Historic Pre-ban Assault Rifles: The AR-180

An Armalite AR-180 made by Sterling is in most ways superior to current issue assault rifles that cost twice as much.

[ Steve Says: This guest article was written by Phil Hirsh, the author of The Guns We Left Behind “a book of humorous and poignant short stories about the golden age of guns in America.”. We will be reviewing Phil’s book in the near future. ]

It was 1982, President Reagan was in the White House, and the Soviets weren’t having it. The whole world was nervous. We were at the height of the Cold War, and a nuclear exchange seemed like a real possibility. There was a survivalist craze upon the land, and I was not immune. I wanted a trusty .223 caliber weapon for farm defense, or hunting ground hogs, whichever came first.

I had an M-1 carbine, and I thought that a Ruger Mini-14 would be a natural successor. This quickly proved a disappointment in the varminter department and gave way to my purchasing one or more of every semiautomatic .223 on the market. It took me a decade, but I tried them all; many more than once. Eventually I found that while still a little problematical, an AR-15 with a good scope was the ideal blend of tactical and practical.

Three decades later, I am still looking for the next best thing, but I have to say that as I handle the latest ACR, SCAR and Tavor rifles at the gun shop, I think my pre-ban guns offer more features and over all are a better value than the 21st Century assault rifles.

My local dealer hates customers who bargain hunt for guns on the net, but the average retail price of a SCAR or ACR will take your breath away. I was following several auctions for these rifles on GunBroker.com, but I just couldn’t get past the idea that anyone would pay more than two grand for a newly manufactured rifle. It occurred to me that the high prices for pre-ban guns looked pretty good in comparison to anything on my shopping list, and I found myself perusing the pre-ban rifles pages.

That was when I found my current AR-180. Nostalgia can be a powerful motivator. Of all the rifles of my youth, it was my first AR-180 that that really taught me how to zero and use military open sights. I had a close friend at The University of Richmond who also had a Sterling made AR-180. He belonged to a gun club just outside the city. We often skipped class to shoot water jugs and tin cans on the club’s plinking range. My buddy stayed true to his Armalite rifle for years while I tried every rifle I could find. As a result I can honestly say that we tested the AR-180 against the AR-15, CAR-15, Valmet-76, HK-93, Mini-14GB, Mini-14 Ranch, Daewoo K-2, Steyr AUG and two other AR-180s. In every case, both in accuracy and functional reliability, the AR-180 either kept pace or surpassed the competition.

I lost a lot of money on those trades, and I was frequently left to choose between the two most economical rifles on the market—the Mini-14 or the AR-180. I tried to improve the Ruger’s performance, but I never found a way around it’s barrel whip issues. The Sterling made AR-180 was sexier, but it had a few foibles of its own that made me wish I had another two hundred bucks to buy it’s natural competitor, the Colt AR-15.

Side by side comparison of original and new Armalite weapons. Note the AR-180’s 20 inch barrel.

Side by side comparison of original and new Armalite weapons. Note the AR-180’s 20 inch barrel.

The history of the military issue AR-18 runs parallel with the M-16. It came from the famous Armalite design team, but this rifle’s development was headed up by Arthur Miller who discusses the project in an interview with Small Arms Review Magazine. Essentially, the AR-18 was Armalite’s effort to recapture a market they created but lost when they made the mistake of selling the AR-15 to Colt. The M-16 was fairly expensive and required complex tooling and skilled labor to produce. Miller thought that he could exploit this weakness and says simply, “I wanted to present an easier manufacturing method in that caliber. The full patents were issued in 1967.” (Small Arms Review, Vol 12, no. 8 p.71)

By then, the early models of the M-16 were malfunctioning in the field, and it seemed that there might be an opening for another assault rifle in the same caliber. Alas for poor Miller and his team, the engineers at Colt largely ironed out the M-16’s teething problems before the AR-18 could make an impression.

