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Posted: 5/6/2003 2:14:04 AM EDT
Aren't these guns designed similarly? So, does the AR-180 approach, or even surpass, the AK at drag-it-through-the-mud-and-still-reliably-shoot-stuff reliability?
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 3:31:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 4:37:33 AM EDT
Actually there is little design similarity between the AR-180 and the AK.  

The AR-180 used an impinging gas piston, same as the FAL.  The gas piston slaps the bolt carrier and drives it back.  Different type of operating system than the AK piston/carrier arrangement being actually connected and going back and forth.  

As for internals, the AR-180 used and entirely different set-up than the AK and the parts were stamped from steel.  The AK uses milled parts, and of course they are different in the way they work.

About the only real thing that is similar between the two is they both use stamped steel receivers.  

That being said, I used to own a pre-ban Sterling (before the ban) and I liked it far more than the AR-15 system of operation.  It was well thought out and a better system.  The plastic parts sucked big time, but plastics back then sucked all around.  The buttstock arrangement was bogus as well, but I still think it was a better design.  Not asying it's a better gun than the AR-15, it didn't have years of development by the government at a cost of millions, but as a desgin it was a better starting point than the AR-15.

I think it would have been as reliable as an AK had it been developed.  Unless a government actually takes the time to pour money into a system to evaluate and fix it, it usually will not be as good as one that has had that advantage.  

The one advantage I can think of that the AR-180 had over the AK is that the bolt carrier runs on rods like the M3 Grease Gun.  The carrier itself doesn't touch the upper at all.  You could have an ungodly amount of crap in the gun and it would still work.  As the cocking handle was fixed to the carrier, no AR-15 fwd assist thingy required.  The AK has to run on rails in the reseiver.  Obviously it works well, but there's a tighter fit there than the AR-180

In the end I'd say the AK would have the advantage because it's been fully developed.  

Link Posted: 5/6/2003 7:39:52 AM EDT


despite some shortcomings, i have always thought of the 180/18 as a superior design.

Agreed - and I have surely owned enough over the years  When I was still collecting, An NIB AR-18 was my prize pig.

Quick history; the AR-18 was designed by ArmaLite's Art Miller in 1963.  (No, Stoner didn't participate as he had already departed ArmaLite by 1963.)

The AR-18 was designed to be a 'better AR-15' and to hopefully replace the M-16.  After some really bogus tests by the Army, the AR-18 was rejected.  (The Army didn't want to find a better M-16 !)  After the Army's rejection, no further development was done the AR-18 so we have a rifle that was about 75% developed.  Plenty fine for most civilian uses but lacking the 25% refinements that would have made the AR-18/AR-180 a world class military weapons system.
Link Posted: 5/6/2003 7:54:19 AM EDT


..... does the AR-180 approach, or even surpass, the AK at drag-it-through-the-mud-and-still-reliably-shoot-stuff reliability?

No, I don't believe the AR-18/AR-180 would have surpassed nor even equalled the AK for drag-it-through-the-mud-and-still-reliably-shoot-stuff-reliability.  But I believe had development been completed it would have been pretty good.

As you folks know better than I, the AK was purposely designed with very loose tolerances to both aid in the rapid manufacture of this weapon and to provide reliability to a Soviet rifleman who was poorly trained, poorly educated, likely didn't speak Russian - the language of most Soviet officers - and was likely to poorly care for his weapon.  The AR-18 was designed with tighter tolerances and with an eye toward both accuracy and to to compliment the better training of the US military.

About two years ago I met a man at the Tulsa gunshow who had been part of the AR-18's testing at Fort Knox.  (Prior to meeting this former sergeant I didn't even know the AR-18 had been tested at Knox.) Anyway, I spent at least 30 minutes speaking this man and he told me about the tests done by the enlisted men who were actually firing the rifles, crawling through the mud, etc.  He told me about the reports they wrote and then about the reports the O-I-C finally wrote and there was little factual resemblance !!  (End of the AR-18's development.)  He flatly told me they, the EM testers, liked the rifle better than the M-16.

Link Posted: 5/6/2003 2:25:07 PM EDT
yeah! but you still can't drag it through the mud and rocks and fire it with crap in the barrel.If there is rice in the barrel or a snake then the rifle with be destroyed. Go and try to drag it through the mud and have mud go in the barrel and fire it. how come the us military could shoot there m-16's at longer ranges with a better hit ratio. only accurate guns are in my safe. did you watch that show where the spl. forces were taking out bad guys from 400 meters and were having one shot kills.One shot one kill. that was so cool. not one us solider was killed. The jerks with the a.k's couldn't even get off the trucks in some cases. If you can hit from 400 meters plus you don't need an ak. that was cool that it was on tape. I wish I would have taped it. oh yeah, none of the m-16a2's jammed on the tape. they even said that.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 5:36:17 AM EDT

AK's have 'em, AR180(B)'s don't.

'Nuff said!!!
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 8:09:22 AM EDT


AK's have 'em, AR180(B)'s don't.

'Nuff said!!!

This is the first version of the AR-180B.  I believe there will be other barrels/uppers available as time goes on.

The current AR-180B was an attempt to make a rifle as close to the preban AR-180 as possible given the constraints of postban compliance.  For the first time in many years we can buy a mount/scope that works with our old preban rifles.  The AR-180B that you see today is the first in what I believe will be a family of AR-180B's.
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