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Thompson Custom 1911TC (courtesy

Like a lot of firearms manufacturers, Kahr Arms is sitting pretty. The post-Obama, post-Newtown guns and ammo sales surge has been very, very good to them. So good, in fact, that they stopped making the Auto Ordnance Thompson Custom 1911TC to satisfy demand for concealed carry pistols. Well, that’s their story and they’re sticking to it. Now that demand has eased, or supply has increased, or something . . . it’s baaaaack! Jewish gunoscenti may say, “tell me, what makes this 1911 different from every other 1911?” Sci fi lovers will no doubt respond, “I’m sorry Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Suffice it to say, $813. And welcome back.

Thompson Custom 1911 (courtesy

Pearl River, NY –-( USA based Kahr Firearms Group is proud to announce the re-introduction of the Thompson Custom 1911 with stainless steel frame and slide.

The pistol was first introduced in early 2008 with a limited production run of 100 units.

After the 2008 presidential election, production shifted away from the 1911TC in order to meet increasing high demand for concealed carry pistols. Improved manufacturing processes over the past 5 years, including the use of high-precision equipment with fewer set-ups, has reduced the cost to appeal to consumers without sacrificing quality or consistency in the performance.

The Thompson Custom 1911 frame is made from 420 stainless steel casting and the slide features a solid stainless steel billet. The 1911TC features black low-profile front and rear iron sights that are dovetailed into the slide. The ejection port is flared and the slide has front and rear serrations machined at a slight angle. The mainspring housing is checkered and the front strap is machined checkered at 20 lines per inch. Additional features include an adjustable trigger, combat hammer, full-length recoil guide rod, extended beavertail grip safety; extended magazine release; checkered laminate grips and a checkered slide stop lever.

The .45 ACP has a 5” barrel – length is 8.5” overall and weighs just 39 oz. The 1911TC is shipped with one 7-round magazine. Finishing features include an attractive matte finish on the frame and slide and the markings are laser-engraved, including the distinctive Thompson bullet logo on the slide, and a Thompson bullet logo inlay on the grip.  MSRP on the Thompson Custom 1911 stainless frame is $813.00.

For more information on the complete line of Auto Ordnance products, please visit

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    • 1911s CAN be reliable, my Norinco has never had a burp. Sadly cannot say the same about a Springfield that was traded or the Kimber thats still in the safe. Constant FTFs out of those. Failures out of my Glocks? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

      • Through thousands of rounds, I’ve never had a single issue with my Ruger SR1911. Ever. And I’ve fired it wet…dry…dirty…clean. Now, my Springfield XDM .45, that’s another story.

      • You couldn’t pay me to carry a Kimber. S&W is expensive but about as reliable as an anvil, Randy

    • 1911’s can be very, very reliable, and for the same reasons that a AK-47 is reliable: They were originally designed with very loose tolerances. If you pick up an old GI 1911 in a Diane Feinstein fashion (holding it by the base of the grip with two fingers as tho it were a dead rat infested with fleas – a scowl of disapproval is optional) and you shake it, an old GI 1911 will rattle, it’s so loose. Loose tolerances mean “reliable” in field conditions.

      Over the years, manufactures have tightened and tightened the tolerances to obtain more accuracy. Tighter slide:frame tolerances mean that it better be lubed well and operated where there isn’t much dirt to slow down the slide. A little dirt around the barrel’s front half-inch (where it engages with the bushing) or the rear hood means that it might not go into battery completely.

      The original 1911 was designed to feed 230gr ball ammunition reliably – and they did, very well. Today’s HP designs, the semi-wadcutter designs, etc – well, they might require mods to the feed ramp area to insure that they feed properly and reliably.

      • What i remember about the 1911 is that the military issued ones rattled very much. And in the 70’s people were buying brand new 1911’s and sending them off unfired to custom smiths and having them extensively reworked. It was pretty common for the smith work to cost 2-3 times the originol price of the 1911.

        I can’t honestly say if that smith work was really needed or if it was just the fad of the time, like pet rocks.

        • As loose as 100 years ago? I don’t think so.

          American gun buyers are a really bizarre lot. There are lots of of US gun buyers that love the heck out of Russian guns, which should all come delivered with a can of Cheez-Whiz to help reduce the amount of noise the guns make when handled, but they start caterwauling when they see a loose 1911.

          The norm today is to make pretty tight guns, because that’s what the market is demanding.