The AR-180 was evaluated by both American and British forces in the mid 1960s, but both trials indicated that the rifle needed further development. The results of torture tests in mud and sand were not satisfactory. Early examples tested at Aberdeen had a fully automatic cyclic rate that outran the magazine’s ability to keep up. Armalite fixed the problems, but they lost traction and ultimately the race to become America’s standard issue rifle.

Armalite of Costa Mesa California was too small to mass produce the AR-18. Howa Industries in Japan was contracted to manufacture the weapons, but just as production was underway, the Japanese government banned the sale of small arms to belligerent countries involved in the Vietnam conflict. This prompted the move to Sterling in England, but by the time the rifles were again available, the M-16A1 was performing well and customers lined up to buy them from Colt. Other 5.56 rifles were coming on line from HK, SIG and FN, and Armalite could not afford to compete with companies that were willing to foot the cost of setting up entire manufacturing plants in the buyer’s back yard. A deal with the Brazilians fell through for this very reason, even though the AR-18 outperformed the FN, HK and Colt competition.

Many potential buyers are turned off by the AR-180’s crude appearance, but it was designed for ease of production, not beauty. Each manufacturer left distinctive traces of their assembly techniques. Costa Mesa made guns have welds that were drilled and filled with weld rod which leaves a white spot. Specimens from their tiny production run of nearly five thousand rifles are hard to find. Howa rifles are slightly more common and have resistance welds which results in a more uniform look. Sterling rifles are crudely finished in comparison to the other two. Look out for sharp edges. Back in the late eighties I owned at various times an original Costa Mesa Armalite AR-180, a Howa with scope and two British made Sterlings. I can report that appearances have nothing to do with performance. To this day, I have only had one jam with any of the AR-180s I have shot, and this was a double feed due to a much worn original twenty round magazine.

I lost all desire for an ACR or SCAR when I compared the options I was looking for with a pre-ban AR-180. I was amused that more than forty years ago the AR-180 rifle had all of the features that today are considered cutting edge. Plus, this is a pre-ban gun, and that makes it all the more desirable. It will continue to gain value, and I can sell it for what I bought it for. You cannot do that with the post-ban weapons.


The AR-180 bolt, bolt carrier and return spring assembly. Note the M-16 bolt and oddly cranked bolt handle.

First, the AR-180 is a gas piston operated weapon…the very thing that everyone salivates for today. It uses a three piece design that is very similar in to the FAL system, but it lacks the gas adjustment feature. The gas piston also adds a little weight forward which, in comparison to the M-16, improves its balance.

The bolt carrier rides on dual rails, each with its own return spring. The rotating M-16 bolt is all too familiar. The mechanism avoids all previous patents associated with the AR-15 and might have proven to be a superior design if only it had appeared a few years earlier.

The AR-180 three piece piston is similar to that of the FAL but lacks any way to adjust the amount of gas used to cycle the action.

The AR-180 three piece piston is similar to that of the FAL but lacks any way to adjust the amount of gas used to cycle the action.

Arthur Miller modified the M-16 magazine and says that his design is quicker to manufacture and much more cost effective than the magazine in use today. Finding true AR-180 magazines can be difficult and expensive. Thermold offers a synthetic mag that works well but should be listed as having a 29 round capacity. They have the horizontal slot for the AR-180 magazine latch, but otherwise they are AR-15 magazines that use unaltered AR-15 followers. These cause the bolt hold open latch to activate before the last round is loaded, leaving one round in the magazine and the bolt locked back. I load a blaze orange plastic training round in my unaltered magazines and consider the problem solved. It is possible to use a Dremel motor tool to make a few careful trimmings of the magazine to resolve this annoyance.

 Detailed view of the bolt. Note the spring loaded firing pin, an option that is missing on the M-16.

Detailed view of the bolt. Note the spring loaded firing pin, an option that is missing on the M-16.

The AR-180 rifle does not have an AR-15 bolt release lever, but it does have something much more meaningful– a bolt handle. Many operators prefer that they can actually grab the bolt to clear a jam or push it home on a dirty chamber, and Miller doesn’t disappoint. He had to deal with the problem of ejected cases bouncing off the bolt handle and ricocheting right back into the ejection port. His solution was the distinctive, oddly cranked charging handle. The AR-180 is the basis for the British SA-80 bullpup rifle whose charging handle in original form caused the same malfunction.

