Killer Bees! The American 180 on Forgotten Weapons

    If one cannot find a minigun to go shoot, a fully-automatic 22LR is a very close second. While the tiny little can-do cartridge can pack a tiny wallop with well-placed shots, there is something to be said to hitting with a swarm of the rimfire rounds. One, perhaps two can be ignored, but at nearly 1200 RPM for most full-autos, getting multiple hits on target is a breeze.

    Designed and manufactured to this line of thinking is the American 180, a rotary-drum fed fully-automatic buzzsaw. Unfortunately a relative rarity due to the machine gun ban over three decades ago, we civilians get to live vicariously through Ian at Forgotten Weapons, who takes a look at one example available for sale at an upcoming James D. Julia auction. 

    The weapon has a fantastic and interesting history, as it was developed primarily for law enforcement under the assumption that with low overpenetration risk of the 22LR, quite a few of them can cause quite a bit of damage. A few departments actually did purchase the firearm and it was used in one notable shooting in 1974 where the weapon acquitted itself admirably and effectively.

    With magazine capacities available over 270 rounds, the American 180 (named as originally had a capacity of ~180 rounds), its an excellent “fun” machine gun. With shooting 22LR to boot, its actually affordable for an extended range session, emphasis on extended, as loading the magazine is a time-consuming affair.

    For details including tear-down of the weapon, check out Ian’s video over at Forgotten Weapons. 


    Nathan S

    One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

    The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.