Courtesy Auto Ordnance
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Th M1911A1 is a classic if ever there was one. Some gunnies think it’s sacrilege to mess with JMB’s meisterwerk. Not us. If you can, do. If you like it, why not? Here’s Auto-Ordnance’s press release announcing a new case hardened version of their GI Series .45. Are you a fan or not?

Auto-Ordnance Offers Custom Case Hardened 1911

(Greeley, PA) – Auto-Ordnance, maker of the famous “Tommy Gun” and other classic firearms throughout history, is proud to offer the Custom Case Hardened 1911 pistol.

Taking a classic 1911 to the next level without diminishing its history is no easy feat, but adding an even more classic finish formally raises the bar. Auto-Ordnance has done just that with the new GI Series 1911 with “case hardened” finish. This time honored tradition of working steel produces distinct and unique patterns of color long sought after by firearms aficionados. The Auto-Ordnance Case Hardened 1911s are each a work of art, covered in a beautiful, swirling finish. Beneath the colorful surface is an all-steel, 5 inch, “GI” pattern 1911 pistol, chambered in powerful .45 ACP. The grips are checkered wood with the “US” military logo.

While every Auto-Ordnance GI 1911 is made to replicate the look of the original guns, they are also equipped with a precisely machined barrel. This guarantees that they may look like a GI pistol, but they will shoot with a level of accuracy the originals could not match. The Auto-Ordnance Case Hardened 1911 gives today’s shooter a chance to own a beautifully finished piece of American military history, and experience legendary shooting performance with every trip to the range!

The Case Hardened 1911, model 1911GCH, is chambered in .45 ACP and features checkered wood grips with the U.S. logo. It comes shipped with a 7-round magazine and has an MSRP of $1,327. Contact your local firearms dealer to purchase.

For more information about Kahr Firearms Group products visit,, or For press inquires contact Monica Arnold at

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About Kahr Firearms Group:
Kahr Firearms Group, formed in 2012, includes Kahr Arms, Auto-Ordnance and Magnum Research. KFG Headquarters reside in Greeley, Pennsylvania. Kahr Arms produces small concealable handguns in .380, 9mm, .40 and .45ACP. Auto-Ordnance is the maker of the famous “Tommy Gun”, M1 Carbine and WW2 GI Model 1911. Magnum Research Inc., designer and producer of the world renowned Desert Eagle Pistol, Baby Eagle, MLR .22LR and .22Mag Rifles and BFR Revolvers. All three companies are proudly located in the USA.

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    • Why not? Kahr makes high quality handguns. The all steel K and MK pistols are as finely fitted as any production handgun—they’re easily as well made as Kimber.

      • Auto Ordinance is not famous for its quality control or reliability. SEE: Auto Ordinance M1 Carbine. I’ve heard the same with their prior 1911s. Kahr’s own guns are great, I own one, but Auto Ordinance is a different story.

  1. Are you a fan or not?

    JMB just got it right with the 1911. I have found that it often makes a person a better shooter, kinda like how these new stability control systems that have a “track” setting make you a better driver on the course. The 1911 between its made for precision trigger and its uncompromised grip angle, (unlike a glocks, for example, which is just a poor design and forces your hand to point downward) just allows us to fire more naturally and accurately.

      • I have that exact problem. I think it is just muscle memory working against me. I have thousands of rounds through my G19. Whenever I shoot my 1911 my wrist wants to move to the Glock grip angle if I do anything faster than controlled, single shots.

      • Must be a muscle memory thing. I grew up on my dad’s Beretta 92 and Colt 1911, Glocks just don’t feel right. But then, I hate the grip on pretty much all plastic fantastics. But the Glock especially never fit me right.

        • except I am noticing with students who haven’t been shooters before….can’t be muscle memory….

        • how many of them have studied martial arts and which type? many who have studied eastern martial arts find the glock grip angle better. many who have studied western martial arts eg boxing seem to find the 1911 grip angle better. Massad Ayoob talked about this in one of the articles i came across. might be worth looking into further.