The basic AR-180 action has been used in many subsequent designs, but it is the bullpup conversion known in the British Army as the L-85A2 that is infamous. The British have such antipathy for guns that they lost the ability to effectively manufacture them. Massive numbers of their rifles failed in the field during the First Gulf War. The AR-180’s original designers were brought in to trouble shoot the errant weapon, but the list of problems they uncovered was so extensive and embarrassing to the manufacturers that their consultation went unheeded. Eventually Heckler and Koch was contracted to rebuild the British arsenal, and now the latest incarnation of the AR-180 seems to be working as well as anything else.

While the original British guns were disastrously unreliable, they were found to be extremely accurate. The AR-180 rifle is a good shooter. Novices do well with it, especially when I attach the scope. The AR-180 features a unique “lug” in front of the rear sight for a “pop on” optic. The small scope was held in place by a spring loaded plunger that acts on the face of the rear sight block. Early versions of the rifle were sold with the AR-15’s 2.75X scope in this nifty mount. Miller says that, “I carefully calculated the dovetail to release not too easily, but the angle was such that the release was possible without too much force. In other words, all you had to do was tap it and it would release.” (SAR V12 n8 p75)


Detailed view of the scope mounting system that was so innovative when the rifle first appeared. Note the shape of the lug on top of the receiver and how it matches the bottom of the StormWerkz mount

There is no need to limit oneself to meager magnification. I have mounted a Burris compact 2-7X on a StormWerkz spring loaded rail mount which actually returns to zero when removed, though removing and installing it repeatedly has taken some of the finish off the top of the receiver. The StormWerkz mount is the perfect height and long enough to say that when in use the AR-180 has a flat top like the SCAR or ACR. The rifle also sports M-16 sights. They don’t need to fold with the scope installed as they are not in the way.

As I think back on my earlier AR-180 experiences, I do recall heavy triggers being an annoyance on several of the Sterling made guns, but at that point I didn’t have any experience with gun smiths who could fix this problem. My current AR-180 was sent off to a specialist for a trigger job, and seventy-five bucks later it has a dreamy, crisp five pound pull. There are spare parts out there, but they can be hard to find. I have never experienced a parts related failure in the original AR-180 series.

When the bore is clean, using an optical sight, my slightly upgraded AR-180 will shoot into two inches or so at 100 yards off the bench with Winchester M193 ball. It does even better with my hand loads that feature a Hornady 55 grain SX bullet. The rifle sports a twenty inch barrel with a 1:12 twist, ideal for bullets that weigh from 40 to 55 grains. Accuracy with Wolf and Tula ammo is good enough for plinking and instruction, but won’t win any matches. I have fired several hundred rounds of this steel cased stuff in my AR-180 without a problem.

Russian made ammunition that is so common these days leaves a lot of carbon behind. The AR-180’s gas system may get filthy, but the bolt stays cool and relatively clean. The rifle field strips in seconds and is easy to maintain. It has been my experience that keeping the bore itself swabbed is unusually important to maintain best accuracy. I have fired many hundreds of hand loads through several different AR-180s, and over time I noticed something unique to this design. On most rifles, as the bore gets dirty, groups open up. After several hundred rounds, as an AR-180 bore fouls, groups will quite suddenly change from little triangles to vertical strings. I was not surprised to see my current rifle start stringing just like previous ones. When this happens, all I have to do to get the accuracy back is punch the bore with a brush and a wet patch. I also keep after copper fouling to make sure accuracy remains up to near-varminter standards.


Detailed view of the stock hinge, take down latch and rear sight windage drum.

