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Thread: Can someone ID this AO?

  1. #11
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    Thanks for the assessment Spyros. The frame and slide show characteristics of a gun made in the 80s. Your last sentence that confuses me. Are you saying that your initial guess is a 1980s gun but now you're 2nd guessing it because it's not branded with the AO logo? Also, the serial number is not prefixed with letters too which I think is peculiar as well.

  2. #12
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    Sorry, that post wasn't very clear.

    I guess I thought that AO started selling 1911s, with their logo, in the '80s. So I'd also thought that they must all have firing pin safety systems, which I now realize is what some professors call a "logical leap". Clearly this isn't the case here, since this gun doesn't have the safety.

    I have no idea if this gun was made in the 80s or before, just that the frame and slide are definitely not USGI parts.

    My confusing comment in the end was meant to point out that there definitely were makers of aftermarket 1911 frames like Essex, before the 80s, AND that those frames have a similar frontstrap profile to this gun. But this is neither here nor there, a) because more recent AOs also had this profile and b) other makers of early complete 1911 pistols, like AMT for example and even Springfield Armory had something similar as well (SA's was a bit less pronounced though).

    It is my opinion that many such parts (frames, slides) were marketed by a bunch of different names but were often, shall we say not entirely unrelated in their manufacture (a practice that probably continues today), which is why I thought that mentioning others making guns and/or parts in those times, might be relevant.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter
    Last edited by Spyros; 9th July 2019 at 16:41.


  3. #13
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    Got it and thanks!

  4. #14
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    2nd October 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinWiseguy View Post
    A family member acquired an AO 1911 A1. He thinks it's Vietnam War era. I called Kahr's customer service line and they were EXCEEDINGLY nice to talk with but they had no info on the gun. The interesting characteristic on this piece is the 5 digit serial number that does not have the AO prefix. The roll stamp shows the NY mfg plant.

    If anyone can take a peek at this 1911 and offer some info as to what you believe the age is, I'd appreciate it! The serial is 1039x. Thank you! Attachment 4626
    I’m guessing that “Vietnam War Era” is being used (for whatever reason) in an attempt to loosely assign a date of manufacture to the gun, and not to imply that it is a military 1911. As I recall, no 1911’s were purchased by the military after the 1940’s. After that, they were maintaining 1911’s and 1911A1’s already in their inventory.
    "Sights are for the unenlightened."

    Rick

    IDPA Certified Safety Officer
    Last edited by Rick McC.; 23rd August 2019 at 20:30.


  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinWiseguy View Post
    Spyros, I got photos back from him last night. The gun definitely doesn’t have the firing pin safety. I can post the photos of the underside of the slide and frame if you’re interested. I heard from someone that Numrich AOs during Vietnam/Korea were actually WWII vintage that were reconditioned. What’s your take on that?
    The A.O. 1911 that I bought in the early ‘80’s was a refinished frankengun of various parts that wouldn’t even chamber a round from the mag.

    I took it to a local gunsmith to see what it needed. He wouldn’t work on it, and told me to take it back where I got it, and get my money back. I did, and had no further interest in the brand until it was taken over by Kahr.
    "Sights are for the unenlightened."

    Rick

    IDPA Certified Safety Officer

  6. #16
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    Rick, I agree my cousin acquired it from a friend who spoke of it probably in uninformed terms. Neither are “gun” guys but more in to WWII historic sentiment, the result being that this firearm became more a symbol rather than anything else. It’s a series 70 for sure but based on comments it’s probably a Frankenstein piece with an AO slide. Before looking in to it for cousin Bill, I didn’t know much about AO myself.

    Since then I acquired a Kahr-era AO, model Deluxe in series 70 design. Granted not the milled steel quality of Colt or SA, for a $300 Gun she’s a rather nice looker, shoots pretty well and came with case, orig fired factory test cartridge shell, etc. The rubberized leather-like-appearance grips are comfortable and different and actually add to the patina of the metal. Presently my Kahr-AO 1911 is at Kahn getting a factory tuneup as the front sight and tube need repinning. Not sure what I’ll do with her other than maybe just shoot it now and again. But for the price, better than I expected.
    Last edited by AustinWiseguy; 24th August 2019 at 09:34. Reason: clarity


  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinWiseguy View Post
    Rick, I agree my cousin acquired it from a friend who spoke of it probably in uninformed terms. Neither are “gun” guys but more in to WWII historic sentiment, the result being that this firearm became more a symbol rather than anything else. It’s a series 70 for sure but based on comments it’s probably a Frankenstein piece with an AO slide. Before looking in to it for cousin Bill, I didn’t know much about AO myself.
    If it's only the slide that was made by (or for) Auto-Ordnance, the receiver must be marked with the name, city, and state of the manufacturer (if made after the Gun Control Act of 1968). What markings are on the right side of the receiver?
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  8. #18
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    Hawkmoon, I misspoke - it's been a while since I looked at the photos my cousin sent me. We live in different states so I've never held or seen the firearm itself physically. Just the not-great quality photos he sent over. The receiver is NY stamped. The 5 digit serial number is NOT prefixed with AO. The underside of the slide definitely a series 70. I think the consensus was that this was a Numrich-mfg AO pistol. I thought from other posts that some aspects of the gun were not pure so my thought that there had been other work done to it. I may be totally wrong on that part.

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