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    Home未分类The AR-180's Rise: Gaining Popularity in the Civilian Semi-automatic Rifle Market

    The AR-180’s Rise: Gaining Popularity in the Civilian Semi-automatic Rifle Market

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    A pivot to the civilian market gave rise to the AR-180, which weighed just over 6 pounds and featured an 18-inch barrel with a 1-in-12-inch twist rate, ideal for the 55-grain .223 bullets standard at the time.

    It had a true 5.56mm chamber, allowing it to fire both 5.56mm NATO and .223 Remington rounds. Despite being ahead of its time and offering a reasonable price point, the AR-180 faced competition challenges, partly due to its proprietary magazine system which was not compatible with AR-15 magazines—this was later rectified after 2001 improvements.

    The AR-180B, introduced by the “new” ArmaLite in 2001, featured a polymer lower receiver and AR-15 magazine compatibility, representing a significant update to the original design. “Building a new AR-180 was just a natural progression for us,” stated Mark Westrom, president of ArmaLite. The weapon’s lightweight build, balance, and improved features, such as an effective non-detachable compensator and the potential for match-trigger upgrades, were highly praised. In addition to the rifle’s technical merits, its competitive price of $660 for law enforcement made it an attractive option for departments on a tight budget.

    Despite its merits, the AR-180B struggled in sales and ceased production in 2007. It seemed as though the AR-180 was destined to become a footnote in firearm history, appreciated only by a dedicated few within the gun community.

    However, in a surprising twist, the AR-180 has seen a renewed interest in the market, potentially due to its rarity and unique design history. In 2019, the WK180-C, a modern descendant of the AR-180 lineage, sparked new enthusiasm. Manufactured by Kodiak Defence in Canada and commissioned by Wolverine Supplies, the WK180-C incorporates AR-15 compatibility in barrels, muzzle brakes, triggers, and other parts, while maintaining the AR-180’s distinctive features.

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