If the AR-180 has a problem area, it is the stock. The use of dual return springs inside the receiver allowed for a true folding stock that was light-years ahead of AK-47 or MP-40 under folding designs. When open, the AR-180 stock has just a bit of lateral wobble to it that can be distracting when shooting from the bench. When closed, the stock latches to a sharp peg on the left side of the receiver that is otherwise there it jab the operator. The fire selector is ambidextrous, and the weapon can be fired with the stock folded. Some shooters say that the stock’s narrow comb hits the cheek sharply under recoil. Facial shape seems to have a lot to do with it. The stock is too light to take much abuse. In fact, I wouldn’t want to hit anyone over the head with it.

I do want a rifle with a folding stock that is easy to store on a boat or plane. I find that the plastic SCAR and ACR stocks, while more comfortable to use and more adjustable, are no more rugged than the Armalite design. Nothing that costs two grand should feel cheesy, and in the final analysis, the AR-180’s stock will serve just fine.

The AR-180 is just plain fun to shoot. Compared to most infantry rifles, it weighs nothing. At just under seven pounds empty, it is easy to shoot one handed like a giant pistol. Recoil is light and without a return spring clanging away under your ear, as is the case with the M-16, the action feels snappy.

The AR-180 has a spotty historical record. Many rifles were bought on the American civilian market and smuggled to Northern Ireland. The IRA called it “The widow Maker.” During the 1970s it was sold in small numbers for paramilitary use all over the world, including the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the LAPD S.W.A.T. team. Arnold Schwarzenegger used an AR-18 one handed with the stock removed for the famous police station shootout in the first “Terminator” movie. The punk rock group The Gang of Four had a song about the weapon entitled “Armalite Rifle” where it is said that a “a child could carry it” and “shoots for miles.” They sing that they, “disapprove of it.”

Despite its limited exposure, the AR-180 has cachet at the range. Sterling made just under 11,000 copies, most of which were sold in the United States. The AR-180 is none too common anymore, so if you are a show off, you’ll be happy with this choice.

There are only a few accessories for this rifle. Aside from the optic, it takes the standard M-16 bayonet, sling, muzzle cap and clip-on bi-pod.

The newest incarnation of the Armalite company briefly marketed an “AR 180B” version that used AR-15 mags, a synthetic lower receiver, and a non-folding stock. The lower can be installed on an original AR-180. I had one of these rifles for a while, and I liked it really well, but there were rumors that the synthetic lower was prone to cracking, and I had to replace the bolt latch with a new part from Armalite. I sold it to a friend who has nothing but good to say about it (thank goodness). The 180B was discontinued some time ago and should not be spoken of in the same breath as the originals. It was priced to compete with the lower end weapons of this type, but sales were sluggish.

All together, with scope mount and six mags, I have a little over a grand invested in my AR-180, and I couldn’t be more pleased. That’s half the cost of a SCAR and well shy of the ACR price too. Who would have thought that a forty year old rifle made in England could out perform the 21st Century’s best offerings from FN and Bushmaster?


AR-180 field strips in seconds. Note the magazine latch on the lower receiver which is easily reached with the trigger finger. Also notice the fire selector switch on the right side of the weapon to facilitate use when firing the rifle with the stock folded.

I suppose that this entire story falls under the heading of, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” The world is still nervous. The urge to arm up remains as strong as it was when I was young. In fact, it may be even more prevalent. So before you go out and blow two grand to get a gas piston rifle with a weak stock, check Gun Broker for an original AR-180. These days, pre-ban may be the best way to go.


Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Slim934

    So here is a question, why is it that no one today produces an AR-180 for the civilian market? Given that we have something that was made primarily based off the notion of easy manufacturability (and therefore one would think is relatively cheap to make), and that it seems to be tough as nails, I would imagine there being a market for it even though it is an old and not really super popular design. The only reason I can guess is that the AR-180 designs do not exist in a civilian legal version (hence the various mentions of pre-ban AR-180). Is that about right?

    • Because they tried to reintroduce it and it failed horribly. See: AR180b.

      • gunsandrockets

        AR180b was fatally handicapped by the era during which it was introduced, the Federal ban on so-called “assault weapons”.

