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Thread: Can someone ID this AO?

  1. #1
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    Can someone ID this AO?

    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! IMG_1297.jpg

  2. #2
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    I can't help, but I can say that it's unsurprising that Kahr Arms couldn't help you. They didn't own Auto-Ordnance when A-O was in New York -- when Kahr bought A-O they moved production to Worcester, Massachusetts, and then (more recently) to Pennsylvania.

    For New York production, A-O was owned by Numrich (Gun Parts Corporation). I have no idea if they retained any records, but you can contact them and ask. If you do contact them, please let us know what they say.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  3. #3
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    Hawkmoon, I did call Numrich at the suggestion of Kahr and they did not retain any records dating that far back. Both Kahr and Numrich (also friendly and helpful) suggested contacting ATF which I'd never thought to do but I'll leave that up to my cousin if he wants to pursue it with a govt agency. Do you happen to know when Numrich first started making the AO 1911s? And/or how many digits serial number they began their production run with?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by AustinWiseguy View Post
    Do you happen to know when Numrich first started making the AO 1911s? And/or how many digits serial number they began their production run with?
    Unfortunately, I have no idea.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  5. #5
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    Ask your cousin if the gun has a firing pin safety.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spyros View Post
    Ask your cousin if the gun has a firing pin safety.
    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?
    Last edited by AustinWiseguy; 8th July 2019 at 07:45.


  7. #7
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    Here are the photos I mentioned FWIW..IMG_1306.jpgIMG_1305.jpg

  8. #8
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    Interesting.

    I knew Numrich and others have a long history of selling milsurp parts' guns decades ago, but I wasn't aware that they used the Auto-Ordnance brand to do so. In any case, I doubt this applies here. The frame and slide of the top of the three guns in the first post are definitely not USGI parts. The slide serrations eliminate the slide, the uber-squared front strap of the grip section eliminates the frame. That particular feature of the frame was a characteristic of AO frames from the 80s -- but that's what I thought when I wasn't aware there were older ones than that, not with the AO logo. Essex frames, made in the 60s and 70s, were also like that.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spyros View Post
    Interesting.

    I knew Numrich and others have a long history of selling milsurp parts' guns decades ago, but I wasn't aware that they used the Auto-Ordnance brand to do so. In any case, I doubt this applies here. The frame and slide of the top of the three guns in the first post are definitely not USGI parts. The slide serrations eliminate the slide, the uber-squared front strap of the grip section eliminates the frame. That particular feature of the frame was a characteristic of AO frames from the 80s -- but that's what I thought when I wasn't aware there were older ones than that, not with the AO logo. Essex frames, made in the 60s and 70s, were also like that.
    So were some very early Springfield Armory 1911s.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkmoon View Post
    So were some very early Springfield Armory 1911s.
    Some?

    IIRC at one point SA offered owners of older pistols the option to round the frontstrap and the spring tunnel in the frame, to later (read: normal) specs. That modification was called the "post 2003 profile" or something to that effect... so guns made before that, starting from the 1980s, all had that squared profile. That's a lot of pistolas...

    EDITED to add:
    It was 2002, not 2003. They don't offer it anymore in their custom shop, as far as their website says, but I found an old SA Custom Shop work list that mentions "Recontour front strap to 2002 specifications" as a job. It cost $70, same for "Recontour dust cover to 2002 specifications" The document is from 2008.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter
    Last edited by Spyros; 8th July 2019 at 13:12.


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