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Old April 22, 2013, 07:32 AM   #1
Join Date: March 23, 2009
Location: Brandon, MS
Posts: 28
1989 Auto Ordinance 1927-A1 possible buy

Been searching all morning for a few answers--Besides the obvious--it being heavy, hard to bolt and a crappy trigger? Are the Tommy's built by Auto Ordinance better than the newer ones by Kahr? Like I said in the subject it was built in 1989 and has not been fired. What I have gathered is that they have mostly been pretty reliable minus a few that I read about that had to be returned to the shop for one thing or another. This thing will not sit in a safe--it will be fired soon, multiple times.

Thanks for your time,
msuforeman is offline  
Old April 22, 2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 4, 2001
Posts: 7,052
You'll get a 50-50 mix on opinion.
50% say the Numrich-Auto Ordnance were better, 50% say the Kahr-Auto Ordnance are better, especially the latest guns.

The most common causes of unreliable operation in the Thompson Semi-Auto is worn out or improperly modified magazines, and using incorrect ammo.

The magazines are WWII surplus that are modified by filing the mag catch hole in the back of the mag slightly higher so it can lock into the semi-auto gun.
Too many people use clapped out old magazines, or they file the hole in the mag too high, which lets the mag sit too low, and the gun fails to feed.

For ammo, Auto Ordnance specifies 230 grain FMJ BRASS case ammo, and very specifically DO NOT recommend using steel cased ammo. They say that using steel cased ammo will break the extractor.

Stock up on ammo, these just gobble it up.
Dfariswheel is offline  
Old April 22, 2013, 08:59 PM   #3
44 AMP
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 17,338
Mine runs pretty well on stick mags, still having issues with the drum (although it may just need some break in, have only tried the drum 3 times - it gets spendy to feed)

My gun (bought used) came with a manual that said Kahr, but close inspection of the gun reveals that the Kahr name is nowhere on it. Its an Auto Ord gun.

A while after Kahr took over, I was talking to a serious tommygun shooter (he had a "C" drum for sale, at a price more than any used car I'd ever bought), and he was ticked at Kahr. He said that Kahr had changed the barrel from threaded to press fit (meaning a regular gunshop couldn't change the barrel), and the "first thing that wears out on a Thompson is the barrel".

Don't know if that's true, but he was very..informed sounding....

I don't shoot steel cases, in anything except Com Bloc designed guns (and there I use brass when I can get it, being a dedicated reloader), so I can't say about that, other than if the factory says don't, then you probably shouldn't.

My gun seems to eat anything I feed it, regular ball, LRN ball equivalent, even SWC and JHP loads. It is accurate enough to make a 5 shot one hole rip at 25yds, or ring the 200yd gong using the ladder sight. The long, heavy, spongey trigger pulls makes it a challenge to do it, but you can do it with practice.

One regular member here had no end of trouble with his Tommygun, but mine has behaved quite well. While it think its pretty much flip a coin, I would choose an older gun (if it is in the same shape & price range) over a new one, but that's just me.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old April 23, 2013, 07:13 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 4, 2001
Posts: 7,052
Both Kahr and Numrich used the Thompson company's official name....Auto Ordnance.
That's the name that General Thompson and his investors named the company and the name has been used by various owners ever since, no matter what company owned the name.

I don't think Kahr-Auto Ordnance is using pressed-in barrels. The design doesn't lend itself too well to that assembly method.
Dfariswheel is offline  
Old April 25, 2013, 05:22 AM   #5
Join Date: October 12, 2009
Posts: 69

Reduced to the basics; it's an overpriced .45ACP carbine at rifle weight.

Had 2 of the West-Hurley/A-O .22LRs back in 1979 - returned one for repairs, sold the replacement they sent me without even shooting it as the build quality wasn't even close to Glenfield standards. Only thing nice was the walnut.

Fast-FWD to 1994, snagged a 127A1Deluxe after pouring thru a pile of them at a dealer looking for the best of the bunch. The .45 guns were better made than the .22s IMHO, but still left you feeling that the build could have been nicer. Supposedly Khar has worked out a lot of A-O induced build issues - like non-hardened bolts...

Mine had great cosmetics and was a real looker at the range (who doesn't like a Cutts, finned barrel, 1921TSMG VFG??) but as others have said; iffy converted GI mags, iffy-drum reliability, and now-way expensive-to-plink-with-brass .45ACP caused me to finally dump it. I do not miss it at all.

In a victim nation, a classroom full of dead children is morally superior to a teacher holding a smoking gun knowing she just protected her students.
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Old April 25, 2013, 08:35 AM   #6
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It took a little tweaking to get mine to feed reliable. Great range toy but pointless in some respects. I fell in to mine at half of retail so I had to buy it, I wouldn't pay current prices.
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