Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 366: Armalite AR-18, Class III/NFA Machine Gun

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Very Scarce and Desirable Early Production Costa Mesa Armalite AR-18, Class III/NFA Registered Fully Transferable Machine Gun

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $27,500 - $42,500

Very Scarce and Desirable Early Production Costa Mesa Armalite AR-18, Class III/NFA Registered Fully Transferable Machine Gun

Manufacturer: Armalite Inc
Model: AR 18
Type: Machine gun
Gauge: 5.56 mm
Barrel: 18 inch round
Finish: matte grey
Stock: synthetic
Item Views: 1119
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 315
Class: Class III

An excellent example of an original and very scarce fully-automatic Armalite AR-18 rifle manufactured by Armalite in Costa Mesa, California. Designed after Armalite had sold their interest in (and patents for) the AR-15 rifle, the AR-18 went in completely different directions in terms of materials and function. The result is a piston driven select fire assault rifle, with a lightweight stamped steel receiver assembly and a recoil system that permitted a native folding stock as factory standard. Delivering hard-hitting firepower in a compact package, the AR-18 had many things in its favor but wound up overshadowed by the "older brother"; large military contracts or license deals never arrived like they did for the AR-15/M16 family of weapons, resulting in a very limited production. Somewhat infamously, some of the most prominent users of the Armalite were on both sides of "The Troubles" in Ireland, being adopted by both Loyalist militia units and some factions of the Irish Republican Army, the latter embracing the arm to the point of it being the namesake of the "Armalite and Ballot Box Strategy" of the late 1980s. Post front and adjustable two leaf peep rear sights, with a three-prong flash hider, maker's marks on the upper receiver, and the ambidextrous three position selector on the lower. Ribbed and vented handguard, with an "AR-18/ArmaLite" marked pistol grip, and a side folding buttstock. A detached plastic label that was attached to the buttstock read "BEDFORD P.D.", though the specific Bedford is not identified. Provenance: The Al Walker Collection

Rating Definition:

Excellent, with 98% plus original matte phosphate finish, showing some mild handling marks, scuffs, and edge wear overall. Some mild scratches and dings are present on the furniture. Mechanically excellent. NOTE: This weapon is a National Firearms Act (NFA), fully transferable Class 3, which is registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (BATFE) under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 and 27 CFR part 478.

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