Very Early Costa Mesa AR-18

Friend of the site Andrew Huber had the opportunity to look over more than a few weapons at the West Point museum and one of them is a very early example of the AR-18. Serial number 057.

Lets look over a few of his pictures and compare those to later production examples.

The most notable feature from this angle is actually what it is missing, the reinforcement around the front of the mag-well. While not as strong I think it has a sleeker look to it. Next would be the roll marks. They certainly made a few changes when they went into production. Unlike the first prototype that is shown in early literature this example uses the traditional folding stock retention stud. Like the first prototype this one does not have a dovetail scope mount on the upper receiver.

It also features an inspection mark on the upper that I have never seen before.

Do you see any other interesting details that I missed?

Make sure you respond, share and subscribe. I’ll dig into the other side of the receiver in the next article so stay tuned. Awesome stuff and I can’t thank Andrew enough for doing the hard work gathering these pictures?

4 Replies to “Very Early Costa Mesa AR-18”

  1. DAMN RICK,, EVERY TIME YOU DO ONE OF THESE “INFO” ARTICLES,, I RUN, GO LOOK AT MY
    2 ONLY LONELY 180s TO SEE IF I HAVE ANYTHING “COOL”. JUST A STERLING AND A NDS.. I DO HAVE STERLING MAGS THO…………

  2. That marking is identical to the AR18 018 upper I have other than mine does not have the circled
    ACW1 . Mine apparently did not have a scope wedge originally but had it added later, probably at Armalite. It had the sear mount ears and sear link rivet removed at some time but I restored them and it shoots regularly to this day. Shot it today!
    Pete

  3. I’d add that I do not think the markings are not actually rollmarks.
    I have a AR18 upper rec. that has messed up markings that look just like the prior mentioned 018 marks obviously done on a engraving machine. A reject part no doubt.
    Pete

    1. I agree. They look like engraving to me. Probably from a panto-graph style tool. That would have been the technology of the day. Should be easy to duplicate with laser engraving.

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