        If PTR can make a profit today with CETME clones, I don’t see why they couldn’t also do so with an updated AR-180 clone. Redesigning the AR-180 with built in picatinny rail and making it AR-15 magazine compatible would be the only changes I would recommend. A plastic lower receiver wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me though.

    • The AR-180 is civilian-legal. The AR-18 is an NFA item, as it is fully automatic.

      They made the AR-180B for a while, which was a reduced cost version with a polymer lower. I used to own one, and it really wasn’t a great rifle.

      I don’t think the AR-18 is a bad design, but its reputation as a fantastic design that whips all others is probably not deserved. It was really designed to provide kit-built rifles under the auspices of “license production” for lower-GDP countries.

    • Anonymoose

      It doesn’t take STANAG mags for one thing. AR-18(0) mags are a mirror image of the AR-15 mag. Sterling used to make 30- and 40-rounders that had catches on both sides for the AR-15 and AR-18 though.

      • AR-180 mags are modified AR-15 magazines, with a few exceptions.

  • Panfried

    Man it feels like I’ve seen a lot of coverage (or at least acknowledgment) on the AR-180 lately. Funny how it seems to be a lot of the things people look for in a semi auto .556 today. I really wish they’d bring it back again. (Armalite, are you listening?)

    • Zachary marrs

      They did listen

      And it was a flop.

      One of the few reasons why the ar18(0) is so talked about today is because it does the same thing (more or less) that an ar15 does today

      Nathaniel hit it on the head

      • Panfried

        In a way they did, and in a way they did not. The 180b had the infamous polymer reciever which was said to break at the pivot pin if too much weight was put on it, among other things. Not to say “doesn’t count” but it was a shoddy attempt to cheapen what was otherwise a quality rifle design (if not ahead of it’s time). And Nathaniel is very right on what the AR-180 does, and that it nothing more than an AR15 can already do. In a gun community that’s dominated by AR-15s (and for good reason) it’d be nice to see a little variety from manufacturers every now and then. There’s something about how the AR-180 looks that’s more appealing. A classic, simple look. Perhaps if reintroduced today it could fall under the “Piston 556 under $1000” category, if they are capable of doing so. Or as a KISS rifle.

        • I don’t know that you could get the 180 that cheap. Even the 180B, which was seriously a budget model vs. the proper 180 was still about $600-700.

          • consultingdoc

            Calculating based on change in CPI, a rifle that cost $700. in 1982 would cost $1690. today, all else (e.g. cost of materials, supply and demand, DI vs. piston, etc.) being equal.

          • The 180B was introduced in 2001.

          • panfried

            Regardless after thinking about it you are likely right that it might be a bit difficult to work that price under 1000 dollars without generating the same problems that plagued the ar180b as a result. Though yes to think that it would be in the Tavor/aug price range is a bit absurd.

          • panfried

            Also after calculating 700 dollar’s worth oh buying power in 2001 equates to about 935 dollars today. While still under $1000, However this assumes that the manufacturer would be making the same corner-cutting measures of the Ar180b

  • echelon

    If you want something similar that uses AR mags just spend $700 and get an MPAR from Masterpiece Arms. It’s not an AR-180 clone per se it’s actually a copy of the Australian Leader T2, but alas it’s also not an AR and not a $2000 wundergun.

    • Given the current state of the MPAR-556, I would advise against that, honestly.

      • Tassiebush

        But best of luck to them in working out their teething problems!

      • echelon

        I have a gen 1 and I’ve had none of the problems encountered by those guys.

        If you hold down the mag release button and insert a mag you can over insert the mag, which is annoying.

        However, I’m talking about a range gun or plinker gun here…not a go to war defend your neighborhood gun. I’m also talking about spending a little over half as much as on an AR180 or some other odd ball gun that is not currently being manufactured and can be hard to get parts or mags for.

        If we’re talking total reliability, parts and mag availability, then we’re talking AR or AK platform all day every day. My suggestion was meant to be an alternative 5.56 platform that doesn’t break the bank.