  2. I love the look. I assume the street price will be a couple of bills less. Too bad I live in California, where we are not allowed any “new” firearms unless they have microstamping capability.

  3. Color case hardened is a beautiful finish, especially if they do a great job like that! The downside is the real thing is fragile, and will fade over time.

  4. I love M1911’s, but already have three, so I’ll pass on this one. Nice look to it, but I prefer blued or parkerized finishes, per the originals.

  5. son two to get 1911 want spend less kimber like springfield auto-ordnance wish norinco none to buy

    • Rock Island. Made in Philippines, but solid gun, and the price is $500 or less. Kimber Pro Carry II is usually right around $700. Springfield’s lowest priced is its former GI model, that now retails for about $675. It is a very nice pistol, but the wholesale is down around $500, so it is kind of steep.

  6. Why do 1911’s cost so much? Are they really that mechanically complex and require lots of hand assembly?

    I know Rock Island sells a cheap one, why can’t other makers?

    • Hardened steel costs a lot more than injection molded plastic. 1911s are big hunks of metal that require finishing work. Rock Island just does a lot less finishing work than other brands.

  7. the only changes to the 1911 is Fbob chow’s ball-end barrel and the double stack mag. everything else is a waste of time and money…

  8. I like her looks, but still, case hardening a 1911 is sort of like retouching the Mona Lisa to give her bigger breasts. While it may improve the eye appeal, it’s a sacrilege to mess with a classic work of art like that.

  9. Yuck. That color pattern is achieved with a sodium cyanide bath. Effective but the cheap way to get the colors. Given modern tech, the aesthetic result is the only reason to do this.

    Bone-charcoal pack hardening produces superior colors and patterns, and is the correct process for the really desirable vintage and reproduction arms.

  10. Many years ago, I bought an Auto Ordinance .45acp serial number 215 and had it extensively customized. When I took the pistol out to shoot it, I bench rested it and fired a slow fire five shot group. Three bullseyes and two right along side. 1.5 inches at a measured 50 yards. Don’t tell me an Auto Ordinance isn’t accurate. Sadly, the gun was stolen a few years ago at my home. Sure wish I had it back.

  11. Y’all do realize it may not be actually case hardened right? You can get similar results through something called flame coloring. Basically it’s a really old school “cheap” way to get the case hardened look without actually case hardening, you spray some special oil on it and then run a torch over the surface and it produces a case harden-esque color pattern. Now I know some are saying but Moltar it says it’s case hardened you stupid n00b and to you I say read carefully and note the quotation marks in the following statement pulled directly from the press release above: “case hardened” finish. Note those? Yeah that’s what tells me they aren’t really case hardened but rather flame colored.

  12. Just picked mine up yesterday. Yes, I have a couple of Kimber’s and more than a few Glock’s and I love me some 10mm..BUT..this pistol is absolutely gorgeous! Not as sweet shooting as my Ruger SR1911, but it hasn’t been broken in as much either. I know this may end up being a sunny day shooter but I knew I had to have one when I saw it and there’s no regrets. It is definitely better than the old Colts I shot in the late seventies while an active duty Marine. To each their own and this one scratches an itch. I was able to get it out the door for $1,100. Next on my bucket list is the Dan Wesson Bruin, 6″ in 10mm. So many guns, so little time…Semper Fi

    • Mike Stephens,
      I agree with you, I think the finish looks sweet. I’m a Wilson Combat fan but this pistol looks great. I keep seeing that it’s a cerakote finish which means it should be plenty durable. Shouldn’t sell for more than 6-7 hundred bucks, not the 1,100 you would pay at your local FFL. Still like the finish. It’s sharp.

      • For those wondering about if it is just a case hardening finish or actual case hardening? Contacted Kara Arms technical support today. They confirmed that the case hardened is just a finish on the gun and it was not actually case hardened.


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