American 180
Country of origin

United States


Illinois Arms Company, Inc.
American Arms International


Richard Casull

Production began

early 1970s

Weapon type

Submachine gun


.22 Long Rifle
.22 Short Magnum/.22 ILARCO



Overall length

900 mm / 35.4"

Barrel length

470 mm / 18.5" standard
229 mm / 9" short


2.6 kg / 5.7 lbs

Magazine/Cylinder capacity

165-, 177-, 220- or 275-round detachable pan magazine

Cyclic rate

1200 RPM (with .22LR ammo)
1500 RPM (with .22ILARCO ammo)

Maximum effective range

100 m / 110 yd

The American-180, AM-180, or A180 for short, is a rather unusual American submachine gun.


Developed by Richard Casull in early 1970 as a continuation of the Casull Model 290 rifle which was developed ten years earlier, the American-180 has since been adopted by the Utah Department of Corrections and is used by correctional officers. Before the ban on the production of fully-automatic weapons produced for the civilian market was instated, many A180s were purchased by private parties.

Design detailsEdit

This submachine gun uses a simple blowback operation and fires from an open bolt. While this sounds rather generic for a submachine gun, the American-180 is unusual for that it uses a high-capacity steel pan magazine placed on top of the weapon; the standard magazine for an American-180 is a 177-round pan magazine which holds all 177 rounds in three "levels". Later models feature 3, 4 and 5-layered clear plastic magazines which hold 165, 220 and 275 rounds respectively.

Another notable trait of the A180 is its extremely high rate of fire; the A180 fires at around 1200 rounds per minute when its standard .22 Long Rifle ammunition is used. However, if the user chooses to load the weapon with .22 ILARCO (.22 Short Magnum) bullets, the weapon's rate of fire is bumped up to 1500 rounds per minute.

A single .22 caliber round is incapable of defeating flak jackets and other body armor, and as such, the A180 is sometimes considered ineffective against against armored personnel. However, it has been shown that with such an impressive volume of fire, the .22 Long Rifle can break through bricks and some armor with some ease.

The A180 also has a variety of barrel lengths and accessories, such as laser mounts and even a mounting bracket for multiple A180s to be placed in for an even more impressive volume of fire. This setup would usually be used in prison posts.