        There are a lot of new designs in 5.56 but if a $1,500 to $2,000+ price tag is out of the question then I still believe the MPAR can scratch that itch for someone.

        • I agree that modern curio rifles are prohibitively expensive, generally, but I feel the market for the MPAR is pretty limited, and I hesitate to recommend it purely on an interest basis, because I feel people would take that as my recommendation of the rifle compared to the AR-15 or AK.

  • Nehemiah Sconiers

    “Sure a brave RUC man came marching up into our streetSix hundred British soldiers whe had lined up at his feetCome out, ye cowardly Fenians, said he, come out and fight.But he cried, I’m only joking, when he heard the Armalite.” 🙂

    • Philip Reid Hirsh III

      You got it. I can’t think of another song about a rifle.

      • Nehemiah Sconiers

        I dont condone what the Provos did, but man is that an enjoyable song to listen to.

        • Tassiebush

          Where’d you fellows hear that song? I’m intrigued as I’d been completely unaware of it till I read it on previous post on AR18

          • 3XLwolfshirt

            It was a popular song among the Provisional IRA during the Northern Ireland Conflict.

          • Tassiebush

            I’m curious of whether it’s known outside of Northern Ireland or if it’s just a local thing.

          • Nehemiah Sconiers

            Its definitely known outside of Ireland, as I am from Florida, but I am unsure how popular it is outside of the Provo crowd, because many see Provos as terrorists. Its a pretty catchy song, just youtube “My little Armalite” and the first two song are two different version. The towns and counties mentioned in the song changed, depending on whose singing, and some other lyrics are changed around due to the preference of the singer. It was a song to show support for the IRA during the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland.

          • Tassiebush

            Thanks for the context. I guess the Irish diaspora is huge so it’d travel with more recent migrants. I’ve searched for it a bit and it hasn’t featured in a film or something has it? I’m descended from both groups in that conflict and very glad that the situation seems to have improved.

  • Christopher Edward Penta

    I’ve never heard “more moving parts” and “more front heavy” portrayed as positive attributes for a rifle before today haha.

    • Philip Reid Hirsh III

      The original AR-15 has a neutral balance. The added weight up front makes it easier to index. The AR-15A2 added a heavier barrel in front of the hand guard to fix this problem. Remember too that the moving parts are keeping carbon out of the action.

      • Mr. Hirsh, happy to have you on TFB. I am the writer who will be reviewing your book The Guns We Left Behind, which I am greatly looking forward to.

        Having run more than one AR-15 pretty hard, I’m one of those who isn’t convinced that the DI gas system is the disadvantage many believe it to be. Now that I’ve said that, I don’t really feel like the segmented short-stroke piston of the AR-18 is a huge disadvantage either; it wastes a small amount of moving mass, but otherwise seems fine.


        • Philip Reid Hirsh III

          Hello. I will have the book out to you tomorrow. This is a huge thrill for me. I will also send along the Kirkus review of the book. As far as the DI system is concerned, I too have never had a problem with it, but I don’t do a lot of full auto magazine dumps. I do find the Russian ammo I use to be rather dirty, and the 180 does run more cleanly. Bottom line though… I love my pre-ban AUG best of all.

          • You might find the very first article I wrote for this website to be an interesting read, since it covers this subject.

            I would love to see a study on full auto usage of operating rod vs. DI. My understanding such as it is says that DI might be more sensitive than piston, but that the barrel is much more vulnerable to heat than either.

            Can’t help the guns you love, hahah. Contrary to the reputation I’ve gotten for my writing, I find the AR-15 to be boring and ugly. It’s not a rifle that resonates well with me. The rifle series I’d say I am the most fanboyish of would be the Lee series of designs, especially the Lee-Enfield.

          • Brian M

            You, I like you. A lot.

          • Philip Reid Hirsh III

            Nathaniel, the book is on the way. Please let me know when it arrives. I don’t trust the U.S. mail anymore. lol

  • Joe

    That was a really nice read. The Ar-180 is a really nice gun but if your looking for a preban gun go with the FNC.

