Rumors of new AR-180B variants?


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MatthewVanitas
January 25, 2004, 08:19 PM
Anybody got any good gouge as to Armalite's new variants on the AR-18 system? I've heard people referring to "new variants", but haven't a clue as to what those might be. But SHOT Show is coming...

Will it just be special features combined into a "stock" offering? Better optics base, barrel, etc?

The folks who have them seem to think that the barrel is a great length, so I wouldn't imagine they'd offer a carbine. It's still too early for them to plan to offer folding stocks or flash suppressors (though I hope they have contigency plans).

If anyone has any inside info or fanciful speculation, it'd be good to hear.

Provided I don't start hearing terrible things about them between now and Summer 2005, when my service is up and I leave CA, the AR-180 is topping my To Buy list. Have not yet gotten a chance to shoot one (CA), but have handled in WA gunshops. Love the ergonomics, and find the mechanical differences from the AR-15 to be quite attractive. I only hope that it lives up to the nickname some THR members use for it: "the American AK". -MV

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Nightcrawler
January 25, 2004, 08:38 PM
The AR-180B has interchangable upper receivers, just like the M16 family, so making different uppers with different options shouldn't be a problem at all.

The 180B handles nicely. The 20" barrel is perfect, in my opinion, as it's not unnecessarily thick like the barrels of postban AR15 clones are.

Cortland
January 25, 2004, 09:12 PM
The two AR-180B features I always hear people request are 1) chrome barrel and 2) accessory rail and/or flat top. It might also be nice to have some steel reinforcement near the front pin that connects the upper and lower.

An AR-160B (i.e., AR-180B in .308) would also be neat.

I've got an AR-180B and your optics options are limited. Armalite's scope mount, while pretty neat (it's quickly detachable and "see-through"), is expensive and limited (1" tubes only). Plus in order to get my compact 1.5-4X scope to fit I had to do a fair amount of filing to the rear sight guards. Oh well, all's well that ends well.

MatthewVanitas
January 25, 2004, 09:26 PM
The chrome-lined barrel would be a biggie.

I understand they offer (separately) a standard (Picatinny?) rail as well. If they include those two features, plus the improved trigger, into a AR-180B Deluxe, that'd pique my interest.

AR-160B? Way cool, but combines the limited markets of the AR-10 and AR-180B into an even smaller and more limited market.

Didn't Armalite also design some sort of flechette-firing shotgun? I seem to recall that some though was put into such a critter around the time that the .22 caliber centerfire change was being debated...

Cortland
January 25, 2004, 10:01 PM
I understand they offer (separately) a standard (Picatinny?) rail as well.

That's news to me. Do you have any links for this?

You can get an AR-180B with 2-stage trigger for $150 extra.

I don't think the AR-160B would present a narrower market -- the AR-10 market is narrow because it's pricy, and the AR-180B because there's a lot of other semi-auto .223s out there. If the AR-160B could be produced at near the price of the AR-180B, I think it would see tremendous success in the role of a low priced semi-auto .308.

I'm not up on the other Armalite projects. I know they made an all aluminum (including barrel) shotgun -- don't anything about flechettes, though.

MrAcheson
January 26, 2004, 11:37 AM
Dunno about the scope options. I'd really like to see one with a midlength handguard and 16" tube. I don't own a .223 semiauto yet, but thats the configuration I want in one. If Armalite starts making the AR-180b like that, I'll buy theirs first. Otherwise I'll go with a AR-15 in that configuration.

Jim K
January 26, 2004, 08:50 PM
As far as I know, the AR-180B IS a rumor. No one seems to have them or be able to get them.

Jim

Mannlicher
January 26, 2004, 09:08 PM
I have been shooting my AR180B for over a year now. I do not feel the need for optics, picatinny rails, folding stocks, barrel mounted flashlights or lasers, or any other 'gadgets'.
My AR180B shoots into two inches at 50 yards, and under 4 at 100. Standing, offhand, and after running. It fulfills the purpose for which I bought it. Reliable, robust, and accurate. I don't think it needs any embellishment.

