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Posted: 4/29/2001 8:37:57 AM EST
Saw a Howa made Armalite AR180 for sale. Does anybody have any advice on them? Are they good shooters? Are parts hard to get? Price range? Thanks for info you can provide.
I got one made by Sterling, bought about 15 years ago. It is a good shooter, but only after putting anti walk pins on it. It seems to be just as reliable as both my ARs. Parts are available I'm sure from Armalite I think. Never had to order any yet. I paid around 600.00 for it new I think. Don't see many out there though for sale, and the ones I did see were way over priced. If I had a choice between the AR-180 or the AR15 I'd take the AR15 (something about stamped steel just does not feel right)
I have a Costa Mesa and a Sterling. Sterlings are by far the most common and the lowest quality (fit, finish, etc.). Howas command a slight premium. $1000 is probably ballpark for a decent Howa.
Mags can be kinda a bitch, they have a slot on the opposite side of the square hole AR15 mags have, and the follower is different (slightly) to operate the bolt catch.
And if you ever by a 180, don't drop the hammer with the rifle disassembled or you probably will break the bolt catch.
New 180s from Armalite are supposed to take AR15 mags, but of course they won't have all the cool evil features either.
See the AR18/180 web page for lotsa info on this often overlooked rifle.
They are very good shooters, very reliable. Their gas piston system makes them shoot a LOT cleaner than an AR15, and the recoil seems to be lighter and quicker. AR15 mags can be easily converted to work- just take an AR180 mag and the AR15 mags you want to convert to a competent gunsmith who has a mill. Many parts, but not all, are still available from Armalite, including brand-new 1 in 9 twist barrels. The Howas are much higher quality than the Sterlings, and generally go for $1000-1100 in very good condition. B-Square makes a scope mount for them that slides right onto the rail atop the receiver, so you can mount a Reflex, Aimpoint, whatever. The one complaint I have about them is that the iron sights kinda stink, but with a dot sight they are great.
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