    • Philip Reid Hirsh III

      I would but it costs even more than the ACR or SCAR! It is on my list however.

      • Joe

        You are dead on there, they are expensive but they are definitely worth it.

        • the ammo addict

          I can’t comment on the semi-auto FNC, but the full auto ones SEEM very underpriced for the quality of rifle you are getting. The problem though, is that certain critical spare parts are either non-existent or priced sky-high…which is why the transferable full-auto FNC will remain relatively underpriced for the foreseeable future.

  • n0truscotsman

    I’ve always loved the AR18, but felt like it was smothered in its crib before it could really mature into an outstanding, serving young adult.

    Still, its base design was copied or borrowed from heavily, which is respectable I think.

    My parents were the hippie type “survivalists” growing up (still are and I inherited that mantle I guess). I remember us shooting my dad’s Valmet and SP1 growing up. Lots of fun times. Our neighbor had one of the pre-ban AR180s and I remember thinking, “well this is a neat rifle, but, what does it do that our Colt wont do?”

    That question, it turns out, was a bit prophetic of the way things were going to turn out.

  • janklow

    picked up an AR-180 before my state banned them recently (thanks, MD) and i will say, it is a really, really fun rifle to shoot.
    now if only i could find magazines for the damn thing…

    • I can commiserate regarding Maryland. Politics aside, the MSP really needs more manpower working their background check system.

  • n0truscotsman

    nobody here thinks the killings or terrorism are a humorous thing.

    Just because one side committed acts that we find deplorable, doesn’t mean music about the event should be discarded.

    There are two sides to every story.

    • Dan

      Both sides commited acts each should be shameful for

      • DIR911911 .

        in my defense , I was reeeeeally drunk and she was willing 🙂

  • MR

    Lately a few political articles have worked their way onto the ‘Blog (looking at you, Nathaniel F),perhaps emboldening these posters. Would you be more comfortable with the Police’s riff, “I don’t wanna spend the rest of my life, staring down the barrel of an Armalite”?

    • None of the articles I have posted here recently concerned politics except by the most broad of definitions.

      Really, while I understand that some people don’t like that type of content (which is good feedback), folks using our motto inappropriately to metaphorically bludgeon our writers is getting pretty old.

      • MR

        A mayor responding to his constituents is the definition of politics. You didn’t pick a side, so it’s not political? By that definition, Washington Week In Review isn’t political.

        • It concerned the polity, which is taking the definition broadly.

          As writers, where would you have us draw the line? A police force gets new handguns, is that politics? It concerns governance, i.e. law enforcement. Make no mistake; I’m not equivocating, but just about all subjects have to do with politics in some way. As a reader of the blog, where would you like to see the line drawn?

          That post was content you didn’t like, and that’s OK. The criticisms that it drew unsavory types seem nebulous to me, and this is after all a public website, but I’ve nonetheless taken our readership’s opinions on board, including yours. I certainly won’t in the future write multiple posts at a time that I think would rile people up in that way.

          Why bring it up here, though? Why make the connection between a post you felt was too political and people mentioning a totally unrelated song that’s commonly associated with the subject of this post? Note that when I wrote an article naming AR180s.com as Blog of The Month, that same song was also mentioned; this was well before I made the posts in question. So I think linking the two things is totally unnecessary.

          • Madeleine Goddard

            I have absolutely no problem with what is a very good article on the AR180, but I am not sure this site is the place for readers to add song lyrics that glorify a rather nasty terrorist organisation. Presumably US readers will be equally happy with lyrics posted by Islamists celebrating the successes of the Kalashnikov and Lee-Enfield against US Marines? And with a happy smile at the end? Politics are bound to creep in when topics such as gun control arise, but please could we try to stick to the main topic (i.e. firearms) before the site gets regular comments from those who wish to push strongly political lines. I am certainly interested in weapons used by criminals, terrorists and insurgents, but I am unsure that posting comments perhaps seen as sympathetic to the motives of their users are really the way to go.

