Retro? Or Cutting Edge? An Innovative 1960s Design That's Totally Up To Date
Designed in conjunction with PWS & FM Products, the Brownells BRN-180™ Complete Upper Receiver is inspired by the Armalite® AR-180 of the 1960s. Developed as a successor to the original AR-15, the AR-180 was a civilianized version of the AR-18, itself an upgrade on the M16 platform. The BRN-180 incorporates many of the AR-18/AR-180 improvements - including its robust and reliable gas piston operating system. (Yes, the originators of the AR-15 / M16 eventually embraced a piston!)
Like the original, the BRN-180™ bolt carrier rides smoothly on a PAIR of guide rods. The carrier is buffered at the rear by a built-in polymer buffer with a molded-in steel plate that captures the guide rods. The bolt replicates the original AR-180 bolt design, right down to its use of a standard AR-15 extractor.
Wait - we know what you're dying to ask. Yes, the BRN-180™ upper receiver is fully compatible with any standard, mil-spec AR-15 lower receiver.
The 16" barrel is forged from extra-strong 4150 carbon steel, with a hard Nitride finish that really resists surface wear. The BRN-180 is chambered in .223 Wylde - for extra flexibility in ammo choice - with 1-8" rifling, so it handles both .223 Remington and military-type 5.56mm NATO ammo with equal aplomb. Up front there's a replica of the AR-180's unusual three-prong flash hider: the hemispherical bottom prong helps prevent the muzzle blast from kicking up a dust signature when shooting prone. Standard ½-28 tpi muzzle threads let you swap on a modern AR-15 muzzle device should you be bitten by the customizing bug.
- Ultra-reliable AR-180 piston operating system
- Compatible with current mil-spec AR-15 lowers
- Machined 7075 T6 aluminum receiver & handguard - hardcoat anodized finish
- 16" barrel with matte black Nitride finish
- .223 Wylde chamber
- Button rifled bore; 1-8" twist
- ½"-28 threaded muzzle
- Replica 3-prong AR-180 flash suppressor
- Molded polymer ejection port cover
- Total weight: 4.65 lbs
Also brought over from the AR-180™ design is the ease of removing the BRN-180 upper's handguard. The recoil guide rods inside engage a U-clip that retains the handguard. When the bolt / carrier group is removed and the guide rods are pulled to the rear, the U-clip can be pulled down and the free-floating handguard assembly slid off! With some effort to retain a period look, our BRN-180 handguard has modern M-LOK® slots and a full length Picatinny top rail that matches seamlessly to the receiver's MIL-STD 1913 rail.
The Brownells BRN-180™ Complete Upper Receiver delivers a unique combination of "Retro" nostalgia and a robust, reliable, AR-15 platform with the latest 21st Century upgrades. It's proof that when you wait long enough, the old truly does become new again!