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Rumors of new AR-180B variants?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by MatthewVanitas, Jan 25, 2004.

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  1. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    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
     
  2. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    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.
     
  3. Cortland

    Cortland Member

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    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.
     
  4. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    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...
     
  5. Cortland

    Cortland Member

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    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.
     
  6. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Member

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    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.
     
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    As far as I know, the AR-180B IS a rumor. No one seems to have them or be able to get them.

    Jim
     
  8. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    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.
     
  9. Cortland

    Cortland Member

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

    jacketch Member

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    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.
     
  11. jacketch

    jacketch Member

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    I bought mine at Quantico for a very good price.
     
  12. 355sigfan

    355sigfan member

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    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
     
  13. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    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
     
  14. jacketch

    jacketch Member

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    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.
     
  15. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    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.
     
  16. 355sigfan

    355sigfan member

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    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
     
  17. jacketch

    jacketch Member

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    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
     
  18. bad_dad_brad

    bad_dad_brad Member

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    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!
     
  19. jacketch

    jacketch Member

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    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-180bâ„¢ 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.
     
  20. 355sigfan

    355sigfan member

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    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
     
  21. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Member

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    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.
     
  22. 355sigfan

    355sigfan member

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    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
     
  23. jacketch

    jacketch Member

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    [ 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.
     
  24. TODD3465

    TODD3465 Member

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    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.
     
  25. Cortland

    Cortland Member

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    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.
     
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