1911Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,005 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I found this in an older thread, dsk:

Just whatever you do, stay away from Auto Ordinance...
Yesterday, I was in a local gun shop, buying a spare magazine for my Kimber, and I handled both new and used Auto Ordnance 1911-style pistols.

They felt good in my hand, and the actions worked silky-smooth. But I did wonder about the prices, which were - shall we say low?

So ... what is wrong with the Auto Ordnance? Where are they cutting costs? Or can you answer such a question here?


------------------
If God didn't want us to own guns, why did He make the 1911?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
73,398 Posts
My very first .45 was a brand-new Auto Ordinance when I was 20. It almost turned me away from 1911s altogether! The thing was very roughly machined inside and out, the barrel had deep cutting tool marks in the chamber making it fail to feed, the barrel feed ramp itself was way too narrow (it wouldn't even feed FMJ until I took a Dremel to it), and the extractor was badly warped. Somebody at the factory ground the extractor to MAKE it fit, pounding it into the slide! It took a long drift punch and a hammer to remove it from the slide. I also tried to replace the mainspring housing with one from a Colt Gold Cup, and discovered that the pin hole in the frame was mis-located! That told me they didn't give a rat's @$$ about quality control. I did eventually get it to work after I had replaced the extractor and replaced the barrel with an old GI unit, but I never liked it and later traded it off.

My discussions with other former AO owners revealed similar experiences. Now remember this is with the old Numrich Arms-owned Auto Ordinance. They have recently been purchased by Kahr Arms, and some folks are saying that they have made sincere attempts at improving the quality of AO guns. If the gun you examined was newly-made it may well be MUCH better than the one I once owned. It certainly can't be any worse! The reason why the cost remains lower is because they still use investment-cast frames and slides, instead of the forged ones other 1911 makers use. That will make a small difference in long-term durability, but not anything that's a huge deal. The most important thing is that they drill the holes in the right places, and don't use dull tools to machine the parts!

[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 06-06-2001).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,005 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the quick reply, dsk.

I don't know when the new gun was manufactured. The older one was probably 20 or more years old, or the previous owner(s) was really rough on his guns.

I think I'd rather buy one of the Argentine 1911s. But I'm still also hoping to luck onto a junker I can tinker with until I feel comfortable taking a 1911 apart and putting it back together again. Then, if the frame is sound, I'll probably start replacing stuff; otherwise, I'll get something with a decent frame and go from there.

I'm sure you'll hear more from me in the future!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
73,398 Posts
Having a decent frame is the trick. That's why I prefer the Argentine imports, as long as you buy one from somebody who will swap it for you if it's a dud. While I'm very happy with mine, I have heard from at least one person that the pin holes were badly worn on his sample.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top