Cortland
January 26, 2004, 09:10 PM
As far as I know, the AR-180B IS a rumor. No one seems to have them or be able to get them.

Not sure where you live, but I'm pretty sure Quantico Arms (http://www.quanticoarms.com) keeps them in stock (I drove there to get mine, but they do a lot of mailorder business as well).

jacketch
January 27, 2004, 05:39 PM
Reliable, robust, and accurate. I don't think it needs any embellishment.

Since I have only had mine for a few weeks I can't say much about robustness but mine seems reliable and accurate. I would generally agree about embellishments also. One change I do plan is to install a Weaver rail and holosight on the upper handguard.

jacketch
January 27, 2004, 05:45 PM
I bought mine at Quantico for a very good price.

355sigfan
January 27, 2004, 06:47 PM
I have been shooting my AR180B for over a year now. I do not feel the need for optics, picatinny rails, folding stocks, barrel mounted flashlights or lasers, or any other 'gadgets'.
END

Well if your just a plinker thats fine. If you own the rifle for serious work then a light is mandatory, Optics are a great help. As for the folding stock I can take or leave them.
Pat

Nightcrawler
January 27, 2004, 07:01 PM
If you own the rifle for serious work then a light is mandatory,

Depends on your definition of serious.

Army and Marine infantry don't mount white lights on theirs. Heck, you're not even allowed to turn on a white light when you're in the field in a tactical environment. It's like sending up a nice flare to the enemy.

Granted, the poster probably isn't going to be going on night patrol with his rifle, but I'll bet it's just as unlikely that he'll ever be in a situation where he needs to clear a dark building.

And if it's really necessary, you can do a "field expedient" mount with 100mph tape. :D

jacketch
January 27, 2004, 07:02 PM
I find that most rifle mounted lights are far from useful. A head mounted light is much more versatile and no more attractive as a target. If you have to go to a sidearm the light doesn't disappear. It's great if you are willing to think outside the box.

Nightcrawler
January 27, 2004, 07:07 PM
You might be onto something there. Plus, with a head lighted mount you could illuminate things without sweeping them with your weapon, and the light would point whereever you're looking.

You could easily mount such a device on a helmet, too.

355sigfan
January 27, 2004, 07:12 PM
Depends on your definition of serious.

Army and Marine infantry don't mount white lights on theirs. Heck, you're not even allowed to turn on a white light when you're in the field in a tactical environment. It's like sending up a nice flare to the enemy.

END

Agreed however they have access to free nightvision equipment. White light is essential for identifiying your target. I have found weapon mounted lights to be essential in building clearing. Lights are a bullet magnet and your use of them needs to be cautious. I would not want a bullet magnet attached to my head. Weapon mounted lights on pistols is also a good idea. If I am in tac gear on a gun call out my department issue 21 is in a tac holster that accepts an M3 light. So the light does not disappear. If I am in patrol mode then the M3 is on my belt in a pouch. As a plain clothes investigator I use a Pelican light because I carry my Kimber. But I am waiting on the new Sig GSR.
Pat

jacketch
January 27, 2004, 07:19 PM
I have no plans to clear buildings and since I am not restricted by LEO training dogma I am fortunate enough to be able to use any equipment available.:D

bad_dad_brad
January 27, 2004, 07:30 PM
I got tired of waiting for an AR-180 from Armalite so I bought a Mini-14, then dissapointed with accuracy (very reliable though) I bought a AR-15 Bushmaster Shorty and have never looked back. Love my Bushy!

jacketch
January 27, 2004, 07:36 PM
One thing about the AR-180B is that the AR-15 mags may be used but sometimes need to be modified.

From the ArmaLite site:
TECHNICAL NOTE 58, Using AR-15® Magazines in the AR-180(R)


BACKGROUND: The early AR-180® was designed to use a special magazine similar, but not identical to the AR-15® magazine. This magazine has always been somewhat scarce, so AR-180® owners frequently modified AR-15® magazines for use in their AR-180®. Today, new magazines of capacity higher than 10 rounds are not legal for commercial sale, and this conversion tradition has continued. To assure our customers a good supply of magazines for the new AR-180B™, ArmaLite has designed that rifle to accept the more plentiful AR-15® magazine instead of the already-scare early AR-180® magazine. AR-15® magazines don’t require the full range of modifications required to work perfectly in the early AR-180®, but they sometimes still must be modified slightly to work in the new AR-180B™


FACTS: Proper small arms design includes manufacture of a magazine specifically designed for the firearm.


