Fans of the AR-18 and AR-180 enjoyed the SHOT Show 2019 release of the Brownells BRN-180, an AR-18-inspired upper receiver that uses the same self-contained operating system as Eugene Stoner's original design. This rids the upper receiver of the need for a buffer-tube extension, and the Brownells BRN-180 also features modernized components, like the M-Lok-compatible handguard and the flattop upper receiver equipped with a Picatinny optics rail. In mid-2019, Brownells built on this new offering with the launch of the company's short-barreled BRN-180S.
"The reaction to our 2019 SHOT Show announcement of the original BRN-180 was one of the largest, most-positive we've seen," said Brownells Director of Product Management Paul Levy. "The most-common request from customers was for us to come out with a short-barreled version of the BRN-180. Thanks to PWS and FM Products, we were able to do that."
Like its big brother, the Brownells BRN-180S is equipped with an M-Lok handguard and a flattop Picatinny rail. However, instead of a 16-inch barrel, the BRN-180S is equipped with a 10.5-inch barrel that's compatible with all standard AR-15 lower receivers. This allows consumers to construct AR-pistols with a folding pistol-stabilizing brace or, with NFA approval and a tax stamp, a short-barreled rifle.
Unlike the original BRN-180 upper receiver, the short-barreled model is outfitted with an adjustable gas system with clear markings for suppressed and unsuppressed use. The barrel is chambered for .223 Wylde and features a 1:8-inch twist rate. Other features on the upper receiver include twin internal guide rods, a polymer ejection-port cover, three-prong flash hider and reciprocating charging handle. The suggested retail price on the BRN-180S is $799.