In The Fold With ArmaLite

posted on March 26, 2023
AR18 Folder

In a well-guarded and tucked-away corner of the American Rifleman offices is what staff call the "Tech Files." These well-organized coffers are the material archives that have filled staff inboxes with promotional materials and other information since before the modern naming of this publication. The Tech Files, dating back to the early 20th century, are a treasure trove for editorial researchers looking for unique facts. File folders from the industry’s best-known manufactures to the smallest of firms contain company literature, photographs, blueprints, drawings, schematics and more.

While performing supplemental research for “The Evolution Of The Colt Model 601,” by Martin K.A. Morgan, staff editors stumbled across interesting correspondence between American Rifleman and ArmaLite, in February 1968, regarding the AR-18/180 rifle system. See below:


Letters to the technical staff of American Rifleman from Armalite regarding the AR-18 review in May 1962 magazine and reference to the decision of a folding stock attribute for dog handlers in latin america

As it turns out, ArmaLite, Inc., Vice President, Burton T. Miller wrote to express appreciation for the "well-written and factual article," which can be read from the PDF attached to this page, and included reasoning behind the AR-18's folding design in that "to carry the rifle across the chest so that it may be fired one-handed . . . " Burton continued, "[Latin countries] indicated it is a bit difficult to handle a conventional rifle one-handed with a 115 pound German Shepherd tugging on a leash."

Colonel E. H. Harrison
USA (Ret d)
Senior Technical Advisor
1600 Rhode Island Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C  20036

Dear Colonel:

I would like to extend a compliment for a well-written and factual article on the 5.56mm rifles on the last Rifleman. I believe this will clear up a great deal of confusion that must have existed in the minds of the general public. I hope this article gets the wide dissemination that it should.

I was very pleased to read your comments relative the unfair allegations in relation to the ball powder and Olin. In relation to the AR-18, you will be interested to know that we do have an excellent 30 round magazine that has undergone testing over the past eighteen (18) months. As a matter of fact, it is a decided improvement over the old M-16 magazine, more substantial, less subject to lip damage and resultant failure to feed properly. I am enclosing a photo of the modified AR-18 which is designated the AR-18 A. This is the same rifle in all aspects as you will recognize, except for deletion of the telescopic mount and a change in the flash hidder. The stock is left off of the one picture, it may be utilized or not, as desired. The concept in this instance is to carry the rifle across the chest so that it may be fired one-handed supported by the sling, across the back of the neck. As I am sure you are aware, the Latin countries are always interested in "machine pistols"; however, we have made up these models as a result of discussion with Air Force sentry dog handlers. They indicated it is a bit difficult to handle a conventional rifle one-handed with a 115 pound German Shepherd tugging on a leash.

I hope that we will have some favorable news in relation to Armalite to pass on before too long. If I can ever provide any pertinent information, please contact us.



BURTON T. Miller
Vice President


Digging deeper into the ArmaLite, Inc., file folder surfaced additional correspondence with NRA staff regarding the AR-18 and AR-180, and it offered comparisons between Colt's M-16 and ArmaLite's then-new platform.

Letter to American Rifleman from Armalite expressing information regarding AR-18 Combat Rifles

ar-18 comparison letter vintage amralite m16


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