SilencerCo posted up this photo of an American-180 on their Instagram page.

For those not familiar with the American-180, it is a .22LR machine gun that feeds from a large capacity pan magazine. The magazine came in different capacities, 165, 220, or 275 rounds. E&L Manufacturing still makes these magazines and even makes parts for the American 180 as well as a semi auto version.

According to E&L Mfg website, there was a quad mount made for these guns.

ILARCO built a few quad-mounted American 180s. These “Quad 22s” fired from a tripod at a truely devastating rate of over 6000+ rounds per minute.

An American 180 salesman from the New England area mounted a pair of quad American 180s on a Falcon ultralight airplane. The “Quad 22s” were placed in removable brackets of the left and right sides of the fuselage. The salesman was hoping for sales to third world governments.

The individual guns could be fired in any combination. They could be fired one at a time, or one on the left and one of the right, or all eight at once. Using 275 round drums and firing the guns singly produced eighty-eight seconds of fire.

In most cases, all eight American 180s would be fired at once to minimize return fire from the ground. This translates into over 12,000+ rounds per minute!


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Damn, those things are sweet.

  • Twilight sparkle

    I’m pretty sure a few of these made it in before 1986 if I’m not mistaken.

    • J.T.

      Manufacturing started in the 70’s. You can get them for 11-12k.

      • Lou

        I had a semi-auto in 1989. Excellent quality and it never jammed. Actor Steve McQueen had a transferable full-auto and it was eventually offered for sale in the 1990s (I think that the late legend Class 3 dealer Kent Lomont had it for a time).

  • Daniel

    Never fired one but I have handled a transferable one. Pretty damn awesome. Stout. Well made.

  • Audie Bakerson

    And you’ll never be able to own a real one.

    Thanks NRA!

    • Big Daddy


      • Audie Bakerson

        Nope. NRA. Hughes Amendments would never have been signed by Reagan without them.

        • Porty1119

          Wouldn’t have FOPA either, and ammunition sales would be registered and through FFLs only, but people seem to forget that.

          • Audie Bakerson

            Given how the anti-gun states ignore the FOPA anyways.

            The solution was to veto it, send it back to the legislative and get it passed without the amendment, which wasn’t added properly anyways. Or you know, at least following up on their promise to sue about the law.

          • Amplified Heat

            There’ve been more than a few suits against the law, but it’s a) hard to prove standing to uncooperative judges, and b) even harder to find a court that isn’t afraid of machineguns like cooties.

          • Audie Bakerson

            Prehaps the NRA should have considered that?

          • Lou

            Agreed. NRA was to blame for that and the 1934 NFA as back then they lobbied for states to restrict machine guns so that the Feds would back down. Didn’t work and that’s why there are no machine gun shoots in Virginia because a stupid law that states that it is illegal to use a machine-gun in an offensive way which includes: self defense and having loaded live ammunition within the vicinity of a machine gun. Sounds nuts but this is true and although Virginia ignores the live ammo near a machine gun portion of the law, if you ever use one for self defense you would be prosecuted. Also, Montana passed this along with Maryland I believe before 1934. Also important to mention that conservative “legend” Red Ronnie Reagan approved of George Bush the 1st banning imported “assault weapons” in 1989 and supported the 1994 ban on domestic “assault weapons” and “high cap” magazines even sending letters to members of Congress urging them to pass the ban as these had no place in civilian hands according to him. OMG don’t let Mark Levin or any of the Reagan worshiping conservative celebrities hear this!

          • Audie Bakerson

            Coolidge was the best post-Lincoln president.

          • tts

            Actually he was terrible and his actions (or lack thereof) were key in enabling the Depression to occur.

            Best post Lincoln President would be FDR, close 2nd would the Theodore Roosevelt, and 3rd would be Eisenhower IMO of course.

