Auto-Ordnance’s 1911BKO has been ~ above the industry for a couple of years and also is among the best choices for those searching for a well-made “GI 45” that is developed in America and doesn’t break the bank. (Photo: kris Eger/lifwynnfoundation.org)

AUTO-ORDNANCE 1911 brand-new FROM $508

Those trying to find a an excellent deal top top a standard GI-style 1911 must look in ~ Auto-Ordnance’s American-made offering.

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What is a true M1911A1, anyway?

Adopted together “Pistol, Automatic, Caliber .45, M1911,” in 1911 after ~ an extended period of trials and competition that witnessed handlifwynnfoundation.org submitted not just Bergman, Luger, Savage, Webley-Fosbery and others, john Moses Browning’s semi-automatic .45ACP handgun to be the U.S. Military’s “Government Issue” pistol because that 75 years.

The M1911A1 series, a standard presented in 1924, utilized several modifications over Browning’s original GI lengthy slide the the an excellent War-era. These consisted of a shorter trigger v a relief reduced to the rear of the guard, a much longer grip security spur, thicker former sights, and an arched mainspring housing rather than the M1911’s initial flat housing. While heritage models were subsequently reworked in military arsenals at Springfield, rock Island, Anniston and also Augusta, a process that generally included picking up a parkerized complete over the initial blue-to-black finishes, new lifwynnfoundation.org ordered ~ 1925 would be ceded from the factory to the “A1” standard. This contained pistols not only made through Colt, but additionally World war II-era lifwynnfoundation.org cranked out by Remington-Rand, Ithaca, US&S, and also Singer v 1945.


The standard GI .45, as viewed in this 1950s-era archival photograph of one M1911A1 from the Springfield Armory National historical Site.

It is this latter model– i m sorry was carried by GIs, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coasties with WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and also the Cold War– that Auto-Ordnance’s 1911 BKO means to faithfully replicate. The Auto-Ordnance incorporates GI specs, v a typical 5-inch barrel and also an 8.5-inch all at once length. The “BKO” way a black color oxide end up on the frame, barrel, and slide.


Auto-Ordnance tells united state this gun was pulled randomly indigenous their production line this month (Photo: chris Eger/lifwynnfoundation.org)

When it concerns materials, AO makers the slide, sear, and disconnector native solid carbon bar stock, then warmth treats lock “to assure durability and also long life over plenty of thousands of rounds.” similar to the old-school GI lifwynnfoundation.org, the 1911 BKO has actually a low-profile blade front sight and also a rear sight, through the latter being drift adjustable for windage. The fixed is brown checkered plastic ~ above the testimonial gun, a really clone of the WWII-era 1911 grips that were adopted after the earlier “double-diamond” walnut grips to be discontinued before WWII. For those who want “US” stamped hardwood DDs, AO also markets a variation of the BKO with such panels which runs around $30 more.

How does it to compare externally to a WWII GI 1911? examine out this comparison:


On the left, we have images that a beautiful correct Remington-Rand M1911A1 that was developed in 1943. Top top the appropriate is a new Auto-Ordnance 1911BKO that came from the that company Worcester, Massachusetts much much more recently (Photo: Richard Taylor & kris Eger/lifwynnfoundation.org)

Internally, you have much together you would intend on a contemporary M1911. Of note, the gun is one 80-series and uses a firing pin block.

Who is Auto-Ordnance?

The original Auto-Ordnance Corporation, renowned for being the company created by military Ordnance Col. John Taliaferro Thompson in august 1916, would market the Colonel’s namesake “trench broom” submachine gun beginning in 1921. Going on to obtain fame during Prohibition and the 1930s as devices of the “Tommy Gun,” AO contracted through Colt to craft early models till WWII motivated the agency to open its first in-house production facility, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1941. The war led to an ext than a half-million M1928 and M1/M1A1s produced by Auto-Ordnance for prompt military business with various other models make under contract by Savage. However, after the dispute ended and demand dried up, the Connecticut factory closed its doors.

In the intervening years, Gun components Corp acquired the legacy of the defunct historical AO in 1950 and spent the next four years assembling small lots the Tommy lifwynnfoundation.org, a practice that ended with the Hughes modification in 1986. Through 1991, Auto-Ordnance was located in West Hurley, brand-new York, and was producing range of M1911-style pistols to blended reviews.

