1963 Armalite

The AR-18 was designed by Eugene Stoner at Armalite, USA, in 1963 as an inexpensive competitor to the M-16. It is gas-operated but features a gas piston, which is more reliable than the direct gas system of the M-16, especially in adverse conditions. The AR-18 is a select-fire weapon, civilian semi-automatic-only versions are available as AR-180 (RoF 3^). The AR-18 was not adopted in any larger scale and even though the design was said to be excellent, it was sold to HOWA Machinery, Japan and Sterling Armament, Great Britain. The lack of a recoil dampener allowed the mounting of a side-folding buttstock (HO -4, SS 11, Acc 7, Rcl -2 when folded) and the AR-18 accepts 20-, 30- and 40-round magazines. Armalite is currently updating the design with new receiver and trigger groups similar to those of the AR-15. This will give to the new rifle partial parts interchangeability with other AR-15-style rifles, as well as the ability to use STANAG-compatible magazines. A nearly identical version called SAR 80 is manufactured by Chartered Industries of Singapore and used by the Singaporean and the Croatian armies.

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