    • datimes

      R. Mendiola has 3 on his web site now.

      • Audie Bakerson

        Ok “Never be able to own a real one without selling an organ”

    • Daniel

      How dare you speak ill of the NRA! If you are 1000% in agreement with the NRA you must be as anti gun and anti 2nd amendment as the most liberal of liberal gun grabbers!
      That’s basically what I’ve encountered anytime I’ve opined that if the NRA (and it’s massive benefactors) wanted to do something about the NFA it would be done. But then that would kill the value of multi multi million dollar gun collections. Who do we believe? Are they the most powerful 100% pro 2nd Amendment lobby out there? Or a overwhelmingly pro 2nd Amendment lobby who still knows where their bread is buttered?

      • Daniel

        Not in agreement. Damn phone.

  • Wolfgar

    I was fortunate to shoot one at my range one day. A very friendly class 3 collector had all his toys out that day and he let me shoot all of them. The American 180 is as fun as you would think it would be and more.

  • SP mclaughlin

    “According to E&L Mfg website, there was a quad mount made for these guns.”


  • Calavera
  • Guns from scrap

    First to say it, “Hey that gun in Fallout”

    • DW

      With an integral suppressor. Was sadly kind of meh in a world where .223 cost as much.

      • Ben Loong

        The only upside was that you could bring it into casinos and the report wouldn’t alert people in the next room.

  • tony

    I remember reading an article on it in the early 1990s

  • datimes

    I bought one last year and I have to say this is a blast to shot. Most people on the range stop by to look as the rate of fire (1340 rmp on my gun) is so fast one does not hear the individual report. Very little recoil and stunningly accurate at 50 yards on semi auto.

  • Ken

    Shot one back in the late 70’s. Tons of fun when it ran. We found out quickly that it was ammo-sensitive. I don’t remember what it ran well with.

    • datimes

      It is quite sensitive to ammo. CCI Blazer works well.

  • Eric Wendt

    We had one for testing in the mid 1970’s. It came with a laser the size of a 4 D maglite, and a web belt with batteries attached. A cable ran to the laser.
    The 180 round magazine was slow to load but interesting?.
    I never saw it run more than 20-25 rounds without a stoppage of some sort. But you know, even 20 round bursts were pretty cool!
    The big laser was pretty bright but kinda fuzzy.

  • Mike Loder

    I was told the nz police had some for riot control. Crazy.

    • Michael Rice

      I find it strange that weak but still capable round is used for ‘riot control’ and ‘less than lethal’ by non american police/military forces. Especially in New Zealand’s case where they send a goddamn hailstorm of the little suckers out.

      • Mike Loder

        Insane. But the cop i spoke to swore that he found them in the armory for purpose.

        • Michael Rice

          I’m not doubting you, I’m just trying to wrap my mind around it. Then again, HPD (Honolulu) shares an MRAP with the local FBI branch and I think DLNR and Sheriffs for when they raid chicken fights. So, yeah.

          • retfed

            I remember reading about this when it first came out in the 70s. (I’ve never seen one in the flesh.) The story is, since there was no recoil, every bullet would land in essentially the same spot, and you could saw fence posts in half with one.
            Also, they were the first guns to be equipped with lasers (the brand name was Laser-Lok, as I recall.) Fort Lauderdale PD used them. In one recorded incident, two FLPD coppers traffic-stopped a wanted felon at night. As the driver walked up to the car, his partner played the laser across the dashboard and windshield of the felon’s vehicle. He immediately threw out the .357 he’d been holding on his lap to shoot the copper with, and surrendered without touching the AR on his front seat. He said he didn’t want to get sawed in half.

        • noob

          he said “riot control” but in that context it would be “lethal urban suppression”.

          good thing kiwis are a pretty sane bunch. when they have an earthquake they help each other rather than loot.

  • Saumya Supratik
  • iksnilol

    HMmm…. the semi auto one should technically be legal in Norway.

  • noob

    it keeps goin’, and goin’, and goin’