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Old July 6, 2008, 12:57 PM   #1
rocinante
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Auto Ordnance 1911, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

I just completed a gunbroker auction and purchased an Auto Ordnance 1911PKZ for 420 shipped.

Basically I guess I am wanting a welcome to the nirvana from fellow 1911 owners and specifically feedback from owners of my pistol.

The Good

Supposedly Auto Ordinance 1911 is a whole lot better than it was before Kahr took over in 1999. Being this is 2008 and the seller assured me it came in this month from Kahr I am HOPING it isn't a POS.

It is inexpensive. Correction it is the least expensive NEW 1911 I could find period. This is an important point to me because I don't intend to shoot it a lot and it will never be my put my life on the line gun. Got an utterly reliable high cap S&W 9mm for that purpose. My hope is it is a reliable, fairly accurate firearm but it is a 1911. I got one.

Feature and appearance wise it is pretty darn close to a reasonable facsimile to the WWII GI. The only part of the design that is deviant is the Colt 60 something or another. If any part is sub par should be easy to replace with something better. Right?

It is U.S. made. I think Auto Ordnance has an office or something in Cummings, Georgia 15 miles up the road from me. Yeah I am grasping for the good

Considered a Rock Island but decided I would take a chance on the Kahr. Didn't like the big Rock Island on the slide. Gun bigots don't bother me a lot but if I am driving an econo box I don't plaster Hyundai with big letters on the side. You are going to have to look closer to see it is an economy gun. Silly reasoning I know.



The Bad and Ugly

Could be a POS. Enough negative feedback the old bad reputation hasn't died.

The supplied magazine is suspect to generating misfeed? What would be a good brand to use?

The frame and slide is cast? Actually I hope to get some clarification on this. I have no problem with cast frames if they are good quality like my ruger vaqueros. I read somewhere the slides are not cast but machined by caspian. I also ready Kahr imports the cast slide and frame from spain but send them to caspian for final machine work. What is the scoop?


The Miscellaneous about 1911s.

It is my understanding one of the virtues of a parkerized finish is it soaks up oil and that helps with corrosion resistance. Any particular oil should I use?

Off the bat is there anything inexpensive and easy I should do to the pistol to help it out? Different springs?
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Old July 6, 2008, 01:13 PM   #2
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I've got one of the old West Hurleys but from all I've heard the Kahrs aren't much better. Slides and frames are cast which I have no problem with. Yours will probably run ok with hardball but I'd get a new mag at the least before I tried anything else. Mine has had a good bit of work done on it and it will feed anything including empty cases with no hiccups plus it's accurate as hell. They're a fairly accurate copy of the Colt and aftermarket parts will fit. I wouldn't trade my AO for anything including a top of the line high dollar 1911.
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Old July 6, 2008, 01:20 PM   #3
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Thanks Hawg although I am wishing what I get is okay. Good to hear with tweaking you have a pistol you like. I am SASS # 79603.
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Old July 6, 2008, 03:09 PM   #4
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It probably will be. You have to take what you read on forums with a grain or 50 of salt sometimes cuz some people will bad mouth something they've never seen, just repeat what they've heard from other people that have never seen one. I would get a new mag tho. My original one feeds hardball fine but nothing else. I've got Colt mags and a couple of old WWII mags my dad had for his Remington Rand that do feed SWC's. My loads are 255 gr. cast Keiths.
Do you frequent the SASS Wire?
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Old July 6, 2008, 06:05 PM   #5
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Auto Ordnance supplied the base guns for quite a few of the speed shooters back in the 80s and 90s. Of course those were well worked over with custom parts. But hearing the name in the circles of IPSC always spoke of them not being total crap. I had never heard the names AMT or Llama, for example.
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Old July 7, 2008, 01:01 AM   #6
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Kahr doesn't put it's name on junk, I would give it a shot. Regards, Richard
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Old July 7, 2008, 10:10 AM   #7
rocinante
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Found a forum just for Auto Ordnance 1911 and over all I don't feel too bad. The most common negative is the stock magazines are only good for hardball, sometimes the front site goes zing, the slide release breaks, customer service is so so. One bad problem with the slide peening but AO replaced it. General consensus is good gun for the money.

http://forum.m1911.org/forumdisplay.php?f=8
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Old July 9, 2008, 01:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
sometimes the front site goes zing,
That happens with Colts as well and probably most of the others.
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Old July 9, 2008, 01:31 AM   #9
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We know how well Norinco 1911s are regarded and the front sight from my first one is still MIA. Regards, Richard
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Old July 9, 2008, 09:28 AM   #10
rocinante
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Well I got the check and FFL letter in the mail yesterday so I should have it next week. I called the vendor and asked if they could inspect it or hand select and they said no problem. They assured me they have been selling about 15 of these a month and not getting any complaints.

