Rare Preban Sterling England Armalite AR-180 AR180 5.56 20” Semi-Auto Rifle

SOLD FOR: $2026.99

WOA#: WY230118EC006

Make: Armalite

Model:  AR-180

Serial Number: S21456

Year of Manufacture: Pre-ban, pre-1972

Caliber: 5.56mm

Action Type: Semi-Automatic 

Markings: The left side of the receiver is marked with “ARMALITE” and its logo with the target. The left side is also marked “AR-180 5.56mm MFG. FOR ARMALITE, INC. COSTA MESA, CALIF. U.S.A. BY STERLING ENGLAND” The lower part of the left side of the receiver is marked “S21456” and “SAFE” and “SEMI” around the safety selector. The left and right side of the pistol grip is marked “AR-18 Armalite”. The right side of the receiver is marked “SEMI” and “SAFE”.  The right side of the barrel is marked, “NP” below a proof mark and “.223 1-73” with some more illegible markings.

Barrel Length: Approximately 18”.  20” with 3 prong type muzzle device

Sights / Optics: The front sight is an adjustable post with protective wings and the rear sight is an adjustable flip aperture.

Stock Configuration & Condition: The buttstock, pistol grip, and handguard are black synthetic. It has a side folding stock, and there is a dovetail spot welded to the receiver in front of the rear sight for a proprietary ArmaLite quick-detachable scope mount. The three prong flash hider is similar to that used on early M16s. The LOP measures 13.75” from the front of the trigger to the back of the unfolded buttstock. The stock rates in about Fine overall condition. There are some scratches and scuffs.

Magazine Quantity & Condition: The 40rd magazine is marked “BY STERLING ENGLAND”. The AR-180 uses a proprietary magazine derived from the standard AR-15 magazine.

Type of Finish: Satin Grey Phosphate

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is minimal to no visible erosion in the bore.

Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 85% of its metal finish. The balance of the finish shows wear across the barrel, the front sight and handguard cap, and around the rear sight and top dovetail. There is some general finish loss around the receiver as well as some light corrosion.  The screw heads are sharp and the pins are unmarred. The markings are clear. Overall, this rifle rates in about Very Good condition.

Mechanics: The action function correctly. We did not fire this rifle. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box, Paperwork & Accessories: Flash Hider Cover, Total of one magazine, Original Bolt that has been taken out for preservation.  (Total of two bolts).

Our Assessment: The “AR” in “AR-15” or “AR-10” stands for ArmaLite Rifle, the company that would put forth the groundbreaking and classic rifle that sees immense popularity today. ArmaLite didn’t stop at one or two rifles; though, they created several, including the AR-18, a select fire firearm that would inspire the civilian variant AR-180. Eugene Stoner’s ArmaLite AR-10 design chambered in 7.62 NATO was the design his company submitted to the US Army, who was looking to replace the M1 Garand. By 1957, the AR-10 made a late appearance in the military trials. Unfortunately, this firearm had a steel sleeved aluminum barrel and the design suffered a burst barrel during a military shooting torture test, damaging the company’s reputation and causing it to lose out on the military contract to the M14. But it wouldn’t take long for the AR design to experience a resurgence, and the US military would select the AR-15 design to become the infamous M16. With the military’s selection, Eugene Stoner and other engineers needed to create an alternative to the AR-15, leading themselves to the AR-18 design in 1963. ArmaLite produced less than 5,000 AR-180’s in their Costa Mesa, CA location before production went overseas to Howa in Japan and then Sterling in England. Spare parts aren’t easy to come by and this rifle isn’t what you’d call a “traditional beauty,” but what it lacks in looks it makes up in history, class, rarity, and reliability. So bid on it and enjoy!

Rare Preban Sterling England Armalite AR-180 AR180 5.56 20” Semi-Auto Rifle
Rare Preban Sterling England Armalite AR-180 AR180 5.56 20” Semi-Auto Rifle