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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member imarangemaster's Avatar
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    Latest ArmaLite retro project

    Hello the forum! I'm still alive and feeling retro. My NDS 601 SP1 Carbine clone is still my main go to rifle. (The 602 was sold to help fund my renewed passion in Cowboy Action Shooting- very expensive!)

    My first AR180 was a Sterling that I got in about 1982, and used as a LEO trunk weapon until I stupidly traded it for a "real" AR-15! I bought my second Sterling made Armalite 180 when I was living in Mississippi IN 2009-2010, and sold that when I knew I was moving back to California in 2012. At the same time, a good friend offered me an original, low serial number Costa Mesa manufactured AR180 for a price I could not say no to ($1100, 99+% finish, two original AR18 20 round magazines, and two steel AR18/AR15 30 rounders, all 99+% finish. This was just as I was leaving Mississippi, so the Costa Mesa AR180 went to my buddy's in Elko, NV on the way back to CA. (since Armalite AR180s were banned by name in 1990). I really haven't shot it more than a couple times in the last five years





    For a long time, I was content to leave it in Elko, and just shoot it when I went to the desert. I wanted to leave it original. Now I want to announce my latest Retro project: I am taking the upper half of the Costa Mesa mfg. ArmaLite AR180 and and mating it to a NDS18S forged lower (which is legal in California) from Mike and Harlan, and then thanks to Big Rix and Stormwerks, I am finishing it out as a California legal, featureless, AR180. Top half will be Costa Mesa, and the bottom half will have an AR180B fixed stock.



    As I approach 65, I realized I wanted to enjoy it my AR180 without being a Californication felon, or having to go to Nevada to shoot it. Using the Costa Mesa top half on the NDS lower, the upper will have more wear than the lower, but I really don't care. I am going to have fun!

    Here's everything except the stripped NDS lower. AR180B LPK completion set and butt stock from Big Rix, and the stock adapters from Stormwerkz. I already had a standard AR LPK and the assorted grips for the non-180B stuff for the lower. I get my lower out of Jail on the 10th. To be featureless to comply with the communist edicts of Californication, I got a CAV brake to replace the three prong, the AR180B stock is fixed, and I will use either a MMG or a grip wrap (depending on which feels best).

    Also, with a featureless build, fI can still use a standard magazine button.

    Last edited by imarangemaster; 06-04-2017 at 02:28 PM.

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    Hello IRM,
    Nice to see you back
    Looks like a neat build, can you keep us posted as you come along?

    May I ask how did Harlan fit in?
    I sure miss my little buddy.
    Friday I bought a couple GI helmets at a estate sale that I could use help to ID and both could use his touch.

    Regards
    Charlie-P777

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    Really Senior Member imarangemaster's Avatar
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    Alas, a different Harlan. Mike and Harlan of Nodak Spud. They do retro AR15 uppers and lowers. In response to Armalite's short lived polymer framed AR180B's frame cracking, they came up with a forged aluminum T7075 lower receiver. It fits both original AR180 uppers, as well as the newer AR180B uppers.

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    Really Senior Member imarangemaster's Avatar
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    Here are some pictures of the lower, which is in jail until 6-10-17. The nice thing is that it uses standard AR15 magazines - (of which I have plenty), instead of the slotted AR18/180 mags - (of which I only have four!). Also uses standard AR FCG and mag catch - with longer hammer and trigger pins.






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    Looking forward to the final product after your lower gets out on probation.
    Will sure be nice for you to have at home and use when you want to.

    Face it......... we're not getting any younger ;-)

    Be nice to see a video..... hint hint

    Cheers Buddy
    Charlie

    PS So just longer pins? Really nice set up !

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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    Armalite AR18/180 accessory

    Here is an early 75 rd drum manufacture for the Costa Mesa AR18/180 series, I believe this is the first drum available to be used in either the AR18/180 and Colt AR-15 rifles

    I really do not know if these are that rare or not but I have not seen many around

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    Really Senior Member imarangemaster's Avatar
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    Sweet! I remember those. I have an original factory manual for the AR180, too. I even have an AR18 manual somewhere that got from Armalite in the mid 80s, when they were still in Costa Mesa, and part of Fairchild.

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    "It will greatly enhance your rifle and offers capabilities never available to you before"

    Yea I bet it will !!
    I've never seen before.

    Thx for sharing it RCS...


    Charlie-Painter777

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    Quick search on GB turned up this Armalite AR-18

    http://www.gunbroker.com/item/652778675

    Be a great Fathers day gift !!

    CH-P777

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  20. #10
    Really Senior Member imarangemaster's Avatar
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    Redacted by poster... Don't want to go there....

    Let it suffice to say, I want to be able to shoot my "Little Armalite" like I did when I carried it as a trunk weapon in the 1980s....
    Last edited by imarangemaster; 06-04-2017 at 07:57 PM.

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