I tell you NOT having deep pockets and having gun lust is a problem. By necessity and nature I tend to gravitate toward best value for the buck. I tend to be a hot rodder too. Buy stock, customize, upgrade as I have time and money. Ever drag race kill a Porsche with a Mustang? Feels good. This will be my 14th gun and so far I have not gotten burnt or a true lemon. Even the cheapo FIE-15 22 revolver works. Knock on wood but the naysayers haven't been right so far.
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Old July 9, 2008, 10:27 PM   #11
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Ever drag race kill a Porsche with a Mustang?
No, but I have with an F150........
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Old July 9, 2008, 10:33 PM   #12
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That happens with Colts as well and probably most of the others.
I wish Colt would fire whatever blind monkey they've had staking front sights for the last 50 years. It gets irritating, especially since a good gunsmith can restake the thing properly in 15 minutes.
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Old July 10, 2008, 12:09 AM   #13
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I had one...the only thing I didnt like was that the thumb safety was not real secure, i e it didnt click into on and off with a real decisive snap...shot pretty well though. I sold it and moved on. Got a Safari Arms Cohort 1911 and a new S&W 1911 now.

Welcome to the brotherhood. It's really addictive!

Be sure and give us a range report ASAP!
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Old July 10, 2008, 12:10 AM   #14
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I wrote a review on the Kahr built AO for the m1911.org ezine.
http://ezine.m1911.org/AO1911A1_frame.htm
All in all a great pistol though I do not love the factory magazines.
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Old July 10, 2008, 04:34 PM   #15
rocinante
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Hunter I found that auto ordnance forum on m1911.org after I found this one. Read the threads and your review which I found comforting.
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Old July 10, 2008, 05:08 PM   #16
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I have one, got it not too long ago for $400 NIB.

It's reliable (with ball ammo) and shoots to the same spot each time, but unfortunately that spot is low. About 3" at 15 feet. And it's not just me, several shooters have fired the gun and had the same problem.

So, I need to either get rid of it or get new sights. Oh and the factory mag is crap - just leave that in the box.
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Old July 10, 2008, 05:23 PM   #17
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Auto Ordnance make some neat Tommy Guns..i have one!!!
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Old July 10, 2008, 11:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
It's reliable (with ball ammo) and shoots to the same spot each time, but unfortunately that spot is low. About 3" at 15 feet. And it's not just me, several shooters have fired the gun and had the same problem.

So, I need to either get rid of it or get new sights.


Heck, 30 seconds with a file and a Birchwood Casey paint pen and that thing would be POI/POA.
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Old July 11, 2008, 09:44 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by s4s4u
Heck, 30 seconds with a file and a Birchwood Casey paint pen and that thing would be POI/POA.
The sights are already low-profile, not sure how much there is to file off!

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Old July 11, 2008, 11:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
I wish Colt would fire whatever blind monkey they've had staking front sights for the last 50 years. It gets irritating, especially since a good gunsmith can restake the thing properly in 15 minutes.
I never had a Colt lose a factory front sight, original GI type or otherwise, it was always the gunsmith installed replacements that always seemed to go missing on a regular basis, at least until the double rivet jobs came around back in the 80's and then the dovetails.

I had an early West Hurley gun. Wasnt the prettiest, but it always worked OK. More than I can say for my last 5 Springfields and a couple of Kimbers.

I guess with any of the clones, you always take your chances and see how it goes.
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Old July 11, 2008, 12:41 PM   #21
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Here you go:

http://www.thesixgunjournal.net/aoww2.html
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Old July 11, 2008, 03:29 PM   #22
rocinante
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Sarge I saw that review before I ordered and it definitely made me frown. He had a broken part and he rebuilt the gun before taking it shooting. When he did shoot he liked it well enough and it was accurate and reliable. Go figure.

Mine is in the mail but unfortunately I will be out of town when it gets to my FFL.
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Old July 11, 2008, 04:08 PM   #23
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'He' is 'me' but you are correct on all counts. I'm still carrying the gun.
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Old July 11, 2008, 05:54 PM   #24
rocinante
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Cool Sarge. I kind of agree the forged versus stamped or MIM internal parts. Hate to break. Plenty of folks seem to have shot the snot out of the AO as is though.

Is there some place(s) to shop on line for a kit of surplus Uncle Sam G.I. parts? Still in my 1911 infantry here. I was especially interested in what one said about replacing the spring and getting a full length bar?
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Old July 11, 2008, 09:52 PM   #25
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http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=199119

A good source of genuine USGI surplus 1911A1 parts would be golden, but they are getting scarce. A better solution is just to buy quality aftermarket parts that follows the GI spec and general configuration. I have yet to be dissatisfied with anything I've bought from Ed Brown.

I believe the spring/bar you are referring to is a 'full length guide rod' (FLGR). In my experience the only time they benefit reliability is when used in the Officer-length guns like the Colt Officer or A/O Pit Bull. The latter was cursed vehemently as an unreliable POS and A/O themselves will tell you that it was a mistake they won't be repeating. I have made them run however, following the basic procedure described in the linked article and with the addition of Brown's 'Reverse Plug' recoil spring system.

BTW if you're a 1911 newbie about the best 30 bucks you can spend is for a copy of "The Colt .45 Automatic: A Shop Manual Volume 1" by Jerry Kuhnhausen. You'll soon have your terminology down and if you study it well from cover to cover, it will make you immune to much of the maelstrom of faulty information circulating about this fine old gun.
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Last edited by Sarge; July 11, 2008 at 11:41 PM. Reason: sca-rewed up hyperlink
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