Once the Armalite concer had cleared its design desks of the AR-15, with production unde way by Colt Firearms of the M16 series, it decided to look to the future for new products. With the 5.56-mm (0-219-in) round well established, Armalite decided that what was needed was a notably simpel and therefore reliable and easily produced weapon that could fire this cartridge. While the AR-15 was a sound weapon, it was not easy to produce without sophisticated machine tools. And thoughot much of the world these machine tools were not available. Thus the need for a weapon which could be simply produced by Third World nations was recognised, and a drastic revision of the AR-15 design was undertaken.
The result was the Armalite AR-18, which is very basically an Ar-15 adopted for manufacture by the now-familliar production expedients of pressed steel, plastics and castings. For all these ecpedients the AR-18 is a sound desig that is easy to produce , maintain and use. In general appearance an layout the AR-q8 is similar to AR-15, nit tje stamped steel receiver gives it a bulkier outline. The palstic butt is designed to fols alonside the receiver for stowage or firing from the hip.
Once the AR-16 design was compelte, Armalite attempted to fin purchasers, but with the AK-47 and the M16A1 flooding the worl’s markets, there were few takers. An arrangement to produce the AR-18 in Japan fell though and for some years the design was in abeyance. Then the Sterling Armaments Company of the UK took out a licence, undertaking some production and at one time moving productions to Singapore. Some sales were than made locally, but what was more important was that the lcoal defence industry took the design as the basis for its own weapon designs, the AR-18 now living on disguised in many forms and uder varous labels.
|Weight||Loaded 3.48 kg (7.67 lb)|
|Lenght||Extended 940 mm (37 in)|
|Lenght||Folded 737 mm (29 in)|
|Magazine||20- , 30- and 40- detachable box|
|Rate of fire, cyclic||800 rpm|
|Muzzle velocity||1000 m (3.280 ft) per second|