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Type Submachine gun
Place of origin United States
Service history
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer Richard J Casull
Manufacturer Voere
Illinois Arms Company, Inc.
American Arms International
Variants Short barrel version
Semi-automatic-only version
  • 2.6 kg (5.7 lb) empty
  • 4.5 kg (10 lb) loaded with 177-round magazine
Length 900 mm (35.5 in)
Barrel length
  • 470 mm (18.5 in)
  • 229 mm (9 in) (short barrel)

Cartridge .22 LR
.22 Short Magnum (.22 ILARCO)[1][2]
Action blowback, open bolt
Rate of fire
  • 1200 round/min (.22 LR)
  • 1500 round/min (.22 Short Magnum)
Feed system 165, 177, 220, or 275 round detachable pan magazine
Sights Fixed open sights, Factory-installed laser sights

The American-180 is a submachine gun developed in the 1960s which fires .22 LR cartridges from a pan magazine. The concept began with the Casull Model 290 that used a flat pan magazine similar to designs widely used prior to World War II. Only 80 Casull M290s were built as the weapon was expensive to produce. The American-180 is an improved version. A semi-automatic only variant called the American SAR 180/275 is still produced on a custom basis by E&L Manufacturing of Riddle, Oregon.[3]


The weapon operates through a conventional blowback mechanism. It uses an open bolt with a flat pan magazine. It fires at a relatively high rate of fire of around 1,200 RPM. The American-180 was purchased mostly by private parties prior to the American ban on production of machine guns for the US civilian market. The A180 was adopted by the Utah Department of Corrections to arm correctional officers.[4][5]

Despite the relatively low power of the .22 LR round, testing demonstrated that automatic fire could penetrate even concrete and bulletproof vests from cumulative damage. However, the target would have to remain still for an improbable amount of time to allow the cumulative damage to amass in the same area to achieve this.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Phil West. Survival Weapons: Optimizing Your Arsenal. p. 141. ISBN 1291460985. 
  2. ^ W. Todd Woodard. Cartridges of the World. Gun Digest Books. p. 617. 
  3. ^ "American SAR 180/275". 2015. Retrieved July 13, 2017. 
  4. ^ "The American 180". Machine Gun News. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 
  5. ^ a b Mendenhall, Monty (March 1998). "Cheap Thrills—22 Rimfire Machine Guns". Small Arms Review. 
  6. ^ Douw Steyn (2015). Iron Fist From The Sea: South Africa's Seaborne Raiders 1978-1988. Helion and Company. pp. 96, 102. ISBN 1909982288. 
  7. ^ Special Weapons on Rhodesia by Dana Drenkowski, A Wide Variety of Unique Weapons are used in Rhodesia's fight against terrorism, Soldier of Fortune
  8. ^ "Stille Vuurkrag:-Documented Combat Usage of the American-180 by SADF/Rhodesian SAS". TheFirearmBlog. Retrieved 2017-07-11. 
  9. ^ "History of the American 180". Retrieved July 22, 2017. 

External links[edit]