Brownells Announces the New BRN-180S Short-Barrel Upper Receiver

Brownells BRN-180S Short-Barrel Upper Receiver

Courtesy Brownells

After debuting to widespread approval at January’s SHOT Show, Brownells is following on the BRN-180’s successful launch with the new BRN-180S short-barrel upper. It’s designed to drop right onto your mil spec AR lower (assuming you’ve gotten ATF approval and paid the requisite tax, if you’ll be using it as a short barrel rifle). If mounting it on a pistol, you’re good to go. If you’ll be in Indianapolis next week, you’ll be able to check one out up close and personal.

Here’s Brownells’ press release . . .

Courtesy Brownells

Brownells Adds BRN-180S™: Short-Barreled Version of BRN-180™

GRINNELL, Iowa (April 17, 2019) – Hot on the heels of one its most-exciting SHOT Show launches ever, Brownells has unveiled the BRN-180S – the new, short-barreled version of the BRN-180 complete upper assembly debuted at the 2019 SHOT Show.

Designed in conjunction with Primary Weapons Systems and FM Products, the BRN-180S retains all the desirable features of its big brother, but has a  10.5″ barrel for those wishing to build an AR-180-style pistol, or –with the required ATF paperwork and tax stamp – a short-barreled rifle (SBR).

Courtesy Brownells

Another new feature on the BRN-180S is a clearly-marked adjustable gas system, allowing the user to quickly tune the upper for either unsuppressed or suppressed shooting.

“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.”

Courtesy Brownells

Available for pre-orders now, the BRN-180S will make its first public appearance at the 2019 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits April 26-28, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Brownells BRN-180S Short-Barrel Upper Receiver

Courtesy Brownells

Built around a short-stroke piston system, the BRN-180S drops onto any mil-spec AR-15 lower and makes it easy to attach either a folding pistol brace or folding stock.

Just like the BRN-180, the BRN-180S can be fired while folded.

Features of the BRN-180S Upper include:

  • 10.5″ barrel
  • .223 Wylde chamber
  • 1-8″ twist rifling
  • Twin internal guide rods
  • Polymer ejection port cover
  • Easy-to-remove M-LOK® handguard
  • Original-style 3-prong flash hider
  • Reciprocating side charging handle
  • Adjustable gas system

Listed on the Brownells website as #078-000-537, the BRN-180S upper assembly retails for $799 and does not require an FFL to purchase.

To learn more about the BRN-180S, visit the Brownells BRN-180 page.

About Brownells

Serious About Firearms Since 1939™, Brownells is the world’s leading source for guns, gun parts and accessories, ammunition, gunsmithing tools and survival gear. With a large selection of both common and hard-to-find items, and an extensive collection of videos, articles, and gun schematics, Brownells is the expert for everything shooting-related. Committed to maintaining our great traditions, Brownells has more, does more and knows more – and guarantees it all, Forever. For more information or to place an order, call 800-741-0015 or visit Stay up-to-date with Brownells on YouTubeFacebookTwitter and Instagram.


  1. avatar barnbwt says:

    We call those “pistol uppers” nowadays.

    I sure how Brownell’s is ready; this project is gonna be huge if they can supply the demand.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      *sure hope

      1. avatar Drok Small says:

        Same exact top story on both TFB and TTAG at the same time.

        How do I get the memos?

        1. avatar Brut says:

          Sign up for Brownell’s sales emails. They sent it out at the same time

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      At SEVEN HUNDRED NINTY NINE bucks???? For ONE upper! What are they smoking?

      1. avatar Evey259 says:

        Stop being poor.

      2. avatar hal_greaves says:

        I mean thats a pretty good price for an upper PWS likely held design, all things considered.

      3. avatar barnbwt says:

        Complete upper, yeah. Piston-op buffer-tubeless AR uppers are generally in the 900$ plus range, and this particular PWS-sourced item is at the slightly higher-end of things.

        With a lower (which is all of 70$ unless you are trying to show off) it’s a brand-spanking-new platform that is price-competitive with established offerings. In time the price will go down (and also distributors will likely get them to resell at lower prices) and you’ll have a very nice platform that is only nominally more expensive than a Plain Jane Public-Domain M4gery clone made from PSA-sourced parts.

        In conclusion; stop complaining because new options aren’t the same as the options you’re used to.

      4. avatar Ian says:

        A Faxon ARAK-21 will do the same thing for $1200. Oh the humanity!

  2. avatar pwrserge says:

    Hm… I might do this for my next feather weight SBR build. Standard lower, AR-180 upper, skeletonized folding stock… Might be able to get it under 6 lbs.

  3. avatar Texican says:

    I wonder how easy/hard it would be to change the barrel to 300 Blackout?

    1. avatar Ton E says:

      Pretty hard at least according to Brownells

  4. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

    Can be fired while folded?

    Call me interested in a potential suppressed .300 BLK SBR build…

    1. avatar ai338 says:

      The article literally had a picture of it being fired folded.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        Re-read what I wrote, this time with an emphasis on comprehension, moron…

    2. avatar Lowell says:

      It uses the AR180 dual recoil springs contained in the upper, so the there’s no need for a buffer tube.

  5. avatar Michael says:

    Much less expensive and easier to find than the late, lamented Australian, SAP, Semi Automatic Pistol, very few came in during the early ’90s. Same time as the early, prototype 100 round Beta mags. This is why there are so many armadillos. Good times, (unless you’re the armadillos). -30-

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “Good times, (unless you’re the armadillos).”

      Or the Possums, I suppose…

      *snicker* 😉

  6. avatar Bill says:

    Considering the rifle uppers have been on backorder for over 4 months I wouldn’t count on anyone seeing one of these for at least a year. Why they don’t have a large inventory BEFORE they bring them out is beyond me. I called up and cancelled my order and spent the money elsewhere.

  7. avatar Marcus says:

    But why so soon, the full length is only available for preorder still so shouldn’t that be under production first?

  8. avatar Lowell says:

    With any luck, this will be the first commercially successful AR180. They need to get the price for this upper down to $500, though.

  9. avatar DrewR55 says:

    I will be interest if Brownells, or someone else, releases a stripped lower with a pic rail where the buffer tube mounts or seals up the area so that folding the stock doesn’t leave a gaping hole.

    1. avatar barnbwt says:

      There are products that put a pic-rail over the buffer tube hole so MCX stocks can be used with 22LR drop-in conversions.

      1. avatar DrewR55 says:

        That is good to know. I’ll be looking into those.

  10. avatar PJ says:

    Compare this to a SIG piston upper and $799 is a steal. They are currently charging $899 sale price for a $1,300 MSRP retro pre-M16 so surely these will be on sale at some point as well. Black Friday will probably be even better considering it’s not a holiday right now.

  11. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “Reciprocating side charging handle”

    Well, that just made my “no” list…

    1. avatar ai338 says:

      Put it on my yes list. You need a way to manipulate the bolt back AND forward.

      1. avatar WI Patriot says:

        Evidently you don’t understand the meaning of “Reciprocating”…

        Just to set you straight, it means that every time you fire, and the bolt moves, so does the charging handle…so by all means, put it on your “yes” list, and be prepared to get a broken something, face, hand, wrist, take your pick…

        1. avatar Xanderbach says:

          Never been a problem on any of my AKs, and that charging handle is VIOLENT.

  12. avatar sound awake says:

    maybe if i win the lottery

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