Costa Mesa News!

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.

How do we know? Lets go directly to the source,

A regulation implementing federal firearms laws, 27 CFR ยง 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:

  1. Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas of such firearms;
  2. 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
  3. 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.

My late Costa Mesa AR180 in it’s original box

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!

3 Replies to “Costa Mesa News!”

  1. Thanks for sending this information. AR-180’s are of special interest to me. I have acquired several rifles and various other items related to the rifles. This gives me one more reason to get my C&R license.

  2. First, (Glad to see a post) – but has it now been 50 years?
    Tongue in cheek as I am one of many planning our 50th HS reunion for July 23. Had a friend with a low # Costa Mesa years ago which he would never part with, but apparently he did.
    So how many years for my Sterling?
    It all doesn’t matter since I live in the “EMPIRE state, of new york” in which everything is illegal even when the US Supreme Court say it isn’t – holds a special session to Fuck with the US Constitution and restrict more rights.
    However, no cop in NY is going to even try to confiscate guns – against the moral character of law and most of their consciences.
    In NY a C&R still requires some firearms to ship through a regular FFL (Pistols, need to put them on your permit before you can receive them from the dealer.)

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