Armalite AR-18

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Armalite AR-18 – 5.56x45mm
Armalite AR-18 with 30-round magazine – 5.56x45mm
AR-18 fitted with scope with stock folded – 5.56x45mm
AR-18 with scope and sling fitted – 5.56x45mm
Modernized AR-180B by Armalite that accepts AR-15/M16 magazines but does not come with a side-folding stock (requires aftermarket parts and modification to the rifle to accomplish this) – 5.56x45mm
The SAR-87, an advanced AR-18 derivative that was under development by the now-defunct Sterling Armaments of Dagenham – 5.56x45mm

The AR-18 Rifle was developed in the early 1960s as a low-cost alternative to the AR-15 Rifle and was produced by Armalite in the U.S. and manufactured via contract by Sterling of England and Howa of Japan. The AR-18 was a (5.56x45mm) select-fire assault rifle that used simple stampings for ease of manufacture. The semi-automatic civilian version of the rifle was called the AR-180. Hoping to capture the third-world market as an alternative to the more expensive M16 assault rifle, Armalite was set for a disappointment when the U.S. Government commissioned, bought, and then gave away hundreds of thousands of M16s during the course of the 1960s and 1970s (to stem the tide of Communists arming 'their side' with free weapons). Armalite discontinued AR-18 production in the late 1970s.

Although never adopted officially by any armed forces, it did somewhat serve as a testbed for weapons such as the Sterling SAR-87, SA80, SR-88, H&K G36 etc. The AR-18 was notoriously supplied underground to the Irish Republican Army hence the Armalite and Ballot Box strategy. The rifle is now once again being manufactured by Armalite as the modernized AR-180B, with new Polymer Lower receiver that accepts AR-15/M16 STANAG magazines. The original AR-18/180s had a "similar-looking" magazine to the AR-15, but it was a proprietary design, and the magazines for the two rifles were NOT interchangeable unless modified; a cut-out space on the magazine to catch in the magazine well was on different sides for each weapon, but a skilled armourer could modify one magazine to fit in the other. The new version allows for the usage of the vastly more common AR-15 magazines. Despite being once again manufactured for the civilian shooter market, none of the new Armalite guns with the synthetic lower receiver have appeared in any movies or television shows yet.

Contents

Specifications

(1963-1980)

  • Type: Assault Rifle
  • Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs (3 kg)
  • Length: 38.2 in (97 cm)
  • Barrel length: 18.3 in (46.4 cm)
  • Feed System: 20-, 30- or 40-round box magazine (AR-18), STANAG Magazines (AR-180B)
  • Fire Modes: Semi-Auto/Full-Auto

The Armalite AR-18 and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

Film

Title Actor Character Note Date
Silver Streak Ray Walston Thug Edgar Whiney 1976
Silver Streak Gene Wilder George Caldwell 1976
Silver Streak Patrick McGoohan Roger Devereau 1976
The Enforcer 1976
The Spy Who Loved Me KGB Assassins 1977
Sorcerer Venezuelan soldiers 1977
The Gauntlet Phoenix Police 1977
Stingray (AKA: Abigail Wanted) Sherry Jackson Abigail Bratowski 1978
Good Guys Wear Black Soon-Tek Oh Mhin Van Thieu 1978
Good Guys Wear Black The Black Tigers 1978
For Your Eyes Only Michael Gothard Michael Corben Carbine 1981
An Eye for an Eye SWAT officers 1981
Harry's Game Derek Thompson Billy Downes 1982
Octopussy South American soldiers 1983
The Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator 1984
Ninja III: The Domination Jordan Bennett Officer Billy Secord 1984
Hold-Up Montreal SWAT 1985
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! terrorists 1988
In the Name of the Father IRA member 1993
Bad Blood Seen in Chang's headquarters and in gun dealer's car; with M16-style buttstock 1994
Original Gangstas Fred Williamson John Bookman 1996
Godfrey Marcus
Tim Rhoze Blood With sniper scope
Tomorrow Never Dies Pierce Brosnan James Bond 1997
The Last Train Treva Etienne Ark Tribesman 1999
Shergar Andrew Connolly Concannon 1999
Serenity Nathan Fillion Mal Reynolds 2005
Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia Colombian Rogue Unit soldier 2009
The Guard 2011
Get the Gringo Mel Gibson The Gringo With scope 2012

Television

Show Title Actor Character Note / Episode Air Date
S.W.A.T. Christopher George Mr. Bravo 1975-1976
S.W.A.T. James Coleman Officer T.J. McCabe 1975-1976
S.W.A.T. Mark Shera Officer Dominic Luca 1975-1976
The Professionals Lewis Collins Bodie 1977-1983
The A-Team Ismael Carlo Salvador 1983-1988

Anime

Film/Series Title Character Notation Date
Blue Exorcist Konekomaru Howa AR-18, with wood stock 2011
Upotte!! Ichihachi Howa AR-180 2012 - ????


See Also

  • ArmaLite - A list of all firearms manufactured by ArmaLite.
  • Howa - A list of all firearms manufactured by Howa.



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