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Any Armalite ar-180 owners?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Orlando, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. Orlando

    Orlando Well-Known Member

    Just bought a Armalite ar180 today, wont be here until next week.
    Its a Sterling in very good condition, tight stock, shows very little wear. Has Armalite 2.75x20 scope

    Heres my questions:
    Anyone know which came first the 2.75x20 or the 3x20 scope?
    I know they are very hard to find but anyone know where I can find a original 20rd mag? I know ar15 mags can be modified but would like to have a original.
    Any idea of how to date them from the serial or what years they were made?
    Thanks guys
  2. COgunner

    COgunner Well-Known Member

    I have a Sterling with the 2.75x scope too. Love it - it's a great rifle. Sorry I don't have the answers to your questions, but there is an Armalite secion over on arfcom that may help you. Your best bet for an original mag is probably Gunbroker - but it ain't gonna be cheap. Someone is currently selling a 30 rd and a 40 rd together for an opening bid of $195! Good luck!
  3. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    No help, but congratulations on a great rifle. Don't tell the AR-15 nuts...but it is a superior rifle design. :neener:
  4. goldie

    goldie Well-Known Member

    i have a sterling, i bought it new in 1985 for 400.00.great gun. trigger is single stage & pretty heavy. the trigger pin on mine used to move out collapsing the trigger group,so i epoxied the pin to keep it from moving. otherwise a cool gun. there was a website somewhere that has all kinds of info on the ar180,how many were made by costa mesa,howa & sterling, & the serial number range,not sure where it is, i saw it a few years ago.if you want a more modern weaver type base you should try stormwerkz.com. i bought one through them a few years ago so i can mount anything i like on there.i have a 20 & 40 rd mag i got years ago with the gun.the 40 was made by sterling, & the 20 by armalite,i think but is not made all that well,but it works.funny how the latest guns are using a piston system that the ar180 has had for 40+ years...
  5. AmEngRifles

    AmEngRifles Well-Known Member

    The AR-180 is a sweet rifle. I have been collecting and shooting them for years. It is getting harder to collect information on them as they have been out of production for a while now. There are bits and pieces of information from time to time.

    Another source you can check is e-Bay. Look up "Armalite" and you may find manuals, magazines (publications) from the 70's and 80's and other items.

    There was a serial range posted at some time. The Sterlings are the most numerous in production numbers. They are good guns, and a visual inspection is what really counts. The early Sterling made 180s are actually pretty nice, but as the 80 progressed, labor issues and profit issues with the Sterling company took it's toll on the finish and sometimes the build quality. After a while, they were applying a dull blue to the receivers and to the barrels. Early Sterlings can be a parkerized finish with black paint over park. Welds can go from really acceptable to really ugly. As long as it holds.I have never heard of welds letting go except once with a stock pin stud. Wouldn't effect operation.

    Do a search here, as there are a few threads with some good info. Go to gun shows and look for mags. Early Costa Mesa 30 rounder steel mags have no identification on the base plates. You need to see some originals so you know what to look for.

    The Sterling made 20s were aluminum and black anodized. The finish will wear very quickly with use. You may even still find one that is blocked to only 5 rounds. You can remove the block if you like and it will be a 20. The feed lips are soft, so look at them carefully when shopping to purchase and make sure they don't look like they have been bent, and then straightened out. You will be able to tell. If they look good and parallel, with no funny business, then the mag should be fine. If there is a weak mag spring, you can swipe one from numerous Colt style 20s and refresh that Armalite mag.

    Happy shooting!
  6. winchester '97

    winchester '97 Well-Known Member

    i have heard these rifles are extremely accurate. confirm/deny?
  7. wayne in boca

    wayne in boca Well-Known Member

    I have a Costa Mesa AR180,bought it at a gunshow for cheap.It had the bolt installed upside down (try it,it's not only possible,you can still chamber a round that way,and maybe even fire it.I imagine they thought it was broken when it jammed constantly).Installed correctly,it has been flawless and accurate in operation.The rifle is definitely military grade,and is a prized possession of mine .Mine has no scope,but I have purchased one of the Stormwerkz scope mounts,an excellent product.I took 6 or 7 old AR15 mags and rebuilt them with new green followers and springs,and modified them with the Dremel (using the Sterling mag that came with the rifle as a pattern) to fit the AR180.It was easy.As I recall,over 12,000 Sterlings were built.Armalite made 4,018,and Howa made over 4,000 as well.The AR180 website is down now,but ar15.com has an AR180 and AR10 website that is very informative.Pete Fleis is the guru of AR180's and is a member there.He sells some parts and mags and also works on them.
  8. Orlando

