View Full Version : Auto-Ordnance M1 carbine

April 25, 2010, 11:01 AM
Anyone own a Auto-Ordnance M1 carbine? I am particularly interested in the traditional looking AOM 130, that was used in WWII. How does it compare to the originals? Is it worth buying?

April 25, 2010, 11:40 AM
My eyes lit up a few months ago when I ran into one for $375 at a local shop. On doing some research I found out:
a) they are OK but not exceptional shooters.
b) Recievers and outher parts are (cast vs forged as memory recalls.) not considered to be of the same quality as WWII vintage .
c) Not legal in most military match's (where guns have to be military in heritage and 'as issues". )
d) those that bought them as "truck guns" and "plinkers" seemed to be otherwise happy.
e) have poor resale due to all of the above.

FWIW, I passed but can't say that I would if I saw one ofr $200 ;-)

April 25, 2010, 08:45 PM
I have one. I bought it about this time last year, maybe a little earlier in the spring...I was looking for an original, , but Obama scare was in full swing and original surplus M1 carbines were ridiculous- $900 bucks or so. I ended up getting a deal (at the time) on the Kahr/Auto Ordinance version. i ended up paying right at $600 out the door. I figured for my purposes- plinking around, it would be fine, it was, after all, a replica and had the benefit of all new parts.
I didn't like how the barrel looked naked without the bayo lug, so i picked one up at a gun show for $5 bucks and added it on. I also got a repro sling and oiler and buttstock mag holder.
I then could not bring myself to pay the upwards of $50 bucks the scalpers a the gunshows wanted for .30 carbine ammo; there was/is NONE available locally, so it ended up in the back of my safe, new and unfired.
Looks-wise and functionally its an exact copy. If you didn't tell someone who knows about them that it was not an original, they wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The parkerizing is nice, and the markings look authentic. My only complaint is that mine has what feels to be balsa wood for the stock. I guess its probably Birch, but it feels extremely light. The new ones now have real walnut stocks on them. I will probably buy a surplus GI stock to put on it.
If you're wanting one to shoot and enjoy- get the K/AO. If you're more in it for the collecting factor, get an original. You can get a re-import surplus for about the same price; the drawback is arsenal rebuild mis-match parts and a lot of markings on the metal, unknown mechanical condition, etc. You can pay about a grand and get a like new surplus model.
As far as the K/AO is concerned though, I would recommend it to anyone.

April 26, 2010, 06:04 AM

Ouch...that's a load of money for a copy.

April 26, 2010, 04:43 PM
I've got a Rock-Ola and one of the newer AO's. The GI models are far better. First off the headspace was off when I got it and AO/Kahr's customer service stinks. I couldn't get a human on the phone and it took 2 weeks before they answered the 2 online service requests I made, but they did fix it.
It shoots just fine, eats whatever I feed it and I can do whatever mods I want to it and not feel bad for doing so. I made the rear sling slot wider so I could use a traditional leather sling. No it doesn't have the bayonet lug, but that is a post war addition and it's designed to resemble WW2 era carbines.
I would look at CMP or gun shows first. I think you can find something as good or better for less there. Ammo is a problem now, but I've got a stash of 1K I bought before the panic of '08 and am reloading the brass. But around here the brick and motars are selling it for about $30 a box.

April 27, 2010, 01:11 AM
My Kahr M-1 carbine is an exact WWII copy with bayonet lug. Well made and very accurate. Parts interchange with my old Winchester M-1. I got mine 6 years ago for $400 so it may be a little different than their current models.

Bart Noir
April 27, 2010, 06:39 PM
Mine was a looker, looked like a quality product. So I bought it.

Not much later I wished I spent the same amount of money on an old beat-up GI carbine. At least it would work.

My AO turned into a jammamatic in about 110 rounds. When I last fired it, it would take several tries to get a bang. I took it apart and found that the hammer was not hitting the bolt correctly, and I think the bolt is not locking up correctly.

So I am now in the middle of that customer service adventure mentioned above.

On a sample of one, I cannot recommend this product. YMMV.

Bart Noir

April 27, 2010, 08:21 PM
IIRC, the original A0/Kahrs had the bayo lug (as well as non-GI ventilated metal handguard like the not-much-loved Universals), flip safety and ramp/windage adjustable sights most GI carbines now sport. A few years ago, they went "back" to the original early war look and fitments...as well as a walnut *option* to the standard birch.

Contrary to popular myth, the bayo lug was not a strictly post-war refit--though it was mostly so--as it was added as late war order and production item. Very few made it onto the battlefield, but my '44 Inland--which is verifiably 100% post war-unmolested original--sports one (B29 pilot father brought home NIB from Guam at war's end). The gun came with the bayo as well. In any event, for further verification--for those that care--pics of bayo'd carbines in the Pacific Theatre are rare but exist. In addition, war documents show the 1944/45 production orders.

