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Posted: 1/1/2006 6:10:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/2/2006 12:34:51 AM EDT by yugosksfan]
I'm pretty new to the 1911 world, so I'm just trying to get my facts straight here.

I've heard that prior to Kahr Arms picking up the Auto-Ordnance name, that AO was churning out 1911's that would make John Moses roll in his grave. Cast parts, poor fitting, you name it.

Now that Kahr is running the show, are these problems straightened out? Any of you have any experience, 1st or 2nd-hand with these "post-Kahr" AO's? Are they up to par with Springfield's GI model, or are they still POS's?
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 7:27:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 7:58:40 PM EDT by hobbs5624]
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Link Posted: 1/1/2006 8:37:28 PM EDT
They are nowhere near the bigger 1911 makers in quality and seem to still be pretty rough around the edges. I've seen only a few that were anywhere near what one could call reliable and resale is non existant as far as holding any value. Problem is, even the frames and slides are subpar compared to even the cheapest SA out there that can accept aftermarket parts with no problem. AOs were known for poor machining/positioning of hammer holes and such and aftermarket parts could be difficult to make work without extra work. Have not seen where they are all that better. And I'm not about to try after the POS I once had.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 8:50:11 PM EDT
POS!
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 12:36:47 AM EDT
Are they still using cast frames? You'd figure that a company with as good a reputation as Kahr would be able to produce a decent 1911.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 4:32:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 7:58:50 PM EDT by hobbs5624]
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Link Posted: 1/2/2006 5:03:35 AM EDT
RUN AWAY!!!!!! I had one that came with a whole boat load of Kahr paperwork, which led me to believe that it was in fact a Kahr made pistol which was worth plunking the $$$ down on. Incorrect. Evidently Kahr had a big stock pile of Auto Ordnance frames, slide and parts left and were assembling pistols out of those.

My list of problems were as follows:

At purchase, safety didn't properly engage. Had it replaced with a USGI thumb safety.

at approximately 250 rounds the slide stop began to take on a noticeable bend, replaced with USGI slide stop.

At approximately 400 rounds the "parkerization" on the MSH and grip safety started wearing off.

at approximately 615 rounds the firing pin mushroomed and got stuck in the firing pin retaining plate. Replaced with USGI Firing Pin

At approximately 900 rounds the extractor crapped out and would only extract about 1/3rd of the rounds fired. All of the finish on the MSH and Grip safety is worn off. Replaced with USGI parts.

Now, mind you throuhgout this entire time the pistol will not reliable fire an entire magazine without a FTE. There is joyous celebration if I am able to fire 7 rounds without a stoppage. And it wasn't the magazines I was using. I had 4 USGI mags, 1 factory AO mag and 2 wilson combat mags. All of the mags ran flawlessly in my bro's 1943 Rem Rand and in my TRP. It was the AO which was causing the problems

Also, all the parts that went bad were cast and the slide was starting to show some "worrisome" wear according to the gunsmith I took it to and suggested I look into replacing the slide at some point in the future.

After the extractor went bad I sent a Nast-y-gram to AO to tell them what a POS their product was and that I would never again purchase an AO product or for that matter a Kahr product. I got a response from Dorthy who told me that the problems were unacceptable and that they would replace my pistol.

They requested that I provide an FFL so that they could send me a new pistol. So, I package it up take it down to my FFL and have it shipped to AO on my dime. Wait a few weeks and I got a call from my FFL that the pistol was back, drive up and what doth my unbelieving eyes see? But the same damn pistol that they had polished the feed ramp and put a new extractor in. Add insult to injury they had taken several of the USGI parts I put on the gun off and replaced them with AO parts (firing pin, thumb safety and grip safety). I was livid. Especially since I was now out for shipping to the factory and the transfer charge for something I could have done with a dremel and the cost of an extractor at a gun show. UGH.

I took the AO 1911 out to the range to see if the situation had improved. I fired off 7 rounds not a hiccup. The next mag, 3 FTE's. Third mag, 2 FTE's, Fourth Mag 3 FTEs. At that point I put it down and never shot it again.

I wound up selling it at a major loss just to get rid of the POS. So, long story short. Its not worth your time or money to get one of these. Bud'sgunshop.com has SA GI/WWII models for around $350 which are a far superior pistol for a similar amount of scratch. Save yourself the time hassel and aggravation and get something better than AO.

While I'm not sure if my experience speaks for all AO 1911's, I have heard some other horror stories with them and wouldn't be surprised if others came out of the woodwork with stories like mine or ones that topped it.

If ya have any specific questions drop me an IM as I'd be happy to answer, but do yourself a favor and avoid AO like the plague.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 5:17:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 7:58:57 PM EDT by hobbs5624]
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Link Posted: 1/2/2006 6:28:47 AM EDT
Wow, ouch.

<Scratches AO off my list>
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 8:34:33 AM EDT
Excellent post lithgow and just about how AOs were years ago. I consider them Junk guns and one of the reasons that the 1911 started to get a poor reputation for reliability.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 12:54:51 PM EDT
my first 1911 was a Thompson A/O.....the experience nearly soured me on 1911s. I spent literally thousands of dollars trying to make that thing look and run good. (look good & run well for any grammar Nazis) I wound up with a polished, match barreled, 1911 shaped paperweight.


I was also curious to know if Kahr had managed to turn A/O around....I'm happy to say that I went with my gut instinct/previous experience and opted for a SA Loaded instead.
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