AR-18 is probably one of the most underappreciated firearms designs in history. The rifle itself was not very popular, but the basic design of its bolt and bolt carrier was used by at least 9 different countries: Germany in the G36, Belgium in the SCAR, the Czech Republic in Bren 805 and 807, the US in Bushmaster ACR, UK in L85, Israel in Tavor, South Korea in K1A1, Singapore in SAR-80 and Japan in their Type 89. Now, another country and another company joined that list – Canada with WK180-C designed by Kodiak Defence.
Unlike AR-18, that had a stamped receiver (that was the whole point of the design – offer a cheap and easy to produce alternative to an AR-15), WK180-C has a milled receiver made out of aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum. Bolt and bolt carrier, as well as recoil mechanism, very closely resemble AR-18. The weapon has an 18.7-inch barrel chambered in .223 REM, with 1:8 twist and 1/2 x 28 muzzle thread.
WK180-C has a charging handle on the right side, like the original AR-18, a free-floating handguard with M-LOK slots and Galil-style folding stock that folds to the right side. There is also a version chambered for 7.62×39 that takes standard AK magazines.
Presently WK180-C rifles are sold in Canada. According to Kodiak Defense representatives, there are plans to bring it to the US market, but no exact dates were established.
Another weapon offered by Kodiak Defence is a sporterized version of Czech VZ58 – WR762. These rifles have a signature Kodiak Defense Picatinny rail for red dots and optics.
Previously, Kodiak Defense sold highly modified SKS variants: https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/12/01/new-scorpio-sks-15-arrives-canada/ Unlike Kalashnikov-pattern rifles, SKS is not restricted in Canada and has a huge following.
AR-18 design is over 50 years old, but you can’t really say that it is outdated. Perhaps, many more companies will copy it in the future. I wonder how Eugene Stoner felt when all those countries used his design developing their weapon platforms, while his country hardly noticed AR-18 at all.