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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Auto Ordinance WWII Parkerized...

Picked it up last week and got it out to the range on Friday, Saturday,
and then again today. I got the gun as an inexpensive "project" kind
of gun, mainly intended to help me teach myself how to work on a 1911A1.
I think I got what I wished for so to speak :)

I should preface all of this with the fact that while I've gotten to
fire probably two dozen or so different 1911 type pistols during my life,
I only own (and thus have extensive experience with) two. A GI issue I
picked up from DRMO when we were converting to the M-9, and a Springfield
"Loaded" model in stainless steel.

The Auto Ordinance WWII Parkerized felt really good out of the box. Of
course its sights are GI small and just this side of worthless, but they
actually are on straight and the gun shoots to point of aim when I do my
part. The slide to frame fit was very tight, much tighter than the fit
of my Springfield. One of the first things I noticed was the quality of
the parts (or at least perceived quality). There are no MIM parts on
this gun, and even the arched MSH is steel. The GI plastic grips
appear to be the cheapest parts on the whole pistol. The finish is well
done and very evenly applied. The frame is a very slightly lighter
color than the slide... slightly green. The color difference is
noticable under strong flourescent light and bright sunshine. Outside,
at the range I decided I liked the look.

The manual that comes with the gun is well done, but for two errors. It
lists three "Conditions of Carry" where condition 1 is "magazine empty,
chamber empty." The manual also fails to note that the gun is
equipped with Colt Series 80 firing pin safety. Which is a feature I
hadn't really expected on a "WWII" model.

The gun came literally dripping with oil so I field stripped it and
cleaned it before firing. This is when I noticed the firing pin safety.
Also, the recoil spring appeared to be in backwards (not sure how much
it matters, but the tight end was in the plug and the loose end was on
the guide).

At the range I shot Winchester White Box ball, Remington UMC 230gr JHP,
and some of my own LRN and LFP reloads. On my reloads and the Winchester
ammo the pistol would occassionally fail to fully return to battery
during firing. I could usually tap the rear end of the slide into position
but I occassionally had to rack the round out and go on to the next one.
The Remington JHP fed like a champ with no hiccups whatsowever. After
100 rounds there were no further problems with the Winchester ammo either.
My own reloads in 225gr LFP worked without a problem once I brought the
OAL down from 1.192 to 1.163.

The only really major problem I have is that the slide stop doesn't work.
It will lock back the slide on an empty magazine only when hand operated,
never when firing. It fails with the factory 7 rounder, a Springfield
7 rounder, and all my Chip M 8 and 10 rounders. More vexing is the fact
that it tends to work it's way out while firing. Luckily I noticed it working
it's way out on the first 10 round mag I used.

The trigger is rough and noticably heavier than the trigger on my Springfield.
It has a "gritty" feeling to it and the pull is approximently 5-6 lbs. I
don't have a guage so I'm guestimating based on my other guns, but I'm
fairly sure it's right around 6 lbs. Trigger travel is extremely short.
There's absolutely zero overtravel and takeup is much, much shorter than my
other guns. The face of the trigger itself has fairly sharp serrations and
feels slightly concave. It's not sharp enough to cause bleeding, or even bad
discomfort (at least after 300 rounds) but it is noticable.

The gun shoots point of aim. I can document that I'm the worst IPSC shooter
in southern New Mexico and even I was able to get 4 inch groups at 15 yards
shooting offhand. From a sandbag rest, and shooting very slowly, I got a
three inch group at 25 yards.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the gun. It's going to serve my purpose, which
was, after all, mainly to let me act like I'm a gunsmith on it and not get
too upset when I mess something up.
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