A Visit to ArmaLite; Costa Mesa


Not exactly a visit to ArmaLite but a visit to the location of the Costa Mesa location.

I was working in Torrance CA last week so I took a little jaunt south to see for myself where my gun was made.

As some of you may have seen before the building where they set up shop is now a body shop and a busy one at that.

I didn’t want to bother them so I just took some pics and did not go inside.




A New One Joins the Heard: ArmaLite AR-7

Just picked this little ArmaLite AR-7 up yesterday and like everything I buy, I have to immediately learn everything about it.

Just like when I got my first AR-180, I find there is not much info to be had. That’s exactly what led me to start this sight. To put all the info in one place.

I took a few pictures and I am reaching out to you, my readers to help me fill in the blanks. I’m trying to find out when it was made and there is no database of serial numbers like others may have. The closest I have been able to come is the parts list indicates that California residents have to pay 4% sales tax. A little research reveals that only was true from 1962 to 1967. How cool would it be if this thing was made in my birth year, 1965.

What I know so far;

ArmaLite made these from 1959 to 1973.

The first models had brown stocks and butt pads.

The earliest models had serial numbers that were covered up when the stock was installed.

The second versions had swirled, multi colored stocks like mine.

I’m not sure if ArmaLite made the stocks in black before selling to Charter Arms in 1973.

Some stuff I ran across on the net (unverified);

Brown stock models started with serial 50,000

Swirled stock models started with serial 70,000

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I don’t see any reason that we can’t put together our own database of serial numbers with the features they include.

I would want to include things such as serial number and location, stock type, roll mark on receiver and the roll mark on the barrel.

If you have any information to contribute, I would appreciate it as well as the rest of my readership.

I found this awesome early model in a forum post here


A Visit to the GunLab – AR-180 Parts

This past Saturday I  had the opportunity to visit Chuck at GunLab.net and it was an awesome and overwhelming experience. I wished I had taken the time to take more pictures but I think I was a little in shock at all the cool guns, parts, and equipment. By far the best part of the trip was the company, Chuck and Shirley are two of the nicest folks you could ever have the pleasure of meeting.

We chatted at length about his work on the AR-180 parts he is building. The lower parts that he is making to fit your AR-180B and Nodak NDS-18S lowers were at heat treating and should be back this week. Parkerization and final inspection along with one final operation on the springs will finish this phase. They should be ready to ship very soon.

Next up he is working on uppers. We are hoping to have them available in several configurations from flats to complete uppers with trunnions and rails. He sent me some pictures of his solid model of the stamping die he is building.

AR180 Complete Die1 AR180 Complete Die2 AR180 Complete Die3

Trunnions have also been modeled and those should be coming shortly after the upper sheet metal.



I also gave him one of my original prototype AR-180C railed front sight bases and I am hoping that we can get a few of those made.


The AR-180C flat top might become a reality after all!


Finally yours truly with the only picture from my visit, holding an MP-44 for the very first time. I find it astonishing that they were able to crank these out in the numbers they did, with allied bombs dropping all around them, and that the complexity of manufacture I see in this gun was actually a time saver compared to older weapons.



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