    Orlando Well-Known Member

    I took her to the range yesterday. For the first range trip and cross winds , cheap ammo I was very pleased. She shot just under 3 inch groups at 100 yds.
    Trigger pull leaves alot to be desired but I hear thats normal
    I found some Sterling 30 rd mags but would like to find one 20 rd mag yet.
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    very nice...does it make you feel more Irish :D

    every AR-180 i've ever fired has been very accurate...the AR-18s less so, but then i always gave into the temptation of the full auto position ;)
  10. Ret.CWO

    Ret.CWO Well-Known Member

    I've got a Armalite AR180B have no complaints. It takes the standard AR-15/M-16 Magazine 20 & 30 round. I have over the years put at least 500 rounds down range, Wolf,S&B,WCC,LC along with my own loads with a 55 & 62 Gr. projectiles.
  11. hastings2010

    hastings2010 New Member

    Fatal jam?

    Hey guys, new to the forum but I have gotten fantastic information about all sorts of guns from these posts.

    I too have a Costa Mesa AR-180. Just yesterday it jammed. There is probably a round in the chamber as it was in the middle of the clip. The bolt carrier is stuck fully closed. I have broken it down and tried to wedge out the carrier but it stuck bad. It will wiggle a little and the threads on the bolt carrier will almost rotate out, but not quite fully. I have pushed a cleaning rod down the barrel while pulling and no luck. Oil, you name it.

    Any solutions?

    BTW other than this bizarre incident (I was shooting Federal ammo and usually they have been pretty good) the 180 is a monster.

    I have 3 45-round Thermelt clips that I got thru the interwebz. After a little rehab they feed flawlessly. I can't imagine the clip was the problem.
  12. Ret.CWO

    Ret.CWO Well-Known Member

    It's called a "Magazine" the M1 Garand takes a enblock clip the. Magagines can be feed with stripper clips
  13. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

    ArmaLite says they'll be reintroducing the AR-180, maybe in a year or so. Saw that in their industry forum under AR15.com. The mags will be compatible with the previous version.
  14. Orlando

    Orlando Well-Known Member

    Probably be just like the AR180B , basically AR15 lower parts ,uses a AR15 mag but with a metal lower instead of polymer.
  15. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    I believe it is a great idea to revive the AR-180(b); should give the GP AR-15 a little competition. The only thing better would be the return of the bullpup AR-180. ;)
  16. Jguy101

    Jguy101 Well-Known Member

    You're not the only one who would love to see the M17 reappear, but the STG-556 seems to be getting closer to the Bushy's old price point...
  17. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    True, but they aren't exactly the most beautiful design IMO. That said, I still have plans to acquire a new 7.62mm version if they ever hit the shelves. Also, I have heard that the L85A1 (SA-80) is being imported as a kit, though I haven't heard any reports on the build quality as of yet. It is also based upon the AR-18 platform.

  18. carbine85

    carbine85 Well-Known Member

    My Sterling is pretty accurate but the AR's wil out shoot it. As far as the trigger pull goes you can help that. The notch in the hammer is cut very rough. The parts are stamped and folded so the surface in this notch isn't smooth. I simply cleaned up the notch and the trigger pull dropped from 13 lbs to 6-7 lbs. Most AR180 triggers suck.
    I also convert the AR15 mags to fit. I use the original mag for measurements.
  19. AmEngRifles

    AmEngRifles Well-Known Member

    Accuracy can be very good with the 180. The do not have chrome lined barrels. I believe this will aid in accuracy. The trigger is a problem. They are usually heavy.

    My experience in the past was that as neat as the small scope was they marketed and sold for the 180, I could actually get tighter groups with iron sights instead of the scope (at 100 yards). I think there may be some "bounce" issues with the scope and dovetail design. Who knows. That has been some years, and with my 49 year old eyes, it is possible the scope would do me great service now.

    Handloads can be worked up that are excellent for the 180! I have achieved group sizes just over 1" at 100 yards. I would have to look for them, but had a table that was published about handloads in the 180. They worked!
  20. DannyinJapan

    DannyinJapan Well-Known Member

    I LOVE the AR-180. It is the lightest, most ergonomic 5.56 military rifle I have ever owned. Fantastic design.
    If they made it in 6.8 and gave it a standard mag release, I'd never own any other rifle.

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