        • Legion Firearms makes an extremely loose 1911 that is touted to operate even in the harshest conditions. They are based in Temple, TX and produce fine guns, with prices to match.

  1. Reading this press release, I have an urge to act like a po-mo liberal arts major and deconstruct it. It’s like playing buzzword bingo. Naturally, what set me off was the use of the word “billet.” Saying “machined from billet” around a gunsmith or machinist is like waving a red cape in front of a sleeping bull. For those who wouldn’t know a billet of steel if it were dropped on them, here’s a picture of “billets of steel:”

    The slide was machined from “bar stock,” which is what billet gets turned into.

    The one question the press release begs from me: “Is the barrel stainless steel?” They spend a lot of time bragging on the stainless frame and slide, but naught about the barrel.

    • Dyspeptic, with a retail price of $813, you know something has been done, from a material/machining stand point, to control cost.

      If the company is bragging on the slide and frame, then I suspect there just might be a little less spent on the barrel and possibly the bushing.

      Looks like a full length guide rod, though. Really makes me wonder about barrel quality, now.

      The picture doesn’t show, but perhaps the gun has an external extractor?

      • Well, there are really only two areas where a gun maker can really reduce costs significantly:

        1. Reduce labor costs.

        2. Reduce material costs.

        #1 can be done with increased automation (eg, more CNC), and, to some extent, changing how parts are created. MIM, for example, can take a lot of labor cost out of small, fiddly little parts like hammers, sears, and so on. The other way is to send the production of some parts out of the country – which is why some guns made in China, the Philippines, Turkey, etc are significantly cheaper.

        #2 can be done by reducing waste (eg, going to castings or forgings instead of machining from bar stock) or going to less expensive metals. Using stainless steel in any significant quantity ramps up the material costs for most guns.

        In any gun, the first place I want quality is in the barrel. The stuff hung around the barrel is usually secondary, because the barrel keeps the nasty business of high pressures inside when I really, really don’t want that pressure making it outside in the proximity of my ruggedly handsome face.

        The exception to this rule are guns like revolvers, where the cylinder quality becomes an issue, as well as the quality of the metal that forms the frame around the window. Still, the objective is the same: Keep the excitement bottled up and going “that a-way…” downrange.

        • I’m the opposite. I’d much rather buy a 1911 with a nice frame and slide, since those are the components I expect to last forever. All the other bits are details that can and will be changed as I go.

  2. My 1911-A1 is an Auto Ordnance that I bought over 25 years ago. It was a “plain Jane” parkerized pistol that I took to local legendary gunsmith Austin Behlert to have slightly modified. Even with the custom work, it cost less than a stock in the box Colt, and I ended up with a pistol with adjustable Novak sights, enlarged ejection port, extended beavertail grip safety, and Mr. Behlert’s custom trigger. Of course, this was back when I think only 2 or 3 companies were making 1911’s. From the photos, it looks like Auto Ordnance has GREATLY improved the fit and finish of their firearms from when mine was made, but mine will never be for sale as it goes ‘bang” EVERY time I pull the trigger. To date, I have had zero failures with this gun.

  3. No ambi-dex thumb safety or adjustable sights? And only a single 7-rd magazine? Hmmmm…

  4. You guys totally ripped off that picture from a user on Glock Talk. Thats pretty pathetic. Take your own pics or give credit for the awesome photography.

  5. Agree with levi with regards to using other peoples pics without permission.
    If you’re running a blog you should definitely take care to do so…

  6. I’m not sure the place you are getting your information, but good topic. I must spend some time learning much more or figuring out more. Thank you for magnificent info I used to be looking for this info for my mission.

  7. $813 is a low price low/mid level 1911. This is a production semi-custom..a full custom would be:ROGERS CUSTOM,CHRISTENSEN ARMS,HEIRLOOM,…a great mid level 1911 is IVER JOHNSON EAGLE $600new and better fit and finish than kimbers/colts.comes with front/rear serrations, adjustable MILLET rear sight and extended beaver tail/slide catch.
    IVER JOHNSONS cannot be beat for the price.
    For semi-customs: NIGHTHAWK,LES BAER, and ED BROWNs are the best..
    I own and compete with all 1911s i mentioned btw.

    • Well to be fair the Thompson is a stainless steel satin finish that is not available on any of the Iver Johnson Pistols. Apples and Oranges my friend. I like both the polished blue Iver Johnson and the Stainless Thompson.

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  9. Street prices are about $650.
    Competes with Springfield, Remington and RIA in that space.

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