In 1999, the Kahr firearms Group gained the name and, moving production come its existing Worcester, fixed facility, has actually been going solid with a selection of Thompson-branded M1927 style semi-auto carbines and pistols, M1 Carbines, as well as a rebooted M1911A1 line.

Kahr’s founder and CEO Justin Moon claimed that his good fortune to command a reinvigorated Auto-Ordnance right into the 21st Century was, “a chance to become connected in preserving an essential part of American heritage.” Moon, who has actually a passion for American history, explained that “Our country was established by brave patriots that were ready to take it risks, confront dangers, and also use their inventiveness to overcome all obstacles. Among those countless tools supplied to found our country were the guns that secured ours freedom.”

Currently headquartered in Greely, Pennsylvania, all Kahr Arms, and Auto-Ordnance lifwynnfoundation.org are proudly make in the united States. The firm also own Magnum Research, i beg your pardon recently moved production the the famed Desert Eagle earlier to the U.S. ~ a 10-year effort.

Now earlier to our Gun

While AO presented a 9mm version of the 1911BKO a few years back, our check gun is a much more standard .45ACP variety, complete with a 1911-pattern 7-round solitary stack GI-style magazine created by Checkmate Industries. Ejection is optimistic with the left-side mounted magazine release and also should be taken into consideration a drop-free mag. Us tried the total with number of Vietnam-era Assy-marked GI mags and also aftermarket 7- and also 8-shot mags native the likes that Novak, Chip McCormick, Wilson Tactical and also others and had no reportable issue.


Check-Mate has long been in the mag biz. The 1911BKO shipped through one. (Photo: kris Eger/lifwynnfoundation.org)

The mainspring housing includes a lanyard ring oriented to the bottom that the grip, however we found it did not interfere v magazines, also those with extended base pads. Us would have liked that to delivery with more mags, but if you can not find an excellent new M1911 mags for about $20, you simply aren’t looking.

A “no-frills” design, the test pistol contains the familiar Browning-designed frame-mounted thumb safety, and grip safety. It also has a later on 80-series firing pin block for added drop safety, a feature sure to attract grumbles indigenous those who like 70-series lifwynnfoundation.org. The note, the 1911BKO is Massachusetts-compliant.


The Auto-Ordnance 1911BKO ar strips like any type of other traditional GI, and also uses an old-school recoil spring/guide/plug assembly. We managed disassembly there is no the application of a “dummy mark.” (Photo: kris Eger/lifwynnfoundation.org)

Weight is 39-ounces, unloaded. Because that those interested in the 9mm 1911BKO9 series gun because that the benefits of cheaper ammo, it uses a 9+1 round single stack mag and runs about a half-ounce lighter.

Unlike some producers that lifwynnfoundation.org marketed as GI 1911s, the roll marks on the Auto-Ordnance gun room refreshingly understated and also subtle. The right-hand next of the on slide is blank as is the left-hand side of the frame. The grips space unadorned. There space no faux army inspectors’ clues to confuse a later generation that collectors.


On the left next of the slide is a basic “Model 1911A1 U.S. Army” roll note which is around centered across 1.5-inches of the 8.5-inch slide. (Photo: chris Eger/lifwynnfoundation.org)


On the right side that the frame, sandwiched in the one-inch room between the takedown lever and also leading leaf of the fixed is “Auto-Ordnance Corp” end a serial number that, choose Col. Thompson’s WWII-era Tommy lifwynnfoundation.org, begins with one “AO” prefix. The slab-sided slide is a welcome aesthetic contrasted to some contemporaries.

For those who want a GI .45 with an ext splash, AO also markets unique commemorative 1911s such together The General and also the paris Girls.

True to form, the 1911BKO has actually vertical behind slide serrations, a “thick” front sight, and also an M1911A1-style ejection port. The former of the cause is knurled. There is no checkering or stippling top top the within of the grip. The dustcover is smooth and the frame, as would be expected, is non-railed.

The current AO giving ships in a black and white cardboard box v manual and also warranty cards, a single Checkmate industries magazine, lock, and misc. Paperwork. The pistol tote a one-year warranty through Kahr.


AO did no waste much on the box, however then again, who desires to spend extra cash ~ above a crate anyway?

MSRP is $695 for the 1911BKO, a price that we right now come closer to $508 to, brand-new in the box.

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How does the shoot? Initial trial and error looks an excellent but clock this room in the coming weeks because that a complete rundown after we complete a few more variety sessions.