Tax Stamp, Range Time, & The Jesus Clip

My Tax Stamp was approved and I couldn’t wait to assemble my AR180S and get it to the range.






I started with one round in the mag and it fired and the bolt locked back. Went for two and that went well. Five rounds, ten rounds, mag dump. All went flawlessly. I started sighting it in and it ran great until it didn’t. Trigger wouldn’t budge. I looked down and saw this.


I knew right away what happened. The Jesus Clip. Popped the top and of course it was gone. Hence the name, “Jesus where did that clip go” Also known as the F*ck Clip.

I have spares but didn’t bring them to the range. I finished sighting it in on my other SBR lower and it was smooth sailing.

Some of you may have experienced this same problem and didn’t know what the cause was. I’ve even seen lowers that someone took a center punch and peened around the hole in a fruitless attempt to fix the problem.



The reason the pins can walk out is because of a very small clip, that is almost impossible to see when installed, breaks or falls out. I really can’t even get a picture of the clip installed but one is in the middle of the hammer and the other is to the right side of the disconnector.


The flat part of the spring protrudes into the hole in the hammer or trigger and locks onto the groove in the pin. That is until something goes wrong. This little “Clip” can put your gun out of commission.

Rather than replace mine I elected to do what Sterling did near the end of production. Replace the pins with ones that use an external “E-Clip”.



These came with a bunch of Sterling parts I bought and I have seen them on several late model Blue Sterlings. I am pretty sure they are factory. I think I might work on some pins either like these of of the non-rotational variety for those who want to shoot their guns a lot.

The 180B shorty that I fixed in my last article ran like a raped ape but brought to light a glaring problem with my 180S clone, the trigger on the original guns SUCK. Of course I’m comparing apples to spaghetti what with my drop in POF trigger on my 180B and the stock trigger on my 180S. I still need to figure out something. I can’t imagine it was any lighter than 10-12 lbs and feels like a mile of bad road before it breaks.

I wonder if I can adapt a drop in AR15 trigger somehow?

The more I shoot these guns the more I see the lack of improvements that would have happened had the AR18 been approved for military service. I guess I will have to make said improvements myself.

Speaking of trigger and hammer pins I have a small supply of original AR180B pins for spares or use in your Nodak NDS-18S lower receivers. I have written several articles on the options we have for these and I am happy to announce that I can bring y’all the real thing.

Send me an email to if you are needing a pair. $20 a pair shipped in the CONUS.