Auto-Ordnance GI 1911: Good, Bad, or Ugly?


October 23, 2007, 05:31 AM
Does anyone here have any opinions/info/experience concerning AO's GI 1911? (I know that their past reputation was a bit shaky, but I understand that since they were purchased by Kahr their QC has improved. I have a AO/Kahr M1 Carbine that I'm very pleased with.) Also, is their slide & frame cast or forged? Thanks

*Please don't recommend that I get a Springfield Armory GI 1911 instead of the AO, as I use to own two SA Mil-Specs (one park, one stainless), and both had intractable reliability issues.:mad:


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October 23, 2007, 08:27 AM
My A/O Thompson Custom 1911 is a fine pistol. I have had this pistol for two years and have over 5000 rounds through it. There have been a few FTF's but not enough to reduce reliability. I carry it everyday and highly recommend it to anyone wanting a medium priced 1911. I have the CAF model with the Stainless steel slide and alumnium frame. Hope you enjoy the pics.

October 23, 2007, 08:57 AM
Auto-Ordnance's are billed as having investment cast frames and barstock slides.

Quality seems to be hit-or-miss. Some guys never have a problem while others have nothing but problems.

October 23, 2007, 09:34 AM
I had a gunsmith bud who's BF had one (of the older ones) and as good as he is it just never would feed anything but hardball 100%. Now this was half a dozen years back so maybe they've improved on them since. But I honestly don't know anyone who has built on one and the only one I've seen recently was about as poorly fit as the recent Spinger GI's (Which are fine guns if you strip everything but the the slide and frame and replace) -LOL I still have the stock BBL to actually. But literally everything else has been swapped and upgraded and hand fit. That said...the only reason I did this was I traded a G21 for it (even) at the shop and it had a truly excellent slide to frame fit...which I have not seen on ANY springer GI since...I stopped ordering them after the last one...the slide didn't even bottom out even with the frame at the back. I think I'd honestly find an adult driven OLD Kimber (pre FP safety) on GunBroker and just swap out the foo-foo stuff I didn't want. At least you know you'll get a good slide frame and BBL....

PS here is my wilson/brown/springer-cormic A1

It's about a year and a half of daily carry and over 4K rounds in...this was after a "touch-up" normally looks about half worn still shoots golfball sized groups at 15 yards though...after a bushing and link swap and fitting. It wasn't bad out of the box though. I ordered that last one for a bud...I sent it back to. Seems the prices have climbed as the quallity control has dropped with Springer lately.

October 23, 2007, 11:28 AM
My son has one of the older ones. Maybe he was lucky but it's more reliable and accurate than many of the high dollar guns of some of his friends have. Gobbles up about any decent ammo including hollow points.

October 23, 2007, 05:11 PM
I handled one couple weeks ago Front sight was ready to fall off. Not impressed.

Hoosier Reloader
October 24, 2007, 07:26 PM
I bought one (used) and had it for a couple of years. I had a problem with the front sight coming loose, but I re-staked it and that took care of the problem. It was not finicky about ammo, it ran everything I put thru it.

October 24, 2007, 08:19 PM
have a newer (kahr owned) auto ordnance 1911 WW2 PKZ that is my most reliable firearm. i left it as is, and its a beater now, but it always works, and its more accurate than i am. mine has a cast frame with forged slide, and its a series 80 style.

good gun

October 24, 2007, 09:11 PM
Aren't the Auto Ordinances made by Armscor in the Phillipines???

October 24, 2007, 09:29 PM
Auto Ordinance was purchased by Kahr Arms in 1999. AO has never been made by Armscor.
I am wrapping up a test for's ezine on the AO 1911A1 and 400+ rounds with no failures.
The only issues I had were the front sight loosened up (a little penning and red loctite and problem solved), and I did not love the factory magazine.
Accuracy was pretty dang good and I liked the pistol overall.
Full review to be publised at in a few weeks.

October 25, 2007, 03:22 AM
Thanks for the informative/helpful replies.

It seems like AO has got a consistent problem with loose front sights. In fact it may be sights in general may be that company's Achilles heel, as the only problem I've had with my AO M1 carbine was a loose rear sight (dovetail was a bit large and I had to use Loctite to secure it).

I think I may pass on the AO, and just pony up for a Colt WWI repro or one of their blued new 70 Series....


November 19, 2007, 01:26 AM
Am I wrong or does AO's 1911 have a thicker front strap than a standard GI 1911?

November 19, 2007, 11:54 AM
Do these guns have issues with parts breakage?

November 19, 2007, 06:03 PM
The A-O does have a little different front strap and has a somewhat different feel but to me it is not an issue.
As far as parts breakage so far mine has not but I have only had it a few months with a little less than 500 rounds through it.

Hoosier Reloader
November 20, 2007, 06:40 AM
I don't know about parts breakage, but a buddy I shoot with had issue with the mag dropping out when he shot. He replaced the mag catch and spring and problem solved.

November 20, 2007, 10:58 AM
I also have the WWII pkz version. I am very pleased with it and never had any problems. I probably haven't fired but a couple of hundred rounds through it though. After I had mine special ordered, I noticed the store started keeping them in stock. I guess they liked them too. :)

November 20, 2007, 11:23 AM
The aforementioned review is now available. (

November 20, 2007, 09:00 PM
The (new) AO1911 I handled at a recent gun show had the poorest slide to frame fit of any gun I've ever seen. You could actually wiggle the slide from side to side.

November 20, 2007, 09:12 PM
Thank you for posting my review joffe, I though I posted a link but I reckon my brain is out of adjustment (again).

Anna's Dad
November 21, 2007, 11:44 AM
Mine was very reliable with FMJ but wouldn't feed HP at all.

November 21, 2007, 05:13 PM
Anna's Dad, the sample M1911A1 I received from Kahr did not like JHPs with the factory magazine but I switched to a traditional 7 round dimpled follower and the A-O ran everything without a hitch.

November 21, 2007, 08:27 PM
You know, I looked at a Colt Combat Special priced at $1300.00 and it wiggled just like the AO you handeled!

November 21, 2007, 11:25 PM
Fit & finish is not up to a Colt, Springfield, Para, etc but the ones I've had occasion to shoot went bang every time I squeezed the trigger and were equal to the Colt & Springfield GI models in the accuracy department. They are a good buy in today's 1911 market IMHO.

On another note there are no brands I know of including the over $2000 Custom 1911's that have not been trashed on this forum or other gun forums at one time or another.


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