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Armalite AR180

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ro1911, Dec 3, 2012.

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  1. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    I was at a local gunshow sunday and found an AR180 (sterling built for armalite) for $925 it had an armalite 20 rd mag and two sterling 40 rd mags. I'd call the gun about 90% condition wise. My question is how good of a deal did I get the value of these guns seems to be a mystery because I read one place that they are worthless and then the next place will say any example over 60% is made of solid gold with platinum filled engraving. I think the gun is probably worth around $1500 but I'm just guessing, anyone here have an opinion?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  2. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    If it has a rollmark from the original ArmaLite it's probably worth more than what you paid, especially in that condition. Hopefully someone who really knows the AR-180 versions will come along soon but for now I'd keep googling and get more info.

    Really a cool rifle and typical ArmaLite, they missed out in making much money from the design which adds to the scarceness. The AR-15 that they tossed away for peanuts came back to hurt ArmaLite's AR-18 and AR-180.

    Of course its value is as a collector's piece. There aren't that many around in great shape. As a shooter there are many better choices for the price but you already know that.

    Do let us know what you find out...
     
  3. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    Thanks I will, I'll post some pics in little bit too, I'm not on a real computer right now so it makes things difficult.
     
  4. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Is it a 180, or a 180B?

    The Armalite, Inc. II (Geneseo, IL.) AR180B sold new for $625, but they've been discontinued for a few years now, so a fair price is difficult to pin down.

    The Armalite, Inc. I (Costa Mesa, CA) AR-180s seem to go for a bit more than the B model.

    Would I have paid what you did? No. But I like the AR-15 better. The AR-18 wasn't an improvement; It was a patent work-around after Armalite figured out how big a mistake they made selling the AR-15 patent to Colt. The US army wasn't interested, though (But the Brits liked it, bullpupped the design and called it the SA80)
     
  5. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    It's an original armalite ar180 not a Ar180b, I think it is an improvement over the original AR15/m16 but the A2 was also a big improvement IMO and probably just as good as the 180. This gun is 15136 of the 20000 total production according to all the stuff I've read. I'm an AR guy too FYI and this is more or less just the one I never owned, but so far I like it better then my M4 style ARs it reminds me of a sig 550 in a lot of wsys.
     
  6. nwilliams

    nwilliams Member

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    Congrats on your purchase, the AR180 is a great rifle and lot's of fun to shoot and for under a $1000 I'd say you did well, now pics!!

    If you weren't aware this gun was nicknamed the widowmaker by the British because of it's IRA connection and there's even a song about this gun (well the AR-18 technically).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHY14OVk7r0
     
  7. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    Thanks for the song, I had heard the IRA used them but I didn't know to what extent.

    I can't wait to do a carbine class or something like that with this should get some interesting looks lol.
     
  8. HDCamel

    HDCamel Member

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    It was called the widowmaker by both sides. Also, TECHNICALLY they were illegally obtained Howa manufactured AR-180s that were converted to select-fire. This fact prompted the Japanese government to pass a still standing law that banned the export of firearms.

    Don't shoot it too much. AR-180s have a reputation for loose-fitting stocks and welds that fall apart after extended use. Still an excellent purchase. The AR-18 was a major influence on the design of many European assault rifles including, but not limited to, the L85, G36, and AUG. It's sad that so many people treat it as a mere footnote in firearms history.
     
  9. wriggly

    wriggly Member

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  10. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    photo (2).jpg

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    here are some pics of the ar180, more to follow
     
  11. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    photo (7).jpg

    photo (8).jpg

    photo (9).jpg

    photo (10).jpg

    more pics
     
  12. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    photo (12).jpg

    photo (15).jpg

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    photo (14).jpg

    even more pics, I converted a few pmags to AR180 mags its pretty easy to do, the gun came with two sterling 40 rders and an armalite 20 rder
     
  13. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    photo (16).jpg

    photo (17).jpg

    photo (18).jpg

    photo (3).JPG

    even more pics, and I had to include the pic that most people will recognize the AR180 from the govenator lol.
     
  14. oldpapps

    oldpapps Member

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    Ro1911,

    Yours is about 2000 older than mine, serial number wise.

    I bought mine new in the mid 70s. The only problem I have EVER had with it was two of the cross pins kept working their way out. My dad drilled and capped replacement pins. They can't walk now.

    As for weak butt stock and welds. I have ran countless rounds with no ill effect. The black hand guard is rubbed all but smooth. I guess that the butt wouldn't stand up long if used to butt stroke someone. But the law suites would fly also.
     
  15. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    sweet, I'm glad to hear they hold up well lol, I thought the stock looked sturdy to me and the welds look strong but not the cleanest kind of like really nice AK welds lol. I don't think mine has been shot much, the internals look almost as good as brand new AR15
     
  16. Quentin

    Quentin Member

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    Ro1911, thanks for all the pics! Very nice and a great buy.
     
  17. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    The magazines alone are worth $250. Those steel Sterling-made 40-rounders go for at least $100 each, when they can be found. They have the reputation of being about the only 40-rounders that actually work (and they can be used in AR-15's as well as AR-180's).

    As for the gun itself, the Sterling-manufactured version of the original AR-180 is the least desirable of the three versions. The most desirable is the Costa Mesa, California, made one; the second most desirable is the one made under license by Howa in Japan; and finally the one made under license by Sterling of England. These were also the order in which they were made in point of time. I have a Costa Mesa and a Howa (both of which I bought new), and I have to say that I wasn't tempted to add a Sterling to my collection at the time. I guess that typical British black paint finish put me off.

    Value-wise, a Sterling (with one factory magazine and in pristine condition) should retail for about $1,000, a Howa for $1,200, and a Costa Mesa for $1,400 to $1,500. So you did very well on this deal.

    The AR-180 found its niche market back in the day (the early 1970's) when Colt temporarily discontinued the AR-15 in order to redesign the hammer and bolt carrier to prevent hammer follow-down multiple firings if the disconnector was removed. In itself, the AR-180 is not as durable as the AR-15, despite having some design innovations such as the gas piston system and the side-folding stock. But the stock hinge is one of its weak points, as is the bolt hold-open catch.

    Considering the lack of replacement parts, today the AR-180 should be considered a collector's item rather than something to be used for regular shooting. The bottom line is that the welded sheet-metal construction makes them fragile. Compare the Korean Daewoo K2, which is much sturdier and also uses a gas piston design. Too bad that that, too, is long discontinued.
     
  18. Ro1911

    Ro1911 Member

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    Alex

    Thanks for the value info, I got to thinking about its niche market the other night myself, until the mini 14 came out there weren't too many guns like this besides the AR which was out of production as well. I would of thought armalite would sell more 180s in such a market but I guess not lol.
     
  19. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Armalite AR-180

    Had one in the 1980's. Still have parts list & 2 reprints of articles in Guns & Ammo. Another reprint from Top Security International, dated June 1978. Armalite mailed them to me years ago. Great gun. Armalite AR-180 AR-180-1.jpg
     
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