Make: ArmaLite Inc.
Serial Number: 00057
Year of Manufacture: 1964, these shotguns were only produced in 1964 and 1965 with approximately 1,200 assembled and parts made for 2,000.
Gauge: 12 Gauge, 2 ¾” Shells
Action Type: Semi-Automatic, Short-Recoil Operated, Two-Round Capacity Shotgun.
Markings: The right of the barrel is marked “ARMALITE, INC. COSTA MESA, CALIF. U.S.A. / MODEL AR-17 12 GA – 2 3/4 CHAMBER / PATENTS PENDING”. The right-front of the receiver (under the forend), is marked “00057”. The sides of the receiver have decorative engraving.
Barrel Length: The barrel proper is approximately 21 1/2″, 23″ to the end of the installed choke.
Choke: The barrel is threaded for removable chokes. The installed choke is Modified. No other chokes are included.
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a red bead mounted to the boss behind the choke threads at the muzzle. The top of the receiver is finely checkered for glare reduction.
Weight: 5 lb., 9.2 oz.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are two-piece checkered brown faux-wood plastic with capped pistol grip, monte carlo comb and ventilated brown rubber recoil pad. The stocks have light handling wear with some light scuffing and a few minor scratches. There are no chips or cracks. The checkering is sharp. The LOP measures 14 3/8″ from the front of the trigger to the back of the recoil pad. The pad is still fairly supple with light wear. Overall, the stocks are in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Gold Anodized Aluminum
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This shotgun retains about 98% of its metal finish. The action shows light operational wear. The pin heads are unmarred. The markings are clear. Overall, this shotgun is in about Fine-Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this shotgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: None.
Our Assessment: It’s hard to hear the name “ArmaLite” and not think of the AR-15, maybe the AR-10. Some may think of the AR-18/180 series or even the AR-7 .22 survival rifle. While these all went on to be successful, even iconic, the company also attempted to enter the sporting shotgun world. The result was the AR-17, an extraordinarily lightweight and innovative shotgun which oozes 1960s, world-of-tomorrow aesthetic. Unfortunately, it was not commercially successful, with approximately 1,200 production models made and parts for 2,000 produced before the project was cancelled. The design really was revolutionary, with a steel bolt, barrel extension and small parts, and all other parts made from aluminum alloy, including the bore. The bolt and locking design were similar to the more iconic AR-10/15 with a short-recoil system used for unlocking rather than gas. It was only able to accept two shells, so it was destined for use as a sporting gun, with little opportunity for military or defense applications. This example is from quite early in production, the 57th gun made, and is in quite good condition with little sign of use. This shotgun will surely turn a few heads and start conversations. It is also a nice example of a quite rare shotgun, and perfect for an Armalite collector. Please see our photos and good luck!