Use of the AR-15® magazine in the AR-180B™ rifle doesn’t come without tradeoffs. The AR-15® magazine was designed to work in the AR-15® rifle. The construction technique of the AR-180® (sheet steel and polymer) requires different tolerance buildups that aren’t matched perfectly by the AR-15® magazine. Further, ArmaLite has absolutely no control over the dimensioning and tolerancing of those magazines as produced by their many official and unofficial producers. This means that magazines must sometimes be modified to work in the AR-180B™ perfectly. Modifications sometimes required include:

Opening the bolt catch slot in the back of the magazine so that the AR-180b™ bolt catch can move without interference. This is especially important on polymer magazines.

Removing metal from the tops and insides of the magazine lips to prevent contact with the AR-180® bolt carrier. This contact can rob the rifle of energy during feeding or even stop the carrier in its tracks. Look for shiny contact marks on the magazine to see where to remove metal with a small file. Remove as little as possible: the feed lips are key surfaces.

SUMMARY: The AR-15® magazine has proven to be an economical and effective feeding device in the AR-180B™, and allows our customers to use existing hi-cap magazines in their new rifles. Modification of some magazines is required, but is easy to perform.


AR-180 is a Registered Trademark of ArmaLite, Inc.
AR-15 is a Registered Trademark of Colt’s Firearms
© 2003 ArmaLite Inc. All rights reserved.

355sigfan
January 27, 2004, 07:41 PM
Mine worked great with USGI 20 and 30 round mags. It would not take thermold mags. It was a good gun except it broke at the upper/lower reciever pivot point. Armalite fixed it though. I then sold it.
Pat

MrAcheson
January 27, 2004, 08:34 PM
I have to agree with some of the others. Most of the serious rifles I have seen in use by the military/LEOs have neither optics nor lights nor much other tactical add-ons. In fact most of the serious combatants I have ever heard from say that irons, bullets, and training are what you really need. But I'm not an expert by any means.

355sigfan
January 27, 2004, 09:04 PM
I have to agree with some of the others. Most of the serious rifles I have seen in use by the military/LEOs have neither optics nor lights nor much other tactical add-ons.
END

Where you looking. All the trainings I go to fellow leo's nearly always have lights and optics on their guns. Iron sights alone is getting more rare. Look at the troops in Iraq a lot have optics on their weapons. You will have to look long and hard to see a special forces member without optics.
Pat

jacketch
January 27, 2004, 09:42 PM
[ QUOTE]INSERT TEXT HERE[/QUOTE ]

355Sig:
Your posts would be much clearer if you would use the quote feature. Either the 'Quote' button and the copy/paste or typing the code info out as above would do. Scroll down to topic review to copy the quote text.

Just a suggestion and not meant as a flame.

TODD3465
January 28, 2004, 12:52 PM
Well it would be nice if the could build a one with a real metal lower reciever or at least a better grade of polymer.

But I think that's too much to expect from them.

Cortland
January 28, 2004, 06:45 PM
Well it would be nice if the could build a one with a real metal lower reciever or at least a better grade of polymer.
Now, in fairness, I don't think anything is wrong with the polymer. There were some QC issues with some of the very first guns, but that's all been resolved.

The only people I know of who have had problems as a result of the polymer lowers are those who have, when disassembling, allowed the upper to fall forward hard and stress the pivot pin region in the polymer lower. This will result in breakage, so it's a simple matter of being careful and not letting it happen!

I like the looks of the polymer lower, and if, all other things being equal (which I believe they are) it makes the gun less expensive, that's how I want it! :D

I do understand that some people may worry about durability, but I think the move from sheet metal to polymer was a step up.

