A Mysterious Brazilian ArmaLite AR-18

    Ronaldo came across a negative of a photo of an AR-18 he photographed at the Brazilian Army’s Fábrica de Itajubá back in October 1982. The gun is unusual for having a rifle-length handguard, carbine-length barrel and rifle-style flash suppressor. It also features a fore grip that matches the pistol grip’s design but it is not a repurposed pistol grip (it has no trigger guard cut out).

    Maybe you and your readers may be interested in the enclosed (poor quality, scanned from an old negative) photo of a most unusual — at least for me – ArmaLite AR-18 rifle. It seems to be a very early production example, as reveals the small cocking handle straight to the right side, and features the standard rifle-size handguard, but its barrel is definitely shorter, maybe with the same length of the carbine barrel. The flash hider is the prong type (the carbines had a conical one). Of course, the forward support grip is well to the front of the gun.

    I photographed this specimen at the Brazilian Army Fábrica de Itajubá (Itajubá Factory), now part of IMBEL, in October, 1982. I just found this single negative, and I don’t recall having talken notes of markings, much less photographing it in detail. Shame on me!

    Could anyone throw some light on this curious AR-18? An/or have any reliable reference on the actual legth of the carbine versions barrels? I believe there have been three of them.

    Can anyone help Ronaldo out? Has anyone seen one of these AR-18s before?

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!