Kahr Arms & Auto Ordnance 1911s in 9mm — SHOT Show 2018

Down at the Kahr Arms booth, we got hands-on with the new hotness. Most of the changes for 2018 were cosmetic, with a healthy dose of John Tiegen signature series guns. These guns feature laser engraved logo’s for his charity, signature, and a very cool Kryptek pattern hydro dip on the frames. A portion of the proceeds from these guns will go Beyond the Battlefield, a charity set up to assist wounded veterans. 

Kahr also owns Auto Ordnance, and this year came correct with some very different 1911s. Having teamed up with Outlaw Ordinance, the guns released this year are works of art.

First up is the World War II Pin-Up series, with features some very cool laser engraving. The Air Force symbol and replica nose art are cut right into the sides, along with decorative rivets on the top. If your grandfather was in a bomber or fighter crew, you got his next birthday covered.

Also new to the Auto Ordinance line this year, a 1911 in 9mm. While this might sound like heresy to the 1911 purists, the 9mm chambering is really growing. Not only is it cheaper to feed, the forgiving recoil in the steel frame makes it perfect for teaching new shooters. This one is period correct for World War II.  Aside from the different caliber,  it’s a perfect piece for historical weapons buffs.

New this year, Auto Ordnance introduced their 1911 in 9mm.

For more information about Kahr Arms, click here.

To learn more about Auto Ordnance, click here.

***Check out GunsAmerica for your next Kahr Arms Pistol.***

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • J.D. Smith February 8, 2018, 7:02 pm

    KMacK can spare parts be found for the Star BM and if so where? And thanks for the info.

  • Larry February 8, 2018, 10:34 am

    You go ahead and do that gandolph

  • gandolf February 7, 2018, 5:55 pm

    I’ll stick with my polymer IMI Baby Desert Eagle.

  • J.D. Smith February 7, 2018, 1:58 pm

    So what’s the deal with the Star BM? It’s a 1911 in 9MM, right? I know they don’t make them anymore but didn’t they work OK? Curious for a couple of reasons, was thinking about buying one and wondering if they did work and if they are worth 200.

    • KMacK February 7, 2018, 3:33 pm

      I have a Star BM and it’s a decent and reasonably accurate pistol. Warning: Some builds use either too hard or too soft metal in places – mine had a weak ejector that had to be removed and replaced with a properly hardened one. Other than that, it’s a decent pistol and exactly like a 1911. You might want to check the return spring, some of them are old enough to need replacement to prevent battering. Remember, these are old, old pistols and age does tell with them.

    • Andrew N February 9, 2018, 12:15 am

      I bought a Star Firestar in .40 S&W in 1990. A small sized 1911pattern, all steel and small enough to conceal easily. A little bigger than my wife’s Sig P238, but definitely heavier. I loved it from day one, and can’t imagine the number of rounds that have been through it. My brother bought one years later online, almost new. We found out why. The magazine was bad, caused lots of jams. The original owner never tried to figure it out apparently. Loaned him one of my mags and it runs like a dream. If I ever escape CA, I’ll get another.

    • nomen nescio April 21, 2020, 8:10 pm

      The Star BM is based on pre-WWII Star service pistols that were made, externally, to resemble a 1911. Internally the two are not so much alike.

      You could think of it as being somewhere between a Colt LW Officer’s and a LW Commander in 9mm, in terms of size, but mechanically they’re about as different from a 1911 as a metal-framed single-stack single action can be.

  • Brian Fletcher February 7, 2018, 11:22 am

    Interesting guns, especially the 1911’s. But once again NONE of these are available to the second class citizens of Kalifornia whose Constitutional rights continue to be trampled by liberal subversives in power.

    • gandolf February 7, 2018, 5:54 pm

      Brian not as bad as NJ. If you want to but a handgun you must fill out a permit to purchase form at your police station. The form is sent to the State Police for approval or rejection. That process takes 2 to 3 months. If approved you take the permit to purchase form to your gun dealer. You must again fill out the same forms that were sent to the State Police and the dealer charges you $18 to call NICS.

  • Blue Dog February 6, 2018, 2:12 pm

    I am always skeptical when I hear about 1911s chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W. Traditionally, they jam with one exception. The 9mm and .40 S&W have a similar overall cartridge length, which they share with the .45 GAP, and they are about a tenth or sixth or so of an inch shorter than a .45 ACP cartridge, which shares an overall cartridge length with the .38 Super and 10mm. Almost all 1911s are designed to chamber and feed a cartridge of about the same length as a .45 ACP, which is why the .38 Super feeds better than a 9mm despite having ballistics that are pretty close. When you want to chamber a firearm designed for a .45 ACP length case to shoot a shorter cartridge like a 9mm or .40 S&W, there are two ways to cross that bridge. The first, correct option is to redesign the gun, shrinking down appropriate parts of the weapon so that it can deal with the shorter cartridge. This is an expensive and uncommon solution to that problem and has produced the one exception to the rule, the Springfield EMP. The cheaper option for cutting corners is to put a spacer at the back of the 9/.40 mags and let the slide move like it is picking up a .45, giving it a split second for something to go wrong. That is what most pistol makers do.

    TL;DR – 1911s chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W are not generally worth it.

    • W.P. Zeller February 7, 2018, 12:43 pm

      As much as I don’t care for 9×19 1911s, I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree on the reliability issue.
      I get to see a lot of 9mm 1911s in the course of both instructor work we do and being a USPSA official. Many of the earlier ones weren’t good at all, but what I’ve seen of the Springfield Range Officers has been quite good.
      That pains, since living in Illinois and having a big problem with the company, I hesitate to “recommend” one of their products.
      That said, I won a 9 RO at a match and turned around and sold it the next day (I won’t own an SA). The guy who bought it is thrilled and says it runs fine.
      Furthermore, the Missus has a customized RO in 9 that her sponsor built into a .38 Super USPSA Single Stack gun. Even with the OEM 9mm barrel, it runs fine, using McCormick mags. I think it ran with MecGars, too.
      Kimbers and Tauruses, not so much.
      As for .40, the Missus runs several .40s as an A-class USPSA competitor and they are perfect; however, they are full-full customs and I load the ammo to suit. With factory .40, yeah, I doubt they’d do well. A .40 cal 1911 is a bastard that needs fiddling. That said, her #1 Single Stack .40 can go ten thousand rounds easy between stoppages, so it CAN be done.
      Just my in-the-field observations.

      • Blue Dog February 7, 2018, 8:12 pm

        Yeah, so the exceptions are Springfields. Your observations are consistent with my rant. 😛
        Regarding the .40 situation – handloading can fix many sins of weapons. Sins like the .40 S&W.

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