355sigfan
January 28, 2004, 07:46 PM
I do understand that some people may worry about durability, but I think the move from sheet metal to polymer was a step up.
END

If they used a quality polimer I would agree. But when I had the rifle break as I was shooting it not taking it down. It makes me wonder. Heck even the fact that a $500 rifle could be broken by not taking great care in disassemply causes some concern. They should have reinforced this area with metal. Armalite has had a lot of quality control issues lately. Their fourm on AR15.com is more of a how do i get my AR10 running right trouble shooting fourm than anything else. I had a trigger problem. Others I know had feeding issues. To be fair the problems were fixed in their cases after a trip or two to Armalite. Mine was fixed after two trips I gave up on them and bought a quality trigger from KAC. A buyer has the right to expect not to be the company's beta testers on a $2000+ rifle or even on a $500 rifle.

Pat

Mannlicher
January 28, 2004, 09:12 PM
.357Sig replys:Well if your just a plinker thats fine. If you own the rifle for serious work then a light is mandatory, Optics are a great help. As for the folding stock I can take or leave them.
Pat


While I see you call yourself a fire arms instructor, I think that statement is just a tad arrogant. You dont know what my level of skill is, or my experience. Teach school to the bozos that pay ya, and don't be so quick to judge those you don't know.
sam

355sigfan
January 29, 2004, 05:01 AM
While I see you call yourself a fire arms instructor, I think that statement is just a tad arrogant. You dont know what my level of skill is, or my experience. Teach school to the bozos that pay ya, and don't be so quick to judge those you don't know.
sam
END

With any respect I can muster after that reply. No matter what your level of skill or experience is my statement is still true. I never did judge you. But you apparently judged me and those that pay me.
Pat

jacketch
January 29, 2004, 05:55 AM
While I see you call yourself a fire arms instructor, I think that statement is just a tad arrogant. You dont know what my level of skill is, or my experience. Teach school to the bozos that pay ya, and don't be so quick to judge those you don't know.


355sigfan Unless you can explain what encompasses a "rifle for serious work" and how you know someone's use or their weapon doesn't qualify, I would have to agree with the above.

According to some peoples dogma, if you don't have nukes, everythings just plinking:rolleyes:

355sigfan
January 29, 2004, 03:27 PM
Well I figured we were all intelligent people. Serious work would mean something involving defending yourself or others lives. Ie home defense or other self defense situations where you can have a long gun available. In these situations we know based on crime statistics that 83% of criminal attacks are at night in the dark. As homeowners and people we need to identify our target as a threat before we shoot. Hence a light is mandatory. A weapon mounted light is far easier to use with a longgun than a handheld unit. Hence why its essential. Quality optics make it easier to shoot fast and accurately in all light conditions. Hence their strong recomendation. A lot of old timers poo poo things they don't understand. A lot of young shooters buy all the gadgets they can. The best approach is in the middle. Some items are almost essential.
Pat

Andrew Wyatt
January 29, 2004, 04:22 PM
Well if your just a plinker thats fine. If you own the rifle for serious work then a light is mandatory, Optics are a great help. ^---- this is truth.

jacketch
January 29, 2004, 07:14 PM
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Anything else is not enough:D

Chindo18Z
January 29, 2004, 07:40 PM
Reference "Serious Use": As recently as just 3-4 years ago, optics were not general issue to the conventional 11B/11H community. There has since been a revolution in military affairs when it comes to riflemen.

As with all good ideas and desireable equipment, the dominant factors in fielding plans are money and priority. Smart units w/ money get theirs first (i.e., USSOCOM units), then other units slated to rotate to the nearest live-fire event, and finally everyone else.

ALMOST EVERYONE in U.S. combat arms is going to widgets. They work. We fight at night. Whether Red Dot, IR Lasers, White Tac Lights, Thermals, or GEN III NODs. When you see troops without, you are looking at units waiting for their turn at the procurement nipple...

The original F-86 was a gun-equipped fighter. The later versions had the guns AND the radar AND the air-to-air missiles. Don't limit yourself...

The AR-180B (like all modern combat rifles) needs a built in rail on top of the receiver. Armalite...Are you listening?

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