I’ve received some emails lately about roll pin availability for the original AR-180’s. I decided to take a deep dive into the subject and I am happy to report that we should be able to source our roll pins by using or modifying AR15 roll pins.
Lets start with the largest roll pin on the AR180, the magazine catch pivot. It is .094″ in diameter and .562″ long. You should be able to make use of an AR15 trigger guard roll pin. It is .093x.625. Most of them are super tight in a trigger guard so I don’t see any reason they wouldn’t work. They would just need to be cut down.
Next we have the ejector retaining pin. It is exactly the same as what is used in an AR15 bolt. They both measure .062x.437. By the way, all the ejector and extractor parts from an AR15 bolt can be used in your AR180 bolt.
Two of the same pins are used in the bolt catch and the bulkhead plungers for the butt stock. They measure .062x.312. The closest thing from an AR15 is an A2 windage knob roll pin. It measures .062x.375. Take a little off the top and you will be good to go.
Finally the guide rod retaining plunger and the dust cover use a .062x.250 roll pin. The exact roll pin is used in A1 rear sight drums.
These roll pins can also be ordered in the exact size needed but often you are buying them in bulk to get one or two. Repurposing AR15 roll pins might be a better way to go for some folks.
I’ve considered doing just that. Ordering all the sizes needed for the AR180 and selling them as a kit. Let me know in the comments below, would you buy one?
As of January 1, 2023 all Costa Mesa AR180’s are C&R eligible!
AR180 production in Costa Mesa CA took place from 1969 to 1972 but since production records no longer exist it was impossible to exactly date a particular gun by serial number. That is no longer the case as all of the 4018 rifles produced fall under the Curio & Relic classification.
A regulation implementing federal firearms laws, 27 CFR § 478.11, defines curio or relic (C&R) firearms as those which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons.
To be recognized as C&R items, firearms must fall within one of the following categories:
Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas of such firearms;
Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and
Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event.
Personally I think all of the original production AR180’s (Howa & Sterling) should be considered C&R, but I don’t make the rules. For those that don’t know all AR18’s are considered C&R. There is a separate list that you can download at the link above that lists them. The AR18’s were not yet 50 years old when they made it on the list. I’m not sure why they left out the 180’s.
Why does this matter? If you get yourself a C&R FFL license for $30 you can have a C&R weapon shipped right to your door.
My postal carrier delivered my AR18 right to my hot little hands. It was an awesome experience. Now we can trade our 180’s the same way!