has been happening. My new job has kicked into high gear and it has me out of town most weeks and that has the unfortunate side effect of keeping me away from the blog. I am home this week and hope to have an article of substance before I head back out on the road.

A couple weekends ago I found a reasonably priced Mill/Drill on craigslist. Unfortunately it was a 4 hour drive away. I rented a trailer and my wife and I went on an adventure to go pick it up. It had lead a relatively hard life as a drill for an off-road fabrication company and would need a little TLC. What can I say, I am a sucker for a project.

It is a Jet JMD-18 and it is the perfect size for my home shop. Being a round column it will require special consideration to order of operations to reduce the need for raising the head.IMG_0359 IMG_0360

Got it home and it took some doing to get it off the trailer without a cherry picker but we got ‘er done.

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I had originally intended to modify my drill press and use it for small milling jobs so I had purchased a cross slide vise from Harbor Freight but it just didn’t work out. I returned it and picked up a chain fall that allowed me to put this mill on the table.

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I pulled the spindle apart to get the number off the bearings and put in an order with McMaster Carr. That finished off my weekend as I had to pack and leave town the next morning.


Last weekend the bearings were installed and a run in procedure was initiated.

The head is back together and it runs much quieter.

Cleaning now starts on the table. It stayed locked in one place for years it would seem, so the ways are a little cruddy. A little bit of rust needs to be cleaned off the surface.

Chuck over at the GunLab  keeps cranking out the AR-180B parts and I am hopeful that I will have some kits in my hands soon. Several have emailed me stating their interest and I will be starting up a waiting list. Email me through the contact form and I will put your name on it.





I am also juggling several gun projects myself. I am now on the fence about the 458 SOCOM AR-180B, it may turn into a mid length gas carbine in 5.56. I already have the barrel so it will be cheap but not nearly as cool. I have a Sten MkIII kit that I want to work on after I get the mill up and running. I also want to try my hand an an 80% lower. Not sure which way to go with a buttstock for the AAA SAP. Folder, original, or mill one out of Delrin?

On top of that I have to prepare for a new Advanced Electrical class I am teaching next week and attend a teaching workshop this week.

Brain Overload.



What’s New at

Things have been busy around here and I think it will only get busier. Just the way I like it.

My new job has me out of town during the week but I love to travel and weekends with the family can’t be beat.

Next stop the San Francisco bay area then on to Oklahoma City and Amarillo TX.

The parts lot that I purchased is leading to a potential new project. (Don’t they always)

Thinking about building an AR-180B in .458 SOCOM. Why not, right.

I’m thinking a disapator with carbine length gas and full length handguards in a 16″ barrel.

Mods may have to be done to one of the guide rods and ejection port as the clearance may not be enough to clear the larger case.

Tony Rumore turned down a case head to fit the bolt and snapped this pic to show how little clearance there is.



I have a stripped Bravo upper and bolt carrier group, front sight bases and all the piston parts. Everything to build an upper but the barrel but how boreing would it be to build a stock one. First thought was .300 Blackout but then it struck me. Go Big or go home.


Maybe I can fit the 180C gas block under the hand guards and use a stripped 180B front sight base at the end of the barrel.



I’m going to be moving ahead with this project as funds and time allow. (As I get back to work I gain more of one and less of the other)


By the way I still have a few complete bolt carrier groups available for sale from the parts lot. Pick one up for your next project or as a spare. I don’t have to tell you how hard the bolts are getting to find.


Made up a new flash hider from an original print that I was given access to. (Sorry it’s not anything I can share or publish at this time)

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You can see how it differs from the one that I reverse engineered from a picture. I do believe, however that the one I used as an example was not built to the same specs as the one that later made it into production

.AR180S Flash Hider

First AR-18 Carbine

The new to me AAA SAP is begging to be made into an SBR and I am trying to find an original stock.

The rear of the reciever was cut off when it was made as a pistol so some type of adapter would have to be made.

I am also considering the left over Vulcan V18 stock as shown in the teaser pics from my last post.



I still have to get it to the range to test fire it before I even consider sending off for a stamp on this one.

As always I am watching my local craigslist to see if I can find a bigger lathe and possibly a small milling machine.

I am also looking for someone with a Leader T2 MkV that is in southern AZ so I can take some side by side pics and show the differences that were made when AAA took over production.

Thanks for the feedback on the new mail system. It seems to have worked other that the fact that I sent out basically a blank message.

I hope the email you get for this one will be much improved.



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.