Again, the current Kahr is set up like the very early war carbines in terms of the simple rear peep and no bayo lug. I think it also has the button safety most carbines had during the war. By Normandy, Bulge, Iwo, Okinawa, etc, most carbines had either been refit with or new production included the ramp rear that's become so ubiquitous with most GI carbines we see now. In terms of the stock, the Kahrs (as well as IAIs, etc) all look very dry like they could use a "major oiling" with Tru oil, etc, maybe with some light sanding to start with to tighten up the pores. Part of this "problem" may be the type of wood but, regardless, the OP might try that to a) darken it up a bit and b) make it look/feel a little more like a genuine GI.

So...a bayo lug does not make a carbine necessarily WWII-inauthentic (unless you're re-enacting most major battles to the Nth in detail), but it was very late and very rare. I'm +1 on the GIs being better guns, but I'd still like to see A0/Kahr have two variants: its current early war, and "go back" to another that would, essentially, be post WWII refit/"Korea"--as most GI carbines are now outfitted. Rear sight, bayo lug, flip safety, like A0 started out with (but keep it all wood). For purists, leaving the bayo lug off (maybe optional?), other than the flip safety, they'd still emulate most carbine production or refit from 1943-on. Maybe call a fully outfitted carbine "Korean War issue"?

Terry A
April 27, 2010, 08:24 PM
Today 07:39 PM
Bart Noir

Not much later I wished I spent the same amount of money on an old beat-up GI carbine. At least it would work.

My AO turned into a jammamatic in about 110 rounds. When I last fired it, it would take several tries to get a bang. I took it apart and found that the hammer was not hitting the bolt correctly, and I think the bolt is not locking up correctly.

On a sample of one, I cannot recommend this product. YMMV.

Bart Noir

I mentioned on another M1 thread that the M1 carbine is my all time favorite 'looking" long arm. Just so beautiful. But I've never owned one for exactly the reason Bart mentioned....I shot a Universal M1 when I was little and it kept jamming. I've read lots of reviews and it always comes down to reliability when the trigger is pulled. I can live with the somewhat anemic round, but no matter the brand, be it Universal or Auto Ordinance, the mimics never seem to shoot as reliably as the original GI issued ones did. I have no idea why the modern versions don't feed like the old ones, but they don't enough times to make it a huge factor.

Still, what a perfect looking firearm!

Ignition Override
April 28, 2010, 03:17 PM
"Two thumbs down". Less money would have bought the real deal. I had neglected to read anything about these beforehand:o.

I fell for the shiny, new looks (as people do with Mitchell's Mausers....).
My brand-new, very over-priced AO imitation was carefully handled, but after a few weeks the bolt somehow got stuck while plinking: jammed solid. :(The gun smith refused to touch it. This was November, '07.

While it was being repaired, I finally noticed that the actions of GI Carbines felt more rugged. You see them often at Memphis area gun shows.
Jackson, TN had about four at just one show.

The AO factory repair was free, but I had such a grudge against the factory that I sold it at a major loss.
A nice, authentic GI Carbine might be a much better choice, although my Mini 14, 30 (though both are over-priced, using more powerful/avail./cheaper ammo) and common Norinco SKS are much better rifles than my AO imitation.

This is a basic Chinese SKS versus the 'best' US M-1 carbine we could produce in '06-'07 for $750 retail?:confused: I've seen new AOs sit for many weeks at "Guns and Ammo", and now easily understand why. The price is Not the Real problem. In stark contrast, the rugged, solid SKS truly is "The Peoples' Rifle" (don't like AK clone ergonomics), if not a costlier Ruger Mini (14 or 30), now with Ruger factory 20-rd. mags. available for both.

April 28, 2010, 04:39 PM
I have a lowly Universal and it shoots pretty good as long as you only feed it FMJ - when I (used to) try to shoot softpoints in it it would jam easily every 4th or 5th round. Stictly a fun gun (paid 185 for it about 20 years ago) - would not trust it for SD.

April 29, 2010, 02:11 AM
I would go for a real milspec M1 Carbine.

Deaf Smith
April 29, 2010, 09:13 PM
I have both AO M1 Carbine and a Postal Meter GI.

The AO took alot of ammo to break it in (but broke in it is) and it's a good shooter. The front sight was loose but a bit of beer can aluminum as a shim under the key and it's REAL tight with zero wiggle. The flip 'L' sight is about 3 inches high at 100 yards and allows a dead on hold at 150, and about 8 inches low at 200 (I feel 200 yards is awful far for the M1 Carbine.)

But it will put all its shots in the head of a IPSC target at 100 yards when I go prone. That ain't bad!

But considering a good GI carbine can be had for $600, the price of a AO carbine, well it depends on if it's a hard usage truck gun you want or a once-a-month plinker. If a hard use gun, well the AO is fine and since it isn't a collectors gun, no biggie for it getting nicks and scratches. But if you want a collectors gun, get a CMP Carbine.

For me, I lucked out. Pawn shop and a GI Postal Meter, bayonet lug, and in good condition, with no import marks, for $299. It was missing the back sight. A trip to a gun shop I knew and $40 later, a milled rear GI adjustable sight was installed. Shot just about an inch to the right. Two clicks and it was dead on at 25 yards. Yes I paid about $355 bucks, tax included, for a GI carbine. And it's a safe queen. The AO isn't.