Frequently Asked Questions on the American 180

The information listed here has been acquired either from submission from those with personnal experience, or from first hand observation. If you have any suggestion of additional items of information which should be included in this FAQ page, please send them to Feedback for consideration. Thank You.

FAQ001: The most common cause of failure to feed?

A drum winder which has not been wound the correct number of turns for the number of layers of ammunition in the drum.

FAQ002: Where is the best source for parts, accessories, and service?

E & L Manufacturing, Inc. is the only source for parts, accessories, and service for all versions of the American 180.

FAQ003: What is the correct number of turns for the drum winder?

The winder should be wound 2.5 turns, plus one additional turn for each full layer of ammunition.

FAQ004: What can be done to insure that the cocking handle does not work loose durring firing?

The cocking handle is threaded onto the cocking knob bolt and retains the cocking knob dust cover. If the cocking handle loosens during firing, the cocking knob dust cover may swing down. The following procedure may be followed to correct this situation.
  1. Remove cocking knob set screw and handle.
  2. Reinstall cocking knob handle with Locktite© Green (not the permanent red).
  3. Tighten until cocking knob dust cover flexes under tension against its recessed track, and until cocking knob handle is under pressure enough to stay in any set position.
  4. Reinstall cocking knob set screw with Locktite© Green.

FAQ005: Was the American 180 ever involved in a war that the United States was involved in?

There is no documented history of military service for the American 180. It has been used at the local, state, and federal prison systems, and many of the local sheriffs departments and law enforcement agencies have used the American 180.

FAQ006: Is there a simple way to slow the American 180's rate of fire?

There is no reliable way to slow the American 180's rate of fire. Various attempts have been made with varying degrees of success. Adding weight to the bolt will slow the rate of fire. In one situation, a carbide bolt was machined which slowed the rate of fire from 1500 rpm to 1300 rpm. Another attempt centered on shortening the recoil spring. In all cases, the reliability was compromised. It should be kept in mind that the American 180 functions best with high velocity .22 caliber long rifle ammunition.

FAQ007: Why do my Lexan drums occasionally have one or two rounds of ammunition left when it spins down indicating empty?

The manufacturing differances of Lexan drums in relation to metal drums in the thickness of material will occasionally allow one or two rounds of ammunition to be within the receiver when the drum appears empty, or spins down indicating it is empty. Always check to see that the gun is empty while pointed in a safe direction.

FAQ008: Is there any way to cause the spent casings to drop to a small area in order to make policing of brass easier?

The American 180 can spew quite a bit of brass when using the 275 round drum. The best suggestion I have heard is to lay out a plastic tarp or blanket to catch the brass.

FAQ009: Has the American 180 ever been used by any country in a military capacity?

The American 180 (or a copy there-of) has been used by at least one country as a military issue weapon. The country is Yugoslavia!

FAQ010: What is the best suppressor for the American 180?

The best suppressor for the American 180 is the integral one. The 16.5" barrel is the best choice as it allows for the maximum reduction in velocity of the bullet so high velocity ammunication can be used, but by the time it exists the barrel, it will be subsonic. Contact Val at E & L Manufacturing on suppressor manufactures.
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