          • Nehemiah Sconiers

            I am not pushing any strong political lines with my comment. I found the lyrics fitting because it plays mention to an Armalite rifle, which was used extensively by the Provo’s in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. If it were another article, lets say about Englands part of sinking the Bismark, I would include lyrics to the song “Gotta sink the Bismarck” by Johnny Horton. Both sides in the fight, Northern Ireland and England, did horrible things, its just a song. Anything they post on here can have a comment you disapprove of, its not here to make you happy. If you don’t like my comment, scroll past it and continue reading the ones your ok with

          • Nehemiah Sconiers

            I am just going to assume that your complaint is with the lyrics I posted from the song “My little armalite”. I am sorry you find it offensive and some how inappropriate, but I am sticking to what i posted. I do not agree with what the Provos did, nor what the English did. I was just sharing some lyrics that had content it shared with this article, the Armalite rifle. I could have easily made a connection on any other post to different songs from around the world, I chose this one. I wouldn’t care if someone posted lyrics of another song, even if it was bashing the USA, because they are just lyrics. If you do not like what i posted, again I am sorry, but keep scrolling and read what you like to read

          • DIR911911 .

            and that’s exactly what I took from what you wrote and appreciate the information. it gives me more to investigate and explore. haters gonna hate 🙂

          • I highly doubt the use of Lee-Enfield rifles against US Marines would have elicited a comparable reaction.

  • To be absolutely and almost pedantically fair, the AR-180B isn’t in the same class, quality-wise, as the original 180.

  • UCSPanther

    I’ve always liked the appearance of the 1970s-era AR 18 rifles.

  • Jason Chatham

    Why would you utilize the description of this rifle as an “assualt rifle”? It’s neither full automatic, nor selective fire. Are you just trying to fuel the fire with the anti gun folks?

  • RickH

    One addition to the article: the “survivalist craze” is still here. The only difference is that the weapon of choice is the AR15 platform. Just sayin’………..

  • DIR911911 .

    actually people were just exchanging information and not being “political” or stating right or wrong, until you chimed in.

  • joe

    Just one question. Where is the lack of development/maturation of the platform? In addition to the mentioned SA80 program(me), SAR80, SAR88, Type 89, G36…..

    • Zachary marrs

      The g36 an sa80 have problems of their own

  • Squirreltakular

    The comments here are a perfect example of how soft our society is getting. Everyone is just looking for petty bullshit to get offended by. Close your macbook, leave the Starbucks and go move a barbell around or dig a fighting hole if you need to let off steam.

  • guest

    Well, if the brits have had a slight trim of their huge ego, and not opressed the irish into such a state that they had to take up arms, maybe there would have been no conflict. But GB does not exactly have a long running history of respecting soveregnty of other people, or having any leanings towards a real democratic society. This can be traced back all the way to the feelings of grandure of post-SPQR times until modern “intervetions” across the globe.
    Violence breeds violence, and crocodile tears do not breed compassion.

    • Jon

      I seem to remember another group of oppressed people who fought back against the Brits and where called Terrorist! We little American back in 1776!!!!

      • guestwf

        And rightfully so… but as time has shown the biggest (at the time) struggle for liberty turned out to be the world police of today, claiming the “honorable” throne of Global Sheriff, pushing GB aside.
        That’s a shame.

  • superflex

    Lighten up Francis.

  • Philip Reid Hirsh III

    Shawn, I never said that the AR-180 whipped the AR-15 in performance tests. I said that might have had it had time to develop. My thesis is that the AR-180 has the features that people want these days such as a piston and folding stock. People like pistons because they keep carbon out of the bolt carrier. I would like to reference the studies you allude to in your comment. Could you forward me some links?

  • Tassiebush

    Checks out link. Song stuck in head now…

  • janklow

    yeah, i have some AR-15 magazines to work with and (theoretically) specs on how to modify them, so i just need to get off my ass in that respect.

    …but secretly i’d really like some honest-to-god AR-18 magazines i wouldn’t have to modify.

  • ghost

    Back to the future.